David’s Daughter

The Herodians

12-all-the-herodians King Herod had many wives, including Cleopatra of Jerusalem. two of his wives were called Mariamne (perhaps Miriamne).

The wife who has attracted most attention is the first Mariamne. She was said to be extremely beautiful and that Herod was obsessed with her. What he really valued was her lineage.

Mariamne was the daughter of Alexander and Alexandra of judea, the Hasmonaon Alexandros.

The Hasmonean family, despite their own internal struggles were recognised in Judaea as rightful kings and so by marrying Miriamne, Herod hoped to improve his own claim to the throne.

Herod’s obsessiom with Mariamne led to him executing his brother Joseph, who he suspected of having an affair with Mariamne whilst he was absent visiting Mark Anthony. Later Herod killed Mariamne, her mother and both his sons by Miriamne, Alexander and Aristobulus.

However before his death Aristobulus married Berenice, the Daughter of Herod’s sister Salome and Costabarus. They had five children one of whom was also called Mariamne.

After her husband was executed by Herod, Berenice took her family to Rome where she apparently lived in some style and became close friends with Mark Anthony’s daughter by Octavia, Antonia Minor. This made Antonia minor the niece of Augustus, therefore both Berenice and Mariamne were close to the centre of power.

Antonia minor was the mother of the Claudius who would eventually become Emperor.

claudius Many people believe that this Mariamne was the Mariamne Arria who was a mistress of Claudius and wife of Gaius Calpurnius Piso. Marimne Arria is believed by many people to be the alter ego of Mary Magdelene.

This Mariamne, despite appearing to be of the Jewish ruling class could be just another part of the Egyptian conspiracy and therefore a suitable partner for Jesus,

Her mothers father could have been someone other than Costabarus, who incidentally was eventually also killed by Herod.

Her fathers great grandmother was quite possibly Arsinoe VI of Egypt. neverthelass there is another to me more appealing candidate for Miriamne Arria and therefore for Mary Magdelene.

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