Mid Ræde ond Mid Rihte Geleafan: Leadership in the Old English Judith
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The purpose of this thesis is to provide an examination of leadership as portrayed in the Old English Judith. The poet employs three elements - fortitudo, sapientia and anima - that are portrayed as crucial in a successful ruler, king or spiritual exemplar. Judith embodies all three characteristics and is thus portrayed as an exemplum admirandum of morality and the martial success achieved through faith in God. Holofernes, however, exhibits the ideal epithets of a Germanic leader, but perverts Anglo-Saxon customs through a lack of sapientia and anima. He is thus relegated to the position of exemplum horrendum. The following work analyses the aspect of leadership in Judith within the multifaceted background of Anglo-Saxon society. I establish the Germanic interpretation of leadership from the late antique to medieval periods and its transformation with the advent of Christianity. Thereafter I introduce the importance of the Old Testament as an exemplar for kingship among the Anglo-Saxons, thereby introducing the insular Liber Iudith tradition. The second half of the thesis concentrates on the poem and how the epithets and actions of the two characters produce models of leadership for contemporary society.