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Judas Iscariot is unique in that both his forename and surname have entered the English language as terms of execration. Yet even the early Church Fathers argued that for Judas to betray Jesus for as little as 30 pieces of silver was an insufficient motive in itself.
Presented here are scholarly editions of the two versions of Thomas De Quincey’s “famous reconstruction” of the psychology of Judas that led him to misinterpret Jesus’s spiritual message as a promise to physically drive the Romans out of Palestine.
The texts of both the 1853 and 1857 versions of De Quinbcey’s essay are reproduced in their entirety, with detailed editorial notes to aid the modern reader with De Quincey’s many Biblical, classical and literary allusions.
Also included are extracts from the newly identified sources De Quincey used, allowing the reader to better understand the origins of a psychological theory that continues to inform theology, literature and the cinema today.