Nadav Sharon, «Herod's Age When Appointed Strategos of Galilee: Scribal Error or Literary Motif?», Vol. 95 (2014) 49-63
In Antiquities Josephus says that Herod was only fifteen-years-old when appointed strategos of Galilee in 47 BCE. This is often dismissed as scribal error and corrected to twenty-five, because it contradicts other Herodian biographical information. However, this unattested emendation does not fit the immediate context, whereas 'fifteen' does. This paper suggests that rather than a scribal error, this is a literary motif, presenting Herod as a particularly young military hero. The specific age of fifteen may have had a deeper intention, fictively linking Herod's birth to the year 63, the year of Augustus' birth and Pompey's conquest of the Temple.