Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Book of Judith

Book of Judith

Overview
{Redirect|Judith}

The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, but excluded by Jews
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. The book contains numerous historical anachronisms, which is why many scholars now accept it as non-historical; it has been considered a parable
Parable
A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or a normative principle. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human...

 or perhaps the first historical novel.

The name Judith is the feminine form of Judah
Judah
The name Judah can refer to:*Judah , fourth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob All later individuals, groups and places of this name are directly or indirectly derived from this Judah....

.

The Book of Judith has a tragic setting that appealed to Jewish patriots and it warned of the urgency of adhering to Mosaic law, generally speaking, but what accounted for its enduring appeal was the drama of its narrative.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Book of Judith'
Start a new discussion about 'Book of Judith'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
{Redirect|Judith}

The Book of Judith is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, but excluded by Jews
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. The book contains numerous historical anachronisms, which is why many scholars now accept it as non-historical; it has been considered a parable
Parable
A parable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive principles, or lessons, or a normative principle. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human...

 or perhaps the first historical novel.

The name Judith is the feminine form of Judah
Judah
The name Judah can refer to:*Judah , fourth son of the Biblical patriarch Jacob All later individuals, groups and places of this name are directly or indirectly derived from this Judah....

.

In the Deuterocanon


The Book of Judith has a tragic setting that appealed to Jewish patriots and it warned of the urgency of adhering to Mosaic law, generally speaking, but what accounted for its enduring appeal was the drama of its narrative. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes
Holofernes
In the deuterocanonical Book of Judith Holofernes was an invading general of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar dispatched Holofernes to take vengeance on the nations of the west that had withheld their assistance to his reign...

, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, she remains unmarried for the rest of her life.

It is not clear whether the Book of Judith was originally written in Hebrew or in Greek. The oldest extant version is the Septuagint and might either be a translation from Hebrew or composed in Greek. Details of vocabulary and phrasing point to a Greek text written in a language modeled on the Greek developed through translating the other books in the Septuagint. The extant Hebrew language
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 versions, whether identical to the Greek, or in the shorter Hebrew version, are medieval. The Hebrew versions name important figures directly such as the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes, thus placing the events in the Hellenistic period when the Maccabees
Maccabees
The Maccabees were a Jewish rebel army who took control of Judea, which had been a client state of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 164 BCE to 63 BCE, reasserting the Jewish religion, expanding the boundaries of the Land of Israel and reducing the influence...

 battled the Seleucid monarchs. The Greek version uses deliberately cryptic and anachronistic references such as "Nebuchadrezzar", a "King of Assyria," who "reigns in Nineveh
Nineveh
Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and capital of the Neo Assyrian Empire. Its ruins are across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul, in the Ninawa Governorate of Iraq....

," for the same king. The adoption of that name, though unhistorical, has been sometimes explained either as a copyist's addition, or a voluntary literary name assigned to the ruler of Babylon (more or less as Caesar, in the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

, was used for Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

 in his quality of Roman Emperor).

The historicity and canonicity of the Book of Judith in early Christianity was never disputed before Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 began to translate the Bible into Latin. The first quote of the Book can be found by the end of the 1st century AD in the First Epistle of Clement
First Epistle of Clement
The First Epistle of Clement, is a letter addressed to the Christians in the city of Corinth. The letter dates from the late 1st or early 2nd century, and ranks with Didache as one of the earliest — if not the earliest — of extant Christian documents outside the canonical New Testament...

 to the Corinthians: the story is briefly told by the fourth Pope, but the narration omits the name of the city of Bethulia and of the king of Nineveh. The book is quoted by Pope Clement I
Pope Clement I
Starting in the 3rd and 4th century, tradition has identified him as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians as a fellow laborer in Christ.While in the mid-19th century it was customary to identify him as a freedman of Titus Flavius Clemens, who was consul with his cousin, the Emperor...

 (1 Clement ch. 55) side-by-side with the canonical Book of Esther
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther is a book in the Ketuvim , the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and is part of the Christian Old Testament. The Book of Esther or the Megillah is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim...

, and both are clearly assigned the same degree of historicity and canonicity.
Judith was generally listed among the Anagignoskomena, i.e. those books (now called Deuterocanonical) whom the Church believed to be authoritative despite not belonging in the Jewish Canon. Ambrose
Ambrose
Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

 of Milan also quotes the book as canonical. The historical identity of Nebuchadrezzar was unknown to the Church Fathers, but some of them attempted an improbable identification with Artaxerxes III Ochus, not on the basis of the character of the two rulers, but because of the presence of a "Holofernes" and a "Bagoas" in Ochus' army. Jerome advanced some doubt regarding the historicity and inspiration of those books which were absent in the Palestinian Canon due to the principle Veritas Hebraica; yet Pope Gelasius I
Pope Gelasius I
Pope Saint Gelasius I was pope from 492 until his death in 496. He was the third and last bishop of Rome of African origin in the Catholic Church. Gelasius was a prolific writer whose style placed him on the cusp between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages...

 obliged Jerome to obey the canons of the so called third Council of Carthage, held in Africa under St. Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 in 397, which declared the canonicity of the Deuterocanon. The book was thus added by Jerome in his Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

, despite being translated from a different text (in Chaldean) then the LXX version used in the early centuries for the Old Latin translations. The Canons of the Council of Carthage were later confirmed by the Quinisext Council
Quinisext Council
The Quinisext Council was a church council held in 692 at Constantinople under Justinian II. It is often known as the Council in Trullo, because it was held in the same domed hall where the Sixth Ecumenical Council had met...

, which makes the book a part of the Orthodox Bible; while in the West, the book's canonicity was later ratified at the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

.

Even though the Book of Judith is not considered a part of the official Jewish religious canon, many Jewish scholars regard it as true reference to the background events relating to military struggle leading up to the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Hanukkah , also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE...

. (See also 1 Maccabees
1 Maccabees
The First book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint...

 and 2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....

).

The city called "Bethulia
Bethulia
Bethulia Bethulia Bethulia (Hebrew: בתוליה; in Greek Betuloua, is a Biblical city whose deliverance by Judith, when besieged by Holofernes, forms the subject of the Book of Judith....

," (properly "Betylua") and the narrow and strategic pass into Judea that it occupies (Judith IV:7ff VIII:21-24) are believed by many to be fictional settings , but some suggest that a city called Meselieh is Bethulia.

Main characters


Judith, the heroine of the book. She is a widow, once married to a certain Manasses. She uses her charm to become an intimate friend of Holofernes, but finally beheads him allowing Israel to counter-attack the Assyrians.

Holofernes, the villain of the book. He is a devout soldier of his king, whom he wants to be exalted in all lands. He is given the task to destroy the rebels who didn't support the king of Nineveh in his resistance against Cheleud and the king of Media, until Israel also becomes a target of his military campaign. Judith's charm will be the cause of his death.

Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar
Nebuchadnezzar was the name of several kings of Babylonia.* Nebuchadnezzar I, who ruled the Babylonian Empire in the 12th century BC* Nebuchadnezzar II , the Babylonian ruler mentioned in the biblical Book of Daniel...

, claimed here to be the king of Nineveh and Assyria. He is so proud that he wants to affirm his strength as a sort of divine power. Holofernes, his Turtan, is ordered to take revenge of those who refused to ally with him.

Bagoas, a Persian name denoting an official of Holofernes. He is the first one who discovers Holofernes' beheading.

Achior, an Ammonite king at Nebuchadnezzar's court; he warns the king of Assyria of the power of the God of Israel but is mocked. He is the first one to recognize Holofernes' head brought by Judith in the city, and also the first one to praise Hashem.

Oziah, governor of Bethulia; together with Cabri and Carmi, he rules over Judith's city.

In the Christian West from the patristic period on, Judith was invoked in a wide variety of texts as a multi-faceted allegorical figure. “Mulier sancta,” she personified the Church and many virtues
Cardinal virtues
In Christian traditionthere are 4 cardinal virtues:*Prudence - able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time*Justice - proper moderation between self-interest and the rights and needs of others...

 – Humility
Humility
Humility is the quality of being modest, and respectful. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of transcendent unity with the universe or the divine, and of egolessness.-Term:The term "humility"...

, Justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, Fortitude, Chastity
Chastity
Chastity refers to the sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion....

 (the opposite of Holofernes’ vices
Seven deadly sins
The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin...

 Pride
Pride
Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one's personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris...

, Tyranny, Decadence, Lust) – and she was, like the other heroic women of the Hebrew scriptural tradition, made into a typological prefiguration of the Virgin Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

. Her gender made her a natural example of the biblical paradox of “strength in weakness”; she is thus paired with David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 and her beheading of Holofernes paralleled with that of Goliath – both deeds saved the Covenant People from a militarily superior enemy.

In literature


The first extant commentary on The Book of Judith is by Hrabanus Maurus (9th c.). Thenceforth her presence in medieval European literature is robust: in homilies, biblical paraphrases, histories and poetry. An Old English poetic version
Judith (poem)
The Old English poem "Judith" describes the beheading of Assyrian general Holofernes by Israelite Judith of Bethulia. Various other versions of the Holofernes-Judith tale exist. These include the Book of Judith, still present in the Roman Catholic Bible, and Abbot Ælfric's homily of the tale...

 is found together with Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

 (their epics appear both in the Nowell Codex
Nowell Codex
Cotton Vitellius A. xv is one of the four major Anglo-Saxon literature codices. It is most famous as the manuscript containing the unique copy of the epic poem Beowulf; in addition to this it contains a fragment of The Life of Saint Christopher, and the more complete texts Letters of Alexander to...

). At the same time she is the subject of a homily
Judith (homily)
Judith is a homily written by abbot Ælfric of Eynsham around the year 1000. It is extant in two manuscripts, a fairly complete version being found in Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 303, and fragments in British Library MS Cotton Otho B.x, which came from the Cotton Library.The homily is...

 by the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 abbot Ælfric
Ælfric of Eynsham
Ælfric of Eynsham was an English abbot, as well as a consummate, prolific writer in Old English of hagiography, homilies, biblical commentaries, and other genres. He is also known variously as Ælfric the Grammarian , Ælfric of Cerne, and Ælfric the Homilist...

. The two conceptual poles represented by these works will inform much of Judith’s subsequent history. In the epic, she is the brave warrior, forceful and active; in the homily she is an exemplar of pious chastity for cloistered nuns. In both cases, her narrative gained relevance from the Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 invasions of the period. Within the next three centuries Judith would be treated by such major figures as Frauenlob, Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

, and Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer , known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey...

.

In medieval Christian art, the predominance of church patronage assured that Judith’s patristic valences as “Mulier Sancta” and Virgin Mary prototype would prevail: from the eighth century frescoes in Santa Maria Antigua in Rome through innumerable later bible miniatures. Gothic cathedrals often featured Judith, most impressively in the series of 40 stained glass panels at the Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle
La Sainte-Chapelle is the only surviving building of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, France. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including the Crown of Thorns - one of the most important relics in medieval...

 in Paris (1240s).

In Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 literature and visual arts, all of these trends were continued, often in updated forms, and developed. The already well established notion of Judith as an exemplum
Exemplum
An exemplum is a moral anecdote, brief or extended, real or fictitious, used to illustrate a point.-Exemplary literature:...

of the courage of local people against tyrannical rule from afar was given new urgency by the Assyrian nationality of Holofernes, which made him an inevitable symbol of the threatening Turks. The Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 poet Lucrezia Tornabuoni
Lucrezia Tornabuoni
Lucrezia Tornabuoni was a daughter of Francesco di Simone Tornabuoni and Nanna di Niccolo di Luigi Guicciardini. Her brother was Giovanni Tornabuoni.- Biography :...

 chose Judith as one of the five subjects of her poetry on biblical ficgures. A key example is the Judita of the Dalmatian
Dalmatian
Dalmatian may refer to:* Dalmatia, a region mainly in the southern part of modern Croatia* Dalmatae, an ancient people from the region* Dalmatian language, an extinct Romance language* Dalmatian , a breed of dog...

 humanist Marko Marulić
Marko Marulic
Marko Marulić |Split]], 18 August 1450 – Split, 5 January 1524) was a Croatian national poet and Christian humanist, known as the Crown of the Croatian Medieval Age and the father of the Croatian Renaissance. He signed his works as Marko Marulić Splićanin , Marko Pečenić, Marcus Marulus ...

 (1450–1524) (1450–1524), which inspired by the contemporary struggle of the Croats
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 against the Ottomans.

A similar dynamic was created in the 16th century by the confessional strife of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. Both Protestants and Catholics draped themselves in the protective mantle of Judith and cast their “heretical” enemies as Holofernes.

In sixteenth-century France, writers such as Guillaume Du Bartas, Gabrielle de Coignard
Gabrielle de Coignard
Gabrielle de Coignard was a French poet, born in Toulouse, France, to John de Coignard and Louise de Baulac. She married a prominent statesman, Pierre de Manescal, in 1570, and was widowed three years later, with two young daughters, Jeanne and Catherine...

 and Anne de Marquets
Anne de Marquets
Anne de Marquets was a nun from Poissy. Her exact date of birth is unknown, but she was likely born around 1533 in the Comté d'Eu of a noble family. She entered the convent in the priory of Poissy at a very young age, where she proved to be gifted in ancient languages as well as in creative writing...

 composed poems on Judith's triumph over Holofernes. The Catholic tract "A Treatise of Schisme" written in 1578 at Douai by the English scholar Gregory Martin
Gregory Martin (scholar)
Gregory Martin was an English Catholic scholar, the translator of the Douai Version of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate....

 included a paragraph in which Martin expressed confidence that "the Catholic Hope would triumph, and pious Judith would slay Holofernes
Holofernes
In the deuterocanonical Book of Judith Holofernes was an invading general of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar dispatched Holofernes to take vengeance on the nations of the west that had withheld their assistance to his reign...

". This was interpreted by the English Protestant authorities at the time as incitement to slay Queen Elizabeth I. It served as the grounds for the death sentence passed on printer William Carter who had printed Martin's tract and who was executed in 1584.

The narrative of Judith appears in volume 5 of Richard Francis Burton
Richard Francis Burton
Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton KCMG FRGS was a British geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, cartographer, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat. He was known for his travels and explorations within Asia, Africa and the Americas as well as his...

's translation of The Book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, in which it is given the title "The Devout Woman and the Two Wicked Elders."

In painting and sculpture



The account of Judith's beheading Holofernes has been treated by several painters and sculptors, most notably Donatello and Caravaggio
Caravaggio
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

, as well as Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

, Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna
Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality...

, Giorgione
Giorgione
Giorgione was a Venetian painter of the High Renaissance in Venice, whose career was cut off by his death at a little over thirty. Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are acknowledged for certain to be his work...

, Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder , was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving...

, Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, Horace Vernet
Horace Vernet
Émile Jean-Horace Vernet was a French painter of battles, portraits, and Orientalist Arab subjects.Vernet was born to Carle Vernet, another famous painter, who was himself a son of Claude Joseph Vernet. He was born in the Paris Louvre, while his parents were staying there during the French...

, Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects...

, Artemisia Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Early Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation influenced by Caravaggio...

, Jan Sanders van Hemessen
Jan Sanders van Hemessen
Jan Sanders van Hemessen was a Flemish Northern Renaissance painter. He was born in Hemiksem, then called Hemessen or Heymissen. Following studies in Italy, in 1524 he settled in Antwerp. A mannerist, his images focused on human failings such as greed and vanity...

, Trophime Bigot
Trophime Bigot
Trophime Bigot , also known as Théophile Bigot, Teofili Trufemondi, Candlelight Master, Maître à la Chandelle, was a French painter of the Baroque era, active in Rome and his native Provence....

, Francisco Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

, Francesco Cairo
Francesco Cairo
Francesco Cairo was an Italian painter active in Baroque Lombardy and Piedmont.He was born and died in Milan. It is not known where he obtained his early training though he is strongly influenced by the circle of il Morazzone, in works such as the Saint Teresa altarpiece in the Certosa di Pavia.In...

 and Hermann-Paul
Hermann-Paul
René Georges Hermann-Paul was a French artist. He was born in Paris and died in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.Recent efforts to catalog the work of Hermann-Paul reveal an artist of considerable scope. He was a well-known illustrator whose work appeared in numerous newspapers and periodicals...

. Also, Michelangelo depicts the scene in multiple aspects in one of the Pendentives, or four spandrels on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

.

In music and theatre



The famous 40-voice motet Spem in alium
Spem in alium
Spem in alium is a forty-part Renaissance motet by Thomas Tallis, composed circa 1570 for eight choirs of five voices each. The sacred text has been used as a basis for other choral settings, such as and the...

by English composer Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis
Thomas Tallis was an English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered among the best of England's early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English...

, is a setting of a text from the Book of Judith.

The story also inspired a play
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

 by Abraham Goldfaden
Abraham Goldfaden
Abraham Goldfaden ; was an Russian-born Jewish poet, playwright, stage director and actor in the languages Yiddish and Hebrew, author of some 40 plays.Goldfaden is considered the father of the Jewish modern theatre.In 1876 he founded in...

, oratorios
Oratórios
Oratórios is a Brazilian municipality located in the state of Minas Gerais. The city belongs to the mesoregion of Zona da Mata and to the microregion of Ponte Nova.-See also:* List of municipalities in Minas Gerais...

 by Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi , nicknamed because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe...

, and W. A. Mozart
Betulia Liberata
Betulia liberata is the title of a libretto by Metastasio which was originally commissioned by Emperor Charles VI and set by Georg Reutter the younger in 1734, and which was subsequently set by as many as 30 composers including Jommelli , Ignaz Holzbauer , Kozeluch , Schuster , Salieri and most...

, and an operetta
Operetta
Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. It is also closely related, in English-language works, to forms of musical theatre.-Origins:...

 by Jacob Pavlovitch Adler
Jacob Pavlovitch Adler
Jacob Pavlovich Adler , born Yankev P. Adler, was a Jewish actor and star of Yiddish theater, first in Odessa, and later in London and New York City....

.

Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer especially famous for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.-Life:Scarlatti was born in...

 wrote an oratorio in 1693, La Giuditta
La Giuditta
La Giuditta may refer to one of several Italian oratorios:Each version of La Giuditta deals with the figure of Judith, from the Biblical Apocrypha, who liberated the besieged city of Bethulia by seducing and then beheading the enemy General Holofernes. Judith and Holofernes are the two main roles...

, as did the Portuguese composer Francisco António de Almeida
Francisco António de Almeida
Francisco António de Almeida was a Portuguese composer and organist.From 1722 to 1726 he was a royal scholar in Rome. In 1724, Pier Leone Ghezzi drew his caricature, describing him as "a young but excellent composer of concertos and church music who sang with extreme taste"...

 in 1726; Juditha triumphans
Juditha triumphans
Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie translated as Judith triumphant over the barbarians of Holofernes, Vivaldi catalogue number RV 644, is an oratorio by Antonio Vivaldi, the only survivor of the four that he is known to have composed...

was written in 1716 by Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi , nicknamed because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe...

; Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

 composed in 1771 La Betulia Liberata
Betulia Liberata
Betulia liberata is the title of a libretto by Metastasio which was originally commissioned by Emperor Charles VI and set by Georg Reutter the younger in 1734, and which was subsequently set by as many as 30 composers including Jommelli , Ignaz Holzbauer , Kozeluch , Schuster , Salieri and most...

(KV 118), to a libretto by Pietro Metastasio. Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger
Arthur Honegger was a Swiss composer, who was born in France and lived a large part of his life in Paris. He was a member of Les six. His most frequently performed work is probably the orchestral work Pacific 231, which is interpreted as imitating the sound of a steam locomotive.-Biography:Born...

 composed an oratorio, Judith, in 1925 to a libretto by Rene Morax. Operatic treatments exist by Russian composer Alexander Sernov, Judith
Judith (Serov)
Judith , is an opera in five acts, composed by Alexander Serov during 1861-1863. Derived from renditions of the story of Judith from the Old Testament Apocrypha, the Russian libretto, though credited to the composer, has a complicated history . The premiere took place in 1863 in Saint Petersburg...

, and by German composer Siegfried Matthus
Siegfried Matthus
Siegfried Matthus is a German composer and opera director living in Berlin and is one of Germany's most often performed contemporary composers.- Biography :Matthus attended secondary school in Rheinsberg, followed by studies at the Hochschule für Musik...

.

In 1841, Friedrich Hebbel published his closet drama
Closet drama
A closet drama is a play that is not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or, sometimes, out loud in a small group. A related form, the "closet screenplay," developed during the 20th century.-Form:...

 Judith. English playwright Howard Barker
Howard Barker
Howard E. Barker is a British playwright.-The Theatre of Catastrophe :Barker has coined the term "Theatre of Catastrophe" to describe his work...

 examined the Judith story and its aftermath, first in the scene "The Unforeseen Consequences of a Patriotic Act," as part of his collection of vignettes, The Possibilities. Barker later expanded the scene into a short play Judith.

External links