Two-faced Salome

As has been told elsewhere, Salome was the evil daughter of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Judaea; and of the line of which this Antipas was a part, nothing but evil can be said.

This Herodian dynasty had been founded by Herod the Great, he of the Massacre of the Innocents; he had been crowned the King of the Jews by the Senate while he lived in Rome; and his grandfathers had not been Jews, but heathen Edomites. After the last of the pestilential breed of Herod vacated the throne, after dirtying it for 140 ignomious years as lickspittles of Rome, the rule of Judaea passed to Roman functionaries, each worse than the other. The worst was one particular legate, or general, a Quintus Roscius Coelius Murena Silius Decianus Vibullius Pius Iulius Eurycles Herculanus Pompeius Falco, known as Pomp Falco and Long Falco, who would put to death all those that came to address him and did not do so by his full name, correctly and without hesitation. His downfall came when a legionnaire by the name of Ben Pandera, a mean Jew who brooked no bullshit, kicked the pompous Roman in the hindquarters and cut his foreskin off. Falco fled quaking, and did not come back to Judaea ever again.

(This Ben Pandera was among his own people called Yeshua ben Yeshua ben Yeshua ben Pandera, and said his great-grandfather had been a Roman legionnaire from Moesia; the intervening generations had been marginal Jews, Mediterranean Jewish peasants, the usual lot.)

(This Ben Pandera was an occasional friend of Shimon ben Stada, whom some called a Magus, a wizard, and others a Heresiarch, the source of all heresies. He called himself Happy Simon. Simon was a student of one Dositheos, who was a student of John, the one who was called the Baptist. As the prophet Jesus was also a student of the Baptist, and Paul the Blind was Jesus's student, in Simon and Paul there met two cousins of lore.)

(As Jesus had studied in Babylon and places beyond, so Simon had studied in Egypt and under the pyramids; and so it was that while Jesus was ignorant, Simon knew all of the unspeakable sect that held its rituals under the Great Pyramid of Giza, and whined prayers to the monstrous king and queen entombed within; and for that reason Simon came into conflict with the missionaries of Jesus, whose leader Paul was: for Simon did not want them to go to Egypt, for they might in their brash courage go and wake the sleepers, and thus immanentize a Mediterranean eschaton.)

(In this fight Simon was defeated, and with none of his disciples, and with only Ben Pandera for company and protection, he fled to Egypt, and there made himself into a great priest, and tried to raise an army to wipe the followers of Paul off the face of the earth; for he was angry, and he was alarmed; for there are places where mere faith is no shield, and where many monsters can be loosened if one knows no fear. In these attempts Simon was distracted by a woman, named Helen, a woman of surpassing beauty and grace. Because of pursuing her, Simon neglected his plans, and he was driven out of Alexandria, and fled upriver to Memphis. There Helen revealed herself to him, and showed him her tattoos of a serpent, an equal-bladed cross, and a circle of Great Numbers: and she mocked him. Simon was stricken dumb, for Helen was one of the terrible cult of Giza, and her markings were those of that cult he had done so much to keep hidden and undisturbed. Simon was seen no more among the living; and if the account of Ben Pandera is to be believed, the sorceress dragged him to the Pyramid to be food for the dead.)

(Now, where were we? Oh yes, Salome.)

Now, while Salome was a rotten fruit and no mistake, she was a fruit of a strong and noble tree. Her family's line --- the Herodian line --- has began with the noble Herod, called Herod the Great, who restored the kingdom of Israel and had the Temple rebuilt. He was harsh, but fair; and so canny he spun a web that kept the impossible kingdom dancing for over a century against Roman distrust and jealousy. He could not drive the Romans away but he placated their wrath and kept them from destroying the Jewish way of life, as the revolts and unrest of bar Kozeba and similar fools did destroy it after his death. Herod the Great ruled for thirty peaceful years; after his death all manner of zealots rose against Rome, and despite the best efforts of his successors Jerusalem was destroyed, repeatedly, by Roman wrath until his line died and the great desolation came.

Herod died in 4 BC. In 4 BC, mere months after his death, there was the revolt of the slave Simon bar Joseph, the Gabrielite, in 4--2 BC the revolt of the "messiah" Athronges and his brothers, in 3 AD three thousand died in a Passover riot in Jerusalem, in 6 AD the Tax Revolt of the Zealots, in which Jewish merchants of tea and other Roman luxuries were killed, in 28--30 AD the revolt of Jesus bar Abbas, or "the Bloody Barabbas", in 30 AD the Revolt of the Galileans or the Three Days' Revolt, in which the courts of the Temple were sacked; and also the Rebellion of the Gourdines; in 31--42 AD the Second or the Merciless revolt of Jesus bar Abbas, or "the Pardoned Bloody Barabbas", in 50 AD thirty thousand died in a Passover riot in Jerusalem, in 66--70 AD the First Jewish-Roman War, in which Herod's Temple was destroyed; in 115--117 AD the disastrous Kitos War, and finally in 132--135 the bar Kokhba revolt, at the end of which Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews were all driven out of their land.

last updated: (Mar 14 2011)