Was it really Secret?
February 24, 2011 6:24 PM   Subscribe

Herod The Great had a “secret police force” or network of spies. What would he have called them?

What language would he have used and what would the translation of “secret police” be.
posted by clavdivs to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
He was a Edomite, and they had their own aramaic based language. Clearly though, he spoke more than just his native tongue. He definitely spoke latin and aramaic too.

Herod did have his own army, but he was a puppet king controlled by Rome. I think in history and legend, he mostly used Roman soldiers to do his dirty work. He played his soldiers as good guys against the Romans. The famed Massacre of the Innocents was allegedly carried out by Legionaires, and not Herod's Jewish soldiers.

Herod had guys loyal to him in the Roman Army too. Judeans, as citizens of the Empire, could join the legion. I would imagine that Herod's most deadly secret police would be officers in the Legion who were also Edomites, and were loyal to Herod.
posted by Flood at 6:43 PM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't know the answer, but the book Spies of the Bible would probably be a good place to look. The author is fairly well established in the field so I would expect an academic approach from the book.
posted by Horatius at 8:46 AM on February 26, 2011

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