Herod's Barracks

Photo of the Fortress of Antonia

King Herod had many soldier barracks scattered around his kingdom which extended as far north as Syria and south to the Negev desert. Starting in the southern desert and heading northward some of the many fortresses and barracks locations in Israel were Malatha, Masada, Herodium, Machaerus, Hyrcania, Cyprus, Docius, Esbus, Alexandrium, Amarthus, and Gabae near Mount Carmel. Herod was very insecure and lusted for power, he magnified several of the previous fortresses of the Hasmoneans who were Jewish kings who ruled Israel from 141 to 63 BC. In Jerusalem there were soldiers barracks and Herod's illustrious palace where many believe was the place of the Praetorium and the trial of Jesus because the Roman prefect made his residence there at certain times throughout the year. There was also the Antonia Fortress, the former Baris from the Maccabaean times, Josephus tells us that Herod remodeled the citadel and connected the towers and renamed it after his friend Antonius (Marc Anthony). It was magnificent and strong 375 x 75 feet with a moat, and 60 yards from the Temple. He built the fortress not to fortify Jerusalem or protect the Temple but to command it.