Literature, Music and Art

Poetry | Other literature | Art (discussion) | Handel's Judas Maccabeus | Other music


Song of Judas Maccabeus Before the Battle of Maspha by Pennsylvania Jewish convert Rebekah Hyneman (1816-1875)

"The Battle-Cry of the South" by James R. Randall, a hodge-podge of emotion ancient references in support of the Confederacy, with the refrain:

"To arms! to arm! for the South needs help,
And a craven is he who flees—
For ye have the sword oft he Lion's Whelp,
And the God of the Maccabees!"

Dante, Inferno 19.31ff. on Pope Nicholas III, described as the "new Jason, the high priest, whom we read about in Maccabees."

Other literature

Judas Maccabaeus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1872). Antiochus to Jason:

"As thou wast Joshua once and now art Jason,
And from a Hebrew hast become a Greek,
So shall this Hebrew nation be translated,
Their very natures and their names be changed,
And all be Hellenized."

Old English Homilies on The Maccabees by Aelfric (c. 1000) edited by Stuart D. Lee. No translation.

Art (discussion)

Interesting piece on the "Nine Worthies" of medieval western art, particularly tapestries, by Caleb Hanson (Kali Harlansson). Judas Maccabeus together with Joshua, David formed the Jewish worthies. The nine are often pictured together on tapestries.

Metropolitan Museum: "Nine Heroes Tapestries" (South Netherlandish, ca. 1400–1410) with textual description and context. Which are missing?

Gustav Doré Gallery, a wonderful resource by an unknown web saint. There are a few images from the books of Maccabees, but look beyond them. The images from Paradise Lost are breathtaking.

Handel's Judas Maccabeus

"Lo, the Conquering Hero Competh" Jewish Heritage Online Magazine, includes a Jewish-German adaptation of a section of Handel, and an excellent explanation why Handel would have composed a Judas Maccabeus in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, returning from a campaign against Jacobites in Scotland.

"Judas ... unifies a nation disrupted from within by Hellenizers co-opting foreign hellenizing Syrian forces. Similarly, the Duke of Cumberland unifies a nation disrupted from within by Jacobites co-opting foreign French Catholic forces."

Dutch page about Handel's Judas Maccabeus.

Review of the 1972 English Chamber Orchestra / Wandsworth School Boy's Choir version, by Robert Hugill (out of print)

Yahoo Experts (Opera): "Can you please tell me if the original language for Judas Maccabeus was English?" Answer: Yes.

Hymn based on the "Israelites' Hymn of Thanksgiving" from Handel's Judas Maccabeus. The tune in various formats from Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary.

Review of 2001 Manchester performance. Review by John Woodford.

Other music

Maccabees and Music. One of the higher Google entries for the topic, this site is devoted to arguing (well, asserting) that music is the root of all heresy, not to mention intimately connected to Sodomy. It's nigh-impenetrable, strewn with bad grammar, colors, bolds, etc. I particularly object to all the Greek, which I'm quite sure the author doesn't really understand.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

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Cleopatra on the Web. Everything about Cleopatra VII of Egypt, in history ad the Western imagination.

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( See all my ancient history sites )