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A fortress-palace some 3,600 feet above the Dead Sea, about fifteen miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan River. A fortress built on the site by Alexander Jannaeus (103–76 BCE) was destroyed by Pompey’s general Gabinius; it was then extensively rebuilt by Herod the Great to include a palace within the fortress. The site was regarded as strategically important by Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (4 BCE–39 CE). According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Machaerus was the scene of the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist (Matt 14:3-12; Mark 6:17-29).