Salome, the unique daughter of Philip of Rome and Herodias,
Was the stepdaughter of the ruler of Galilee, Herod Antipas.
She wanted to find her mother’s problems a real solution.
Therefore, she caused to St. John the Baptist a painful execution.
This saint had condemned the marriage of Herod Antipas
With the divorced wife of his half-brother Philip, Herodias.
Herod imprisoned John but feared this great prophet to kill,
Because to become King Herod the Great he had a goodwill.
Herodias was not mollified by great John’s incarceration
And wanted to induce Antipas a great mental state of elation.
She pressed beautiful Salome to seduce him with her dance,
Thinking that her smart daughter his emotions could enhance.
Salome made him promise to give her everything she wanted.
Dancing the “Dance of the Seven Veils,” her figure she flaunted.
Salome, thus, asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter
At her mother’s behest for whom nothing else could ever matter.
Herod did her bidding, and that platter Salome brought.
That day, her mother won John’s head for saving her free thought.
Salome became a seductress of a stepfather and a murderer of a saint.
Herodias became a symbol of women living without any constraint.
The “Dance of the Seven Veils” expresses the myth of Ishtar,
The myth of the god Tammuz of Assyrian and of Babylonian lore.
Ishtar went into the underworld to visit Ereshkigal, her sister.
She passed through the seven gates while her eyes couldn’t glister.
At each gate, Ishtar shed an article of clothing, finally being nude.
Unleashing sixty diseases against her, Ereshkigal proved to be so rude.
Ishtar was imprisoned, and all sexual activity on Earth ceased.
Papsukkal reported the situation to Ea, the king of the gods, at least.
Ea sent the eunuch called Asu-shu-namir to Ereshkigal
To ask for the bag containing life waters, after Ishtar’s last squeal.
She gave him this water and he sprinkled Ishtar, reviving her.
She sent Tammuz to Ereshkigal, avoiding this story to recur.
Ishtar was associated a sexuality involving sacred prostitution.
Uruk was the “town of the sacred courtesans,” a place of persecution.
For Ishtar, love was fatal, she treated her passing lovers cruelly,
And the unhappy wretches, for the favors heaped on them, paid dearly.
Philip the Tetrarch was the son of Cleopatra and Herod the Great.
Brother of Herod Antipas and Herod Archelaus; he had a good fate.
He inherited north father’s kingdom, and in Luke (3: 1) he’s mentioned.
His marriage with the daughter of Philip of Rome was tensioned.
Poem by Marieta Maglas