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Judith, Juliana, and Elene

Three Fighting Saints


Marie Nelson

The stories of female heroes of Old English poetry have been more read about than read, but Judith, Juliana, and Elene: Three Fighting Saints now makes the stories of Judith, a female hero of Old Testament times, and Juliana and Helena, who lived in the patristic era, newly accessible. Each new story is accompanied by a facing Old English text and an Afterword that, without over-reliance on critical jargon, gives attention to Marie Nelson's own translation strategies and to her awareness of choices Anglo-Saxon translators made as they re-created the lives of female heroes for readers of their own time.


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JULIANA JULIANA Hwret! We Oret hyrdon hreleO eahtian, deman dredhwate, j:>rette in dagum gelamp Maximianes, se geond middangeard, arleas cyning, eahtnysse ahof, 5 cwealde Cristne men, circan fylde, geat on grreswong godhergendra, hrej:>en hildfruma, haligra blod, ryhtfremmendra. Wres his rice brad, wid ond weorOiic ofer werj:>eode, 1 0 lytesna ofer ealne yrmenne grund. Foron refter burgum, swa he biboden hrefde, j:>egnas j:>ryOfulle. Oft hi j:>rrece rrerdon, dredum gedwolene, j:>a j:>e dryhtnes re feodon j:>urh firencrreft. Feondscype rrerdon, 15 hofon hrej:>engield, halge cwelmdon, breotun boccrreftge, brerndon gecorene, greston Godes cempan gare ond lige. Sum wres rehtwelig rej:>eles cynnes rice gerefa. Rondburgum weold, 20 eard weardade oftast symle in j:>rere ceastre Commedia, heold hordgestreon. Oft he hrej:>engield ofer word godes, weoh gesohte neode geneahhe. Wres him noma cenned 25 Heliseus, hrefde ealdordom micelne ond mrerne. £>a his mod ongon fremnan lufian -hine fyrwet brrec- lulianan. Hio in greste brer halge treowe, hogde georne 30 j:>ret hire mregOhad mana gehwylces fore Cristes lufan clrene geheolde. £>a wres sio fremne mid hyre freder willan welegum biweddad; wyrd ne ful cuj:>e, JULIANA Listen! We have heard a true story told by men of courage about the acts of a merciless king, the cruel Maximian, in days gone by. Here on middle-earth the heathen battle-leader persecuted Christians, destroyed their churches, killed them, spilled their blood-the blood of saints, praisers-of-God, men and women devoted to righteousness-on the grassy plain. Maximian's power spread...

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