King Agrippas I, King Herod’s grandson, who ruled from 10 BCE until 44 CE. In his youth he grew up in the Caesar’s court in Rome, where he became friendly with the family of the Caesar. He was particularly close with Gaus Caligula, who, upon ascending the throne in Rome, granted him rule over part of Herod’s kingdom. Later on, after Agrippas played a role in establishing Claudius as Caesar, he was rewarded with control of Judea, effectively taking over Herod’s entire kingdom. Upon his arrival in the land of Israel, King Agrippas developed close relationships with the Sages. He publicly showed his connection with the Jewish people and their traditions by his active participation in fulfilling the mitzvot, behavior that was praised by the Sages.
Agrippas was active in developing the defenses of the city of Jerusalem, including a new wall that enclosed suburban areas within the city proper. He died – possibly poisoned by Roman government agents who were concerned about his activities – after ruling in Judea for just four years.« Back to Glossary Index