Home Morningside Events - Morningside Area Alliance Classes Lectures Religious A Queen in the Tomb of the Kings: An Ancient Monument and Its Modern Legacy




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Mar 04 2024


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


A Queen in the Tomb of the Kings: An Ancient Monument and Its Modern Legacy

Part of our spring learning series Timely Insights, Timeless Wisdom

Monday, March 4, 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET

With Dr. Sarit Kattan Gribetz, JTS Fellow and Associate Professor of Classical Judaism, Fordham University

According to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, Queen Helena of Adiabene traveled from her kingdom in northern Mesopotamia to Jerusalem to worship the Jewish God in the temple. She ended up staying in the city, building a palace in the south and a monumental family tomb to the north. This queen was not forgotten: she appears in early Christian writings and rabbinic literature, she stars in medieval Jewish-Christian polemics, and there is a street named after her in contemporary Jerusalem.

But what happened to the tomb she built and how did it become the Tomb of the Kings? This session will examine the history of this tomb from antiquity to the present day, when the tomb became a popular pilgrimage stop, the city’s first archaeological excavation, a tourist destination, a site for diplomatic visits, and a contested space in the heart of a contested city—and how it fits into the history and legacy of Queen Helena of Adiabene.

If you have previously registered for another session in this series, your registration admits you to all sessions in the series, and you may attend as many as you’d like.


The Zoom link for all sessions in the Timely Insights, Timeless Wisdom series will be in the confirmation email that you receive after you register.


Join JTS’s renowned faculty to learn about their current scholarly work and greatest passions. Drawing on their expertise, scholars will offer inspiring learning and expose us to new ideas and insights that help us connect the Jewish past with the Jewish future.