I would agree that Salome is Magdalene, perhaps betrothed, but rejected by the Baptist, who is either too rigidly adherent to rules, or too ascetic. This is pivotal in the story and is the moment when the focus shifts to "Jesus".
I do think there was competition to be the one who would fulfill the symbolism for the new era--and an organized effort to market it and weild power.
Were the Herodians descended from David? Certainly not Herod and the controversy surrounding the Hasmonaean dynasty was exactly because they weren't the proper lineage...Amazing how humans get so caught up in doctrine they miss the boat.
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