The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies Across the Disciplines - cover image


Kevin R. Brine, Elena Ciletti; Henrike Lähnemann

Published On





  • English

Print Length

534 pages (xix + 514)


Paperback156 x 27 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.07" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 29 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.13" x 9.21")


Paperback1628g (57.43oz)
Hardback2023g (71.36oz)



OCLC Number





  • HRCG
  • HBTB


  • REL006740
  • MUS048000
  • ART015000


  • BS1735.55


  • Book of Judith
  • Holofernes
  • the Bible
  • art history
  • women's studies
  • gender studies
  • Christianity
  • Judaism
  • myth
  • the Old Testament
  • biblical literature
  • bible studies
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The Sword of Judith

Judith Studies Across the Disciplines

The Book of Judith tells the story of a fictitious Jewish woman beheading Holofernes, the general of a powerful army, to free her people. The story has fascinated artists and authors for centuries, and is becoming a major field of research in its own right.

The Sword of Judith is the first multidisciplinary collection of essays to discuss representations of Judith throughout the centuries. Bringing together scholars from around the world, it transforms our understanding of Judith’s enduring story across a wide range of disciplines. The book includes sections on Judith in Christian, Jewish and secular textual traditions, as well as representations of Judith in art, music and theatre. The collection includes new archival source studies and the translation of unpublished manuscripts and texts previously unavailable in English.


These essays, by presenting translations of unpublished manuscripts, analyzing new archival sources, and exploring Judith’s representation in narrative, poetry, art, music and theatre, demonstrate how Judith serves as a template for marking changing views of politics, ethics, gender roles and theology from the Patristic period to the nineteenth century.

Amy-Jill Levine

"The Sword of Judith: Judith Studies across the Disciplines ed. by Kevin R. Brine, Elena Ciletti and Henrike Lähnemann". Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues (1565-5288), vol. 24, 2013.

Full Review

Additional Resources

[website]Images of Judith and Holofernes - collection

A vast collection of images of Judith and Holofernes is available on ARTstor. Please note that the ARTstor collection requires institutional access.

[website]The Judith Project

The New York Public Library is host to The Judith Project, which is a multidisciplinary collaborative effort under the academic guidance of a distinguished panel of Judith scholars from around the world. The mission of The Judith Project is to enhance scholarship on The Book of Judith and on the theme of Judith and Holofernes in Western culture from antiquity to the present. The project's website contains more information, together with a comprehensive bibliographic reference tool.


The Judith Project

(pp. 3–21)
  • Kevin R. Brine

The Jewish Textual Traditions

(pp. 23–39)
  • Deborah Levine Gera

Judith in the Christian Tradition

(pp. 41–65)
  • Henrike Lähnemann
  • Elena Ciletti

Holofernes's Canopy in the Septuagint

(pp. 71–80)
  • Barbara Schmitz

Shorter Medieval Hebrew Tales of Judith

(pp. 81–95)
  • Deborah Levine Gera

Food, Sex, and Redemption in Megillat Yehudit (the "Scroll of Judith")

(pp. 97–125)
  • Susan Weingarten

Shalom bar Abraham's Book of Judith in Yiddish

(pp. 127–150)
  • Ruth von Bernuth
  • Micheal Terry

Typology and Agency in Prudentius's Treatment of the Judith Story

(pp. 153–168)
  • Marc Mastrangelo

Judith in Late Anglo-Saxon England

(pp. 169–196)
  • Tracey-Anne Cooper

The Prayer of Judith in Two Late-Fifteenth-Century French Mystery Plays

(pp. 197–211)
  • John Nassichuk

The Example of Judith in Early Modern French Literature

(pp. 213–225)
  • Kathleen M. Llewellyn

The Aestheticization of Tyrannicide: Du Bartas's La Judit

(pp. 227–238)
  • Robert Cummings

The Cunning of Judith in Late Medieval German Texts

(pp. 239–258)
  • Henrike Lähnemann

The Role of Judith in Margaret Fell's Womens Speaking Justified

(pp. 259–270)
  • Janet Bartholomew

Judith, Jael, and Humilitas in the Speculum Virginum

(pp. 275–290)
  • Elizabeth Bailey

Judith between the Private and Public Realms in Renaissance Florence

(pp. 291–306)
  • Roger J. Crum

Donatello's Judith as the Emblem of God's Chosen People

(pp. 307–324)
  • Sarah Blake McHam

Costuming Judith in Italian Art of the Sixteenth Century

(pp. 325–343)
  • Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

Judith Imagery as Catholic Orthodoxy in Counter-Reformation Italy

(pp. 345–368)
  • Elena Ciletti

Judith, Music, and Female Patrons in Early Modern Italy

(pp. 371–383)
  • Kelley Harness

Judith in Baroque Oratorio

(pp. 385–396)
  • David Marsh

Judith in the Italian Unification Process, 1800-1900

(pp. 397–409)
  • Paolo Bernardini

Marcello and Peri's Giuditta (1860)

(pp. 411–430)
  • Alexandre Lhâa

Politics, Biblical Debates, and French Dramatic Music on Judith after 1870

(pp. 431–452)
  • Jann Pasler

Judith and the "Jew-Eaters" in German Volkstheater

(pp. 453–467)
  • Gabrijela Mecky Zaragoza


Elena Ciletti

Medieval German at University of Oxford

Henrike Lähnemann