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Journal > Volumes > 48 (2017) / 2 (Summer)
Fascinated by Josephus: Early Modern Vernacular Readers and Ibn Daud’s Twelfth-Century Hebrew Epitome of Josippon
Katja Vehlow
University of South Carolina

This article examines the early modern reception history of a Hebrew epitome of Josephus Flavius’s Antiquities originally composed by the Jewish historian and philosopher Abraham ibn Daud of Toledo. Circulating in Latin, English, and German, Protestant printers and editors in particular regarded this work as a concise and accessible alternative to the Antiquities. In their eyes, it represented a valuable source for postbiblical history and political thought alike. As the only vernacular version of the Antiquities available in England for close to fifty years, the text’s first English translation also left traces in a number of sixteenth-century plays taking place during the second temple period. The article’s analysis stresses the fluid character of this material that crossed linguistic, religious, and geographic boundaries, and remained attractive to diverse audiences for centuries.

Pages: 413 - 436