This handsome guy is Herod the Great. Looked like a Hollywood celeb, and certainly acted like one in his early days. He could have succeeded greatly as a reality T.V. personality because there is no doubt he was terribly narcissistic.
During those days he turned down the attention of Cleopatra. She tried very hard to seduce him, and if you think of her as Elizabeth Taylor, or Claudette Colbert, well, she really was not the glamour girl she is usually described as… a couple of these coins tell the truth.
As an older man, Herod lost his looks as well as his sanity. Raging against his magnificently beautiful wife, Mariamne, who was also a true princess of the noble family of the Hasmoneans, he executed her after a mock trial where her own mother took the stand against her. But it was a short term victory. He was so in love with her (go figure!) that he took to roaming the corridors of his huge palace, calling her name, hallucinating her, forcing himself to believe that she was alive. I could not find a real picture of her (I am not fond of the paintings representing her by later day artists) but I always imagine her like this beautiful woman on the cover of the book of my friend, Gary Morgenstein. It’s a great book, by the way. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Rabbi-Thalia-Kleinman-Romance/dp/1442114606/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1313846142&sr=1-4
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