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

About us

Lena Tröger

PhD Candidate

Postal Address
D310 Unitobler,
Universität Bern
Längassstrasse 49
Bern 3012

I studied Classics as well as French language and literature at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg with a master's thesis on Statius' Silva 5.3 on the death the author’s father. My doctoral thesis explores how and to what extent the Crusader chroniclers of Fulcher of Chartres and William of Tyre used the Latin translations and versions of Josephus as source for their works. The former participated in the First Crusade (1096-1099) and afterwards wrote his Historia Hierosolymitana describing the course of the crusade and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Josephus served him as source for topography, geography, and other similar topics. William, about a generation younger and born in the Kingdom of Jerusalem to European emigrants, used both Josephus and Fulcher as sources of information and inspiration for his Chronicon. He not only used them for various details and facts but also in broader ways, for instance by justifying the violence against the inhabitants of the Holy Land by reference to Josephus’ War. My work explores where these Crusader chroniclers make use of Josephus without naming him directly, and how he became a historiographical model. Was he seen as a scriptor ecclesiasticus or rather as historiographus iudaeorum?
private website