ruler of Judea.
The widow of both Aristobulus I
(d. 103 BCE)
& Alexander Jannai
(d. 76 BCE) became only the second
female monarch in Judean history. But she was dominated by the
Pharisees, whom her late husband had advised her to placate. In
later rabbinic tradition she is even identified as the sister of
one of the early leaders of the Pharisaic party, Simeon
ben Shetach. The
Pharisees' unrestrained campaign of revenge against Alexander's
former associates in turn alienated the aristocratic Sadducees &
Alexandra's own younger son, Aristobulus
II. She died as the latter's army was
preparing to lay siege to Jerusalem.
In rabbinic tradition
she is called Shelamzion ["Peace to Zion"].
Due to her role in changing the course of Jewish religious
politics, rabbinic Jews often regard her as a heroine, if not a
saint. This reputation explains the widespread use of the name
Salome among Palestinian Jews, including the family of Herod,
at the turn of the 1st c. CE.
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