The Anglo-Norman Bible's Book of Judges: A Critical Edition (BL Royal 1 C III)
Gideon-a doubting Thomas who repeatedly ‘tests’ God-and Samson-lion-killer and lover of Delilah-were firm medieval favourites. Their tales and those of other flawed judges inspired heroic deeds on the battlefield and provided lessons on how to behave (and indeed how not to behave). With its remarkable heroines, moreover-from cut-throat Jael, who wields a tent-peg to devastating effect, to Jephthah’s dignified daughter, sacrificed because of her father’s rash vow-this is a book that prompted much reflection in the Middle Ages on the place of women in society.
The Anglo-Norman Bible’s Book of Judges survives in two fourteenth-century manuscripts: British Library Royal MS 1 C III (L), noted for its multilingual glosses, and the richly illustrated Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fonds français 1 (P). The critical text, based on L, has been prepared by Pitts. An introduction and notes by Grange aim to elucidate and interpret the Anglo-Norman Bible’s Book of Judges for the modern reader.