Synopsis:"Herod" is based on the true story of an epic hero whose name became a byword for villainy.
We open in the Galilee, in the year 45 B.C.E. Herod, a brilliant young Judeaen general, is in pursuit of the king’s traitorous nephew, Antigonus, who has taken refuge in a bandit stronghold. -- caves carved into a sheer cliff face. But the bandits kill themselves -- and their children -- rather than be taken captive. Antigonus escapes.
Herod's recalled to Jerusalem and unfairly put on trial for war crimes. He refuses to humble himself before the ruling council and escapes a death sentence only through the intervention of his father, the Roman-appointed governor of Judaea. But his father sends Herod into exile, for his own protection.
Meanwhile, Antigonus and his Amazonian sister Roxana ally themselves with the savage Parthian Empire.
News comes that Julius Caesar's been assassinated. The empire's in chaos as Rome's generals jockey for position. Despite the danger to himself, Herod hurries back home -- and is devastated to learn that his father's been poisoned. It's now up to Herod to save Jerusalem from the Parthians.
The king's taken captive by the Parthians and forced to abdicate in favor of Antigonus. As the Parthians stream into the city, Herod escapes, taking with him his own family and the king's beautiful granddaughter, Mariamne.
Leaving everyone with a garrison atop the mountain fortress of Masada, Herod sets off alone to find help -- from Cleopatra in Egypt, and Mark Antony in Rome.