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"Herodion" redirects here. For the saint traditionally numbered among the Seventy Disciples, see Herodion of Patras. For the Roman-era theatre in Athens, Greece, sometimes known as the Herodion or Irodion, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odeon_of_Herodes_Atticus.


Aerial photo of Herodium from the south west.


Herodium from the south.


Herodion as seen from Bethlehem.


Trilingual sign at entrance.


Herodium or Herodion ( , , Jabal al-Fraidees) is a hill which was artificially extended, volcano-shaped like a truncated cone (758 m / 2,487 ft above sea level), south of Jerusalem, located in the West Bankmarker, southeast of Bethlehemmarker and under control of Israelmarker, built as a fortress palace by King Herod the Great. It was known by the Crusaders as the "Mountain of Franks", but Arab inhabitants call it Jabal al-Fourdis or "Mountain of Paradise".

This is the quote of the Roman-era Jewish historian Josephus with respect to the fortress:

Herodium was conquered and destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 71, when Lucilius Bassus and his X Fretensis were on their way to Masadamarker.

At the beginning of the Bar Kokhba revolt, Simon bar Kokhba declared Herodium as his secondary headquarters. Archeological evidences for the revolt were dispersed all over the site, from the outside buildings to the water system under the mountain. Inside the water system, supporting walls (which were built by the rebels) were discovered, and another system of caves was found. Inside one of those caves, the Field School of Kfar Etzionmarker members discovered a burned wood which, afterwards, they dated to Bar Kokhba revolt time. The burned wood is still, after more than 1800 years inside the cave, waiting for the visitors.

Tomb of Herod

Hebrew Universitymarker Professor Ehud Netzer reported on May 8, 2007 that he discovered Herod's gravesite atop of tunnels and water pools at a flattened desert site halfway up the hill to Herodium south of Jerusalem, the precise location given by Josephus in his writings. Later excavations strengthened the idea that this site is Herod's mausoleum. The base of the tomb has now been uncovered and is visible to visitors to the site.

Notes and references

  1. Images of the Holy Land, Hedva Isachar Canetti, Hanan Isachar, Hazel Arieli, Moshe Yanai, √Čditor Hanan Isachar Photography, 2004, ISBN 9652800856, 9789652800855, page 71
  2. Herodium Bethlehem.ps
  3. "Archaeologist Says Remnants of King Herod’s Tomb Are Found"; The New York Times, May 9, 2007]
  4. "New Excavations Strengthen Identification Of Herod's Grave At Herodium". ScienceDaily, 19 November 2008. Obtained 19 November 2008.


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