Abstract: Liavon Karpovich – “The Feat of Judith … and Skaryna” (web-magazine “Kultura. Natsyja”, N26, December 2020, p.76-87, www.sakavik.net)

Over the past centuries many artists, sculptors, composers and writers have shown a special interest in the heroine, Jewess Judith, as described in theOld Testament apocryphal book known as The Book of Judith. L.Karpovich notes that Fraciszak Skaryna, the Belarusian publicist, included the translation of the Book of Judith as a part of his published translation of the Bible. Judith’s story is one of bravery at a time when the Israelites were being threatened by the Assyrian army. With trust in God she disguises herself as an informer and is allowed to enter the company of the Assyrian General Holophemes. Her beauty causes him to believe her and spend time with her. She helps to get himintoxicated and he eventually falls asleep. She then cuts off his head and takes it back in a sack to the Israelites. Her brave act staves off the Assyrians from attack. This great feat inspired many artists to paint her and L.Karpovich includes several classical artists’ paintings of Judith with Holophemes’ head, briefly commenting of how she is depicted in each example. The cover of Skaryna’s translated Book of Judith shows an artist’s engraving of Judith with Holophemes’ head. In his introduction to the Book of Judith in Belarusian translation Skaryna states that as animals, birds and insects are placed in their natural environments, so God places each people group in their respective places on earth to live and thus experience His blessing as they remain in their assigned territories. Skaryna’s statement has been translated and used in 70 languages.



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