Aretas IV Philopatris, king of Nabataea

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Aretas Harithath

Birthdate:
Death: Died
Place of Burial: Petra, Petra District, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan
Immediate Family:

Son of Malichos I, King of Nabataeans
Husband of Chuldu Huldu and Shaqilath
Father of Malichos II, King of Nabataeans; <private>; <private>; <private>; <private> and 4 others
Brother of Odobas III, King of Nabataeans

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About Aretas IV Philopatris, king of Nabataea

Aretas IV Philopatris

Aretas IV Philopatris (Ḥāritat in Nabataean) was the King of the Nabataeans from roughly 9 BC to CE 40.

Aretas came to power after the assassination of Obodas III, who was apparently poisoned. Josephus says that he was originally named Aeneas, but took "Aretas" as his throne name. An inscription from Petra suggests that he may have been a member of the royal family, as a descendent of Malichus I.

His full title, as given in the inscriptions, was "Aretas, King of the Nabataeans, Friend of his People." Being the most powerful neighbour of Judea, he frequently took part in the state affairs of that country, and was influential in shaping the destiny of its rulers. While on not particularly good terms with Rome and though it was only after great hesitation that Augustus recognized him as king, nevertheless he took part in the expedition of Varus against the Jews in the year 4 BC, and placed a considerable army at the disposal of the Roman general.

Aretas had two wives. The first was Huldu to whom he was already married when he became king. Her profile was featured on Nabataean coins until CE 16. After a gap of a few years the face of his second wife, Shaqilath, began appearing on the coins.

Defeat of Herod Antipas

His daughter Phasaelis married Herod Antipas, otherwise known as Herod the Tetrarch. When Phasaelis discovered Herod intended to divorce her in order to take his brother's wife Herodias, mother of Salome, some time before the death of Philip 33/34 CE, she fled to her father. Aretas IV invaded Herod's holdings, defeated his army, partly because soldiers from Philip's tetrarchy changed sides.

Josephus, the source for these events, says that some Jews attributed the defeat of Herod Antipas, which occurred during the winter of CE 36/37, to the beheading of John the Baptist.

Herod Antipas then appealed to Emperor Tiberius, who dispatched Lucius Vitellius the Elder the governor of Syria to attack Aretas. Vitellius mustered his legions and moved southward, stopping in Jerusalem for the passover of CE 37, when news of the emperor's death arrived and the invasion of Nabataea was never completed.

The Christian Apostle, Paul, mentions that he had to sneak out of Damascus in a basket through a window in the wall to escape the ethnarch of King Aretas. (2 Corinthians 11:32, 33, cf Acts 9:23, 24). However, there is some dispute as to if troops belonging to Aretas actually controlled the city or if Paul was actually referring to "the official in control of a Nabataean community in Damascus, and not the city as a whole."

Aretas IV died in CE 40 and was succeeded by his son Malichus II.

Source :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretas_IV_Philopatris


Aretas IV Philopatris was the King of the Nabataeans from roughly 9 BC to AD 40. His full title, as given in the inscriptions, was "Aretas, King of the Nabataeans, Friend of his People." Being the most powerful neighbour of Judea, he frequently took part in the state affairs of that country, and was influential in shaping the destiny of its rulers. While on not particularly good terms with Rome - as intimated by his surname, "Friend of his People", which is in direct opposition to the prevalent φιλορώμαις ("Friend of the Romans") and φιλόκαισαρ ("Friend of the Emperor") - and though it was only after great hesitation that Augustus recognized him as king, nevertheless he took part in the expedition of Varus against the Jews in the year 4 BC, and placed a considerable army at the disposal of the Roman general.

His daughter Phasaelis married Herod Antipas, otherwise known as Herod the Tetrarch. When Herod divorced Phasaelis to take his brother's wife Herodias, mother of Salome, in AD 26, Phasaelis fled to her father. Aretas IV invaded Herod's holdings, defeated his army[1] and captured territories along the West Bank of the Jordan River, including the areas around Qumran[citation needed].

The classical author Josephus connects this battle, which occurred during the winter of AD 26/27, with the beheading of John the Baptist, but not necessarily occurring at the same time. Herod Antipas then appealed to Emperor Tiberius, who dispatched the governor of Syria to attack Aretas. But because of the emperor's death in AD 37 this action was never carried out.[1]

The Christian Apostle, Paul, mentions that he had to sneak out of Damascus in a basket through a window in the wall to escape the Governor (ethnarch) of King Aretas. (2 Corinthians 11:32, 33, cf Acts 9:23, 24), The question remains open as to when King Aretas received Damascus from Caligula in the imperial settlement of the affairs of Syria. The Aretas’ administration in Damascus may have begun as early as CE 37 based upon archeological evidence in the form of a Damascus coin, with the image of King Aretas and the date 101. If that date points to the Pompian era, it equals C.E. 37 (T. E. Mionnet, Description des medailles antiques greques et romaines, V [1811], 284f.)

References

  • ^ Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 18.109-118
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretas_IV_Philopatris

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