NN 2nd wife of Phereros, a 'slave-girl' (deceased)

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About NN 2nd wife of Phereros, a 'slave-girl'

Pheroras’s Wife. This woman, who is one of the few Herodian women who remain nameless, was apparently an important character in Herod’s court, and was made of a different cloth altogether from other Herodian characters. Where Pheroras met her and who her forefathers were is obscure, although Josephus states that she was initially a slave. This, however, may be no more than an attempt to denigrate the woman in terms understood at the time as demeaning. That her lineage was improper emerges from the fact that Herod tried several times to sever his brother’s relations with her by offering him more suitable matches, including his own daughter. Pheroras declined, but when pressed he divorced his wife but brought her back (BJ 16:194–199). Her unique interests emerge from an episode in which she aided the Pharisees by paying a fine imposed on them, when they refused to take an oath of allegiance to King Herod (Ant. 17:42–43). This suggests that, unlike all other Herodian women (but like some Hasmonean ones), Pheroras’s wife had leanings toward the Pharisees. Despite Pheroras’s devotion to her, Josephus’s writings abound with innuendoes about her sexual promiscuity (e.g. Ant. 17:51). When Pheroras eventually died in mysterious circumstances, his wife was implicated in a poisoning plot. She then tried to commit suicide, but failed. Subsequently a discovery of the real culprits cleared the woman’s name (Ant. 17:62–63; 68–76). We hear nothing more of her. http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/herodian-women

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Pheroras (Φερώρας; Pherṓras). Youngest son of Antipater [4], born c. 68 BC probably in Marissa (Idumaea), died c. 5 BC. His first marriage was to a Hasmonaean princess (the sister of Mariamme [1] I, the first wife of his elder brother Herodes [1] I), his second was to a "slave girl" (Jos. BI 1,24,5; Jos. Ant. Iud. 16,7,3). http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/brill-s-new-pauly/salome-e1028520?s.num=10

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