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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dear Jim,

 

This is a very interesting “visual” text. I will have to ponder what the meaning of the scene with Judith and Esther in the Job portal. It is interesting that there at Chartres and in Isabel’s text the two appear together.

 

In Isabel’s presentation, Christ goes to the Limbo of the Ancestors and encounters many of the holy ones who were waiting in hope for the arrival of the savior. These individuals include Adam, Joseph, Joachim, Abraham, Moses and David (male characters that are common in medieval Vita Christi texts). She also includes women characters: Eve, Saint Anne, Judith, Esther, and then Adam and Eve together. The addition of the women is very unique, as far as I know.

 

Steve

 

From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James Bugslag
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 10:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] Judith and Esther

 

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Steve,
One text in which Judith and Esther appear together -- a "visual" text -- is the Job portal on the north transept of Chartres Cathedral.  Surrounding a tympanum depicting Job on his dung hill, with the Judgement of Solomon below on the lintel, the first row of archivolts depict angels, the second archivolt has scenes of Samson and Gideon, the third archivolt has scenes of Judith and Esther, and the fourth archivolt has scenes of Tobit and Tobias.  This is the right portal, with the Coronation of the Virgin in the centre portal, and Christ's Nativity in the left portal.  This is complex iconography, which is sometimes related to the extended Last Judgement iconography of the south transept portals, but despite considerable work on it, the rationale for the programme is still not absolutely clear.
Is there anything else in the text you are working on that relates to this programme?
Jim


From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of McMichael, Steven J. [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: August 10, 2016 10:01 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [M-R] Judith and Esther

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Greetings to all!

 

I am working on Isabel of Villena’s Vita Christi text from the late fifteenth century. In her presentation on the Harrowing of Hell, she provides her readers chapters on Judith and Esther from the Old Testament.

 

My question concerns whether these two women appear in many other medieval texts and in what context?

 

What I have found so far is that Judith is a model for modesty (pudicitia), chastity and humility. Esther is a model of intercession and her enthronement as queen was seen as a prefigurement of the coronation of the Virgin Mary. Is there anything more that is said about them in the middle ages?

 

Thanks!

 

Steve

 

Steven J. McMichael, OFM Conv.

Theology Department

University of Saint Thomas

Saint Paul, MN USA

 

 

University of St. Thomas : All for the Common Good

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