Salome of Northern Israel
(c. 1st century BCE)
Salome was the daughter of Herodias, but was better
known for her relationship with her stepfather, Herod Antipas (son of Herod
I). She was considered to be one of the most beautiful women throughout
Salome was also talented in the art of belly dancing and she was adored
at her stepfather's birthday celebration where she danced for all of
the guests. Herod Antipas promised to grant Salome any of her wishes.
According to legend and the New
Testament, Salome wished for the death of John the Baptist. Herod
Antipas was hesitant to kill this religious leader, but he could not
refuse his stepdaughter's request.
Salome of Northern Israel remains famous today both for her alleged
responsibility in the beheading of John the Baptist, and also for her
style of dance. Salome's particular method of erotic dancing has been
taught around the world. Also, Salome was immortalized through Oscar
Wilde's play, Salome. Wilde wrote a one act play paralleling the dances
of Salome with the tragedy of John the Baptist.
Sources: Taitz, Emily,
Sondra Henry, Cheryl Tallan. TheJPS Guide to Jewish Women.
PA: Jewish Publication Society of America,