Judith, daughter of Merari of the tribe of Reuben, widow of Manasseh, celebrated for her deliverance of her native city Bethulia when besieged by the Assyrian general Holo-fernes. Mourning the death of her husband during the siege of the town, and noted for her beauty, she went forth in rich attire to the camp of the enemy, played a treacherous part, attracted Holofernes by her charms, and on the third day, when she was alone with him in his tent, and he was intoxicated, struck off his head with a falchion, and bore it into Bethulia. In the morning the Israelites attacked and discomfited the Assyrians, who were panic-struck at the loss of their general. She lived to the age of 105 years, and the Jews are said to have instituted an annual festival in honor of the victory. The history is contained in the apocryphal book of the Old Testament which bears her name. Calmet supposed the narrative to be a parable and not a real history, an opinion which is now generally shared by critics. According to Hilgenfeld, Lipsius, and others, the events described in the book took place in the time of the Maccabees; and by Nebuchadnezzar we must understand Antiochus Epiphanes, and by Holofernes Ni-canor. They suppose the book to have been written about 144 B. C. According to Yolk-mar, Hitzig, and others, it was not composed until about A. D. 118, and the principal persons described in it are the emperor Trajan and his general Lusius Quietus. The book appears to have been originally written in Hebrew, and the Greek translation to have been the source from which the somewhat different Latin version was derived.