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See also: herodism


Alternative forms[edit]


From Herod the Great, the biblical king who is said to have ordered the execution of all male infants under the age of two in the town of Bethlehem and the surrounding region, as he saw Jesus as a threat to his rule and who was allowed to rule by accepting Roman control and dominance.


Herodism (uncountable)

  1. The killing of unwanted people, especially children.
    • 1877, The Lancing College Magazine - Issue 2, page 554:
      In 1702 he wrote in opposition to prevalent intolerance a phamphlet entitled "The shortest way with Dissenters," in which he counselled the violent and total extinction of all who differed with the state-sanctioned creed. He was, of course, out-Heroding Herod to mock Herodism : but his imitation was too good and he was clapped into Newgate and condemned to the pillory.
    • 1881, William Henry Gilder, Schwatka's Search: Sledging in the Arctic in Quest of the Franklin Records, page 247:
      I understand that the mothers often would be willing to rear their daughters; but the fathers, who have supreme control in their families, insist upon getting rid of useless mouths and choke their infant babes to death, the mothers readily acquiescing. Equeesik, one of our hunters on the sledge journey, who is himself a Netchillik, denies this charge of female Herodism.
    • 1893, The National Popular Review.. - Volume 1, page 226:
      The maternal instinct which rebelled at what they unjustly and too hastily termed as antenatal Herodism was an obstacle to scientific research in this instance, and we shall always feel that Dr. Gregg was either jealous of the great attainments of the oracle or laboring under some prejudice, for, as stated above, had the population and procreation only gone on apace and the mothers been more self-sacrificing in the interest of science, the truth or fallacy of the proposition might have been established in the course of the next generation and thus the cause of science suffered.
    • 1966 December, A. Robinson Thomas, “Shortage of Radiologists”, in British Medical Journal, volume 2, number 5530:
      For the price of a postage stamp, however, and the effort of a letter to our Member of Parliament, we may yet at this eleventh hour make a gesture for the defence of the foetus and prevent the introduction of Herodism and abortions of convenience into British medicine.
  2. (obsolete) Indulgence in or worship of worldly spectacle and power rather than that which is good or worthy.
    • 1870, Marigolds by the Wayside; Or, The Prose and Poetry of Life, page 91:
      The target of defamation has been hurled from the pulpit and every rostrum upheaved to foster indolence and selfish principality of power. This mock heroism, or Herodism, is disgusting and sickening to a soul capable of finding worth outside of the world's pomp .and glitter, — outside of her charnel-house of ostentatious merit.
    • 1906, The New York Observer - Volume 84, page 335:
      And they have taken especial pains to remind us that 'it is God who worketh in men both to will and to do of His good pleasure,' and to warn against the Nebuchadnezzarism and Herodism of taking credit to ourselves for the fruits of the Divine energy.
    • 1909, Expositor and Current Anecdotes - Volume 11, page 261:
      Let us now look inside of the church. We shall find a decided vein of Herodism there also; a Herodism in the pew that looks for, demands, encourages, relishes, something exciting or amusing from the teachers of the gospel, and in the services of the church.
  3. A political stance of allowing domination by a more powerful country, usually in order to preserve some level of control rather than being vanquished.
    • 1969, Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Serie monografias - Issue 2; Issues 4-8; Issues 10-20, page 21:
      The author understands the person, society, and culture as three aspects of a unique phenomenon, which are dialectically relationed and, presently, are in contradiction; this scheme configures a revolutionary situation affecting the Latín American man (alienated by herodism, exploitation and marginality) and, therefore, involves both the society and the culture
    • 2000, Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry - Volume 19, page 18:
      Having re- embraced "Herodism," post-war Japan learned from the U.S. while under its control and was reborn as an economic power.
    • 2013, Makoto Iokibe, The Diplomatic History of Postwar Japan, →ISBN, page 2-3:
      Okubo's memorandum was essentially a blueprint for making modern Japan a successful example of Herodism.

See also[edit]