Biography of Infamous Biblical Dancer Salome

About the infamous Biblical dancer Salome who asked for the head of John the Baptist.

Salome (1st Century A.D.). The infamous dancer, Salome, has inspired the imaginations of many writers throughout history since her famous performance around 30 A.D. Oscar Wilde's play Salome was banned in England, but the great actress Sarah Bernhardt performed it in 1894 in France. Richard Strauss wrote a well-known opera of the same name which was produced in Germany in 1905. England would not allow the opera performed in any theater until 1910, when it was staged in the honored Covent Garden. Hollywood made a film about Queen Salome. And numismatists can even find Salome and her husband Aristobulus on a small coin.

Salome was the daughter of Herodias and the stepdaughter of Herod Antipas. It has been said that her well-known "dance of the 7 veils" captured the heart of Herod, and he promised to give her anything in the world she asked for. Salome's only wish was to have John the Baptist's head on a silver platter. The gospel writers say she was influenced by her mother, who harbored a deep hatred for John.

Unnamed, Salome danced her infamous dance in Matthew 14:6-11 in the New Testament: "But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger [a platter]. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother." Unnamed, still, she danced also in Mark 6:22: "And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee."

Nowhere in the Bible was Salome's actual name ever mentioned--the ancient historian Josephus named her after Herod's stepdaughter--and nowhere in the Bible was her performance called the "dance of the 7 veils." Yet, though the world does not know her real name, nor know exactly what dance she performed so successfully, she has become the most famous terpsichorean in all history.

You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » Biography of Dancers » Biography of Infamous Biblical Dancer Salome
« Biography of Famous American Dancer Arthur Murray
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm