I bet you’ve heard of Herod the Great, puppet ruler of Israel under the Roman Empire. He was the guy sitting on the throne when a certain baby named Jesus was born in a little town called Bethlehem. When he heard that a new “King of the Jews” had been born, and fearful of losing his prominent position (despite being old and about to die anyway), he ordered that all male babies in the area were to be killed, to make sure he got the right one. (Note: He didn’t.) Not everything he did was bloody and tyrannical, though. He oversaw the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple (which the Romans ended up tearing down again) during his reign. One thing that didn’t make it into the Bible or the history books, though, is the fact that old Herod was an out-and-out necrophile.
Herod’s queen, Mariamne, didn’t much care for her husband, nor did his children. Herod did what any concerned family man would do. Rather than attempt to strengthen his familial relationships, he had his wife and sons executed. He apparently didn’t miss the kids, but he really started to miss his wife. So he had her embalmed in honey and kept her body for seven years afterward, having sex with the corpse. Ironically, Herod’s father had killed Mariamne’s father, and had embalmed HIM in a tub of honey.
What I want to know is, did Herod have to fish his dead bride out of the honey every time he was feeling amorous? That seems like an awful lot of trouble. I’m sure it got messy, too.
Maybe we ought to stop calling him Herod the Great and start calling him Herod the Pervert.