Antipater I the Idumaean[a] (died 43 BC) was the founder of the Herodian Dynasty and father of Herod the Great. According to Josephus, he was the son of Antipas[b] and had formerly held that name.
A native of Idumaea, southeast of Judea between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, which during the time of the Hebrew Bible had been known as the land of Edom, Antipater became a powerful official under the later Hasmonean kings and subsequently became a client of the Roman general Pompey the Great when Pompey conquered Judea in the name of Roman Republic.
When Julius Caesar defeated Pompey, Antipater rescued Caesar in Alexandria, and was made chief minister of Judea, with the right to collect taxes. Antipater eventually made his sons Phasaelus and Herod the Governors of Jerusalem and Galilee respectively. After the assassination of Caesar, Antipater was forced to side with Gaius Cassius Longinus against Mark Antony. The pro-Roman politics of Antipater led to his increasing unpopularity among the devout, non-Hellenized Jews. He died by poison.
The diplomacy and artful politics of Antipater, as well as his insinuation into the Hasmonean court, paved the way for the rise of his son Herod the Great, who used this position to marry the Hasmonean princess Mariamne, endear himself to Rome and become king of Judea under Roman influence.