"that blood-dripping head hung to the Pequod's waist like the giant Holofernes's from the girdle of Judith."
Judith Beheading Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi
Public DomainJudith Beheading Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi - Credit: Artemisia Gentileschi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the Old Testament's Book of Judith the Assyrian general Holofernes laid siege to the city of Bethulia. The city was saved when Judith entered Holofernes' tent and beheaded him while he was drunk. The story has been depicted numerous times in painting and sculpture.