1. Explanation by academic that the early years of Herod are lost. Speculations that these missing passages are about Cassius Longinus's enslavement of four Palestinian cities, the lessons in governorship which Herod Antipater imparted to his son, who would eventually be 'Herod the Great;' the younger Herod's trial before the Sanhedrin for which he appeared with armed escort, Herod's support from Caesar's uncle, Sextus Julius. Herod the Younger's betrothal to Mariam, granddaughter of yet another Hyrcanus Hasmonean, who had usurped Antipater, and Herod's subsequent poisoning and usurpation of said Hyrcanus after Hyrcanus poisoned his brother and mutilated his ears so that should he escape, he could not be Herod-the-younger's high priest.
2. The author, Sharlappius, provides a brief disquisition on the philosemitism of Julius Caesar, how it fit in his general worldview, and how it benefited his rise, which was to the benefit of the entire Roman world (there should be great irony in his tone, as though he is flattering benefactors among subtle digs at Rome, which are beyond his patrons' comprehension).
3. The narrative begins with Herod wandering through the desert, penniless and homeless, after fleeing yet another battle with the Hasmonean, while contemplating suicide, he has a vision of the 'God of Lot, Ishmael, and Esau' who speaks to him, tells him to go to Egypt, speak to Cleopatra, receive her benefaction, and 'avenge all brothers of disfavor.' In a soliloquy, Herod vows to wreak vengeance upon Israelites for all time in the name of all Palestinians.
4. Cleopatra offers Herod a generalship in a war against the Partheans, who are supporting the latest Antigonus (Steve?). But Herod conjures a false argument to Cleopatra about the Parthean threat. And makes a rather bumbling empire seem like an empire of overwhelming might. "Roman legions only are required for their defeat. Cleopatra puts Herod on a ship to visit Antony in Rome.
5. The ship is wrecked in a tempest, for which Herod was trying to repair the boat with hammer and nails. Herod, swallowed by a whale, is the only survivor. Inside the whale, he by chance still has the hammer and nail, and hammers a nail into the whale's stomach, whereupon the whale vomits him and Herod finds himself on the Italian coastline in Cosenza, and begins the journey by foot to Rome.
6. Herod comes to Rome, dirty and penniless, but is immediately recognized by a rich Roman Jew named Flavius Jacobus, who immediately recognizes a lucrative partnership. Jacobus immediately presents Herod to the court of the Second Triumvirate, where Herod and Jacobus concoct false evidence to exaggerate the Parthean threat to even broader proportions. Antony immediately creates Herod as the new King of Judea, but Octavian objects strenuously to sending Roman troops to Judea, fearing a long quagmire. So rather than sending Herod back with Roman legions, he sends him back with a mercenary army of Gauls, to be financed, of course, by Flavius Jacobus and his partner in Antioch, thereby losing money through his partnership with Herod rather than making it.
Antony's nickname for Herod will be 'The Philistine', which sticks and is used against Herod as great provocation.
7. A year and a half later, Herod is still fighting the Hasmoneans, and is losing. Herod comes to Antony's current base camp in the Turkish region of Samosata. Herod persuades Antony that a long war without Roman involvement is in fact in Octavian's interests, not Antony's or Rome's (implying the threat of the Triumvirate coming undone), and because Antony's strength lies clearly in the East, Octavian is clearly creating a stalemate in Judea to undermine Antony's position. Antony becomes convinced, and endows Herod the help of two Roman legions, thousands of Syrian conscripts, mercenaries and slaves from all around the empire. All under an experienced commander named Sosius.
8. Herod marches his legions to Jericho, torches five settlements and kills all their inhabitants. He then marches on Jerusalem which he puts under siege. They build ramparts, He has Mariam abducted by mercenaries and bring her to his base camp, un-mishandled, where she will finally be taken to wife. An immediate marriage ceremony he's prepared takes place at which all the guests laugh at her protestations and fear, and immediately takes her to the marriage bed in his tent to rape her.
9. The Romans have not progressed for more than a month. The Jerusalemites, many starving, make night attack after night attack. Picking at various points in the camp, killing off more than a hundred of Herod's troops, bribing many others, stealing food and weaponry, building higher walls than the official city walls a bit within the city. But every attack results in Romans crucifying many more Judeans from surrounding townships in view of the Jerusalem walls than were killed in the attacks.
10. Forty days into the siege. Two members of the Sanhedrin, Shemaya and Abtalion, advocate to let the Romans into the gates and surrender to Herod. Through their convincing, they manage to convince the soldiers among their children to at least stay back from tonight's night raid. Therefore are not enough soldiers to carry all the newest Roman boulders away, and these boulders are hoisted upon catapult the next morning and breach the northern wall. The soldiers invade the northern part of the city and kill everyone in the streets, including those who show documents that they're Herod loyalists. They immediately go to the temple, loot the new treasures, slaughter all the priests and animals, and rape the women. All of Jerusalem looks as though it may be slaughetered. Herod debates whether to announce he will remunerate every soldier if they stop the slaughter, but hesitates about whether to do so.