II 4 The Jews’ secret love: the Parthians
In the traditional narrative about Judaism and early Christianity, the Parthians
are only mentioned in passing. In my theses on Judaism and early Christianity, the Parthians have a significant role as opponents to the Romans.
In the 1st century AD the Jews lived under Roman rule but the influence of the Parthians, their powerful Eastern neighbours, was always felt. The Parthians had collaborated with the Jewish nobility in 40 BC to drive out Herod and support his rival Antigonos the Hasmonean. Herod was forced to reconquer his kingdom in 39 – 36 BC.