A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Bodl. 697

Summary Catalogue no.: 2520


Historia Iosephi de bello iudaico et excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae ('Hegesippus')
Incipit: uiro usque ad exitum uitę studium

A fourth-century reworking in Latin of Josephus' Greek De bello Iudaico (The Jewish War). Carson Bay notes that Ps. Hegesippus 'rescripts the narrative of Josephus' first-century, seven book account into five books for a late antique Christian audience' (Carson Bay, Biblical Heroes and Classical Culture in Christian Late Antiquity: The Historiography, Exemplarity, and Anti-Judaism of Pseudo-Hegesippus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023)

The text begins 'uiro usque ad exitum' at 1. 1.2, and ends at 5.53.1 'circumuallauit hostis omne mu' in the last chapter, a leaf being lost at each end

Fol. 54 has the title 'Historie Egesippi de excidio Iudeorum'

Hegesippus may have been a misspelling of ‘Josephus’

Cf. Cambridge, University Library MS. Dd.9.4 and M.R. James’s unpublished description

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: ii + 177 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 13.625 × 9.375 in.


The colophon and title of each book has been mutilated: fols 54, 76, 100, 123, cf. fol. 1, no doubt for the sake of the illuminated capitals


2 cols


Drawing of an eagle at fol. 163v


Origin: 12th century, late ; England (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

'The peculiar mark of St. George's college at Windsor is on fol. ii verso' (Summary Catalogue) but rejected as a Windsor manuscript by MLGB (p. 204).

The Bodleian acquired this manuscript not later than 1655; cf. MS. Bodl. 684

Record Sources

Description adapted (February 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922), with additional reference to published literature as cited


Last Substantive Revision

2023-02-06: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)