Who Was the Queen of Sheba?

A portion of a relief sculpture in golden-bronze tones
Fred de Noyelle / Getty Images
Detail of Solomon Greeting the Queen of Sheba from Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise (1452)

From biblical times to the present, she’s been an elusive figure who’s proved highly adaptable — a wise and powerful monarch; an idolatrous sun worshiper; the founding mother of an Ethiopian dynasty; a Black feminist pop icon.

There’s no proof the Queen of Sheba actually existed, which may be one reason why her long reign in the popular imagination shows no signs of weakening.

Read more about this mysterious figure.