- Zenobia of Palmyra and the Book of Judith: Common Motifs in Greek, Jewish, and Arabic Historiography
- Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
This article points to the many parallels between the book of Judith and the Arabic account of the life and death of Zenobia of Palmyra. By comparing these two stories with the episode about Zopyros in Herodotus’ Histories and the episode about Sinon in accounts of the fall of Troy, it argues that these similarities can only be explained if we assume that the book of Judith and the Arabic Zenobia Legend are adaptations of the same Vorlage, an earlier story that contained a Holofernes motif (heroine kills enemy) and a Sinon motif (enemy deceives heroine). When this Vorlage was adapted to create the book of Judith, the part of the deceiving Sinon was adapted to create the role of the sincere Achior, whereby he lost his function in the story and became a blind motif.
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