Achior before Holofernes

Azor Masters, Achior before Holofernes, circa 1430.  Manuscript illumination,  Royal Library, The Hague, Netherlands.

The Azor Masters were a group of Dutch artists, or possibly just one individual, working in Utrecht in the late Middle Ages. In the 15th century, Utrecht was a major center for the production of illuminated manuscripts. Achior before Holofernes is one of a series of miniature depictions of the story of Judith in a richly illustrated Bible from around 1430. In this scene, Achior, general of the Ammonites, defends the Israelites before Holofernes. Holofernes orders Achior to be bound and sent to Bethulia, where the Israelites receive him gladly and Achior converts to Judaism.


Achior before Holofernes. Manuscript illumination by the Azor Masters, circa 1430. Royal Library, The Hague, Netherlands.

A general of Nebuchadnezzar who attacked Israel, according to the Book of Judith, but was ultimately beheaded by Judith.

The religion and culture of Jews. It emerged as the descendant of ancient Israelite Religion, and is characterized by monotheism and an adherence to the laws present in the Written Torah (the Bible) and the Oral Torah (Talmudic/Rabbinic tradition).

Textual documents, usually handwritten.

The historical period generally spanning from the fifth century to the fifteenth century C.E. in Europe and characterized by decreases in populations and the degeneration of urban life.

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