Queen of Sheba
The legend of the queen of Sheba runs like a glittering thread through the world's three monotheistic civilizations, embodying everything from religious allegory to love story. The Old Testament and Qur'an describe Sheba, the alluring ruler of a vast Arabian trading empire, arriving at the court of King Solomon with gifts of gold, incense and precious stones. Medieval artists and commentators saw her as a symbol of the future church. (In Solomon, whose intelligence the queen tested with riddles, they discerned the precursor of Christ.) Today Sheba is also known as a siren.