Thursday, May 26

Who was Salomé, the girl that Saint Augustine transformed into a “shameless woman”

  • The Conversation*
  • Christian-Georges Schwentzel

Salome by Franz von Stuck, 1906

Image source, Wikimedia Commons


Salome by Franz von Stuck, 1906.

Among the female archetypes of Antiquity acclaimed by pop culture in recent years are Cleopatra, the Amazons, and Aphrodite.

But Salomé, a heroine adored until the early 20th century, has fallen into relative oblivion. An injustice that must be repaired!

The Gospels tell us of the murder of John the Baptist at the end of a famous banquet around AD 29 in which Salome is said to have danced. The purpose of the festival was to celebrate the birthday of Herod Antipas, the young woman’s great-uncle and tetrarch, that is, governor of some territories in the southern Middle East on behalf of the Romans.

The dance of Salomé took place in one of the fortresses of Antipas, in Maqueronte, that Flaubert, in Hérodias, one of the “Three stories” published in 1877, very aptly places east of the Dead Sea.

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