From the 1894, 9th edition of The Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. 11 of 25, pp. 674-675, under the subtitle “Herod”, we read (edited to improve understanding):
“HEROD was the name of a family of Idumæan origin, which displaced the Asmoneans [or Levitical Hasmoneans] as the rulers of Judæa. The founder of the dynasty, and its most notable representative in every way was Herod the Great, who was king of the Jews [sic citizens of Judaea] for about thirty-seven years, from 40 to 4 B.C.
[Critical note by Clifton A. Emahiser: CONFUSED DATING OF WISE MEN: Most Biblical commentaries have Herod the Great’s death at 4 B.C. which conflicts with Luke 2:1-23. However, Insight On The Scriptures, volume 1 of 2, p. 1093, under subtitle “Date of His Death“ says in part: “A problem arises with regard to the time of Herod’s death. Some chronologers hold that he died in year 5 or 4 B.C. Their chronology is based to a large extent on Josephus’ history. In dating the time that Herod was appointed king by Rome, Josephus uses a ‘consular dating,’ that is, he locates the event as occurring during the rule of certain Roman consuls ... This might indicate that the date of his death was 2 or perhaps 1 B.C.” This agrees with a 3 B.C. date for the birth of Christ. It is quite clear that the wise men visited Christ at Galilee about two years after the manger scene at Bethlehem. Christmas, as celebrated today, does not separate these as two different events. It would seem, if we are going to celebrate Christ’s birth, we would keep these two events in their proper order!] – Back to The Encyclopædia Britannica:
“Herod’s father [and Grandfather] were named Antipater [whom the latter], during the troubles which broke out in the family of Alexander Jannæus, attached himself to Hyrcanus, the weak-minded son of Alexander. In this way Antipater, though an Idumæan, soon became the most powerful man in Judæa, and in the Alexandrian war gave such effectual help to Julius Cæsar that the dictator made him procurator of Judæa, Hyrcanus being high priest (47?) B.C.). The same year, at the age of twenty-five, Herod was appointed governor of Galilee by his father. He soon gave proof of the remarkable energy of his character in rooting out the banditti who infested his province; but his summary measures gave a handle to the enemies of his house at Jerusalem, and he was summoned before the sanhedrin. There he appeared, not in the garb of an accused person, but gorgeously attired, and attended by a guard of soldiers. He found it expedient, however, to withdraw from Jerusalem without awaiting the sentence. He retired to Syria, where he was met with a gracious reception from Sextus Cæsar, who appointed him governor of Coele Syria. Herod now marched with an army against Jerusalem, but at the persuasion of his father and brother was induced to depart without exacting vengeance on his enemies. After the death of Cæsar, the fortunes of Herod were affected by all the changes which befell the Roman state. When Cassius took the command in the East, and began to gather his strength for the final struggle which was decided at Philippi, Herod managed to win his favor by the readiness with which he raised his share of the heavy exactions imposed upon the East. About the same time his father was poisoned, and to Herod fell the task of avenging his death, as well as of supporting the interests of his house in Palestine. After Philippi he gained Antony over by large presents of money. He and his brother Phasael were appointed tetrarchs of Judæa. In 40[?] B.C., the Parthians appeared upon the scene, overran the whole of Syria, and placed on the throne of Judæa Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, and representative of the rival branch of the Asmonean [or Levitical Hasmonean] house. Herod was completely overpowered; and, after placing his relatives in safety, so far as he could, he hastened to Rome to lay his case before Antony and Octavianus. He succeeded beyond his expectation, for, while he meant only to advocate the claims of Hyrcanus the Asmonean [or Levitical Hasmonean], the two heads of the state made him king of Judæa. Herod returned home without delay, and set about the task of winning the kingdom allotted to him. Owing chiefly to the slackness of the Roman generals who should have helped him, it was three years before he succeeded in taking Jerusalem (37? B.C.). Before that event he had married the beautiful Mariamne, a[n Israelite] princess of the Asmonean house, a grand-daughter both of Aristobulus and Hyrcanus.”