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Old 07-02-2019, 03:00 AM
Status: "Scarface IS fiction!" (set 9 days ago)
Location: Germany
5,052 posts, read 939,113 times
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Originally Posted by pneuma View Post
agreed, the eclipse and all that followed disqualifies 4BCE as the date of Herod death.
No, it makes the 4 BC partial eclipse a problem. But we still have the 5 BC total eclipse. And Josephus does not tell us Herod died just before Archelaus at Passover, so the time between his death and Passover could be some months. Which gives us late 5 BC or early 4 BC.

Originally Posted by pneuma View Post
The 4 or 5 days is added because according to War*I.657 Josephus tells us that Herod tried one remedy after another in order to try and cure himself.
I do not read it that way. Here is Josephus in orange, and my description in black.

And that very night there was an eclipse of the moon.

We then get a long description of his distemper before ...

It was said by those who pretended to divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretell such things, that God inflicted this punishment on the king on account of his great impiety; yet was he still in hopes of recovering, though his afflictions seemed greater than any one could bear.

He also sent for physicians, and did not refuse to follow what they prescribed for his assistance, and went beyond the river Jordan, and bathed himself in the warm baths that were at Callirrhoe, which, besides their other general virtues, were also fit to drink; which water runs into the lake called Asphaltiris.

It may have taken time between the eclipse and the journey, but Josephus does not say they treated Herod. Just that they say he must go to the baths. But even with no time between the eclipse and the journey, as you point out, the eclipse of 4 BC is a problem.

Unfortunately Josephus does not give us any clear dates for this period.

Originally Posted by pneuma View Post
Thus for me it is either 1BCE or 5BCE. I am looking at how the calender's worked back then and how they were used in chronology during the times in question
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