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 (see here for more details). James J. O'Donnell suggested that the Antiquities was 'the single most often copied historical work of the Middle Ages'.
This site will offer a transcription of the Latin versions of Flavius Josephus' two largest works, the Jewish War and the Antiquities. 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 project will supersede the editions of both Blatt and the Frobenius (see below): it will eventually provide 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). As of May 11th, 2015, the site provides Antiquities I-VIII, as well as much of Jewish War I, far exceeding the coverage of Blatt (Ant. I-V).
The Latin transcription will be checked at a slower rate than it is being produced. As such, if you spot an inevitable error or two, please contact pollard.richard_matthewuqam.ca.
How to cite:
Flavius Josephus (Latin trans.), Antiquities, book/chapter, ed. R. Pollard and J. Timmermann, 2013– <sites.google.com/site/latinjosephus> OR
Flavius Josephus (Latin trans.), Bellum Judaicum, book/chapter, ed. R. Pollard and W. Glaeser, 2014– <sites.google.com/site/latinjosephus>
Earlier Editions of the Latin Josephus
- Franz Blatt, ed., The Latin Josephus (Aarhus, 1958): incomplete, only Antiquities I-V.
- Johannes Frobenius, ed., Flavii Iosephi Opera (Basel, 1524): the last Latin edition that was not 'improved' by comparison with the Greek text.
Greek Editions of Josephus
- Benedict Niese, ed., Flavii Iosephi opera (Berlin, 1887-), vol. 1 (1887, Ant. I-V); vol. 2 (1885, Ant. VI-X) vol. 3 (1892, Ant. XI-XV), vol. 4 (1890, Ant. XVI-XX & Vita), vol. 5 (1889, Contra Apionem). vol. 6 (1895, Bellum Judaicum): the best critical edition of the Greek original.
- Arnoldus Arlenius, ed., Flavii Josephi opera (Basel, 1544): editio princeps of the Greek text of Josephus.
Other Digitised Manuscripts of the Latin Josephus
- Cologny, Bodmer Ms. 98 and 99 (9th century, Blatt no. 48): Ant. I-VI (without preface) and BJ.
- St Gall, CSG 627 (9th century, Blatt p. 113): BJ.
- Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale Lat. 5052 (9th century, Blatt no. 42): Ant. IV.247-XI.310.
- Rome, Biblioteca Vaticana Pal. Lat. 814 (9th century, Blatt no. 46): Ant. I-XII, without preface.
- Wolfenbüttel, Ms. Guelf.22 Weiss. (9th century, Blatt no. 34): Ant. I-XII and BJ.
- Würzburg, Mp. Theol. fol. 5 (9th century, Blatt no. 45): Ant. VII-XII.399.
Latin text © Richard Matthew Pollard (UQAM), Josh Timmermann (UBC), and William 'Ben' Glaeser (UBC 2014-15).
Greek text used through Creative Commons license from the Perseus Digital Library.