Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: October 1, 2023 - Last updated: October 1, 2023


Speaker: Grace Smith

Title: Violence against women used violently against men

Subtitle: A case of women at Shiloh and the men Benjamin and Israel

Conference: Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (November 18-21, 2023) - Online Program

Session: S18-143: Violence and Representations of Violence in Antiquity. Theme: Texts of Terror

Place: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Date: November 18, 2023

Language: English

Keywords: Ancient History: Israelite History | Victims: Physical Status / Virginity; Representations: Religious Texts / Book of Judges, Books of Samuel


Link: -


Abstract: »This paper argues that the sexual violence against the virgins at Shiloh (Judges 21) and the serving women at the entrance of tent of meeting also at Shiloh (1 Samuel 2) create a thematic link that joins Judges and the books of Samuel in the Deuteronomistic History. This link discredits the legitimacy of Benjaminite kingship (Saul), an Israelite priesthood (the Elides) and Israelite cultic places (Shiloh) in order to set the stage for the legitimacy of Davidic kingship, the Zadokite priesthood and Jerusalem as the LORD's chosen, sacred place. While often read exclusively as texts of victimization, the texts of Judges 21 and 1 Samuel 2 can be concurrently read as texts of villainization. In these texts, violence against the bodies of a few women is used politically to violate and villainize large corporate bodies of masculine power (Benjamin and Israel) to the political gain of another corporate body of masculine power (Judah).« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: Ancient history: History of ancient Israel and Judah / Shiloh (biblical city) | Bible: Hebrew Bible / Book of Judges, Books of Samuel | Sex and the law: Sexual violence