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JUDITA

... a woman from whom one book of the Bible takes its name
... a woman of great beauty and still greater courage
... a woman of strong faith and still greater trust
... the woman who lifted the Assyrian siege from her city, Bethulia
... a woman whose deeds have been a constant inspiration to artists
... a character in the Bible who has given her name to the book that stands at the very beginnings of Croatian literature
... the name of a poem by Marko Marulić, father of Croatian writing

Judita is the Old Testament heroine of the book of the same name, a widow who saved her city from the Assyrian encirclement, standing up against Holofernes, the general of Nebuchadnezzar. After prayers of contrition, she went to liberate the Jewish city of Bethulia from the siege and her fellow townspeople from certain death. She put on her finest robes, her best ornaments and, with her maid, who bore food and drink, went to the tent of Holofernes, pretending she would show him the easiest way to conquer the town. Intoxicating Holofernes with her choice food, her beauty and wit, she finally cut off his head with his own sword and brought it to Bethulia as a trophy. In art, Judita’s attributes are the sword and the severed head of Holofernes.