Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
‘Judith and Holofernes’ - good trumphs over evil with gorey action - a subject fit for a puppet-play such as Pepys saw.
"The story comes from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament. The Jewish town of Bethulia was under siege by the Assyrian army and its general, Holofernes. When the residents were at the brink of capitulation, a beautiful widow, Judith devised a scheme for their deliverance. Dressing in her finest clothes, Judith left Bethulia with her maid and entered the Assyrian camp as an ostensible deserter. Holofernes found her a welcome addition to his camp, as much for her beauty as for her veiled promise to assist in the defeat of the Jews. After a banquet, at which Holofernes became drunk, the general lured the beautiful widow into his tent. He quickly fell asleep, however, and Judith seized the opportunity to cut off his head with his own sword. Together with her maid, who stuffed Holofernes' head into a bag, Judith stole back to Bethulia. Once apprised of Judith's heroic act, the Bethulian soldiers charged from the city and defeated the Assyrian army." http://tours.daytonartinstitute.org/accessart/o...
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