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(buhr nees') GREEK: BERNIKE

A daughter of Herod Agrippa I, Bernice plays only a small role in the Bible; she is present when Paul is summoned by the procurator Festus to defend himself before her brother, Herod Agrippa II. But ancient historians have left us a great deal of information about Bernice's life, very little of it admirable.

After her first husband died, Bernice was given in marriage to her own uncle and bore him two sons. Following his death, she wed an Anatolian king named Polemo to quell rumors that she and her brother were involved in an incestuous relationship. But this marriage did not last long. Bernice eventually became the mistress of Titus, who commanded Rome's war against the Jews, destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and later became emperor.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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