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
Thoth logoPowered by Thoth.

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 The collection includes new archival source studies and the translation of unpublished manuscripts and texts previously unavailable in English.


These essays, by presenting translations of unpublished manuscripts, analyzing new archival sources, and exploring Judith’s representation in narrative, poetry, art, music and theatre, demonstrate how Judith serves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.

Table of Contents

1. The Judith Project

Kevin R. Brine

2. The Jewish Textual Traditions

Deborah Levine Gera

3. Judith in the Christian Tradition

Elena Ciletti and Henrike Lähnemann

Part 1. Writing Judith
1.1 Jewish Textual Traditions
4. Holofernes's Canopy in the Septuagint

Barbara Schmitz

5. Shorter Medieval Hebrew Tales of Judith

Deborah Levine Gera

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

Susan Weingarten

7. Shalom bar Abraham's Book of Judith in Yiddish

Ruth von Bernuth and Michael Terry

1.2 Christian Textual Tradition
8. Typology and Agency in Prudentius's Treatment of the Judith Story

Marc Mastrangelo

9. Judith in Late Anglo-Saxon England

Tracey-Anne Cooper

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

John Nassichuk

11. The Example of Judith in Early Modern French Literature

Kathleen M. Llewellyn

12. The Aestheticization of Tyrannicide: Du Bartas's La Judit

Robert Cummings

13. The Cunning of Judith in Late Medieval German Texts

Henrike Lähnemann

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

Janet Bartholomew

Part 2. Staging Judith
2.1 Visual Arts
15. Judith, Jael, and Humilitas in the Speculum Virginum

Elizabeth Bailey

16. Judith between the Private and Public Realms in Renaissance Florence

Roger J. Crum

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

Sarah Blake McHam

18. Costuming Judith in Italian Art of the Sixteenth Century

Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

19. Judith Imagery as Catholic Orthodoxy in Counter-Reformation Italy

Elena Ciletti

2.2 Music and Drama
20. Judith, Music, and Female Patrons in Early Modern Italy

Kelley Harness

21. Judith in Baroque Oratorio

David Marsh

22. Judith in the Italian Unification Process, 1800-1900

Paolo Bernardini

23. Marcello and Peri's Giuditta (1860)

Alexandre Lhâa

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

Jann Pasler

25. Judith and the "Jew-Eaters" in German Volkstheater

Gabrijela Mecky Zaragoza





Elena Ciletti

Medieval German at University of Oxford

Henrike Lähnemann