Kingdom of Armenia Minor. Aristobulus, with Salome. Ae
This extremely rare and important coin shows the infamous Queen Salome, the wife of Aristobulus of Chalkis, and the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. Although she is not directly named in any biblical account it is assumed that it was she who danced for her step-father, Herod Antipas, at his birthday feast and demanded in return for her performance the head of John the Baptist delivered to her on a platter. The story is related twice in the New Testament, in both Mark 6:21-29 and Matthew 14:6-11. Although saddened with the execution of John, Herod Antipas nonetheless fulfilled Salome’s request as after her performance he had promised her that he would give her whatever she requested of him. She ran from the room to consult her mother, Herodias, whom John had slighted by stating that her previous marriage to Herod II was unlawful, for which she held a grudge. Herodias told her daughter to ask for John’s head, which she did, and because the promise had been made in front of his guests Herod Antipas had no choice but to honor it. The guard was sent, John was executed, and his head was presented to Salome as she had requested.