Unnamed in the gospel accounts of the death of John the Baptist, the
daughter of Herodias and Philip is identified in Josephus'
Antiquities as Salome, whose dancing so pleased her stepfather
Herod the Tetrarch that he promised her anything, up to half his kingdom.
At her mother's advice, she requested the head of the prophet who had
spoken against the marriage of Herod and Herodias. Josephus says that
Salome married another Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis. Tradition adds
that this marriage was childless and that Salome later married
Aristabulus, with whom she had three sons. The legend that she died as
ice, which had broken under her weight, closed in around her neck is now
dismissed as fanciful justice.
Her dance has been a popular theme in the visual arts since the Middle
Ages. Mediæval and Renaissance artists portray her as a child; in
the XIX Century, she came to be associated with the dance of the seven
veils and with erotic desire.
Karen Rae Keck
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