The Massacre of the Innocents is the story told in the New Testament (but only in one of the Gospels), of King Herod ordering the slaughter of all males two years old or under. Regardless of its veracity, disputed by many historians, it nonetheless has always been a ghastly sub-plot or horrifying back-story to the otherwise uplifting tale of the Nativity and the birth of Jesus Christ in a straw-strewn manger – Joseph and Mary having been refused accommodation at the local inn.
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