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Classical and Biblical Allusions

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Chapter Summary

William of Tyre included many references to the Bible and ancient authors, such as Virgil, Juvenal, and Josephus. While William may not have been directly knowledgable of all classical authors he was clearly aware of historical texts that were popular in the medieval period. An example of the translator eliminating this classical material included by William of Tyre occurs in Book 4.10. While the translator removed much of the biblical and classical material from William's text, it has not all been removed, with the translator actually adding similar material, generally related to well-known figures from biblical and classical writings, such as Noah and Alexander the Great. He appears to have had knowledge of biblical literature and to have been keen to instruct his audience as to where important passages could be found, providing glosses for passages he felt may have been too obscure for his audience.

Keywords: biblical writings; classical authors; historical texts; medieval period; William of Tyre



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