Prosa de uirginitate
Prosa de uirginitate
Aldhelmi Malmesbiriensis, Prosa de virginitate, cum glosa latina atque Anglosaxonica, ed. Scott Gwara, 2 vols., CCSL 124-124A (Turnhout: Brepols, 2001), 2:7 29-33
References Biblical Judith
Text Item Type Metadata
57. Iudith, filia Merari, post obitum Manasse sumpto uiduitatis theristro et spreto sponsali peplo blanda procorum lenocinia contempnens, nondum resultantibus apostolicae salpicis clangoribus, dico innuptis et uiduis: bonum est illis, si sic permanserint [1 Cor. 7:8], quasi candens lilium pia castitate florescens atque a publicis conspectibus delitescens in cenaculi solario pudica conuersabatur: cum horrendum Assyriorum principem, qui innumeris manipulorum milibus equitatu et peditatu glomerantibus orbem trementem terruit, abra comitante circumuenire moliretur, haud secus decipiendum credidit nec aliter obtruncandum rata est, nisi cum natiua uultus uenustate ornamentis etiam corporalibus caperetur. De qua in .LXX. translatoribus scriptum est: induit se uestem iocunditatis suae et imposuit periscelides et dextralia et anulos et omnia ornamenta sua et composuit se nimis in rapinam uirorum [Judith 10:3, 4]. En, non nostris assertionibus sed scripturae astipulationibus ornatus feminarum rapina uirorum uocatur! Verum quia hoc in arta Betuliae obsidione pro contribulibus dolitura compatientis affectu, non castitatis defectu fecisse memoratur, idcirco salua pudoris reuerentia celebre meticulosis municipibus tropeum et inclitum oppidanis trepidantibus triumphum teste tyranny capite et conopeo reportauit.
Judith, the daughter of Merari, scorned the flattering allurements of suitors after the death of Manasses, taking up the weeks of widowhood and rejecting a wedding dress—and (this at a time) when clarion-calls of the apostolic trumpet had not yet put out the call: “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: it is good for them if they so continue.” Flowering like a bright lily in her devout chastity and hiding from the public gaze she lived a pure life in an upstairs solar. When in the company of her hand-maiden she undertook to overthrow the dreadful leader of the Assyrians, who had terrified the quaking world with his innumerable thousands of soldiers glorying in the cavalry and infantry, she did not believe he could be deceived in any other way, nor think that he could be killed otherwise, than by ensnaring him by means of the innate beauty of her face and also by her bodily adornment. Of her, it is written in the Septuagint: “And she clothed herself with the garments of her gladness, and put sandals on her feet, and took her bracelets, and lilies, and earlets, and rings, and adorned herself with all her ornaments, and composed herself excessively to plunder men.” You see, it is not by my assertion but by the statement of Scripture that the adornment of women is called the depredation of men! But, because she is known to have done this during the close siege of Bethulia, grieving for her kinsfolk with the affection of compassion and not through any disaffection from chastity, for that reason, having kept the honor of her modesty intact, she brought back a renowned trophy to her fearful fellow citizens and a distinguished triumph for the timid townsfolk—in the form of the tyrant’s head and its canopy.
Aldhelm, “Prosa de uirginitate,” Book of Judith, accessed August 23, 2017, http://bookofjudith.lib.uconn.edu/items/show/4.