Queen Salome

Jerusalem’s Warrior Monarch of the First Century B.C.E.

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About the Book

As the ruler of Judea from 76 to 67 B.C.E., Queen Salome Alexandra (ca. 141 B.C.E.–67 B.C.E.) appointed the kingdom’s high priest, led its men in battle, subjugated neighboring kings, and stopped the religious violence that plagued her society. Presiding over Judea’s greatest period of peace and prosperity, she shaped the Judaism of Jesus’ day as well as our own. Virtually unknown today, Queen Salome remained so unique that historians have largely ignored her rather than try to explain the perplexing circumstances that brought her to power. This volume recreates Queen Salome’s fascinating life and the time in which she lived—an age when women ruled the Middle East.

About the Author(s)

Kenneth Atkinson is an professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa Iowa in Cedar Falls. The author of several books, he is recognized internationally for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient history, and religion.

Bibliographic Details

Kenneth Atkinson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 296
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, notes, chronology, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7002-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9073-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Abbreviations, Nomenclature, and Markings      ix
Preface      1
Introduction—A Forgotten Queen, a Forgotten World: The Untold Story of Salome Alexandra      9

PART ONE: TROUBLED TIMES
1. The Silent Women of Judea: Recovering Salome Alexandra’s Name      17
2. A World of Divided Loyalties: Hellenism, Judaism, Or Both?      26

PART TWO: WARRIOR PRIESTS
3. A Family of Warrior-Priests: The Hasmoneans      39
4. Seeking Judea’s Missing Women: Uncovering Salome Alexandra’s Lost Years      50
5. John Hyrcanus: The Prophet?      67

PART THREE: WARRIOR QUEENS
6. A Judean Woman Who Did Not Know Her Place: Salina Alexandra      87
7. Warrior Queens to the North: Cleopatra Thea and Her Descendants      103
8. Warrior Queens of Egypt: Cleopatra II and Cleopatra III      117

PART FOUR: SALOME ALEXANDRA ASCENDANT
9. A Man Who Knew His Place: King Alexander Jannaeus      129
10. Queen Triumphant: The Improbable Rise of Salome Alexandra      141
11. Judea’s Golden Age: The Blessings of Salome Alexandra      161

PART FIVE: THE MYSTERIOUS WOMEN OF THE DESERT
12. “The Fornications of the Prostitute”: Salome Alexandra and the Mysterious Women of the Dead Sea Scrolls      175
13. The Dancing Women of the Egyptian Desert: The Mysterious Therapeutae      190

PART SIX: SALOME ALEXANDRA’S REIGN
14. “A Wonderful Administrator”: Salome Alexandra’s Pacification of the Middle East      203
15. Contention and Conflict: Salome Alexandra’s Final Struggle      221

PART SEVEN: SALOME ALEXANDRA’S LEGACY
16. The Last Hasmoneans: The Other Alexandras      229

Conclusion      235
Historical Chronology      243
Chapter Notes      247
Bibliography      261
Index      279

Book Reviews & Awards

“Atkinson looks at the circumstances surrounding her success and argues that if not for Queen Salome Alexandra, both Judaism and Christianity would have developed very differently”—Reference & Research Book News.