“Lege Iosephum!” Reading Josephus in the Latin Middle Ages

About us

Sara Moscone

PhD Candidate

Postal Address
D310 Unitobler,
Universität Bern
Längassstrasse 49
Bern 3012

I graduated in Classical Philology, Literature and Ancient History at the Università degli Studi di Torino with a thesis in Ancient Christian Literature about John Chrysostom’s De Anna sermo I. My work as a part of Subproject 3 concerns Peter Comestor’s Historia Scholastica (written in Paris ca. 1170), a rewriting of the Bible which represents a unique combination of the biblical text and historical commentary in a single, harmonious narrative. In order to clarify and deepen points left unclear by the Bible, Comestor draws information from many different sources, especially from the Latin translations of Josephus’ works. My thesis examines the reception of Josephus by Comestor through a comparative reading of significant passages from both authors, aiming to identify different types of reception. I ask how and why Comestor uses Josephus: was he viewed as a mere historical source or as the bearer of some sort of divine truth? And which kind of influence does Josephus’ work have on Comestor’s narrative and his point of view as author and exegete?
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