Presents a new lens for understanding the powerful, notorious King Herod, ruler of ancient Judaea. An old, bloodthirsty tyrant hears from a group of Magi about the birth of the Messiah, king of the Jews. He vengefully sends his soldiers to Bethlehem with orders to kill all of the baby boys in the town in order to preserve his own throne. The Western world sees Herod the Great as an icon of cruelty and evil: a tyrant. Adam Kolman Marshak portrays Herod the Great quite differently, however, carefully drawing on historical, archaeological, and literary sources. Marshak shows how Herod successfully ruled over his turbulent kingdom by skillfully interacting with his various audiences - Roman, Hellenistic, and Judaean - in myriad ways. Herod was a master in political self-presentation. As he moved from the bankrupt usurper he was at the beginning of his reign to a wealthy and powerful king who founded a dynasty and brought ancient Judaea to its greatest prominence and prosperity.