The Latin Josephus Project

Flavius Josephus

Flavius Josephus (c. 37–100 CE) was a historian who wrote the Antiquities, a history of the Jews up to Roman times, and the Jewish War, describing the Jewish rebellion against the Romans in 66–73 CE, as well as the Against Apion.

While Josephus originally wrote these works in Greek, they were extremely popular and influential during late antiquity and the Middle Ages in Latin translations and reimaginings. James J. O’Donnell suggested that the Antiquities was “the single most often copied historical work of the Middle Ages”.

Before the completion of our text in 2019, the most recent publicly available edition of the Latin Antiquities was that of J. Froben, printed in 1524.

This Project

This site will eventually offer a transcription/edition of all the Latin versions of Flavius Josephus’ works:

In time, this project will also reproduce every early medieval manuscript annotation to these four texts.

Project History

At UBC, in 2013, we began with the latter, based on a Carolingian era (s. IXmed) copy: Bamberg Msc.Class.78 (Blatt, no. 113). The Latin has been made to align with the Greek text (from Niese), which is then aligned with the English translation produced by Whiston in 1737.

In 2014–15, the project transcribed much of Book 1 of the Bellum Judaicum (i.e. Jewish War) from the 1524 Frobenius edition. This was done with the help of William Glaeser. This again has been paired with the Niese Greek text and the Whiston translation. (This text has now been labelled as the “Froben” for Book 1).

From 2016 to 2019, at UQAM (with generous support of the FRQSC), at great deal of progress was made. Books 9 to 20 of the Antiquities were transcribed by Maxime Laprade, Jonathan di Gregorio and Jean-Félix Aubé-Pronce. Also, in June 2017, Richard Pollard produced an electronic text of the complete Latin Bellum Judaicum, using the edition of Edward Cardwell from 1837, which is based on the Galenius edition of 1534. This means that the text occasionally contains hyper-corrections based on the Greek text, but on the whole it is a decent approximation of the Latin text found in the medieval manuscript tradition.

This project has superseded the editions of both Blatt and the Frobenius (see below): it now provides a complete, searchable text of the Latin versions of Josephus’ two largest works (Blatt is incomplete). It is based on an early manuscript only for the Antiquities, but both works have now been carefully organised according to the modern editorial divisions in the text (the latter two both lacking in Frobenius). The complete Latin text was made available May 28th, 2019. As of June 13th 2019, the site provides Antiquities I-XX in triglot form, as well as the complete Latin Jewish War, far exceeding the coverage of Blatt (Ant. I-V). In fact, it is now the first complete new edition of the Latin Antiquities since 1524!

In 2021, the first 8 books of the Antiquities were carefully corrected and manuscript annotations were transcribed.

In spring 2022, the project was moved to this new site built by Performant Software Solutions, with improved functionality. Early medieval annotations began to be integrated into the online edition.

Corrections

The Latin transcription has been double-checked up to book 8 of the Antiquities. For the rest, the process is ongoing. As such, if you spot an inevitable error or two (or more!), please contact pollard.richard_matthew@uqam.ca.

How to cite:

Bibliography associated with this project

See also the wonderful project of our friends at Universität Bern, Lege Josephum.

Some Other Resources Relating to the Latin Josephus

Latin Editions of Josephus

Greek Editions of Josephus

Some Other Digitised, Early Manuscripts of the Latin Josephus


Latin text © Richard Matthew Pollard (UQAM), Josh Timmermann (UBC), William ‘Ben’ Glaeser (UBC 2014-15), Jonathan di Gregorio (UQAM 2016-19), Maxime Laprade (UQAM 2016-17), Jean-Félix Aubé-Pronce (UQAM 2018-19). Annotations transcribed by Jean-Félix Aubé-Pronce and Jonathan di Gregorio.

Greek text used through Creative Commons license from the Perseus Digital Library.

FRQSC UQAM Performant Software Solutions LLC