Any comment by the author (Marenbon) or any awareness by P.A. of any
parallel between the fate of Jephthah's daughter and the fate of Heloise
condemned to be a nun because of a vow Abelard made / was wanting to make ?
Or any similarities between Heloise's reported demeanour and that attributed
to J's D ? Given that there are deliberate parallels between a marriage and
the taking of the veil.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marjorie Greene" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 12, 2001 8:45 PM
Subject: Re: Abelard/Jephthah's daughter
> 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
biblicarum_." Marenbon then discusses the ambiguous tone of Ab's poem. "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
> Hope this helps.
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