Jeopardy Question


On the Jeopardy show (May29), and I’m paraphrasing, "After fulfilling her request to have the head of John the Baptist, Herod had her killed by smashing her between shields."
Answer: "Who was Salome?’

Did I hear that correctly? I have NEVER heard this before and I am wondering about the source.:shrug:

Thank you.


I think it’s a plot point from Oscar Wilde’s play ‘Salome’… :wink:


Never? Really?

That Salome was the daughter of Herodias is attested to in extra-Biblical sources (e.g. Josephus) but I’ve always been taught since childhood that it was Salome who danced before Herod. It’s always been a “common knowledge” kind of thing which is why I’m surprised at your “never”. For as long as I can remember, it was simply taken for granted that her name was Salome.


She was the daughter of Herodias. She is mentioned in the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew, however, not by name. Historical texts from the time do give us her name.


I think the part that has “never” been heard before is the bit about Herod having her killed by smashing her between shields. I have never heard that bit either. :shrug:


That’s because it’s neither Scriptural nor found in historical tradition. Rather, it’s part of the plot of a play by Oscar Wilde. I wouldn’t say that it’s a completely obscure reference (after all, there was a reading of the play on Broadway a few years back), but it’s fairly far under the radar…


I’d be interested to know what the category was; that should tell us if it was from the play. I never heard of it outside that, either.


The category, I believe, was “Operatic Demises” in other words, death scenes from operas.

Get it – opera, historical fiction — FICTION!!!


Thanks to all of you who offered your thoughts here.

Yes, I knew about Salome; it was her ‘smashing death with shields’ that caught my attention. Had I been paying greater attention (to the category), I may have realized that it was fiction. This is hindsight … probably would have missed it anyway!

I also went to the Jeopardy web site and I wasn’t the only one who questioned this. The response there was exactly what many of you cited: “It isn’t from the Biblical account. The play by Oscar Wilde includes this, and Richard Strauss’s opera was based on Wilde’s play.”:slight_smile:


Oh, okay. Now I feel just dumb. I’ve never heard of that bit either. :o


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