Modern ideas about Jews’ and women’s sexuality can be complex and strange, but some of the images that circulated in antiquity were downright bizarre. William Loader demonstrates this in The Pseudepigrapha on Sexuality (Eerdmans, March), the third installation in his vast five-volume project “exploring attitudes toward sexuality in Judaism and Christianity during the Greco-Roman era.” In The Testament of Solomon, a pseudepigraphical text believed to have been composed sometime in the first four centuries of the common era, the notoriously polygamous Jewish monarch encounters a group of demons. One of them, named Onoskelis, is “a female demon of mixed form, a human woman with the legs of an ass,” who gleefully explains, “Sometimes I strangle men; sometimes I pervert them from their true natures.” Just imagine how much more trouble Weiner might have gotten himself into if she were still around.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Sex in the OT Pseudepigrapha
WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS? Tablet Magazine has a reviewlet of a new book on sex in the Old Testament pseudepigrapha: