Queen of Sheba Legends Arise (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: In the biblical account, the queen of Sheba visited King Solomon and witnessed his wisdom and power, inspiring more legends in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Sheba’s origin continues to be a matter of historical conjecture.
Summary of Event
In the brief biblical story of I Kings 10:1-13, the queen of Sheba came to test King Solomon and was overcome by his wealth and wisdom, which surpassed her own mystifying riddles and riches.
The earliest recorded account of the nameless queen takes place in the court of Solomon in the tenth century b.c.e. but probably was composed in the post-exilic period (sixth century b.c.e.) from earlier traditional materials. Even if the queen cannot be named, can her kingdom be located? If she is a historical figure, it is most likely that she came from a wealthy culture of the Arabian peninsula. No clear geographical or archaeological proofs substantiate the origin and existence of the queen, though there is some evidence of one or more queens in regions of the Arabian peninsula.
Saba (Sheba) was the most prominent of several kingdoms in southern Arabia (present-day Yemen); however, the spice-trading culture flourished sometime after the time of Solomon, in the eighth or seventh century b.c.e. Although this Sabaean culture is anachronistically linked to the story in I Kings, the rich land certainly would have been known to the tellers of...
(The entire section is 1126 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!