Damien F. Mackey
“The poems depict her as "a second biblical Judith, a Mary sister of Aaron in her musical abilities, a Saphho, a prophetess, cultivated, chaste, intelligent, pious, strong in spirit, and sweet in conversation”.
We read in:
Isabelle (is a belle) inevitably a Jezebel?
of a whole list of supposedly historical queens Isabelle (or variations of that name) who have been likened to the biblical Jezebel, or have been called ‘a second Jezebel’.
One of these queens was:
Isabella of Bavaria 'like haughty Jezebel'
Now the Bavarians do not fare too well, because apparently they also had a C9th AD queen Judith who was likened to Jezebel – though, alternately, to the pious Judith:
Scandals: Contemporary criticisms of Judith's role and behavior ….
However, the rise of Judith’s power, influence and activity in the court sparked resentment towards her. Agobard of Lyons, a supporter of Lothar, wrote two tracts Two Books in Favor of the Sons and against Judith the Wife of Louis in 833. These tracts were meant as propaganda against Judith from the court of Lothar in order to undermine her court and influence. The tracts themselves attack her character, claiming her to be of a cunning and underhanded nature and of corrupting her husband. These attacks were predominantly anti-feminist in nature. When Louis still did not sever marital ties with Judith, Agobard claimed that Judith’s extramarital affairs were carried out "first secretly and later impudently". Paschasius Radbertus accused Judith by associating her with the engagement in debauchery and witchcraft … of filling the palace with "soothsayers... seers and mutes as well as dream interpreters and those who consult entrail, indeed all those skilled in malign craft".
Judith of Bavaria
Characterized as a Jezebel and a Justina … Judith was accused by one of her enemies, Paschasius Radbertus, of engaging in debauchery and witchcraft with her purported lover, Count Bernard of Septimania, Louis' chamberlain and trusted adviser. This portrayal and image stands in contrast to poems about Judith. The poems depict her as "a second biblical Judith, a Mary sister of Aaron in her musical abilities, a Saphho, a prophetess, cultivated, chaste, intelligent, pious, strong in spirit, and sweet in conversation".
However, Judith also garnered devotion and respect. Hrabanus Maurus wrote a dedicatory letter to Judith, exalting her "praiseworthy intellect" and for her "good works". The letter commends her in the turbulent times amidst battles, wishing that she may see victory amidst the struggles she is facing. It also implores her "to follow through with a good deed once you have begun it" and "to improve yourself at all times". Most strikingly the letter wishes Judith to look to the biblical Queen Esther, the wife of Xerxes I [sic] as inspiration and as a role model ….