Aretas ârˈĭtəs, –tăs [key], dynastic name of the Nabataean kings of Petra. The best-known Aretas was Aretas IV, 9 b.c.a.d. 49, ruler of S Palestine, most of Jordan, N Arabia, and Damascus. His daughter was married to Herod Antipas, who put her away in favor of Herodias. Aretas attacked (a.d. 36) Antipas and defeated him, but Rome took Antipas' part. Tiberius' death (a.d. 37) saved Aretas from the Roman army.

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