The Latin Josephus Project

Flavius Josephus

Flavius Josephus (c. 37100 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 Project

This site will offer a transcription of the Latin versions of Flavius Josephus' two largest works, the Jewish War and the Antiquities. 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, 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This project has superseded the editions of both Blatt and the Frobenius (see below): it now provides a complete, searchable text of the Latin versions of Josephus' two largest works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!

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 (or more!), please contact 
pollard.richard_matthewuqam.ca.

How to cite:
  • Flavius Josephus (Latin trans.), Antiquities, book/chapter, eds. R.M. Pollard, J. Timmermann, J. di Gregorio, M. Laprade, and J.-F. Aubé-Pronce, 2013-2019 <sites.google.com/site/latinjosephus> OR
  • Flavius Josephus (Latin trans.), Bellum Judaicum, book/chapter, eds. R.M. Pollard and W. Glaeser, 2014 <sites.google.com/site/latinjosephus> OR
  • Flavius Josephus (Latin trans.), Bellum Judaicum, book/chapter, eds. E. Cardwell and R.M. Pollard, 2017 <sites.google.com/site/latinjosephus>
Bibliography associated with this project
  • Jean-Félix Aubé-Pronce and Richard Matthew Pollard, “Annotating Flavius Josephus in the Early Middle Ages: Early Impressions from Thousands of Notes,” Medievalia et Humanistica, forthcoming 2020.
  • Richard Matthew Pollard, “Flavius Josephus: A Carolingian Church Father?,” forthcoming in Paul Hilliard and Karen Kletter (eds.), A Companion to the Latin Josephus in the Western Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, [2021?]) 
  • Richard Matthew Pollard, “Flavius Josephus: the most influential classical historian of the early Middle Ages,” in Writing the Early Medieval West. Studies in Honour of Rosamond McKitterick, eds. C. West and E. Screen (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 15-32.
  • Richard Matthew Pollard, “The De Excidio of ʻHegesippusʼ and the Reception of Josephus in the Early Middle Ages,” Viator, vol. 46, no. 2 (2015): 65-100. 
  • Richard Matthew Pollard, “Reading Josephus at Vivarium? Annotations and Exegesis in Early Copies of the Antiquities,” Florilegium, vol. 30 (2015 for 2013): 103-142. 
See also the project of our friends at Universität Bern, Lege Josephum:





Earlier Editions of the Latin Josephus
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


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