Barbara Bergin, PhD student in the Dept. of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Trinity College Dublin argues that we should look past Herod’s reputation as the Bible’s arch-villain, and see him as Herod the Great, the innovative architect, a builder and a king who brought to his realm stability, prosperity and full employment.
Tell us about your research…
“I am exploring Herod the Great, a king who has received exceedingly bad press in the Gospel of Matthew as the killer of the innocent children in Bethlehem”, says Barbara, who turned to research after 31 years working in business. “I studied for my BA in History and Philosophy in evening classes at University College Dublin while I worked full time, and promised myself I would return to studies once I retired.”
Barbara visited Israel to see in person the Herodian archaeological sites that she had studied. This only served to increase her interest in Herod and she applied to Trinity College Dublin as a PhD candidate. As part of her studies, she attended modules in Roman Art and Architecture, Archaeology, Biblical Greek and others to fill in the gaps in her education. Currently she is working on her doctoral proposal – “Was Herod the Ideal Successor to the Hasmonean Dynasty?”
My Researcher Video – Herod the Innovator