HSP Judith Fact or Fiction in Comestor's Histories

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences


World Languages

Faculty Sponsor

Karen Wadley


The 2016 Boise State cohort of Latin students began transcribing and translating Peter Comestor’s gloss of the Book of Judith in the Historia Scholastica from Latin to English in August 2017. The project goal is to fully transcribe and translate the 352-line praefatio of Judith by the end of the spring semester 2018. During the transcribing process, the Boise State text is being critically compared to Jacques-Paul Migne’s Patrologia Latina volume 198 and the 1543 Lugduni version accessed through la.wikisource.org. To date approximately 250 lines have been completed.

Our context research focuses on the question to what extent Judith is historical and to what extent it is literature, as perceived by Peter Comestor. This lays the groundwork for the 2018-2019 research focus into Comestor’s historical synthesis following the completion of the praefatio. Our methodology uses textual comparisons to existing historical sources to analyze the historicity of Comestor’s Historia Scholastica via the Book of Judith.

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