John Marenbon. _The Philosophy of Peter Abelard_.
Cambridge UP, 1999.
p. 80 [re Ab's little book of hymns and sequences
done at Hel's request] "Sometimes Ab uses and reshapes
an extra-biblical tradition - for instance, in his
presentation of Jephtha's [sic] daughter's sacrifice."
p. 275 "The story of Jephtha, who must sacrifice his
daughter if he is to keep an oath made to God, is a
case in point; but here Ab just blames Jephtha for
making the original promise."
p. 319-20 "At least in the _Planctus_ for Samson and
J's d [please forgive the abbreviation], the events
they commemorate are at once lamentable disasters and,
in some sense, victories...for J's d...when by
accepting execution she at once enables her father to
fulfil his hasty vow...and shows an exemplary calm and
constancy in the face of death. Ab talks of J's d
elsewhere, in the _Hymnarius Paraclitensis_ and in his
Letter 7. In both places J'd d is presented as an
heroic woman....She...accepted death...encouraging
rather than fearing it....[Ab asks one to consider how
she would have borne up had she been a Christian asked
to deny Christ or die. This argument is also applied
to the pagan Diogenes.] Ab presents the girl's death
in terms of a marriage ceremony - an idea he took from
a first-century work called the _Liber antiquitatum
Marenbon then discusses the ambiguous tone of Ab's
"It is hard to be sure of the tone of the remark, but
the girl's words and manner until now would suggest
one of haughty sarcasm. If so, the comment would bring
to its climax a contrast which Ab has developed
throughout the poem, between the calm resolution of
the victim...and...the horror of her situation,
underlined by the mock wedding ceremony, and the folly
which lies behind this unnecessary execution of an
innocent, openly berated in the final verse."
Hope this helps.
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