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Samson

Samson (1135–1211). Abbot of Bury St Edmunds. A Norfolk man, educated in Paris, Samson taught at the abbey, took vows (1166) and was elected abbot in 1182. A shrewd, hard-headed businessman typical of his age, he speedily restored abbey finances after years of mismanagement. Not a great spiritual leader, still less a saint, he was an upright, God-fearing, just, and enthusiastic administrator with qualities essential for running a 13th-cent. abbey with its numerous estates and buildings; he rebuilt part of the abbey and founded a hospital and a school. Though previously unknown to the papacy, he was drawn into public service by being appointed papal judge-delegate. He led his knights in the siege of Windsor (1193) and travelled to Germany to visit the imprisoned Richard. His powerful local influence, if unpopular, was beneficial in a turbulent age. A man of affairs, he nevertheless wrote an account of the miracles associated with St Edmund's shrine. The abbot was one of Carlyle's ‘heroes’ in Past and Present.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall/ and Professor J. A. Cannon

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Samson

Samson

Samson, who appears in the Old Testament of the Bible, was an exceptionally strong hero of the Israelites of the ancient Near East. According to the story, an angel visited Samson's parents before his birth to tell them they would have a son. The boy was to be raised devoted to God, and he must also refuse all strong drink and never cut his hair.

Samson had tremendous physical strength and led the Israelites against the Philistines*. He performed many remarkable feats, such as killing 1,000 men using only the jawbone of a donkey as a weapon. However, he fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who tricked him into telling her the source of his strengthhis long, thick hair. While Samson was asleep one night, Delilah cut off his hair. Samson grew weak and the Philistines seized him. They put out his eyes and chained him to pillars in the temple of their god Dagon. After a time Samson's hair grew back, and his strength returned. During a celebration in the temple, Samson pulled down the pillars to which he was chained. The temple collapsed, killing Samson and all the Philistines inside.

See also Delilah.

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Samson

Samson, in the Bible, judge of Israel. His long hair was a symbol of his vows to God, and because of this covenant Samson was strong. The enemies of his people, the Philistines, accomplished his destruction through the woman Delilah. By cutting his hair she forced him to break his vow and thus destroyed his might. Captured and blinded and chained in the temple of the Philistines, he regained his strength as his hair grew long again, and with his bare hands he pulled down the temple, destroying himself along with his enemies. The Samson cycle was probably drawn from popular oral folk tales and may be a myth connected with the cult of sun worship. Milton's Samson Agonistes is a celebrated English poem on the blinded Samson.

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Samson

Samson an Israelite leader (probably 11th century bc) famous for his strength (Judges 13–16). He fell in love with Delilah and confided to her that his strength lay in his uncut hair. She betrayed him to the Philistines who cut off his hair and blinded him, but his hair grew again, and he pulled down the pillars of a house, destroying himself and a large gathering of Philistines.

The name Samson is used allusively with reference to his enormous strength, his having been blinded, or his final destruction of his enemies at the price of his own life.

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Samson

Samson Israelite judge and Old Testament hero renowned for his great physical strength. Samson was a Nazarite, whose strength lay in his long hair. When his mistress, Delilah, discovered this, she had his hair cut off while he slept and handed him over to his enemies, the Philistines. Samson regained his strength as his hair regrew, and when called upon to display his strength in the Philistine Temple of Dagon, he pulled down its central pillars and roof, killing himself and thousands of his captors.

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Samson

Samson. Oratorio by Handel to text compiled from Milton's works, comp. 1741–2, f.p. London 1743.

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Samson

Samson (Heb. Shimshon). An Israelite Judge. The story of Samson is to be found in Judges 13–16.

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Samson

Samson •Masson •flaxen, Jackson, klaxon, Sachsen, Saxon, waxen •Samson •Branson, Jansen, Manson, Nansen •arson, Carson, fasten, parson, sarsen •Bresson, delicatessen, Essen, lessen, lesson •Texan •Belsen, keelson, Nelson •Mendelssohn • Empson •Benson, ensign •Stetson •basin, caisson, chasten, diapason, hasten, Jason, mason •Bateson • handbasin • washbasin •Freemason • stonemason • Nielsen •Stevenson •christen, glisten, listen •Gibson, Ibsen •Blixen, Nixon, vixen •Nilsson, Stillson, Wilson •Nicholson • Simpson • Whitsun •Robinson • Acheson •Addison, Madison •Edison •Atkinson • Dickinson • Alison •Tennyson, venison •unison •caparison, comparison, garrison, Harrison •Ericsson • Morrison •archdiocesan, diocesan •jettison • Davisson •bison, Meissen, Tyson •Michelson • Robson •coxswain, oxen •Mommsen, Thompson •Johnson, Jonson, sponson, Swanson •Watson •coarsen, hoarsen, Orson •boatswain, bosun •Robeson • Jolson • moisten • loosen •Wolfson • Cookson • Hudson •Bunsen • tutsan •Grierson, Pearson •Culbertson • Richardson • Anderson •Jefferson • Ferguson • Rowlandson •Amundsen • Emerson • Jespersen •Saracen • Peterson • Williamson •person, worsen •Bergson • chairperson • layperson •salesperson • sportsperson •spokesperson

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