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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture The Bernard reference is to his Sermones super Cantica Canticorum, sermon 13, in Opera vol. 1 eds. J. Leclercq et al., (Rome, 1957), p. 71:
‘Iosue, Iephte, Gedeon, Samson, Iudith quoque, quamquam femina, gloriose in diebus suis triumpharunt de hostibus.’
Not too bad for a woman!

all the best
Cate


Cate Gunn
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On 11 Aug 2016, at 15:59, McMichael, Steven J. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Cate,
 
Thank you very much for these medieval references to Judith!
 
I am interested in Bernard’s text because this is the point that Isabel of Villena is making in her Vita Christi – that she is a liberator and one who triumphed over her enemies. What sermon or text does this come from?
 
Thanks!
 
Steve
 
From: medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cate Gunn
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 1:31 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [M-R] Judith and Esther
 
medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
 
‘Judith .. . led a very hard life, fasted and wore a hair-shirt. Judith enclosed indoors signifies the enclosed anchoress, who ought to lead a hard life . . .’ Pt 3 of Ancrene Wisse (Guide for Anchoresses, trans. by Bella Millett, U of Exeter Press, p. 51)
 
‘The humble queen Esther signifies the anchoress, because her name means “hidden” in English.’ Also Pt 3 of Ancrene Wisse (trans. Bella Millett, p. 65)
 
The figure of Judith (cutting off the head of Holofornes) is also used to represent confession in AW and Ithink appears in sermons for beguines. She certainly figures in Chobham’s Summa de arte praedicandi (ed. Morenzoni CCCM vol 82 (1988) VI.3.2 De spe (p. 181).
 
aha! just   found an essay I wrote years ago (‘Ancrene Wisse and Lay Piety’ in Anchorites Wombs and Tombs, University of Wales Press 2005): Stephen Langton made much of the story of Esther in his Sermo de Virginibus . . . Humbert of Romans used the figures of both Judith and Esther in his sermon to ‘mulieres religosas inclusas’. . . . Odo of Cheriton and Thomas of Chobham, both educated in Paris and preachers in the early thirteenth century, state that Judith is interpreted as confession. Esther and Judith . . . are mentioned b the eleventh-century Peter Damian and by Aelred of Rievaulx. Bernad mentions Judith in a list of people who triumphed over their enemies, even though she was a woman’
 
Let me know is you need specific references
 
 
On 10 Aug 2016, at 17:52, McMichael, Steven J. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
 
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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