(139 - 67 BCE)
Salome (Shelamzion) Alexandria was the first queen
of the Hasmonean dynasty.
She was the wife of Alexander
Jannai and the mother of Hyrcanus
II and Aristobulus
II. After Alexander died, she inherited the title of ruler of the
Salome was able to make peace in the land by uniting
the Pharisees with the Hasmoneans (something her husband had refused to do). Traditional
oral law again became the law of the secular government. Her peace-making
abilities prevented attacks from Armenia and she became a beloved ruler of the Pharisees.
Salome Alexandria retained the support of her older son, Hyrcanus II,
but Aristobulus II did not agree with her diplomatic policies. Salome
went so far as to allow the Judean military to use force against Aristobulus
II. This, in turn, led to a civil war and the end of Salome Alexandria's
While she was criticized by Josephus,
she was praised in Talmudic texts as a keeper of the oral laws and a peaceful ruler.
Sources: Taitz, Emily,
Sondra Henry, Cheryl Tallan. TheJPS
Guide to Jewish Women. PA: Jewish
Publication Society of America, 2003.