King Solomon of Israel

King Solomon of Israel

Solomon was one of the kings of ancient Israel made famous through the Old Testament in the Bible. A son of King David, he is said to have taken the throne around 967 BC, ruling a kingdom that stretched from the Euphrates River to the north and Egypt to the south. He became known for his building projects (including the Holy Temple in Jerusalem), the great wealth and wisdom he accumulated, and for a harem of reputably 700 wives and 300 concubines (yeah, he was quite the player). Unfortunately, archaeological and historical evidence for his reign outside the Biblical accounts are few and far between, so it’s possible he—like many other characters in the Bible—is a mythical character rather than a real historical ruler.

Many portrayals of King Solomon that you see in Western art, going back to the Middle Ages, portray him as more or less a stereotypical medieval European monarch. For my own rendition, I opted instead to emphasize his Middle Eastern roots by giving him a more sultan-like getup. I believe the trousers he’s wearing are called sirwal, which are worn in a number of Islamic and northern Indian countries (they’re the bagging trousers the characters are wearing in Disney’s Aladdin).

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