Aemilia Bassano Lanier was partially of Jewish origin and came from a Venetian family of
court musicians. She was brought up in the court and was educated by Countess Susan
Bertie and the Duchess of Suffolk. Her work entitled Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum is a long
narrative poem articulating a woman-centred account of the Bible. As a woman of partial
Jewish descent, Aemilia, who has ‘a voice of her own’, deals with the maltreatment
of women and compares them to Christ in their silent suffering. At her time, women
were often expected to be silent within society, creating an absence rooted in their lack
of voice. Both Christ and women sacrifice themselves for the betterment of mankind.
This article will deal with Aemilia Lanier’s new perspective upon biblical women and the
Passion of Christ as reflected in Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum.