Joseph ha-Kohen, humanist historiography and military history

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Humanist historiography remains one of the most exceptional intellectual monuments of the Italian Renaissance. The extent of the efect that humanist historiography had on Jewish perception of history and historiography in Italy remains debatable. One of the most prominent attempts to create a historical work that seemed to display several of the main characteristics of humanist historiography was doubtlessly Joseph ha-Kohen's Sefer Divrey ha-yamim le-malkhey Tsarefat u-bet Ottoman ha-Togar. In this article I would like to demonstrate that at least from the stand point of military history ha-Kohen consciously incorporated the basic elements that were considered appropriate and instructive by sixteenth-century humanist historians. By comparing several of ha-Kohen's battle descriptions to those of other contemporary historical narratives I aim to show that ha-Kohen's traditional narrative, language and religious undertones did not prevent him from displaying some of the fundamental ideals of humanist historiography.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)86-108
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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