DCL MS. B.II.1Josephus, Works
Held by: Durham Cathedral Library: Durham Cathedral Manuscripts

An early 12th century English copy of the two main works of Josephus on Jewish history in Latin.

Digitised: https://n2t.durham.ac.uk/ark:/32150/t2mjh343s28w.html

Physical description of manuscript


Extent: i+ii+266+ii+i f
Size: 395 mm x 298 mm


Modern pencil foliation.

Secundo folio: duxit. Noe uero

I9 (= original flyleaf + 8); II-III8, IV11 (10 plus a singleton), V-VI8, VII6, VIII-X8, XI8, XII-XIII8, XIV9 (8 plus a singleton), XV-XIX8, XX9 (8 plus a singleton), XXI9 (8 plus a singleton), XXII9 (8 plus a singleton), XXIII-XXXII8, XXXIII4 (= 6 with leaves 5-6, blank, cancelled). Most adaptations have been made to fit quires to books within the texts.

Signatures: Contemporary signatures (a Roman numeral) on the final versos, lower margin, centre (preserved on every quire apart from the second).

Written in two columns of 49 lines


Written in Romanesque Caroline minuscule by several hands, coinciding with the quires.
(h) Anglo-Norman protogothic

Corrections and annotation

Inscription: A Josephus Antiquitatum de communi libraria monachorum dunelm'


Standard Tuckett binding, mid 19th century full brown calf over thick wooden boards (Charles Tuckett, binder to the British Museum, rebound many Durham manuscripts in the 19th century)

Manuscript history

Written in England, start of 12th century.

Manuscript contents
(a)     f.1 and 270
Modern title: Confirmation of election of Bishop Kellawe (1311)
Date: [early 14th century]
Language: Latin

Document added to volume

(b)     f.1r-270v
Modern title: Partial Drafts of 1392 and 1395 library catalogues
Date: [late 14th century]
Language: Latin
Edited: Catalogi veteres, p.38, 63-4 and 71-2.
(c)     f.2
Original title: Bulla de iurisdictione sede vacante, 1286
Author: Honorius IV, Pope, approximately 1210-1287
Language: Latin

Bound in folded and upside down

(d)     f.4r
Original title: De viris illustribus (excerpt)
Author: Jerome, Saint, -419 or 420
Incipit: Eusebii Ieronimi presbiteri Laus qua Iosephum computat inter ecclesiasticos scriptores
Explicit: ab hoc fortita uocabulum non deficit
Language: Latin

Excerpted section on Josephus

(e)     f.4r-189
Modern title: Antiquities of the Jews
Original title: Antiquitates iudaicae
Author: Josephus, Flavius
Cassiodorus, Senator, approximately 487-approximately 580
Incipit: In principio creavit desu celum et terram sed dum terra ad aspectum non venire
Explicit: et cur secundum eas aliud facere permittimur, aliud prohibemur
Rubric: Flavii Iosephi in descriptione hystoriarum antiquitatis iudaice, prologus incipit
Language: Latin

Translated by Cassiodorus.

Edited: Latin Josephus I
(f)     f.189v-268r
Modern title: Jewish War
Original title: De bello Judaico
Author: Josephus, Flavius
Incipit: Quoniam bellum quod cum populo romano gessere iudei omnium
Explicit: quod eam solum per omnia que scripsi habuerint coniecturam.
Rubric: Flavii Iosephi in textu librorum de iudaico bello prologus incipit
Language: Latin
(g)     f.269
Modern title: Bull for John de Hilton, 1356
Author: Innocent VI, Pope, -1362
Language: Latin

Single-sheet document, cut down and bound in sideways

(h)     after f.269
Original title: In Aristotelis Categorias
Author: Boethius, -524
Date: [early 12th century]
Language: Latin

Four small strips; presumably reused as spine stiffener in an earlier binding, then extracted and mounted here by the binder, mid 19th century

Microfilmed in 1985/86 by the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, St John's Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota. Copies held by them and Durham University Library.

Digitised material for Durham Cathedral Library MS. B.II.1 - Josephus
Digitised in June 2016 as part of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project (strips at end need to be re-photographed)


Catalogi veteres librorum Ecclesiae cathedralis dunelm. Catalogues of the library of Durham cathedral, at various periods, from the conquest to the dissolution, including catalogues of the library of the abbey of Hulne, and of the mss.   OCLC citation, Surtees Society 7, (London: J.B. Nichols and Son, [1838]).

Blatt, Franz, The Latin Josephus. I Introduction and text. The Antiquities: Books I-V   OCLC citation (Kobenhavn: Universitetsforlaget I Aarhus Ejnar Munksgaard, 1958)

Mynors, R.A.B., Durham Cathedral manuscripts to the end of the twelfth century. Ten plates in colour and forty-seven in monochrome. With an introduction [including a list of all known Durham manuscripts before 1200]   OCLC citation, (Durham: 1939)

Index terms