The Army of Herod the Great


Written by Samuel Rocca

Illustrated by Christa Hook

This book is number 443 in Osprey’s Men-At-Arms series.

The Army of Herod the Great is 48 pages. The Contents are: Introduction and Chronology;
Herod and His Army; Strength and Composition; The Field Army; Campaigns; Select
Bibliography; Plate Commentaries; and Index.

The Introduction briefly states that Herod’s army was the last independent regular Jewish
army, it fought for its king and for Rome. The Chronology begins with 66-63 BC Civil war
in the Hasmonaean kingdom and ends AD 100 termination of Herodian dynasty.
Herod and His Army is divided into two subsections: The King of the Jews-this section
explains briefly how Herod came on the scene and became the King of Judaea. The other
subsection is The status of Herod?’ army- this section discusses the importance of Herod
being the actual commander-in-chief, plus the strong bond between Herod and his army.
Strength and Composition is another section of the book. It is broken down into five
brief subsections, which are self explanatory: Army strengths: the civil war-the First
Nabataean War-at Herod’s death; Ethnic composition; Supreme and senior command; Engineers
and artillery; and Herod’s bodyguard. Here the author explains the definition of the
terms that are used to calculate army strength.

The Field Army section is divided into the following: Cavalry; Infantry; Reserves-the
military colonies; Equipment’ and Fortifications. In this section the author describes
the size and who made up the various branches of Herod’s army, the weapons they used and the role each played. He discusses the various fortification; the urban, the city
acropolis, castle, and smaller forts and towers.

The last section is the Campaigns which contains the following: The conquest of the
kingdom and siege of Jerusalem, 40-37 BC; The First Nabataean War, 32-31 BC; Aelius
Gallus expedition to Arabia, 25 BC; The Second Nabataean War, 9 BC; and The army after

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