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Tyler Fellow Update: Julian Yolles

Posted On December 15, 2014 | 10:48 am | by jessicas | Permalink

Julian Yolles is currently a doctoral candidate in medieval Latin philology at Harvard University.

In my dissertation, I study all of the extant Latin literary output of the crusader Levant in the late-eleventh and twelfth centuries, from the establishment of the first so-called Crusader State at the County of Edessa in 1098 to the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. I am particularly interested in what these texts can tell us about a developing Latin literary culture in the Crusader States: how do authors engage with inherited textual traditions while shaping their own, how do they view their own nascent culture in relation both to the cultural environments that surround them and the West, and what role do religious and political institutions play?

In my first year of the William R. Tyler Fellowship, I was in residence at Dumbarton Oaks and collaborated on the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library as part of my institutional project. I copyedited and proofread editions and translations of medieval Latin texts and ensured that adequate notes were provided for the benefit of a general audience.

As part of my travel and research year of the Tyler Fellowship, I have spent the past three months traveling through various libraries in Europe and Israel to consult medieval manuscript witnesses of the texts I study, and to examine manuscripts that show traces of having been in the Levant during the crusader period. In just under three months, I consulted twenty-three manuscripts and traveled to some thirty cities in seven countries, from London to Jerusalem. During my time in Israel, I spent three weeks at the Kenyon Institute and Research Library of the Council for British Research in the Levant and attended the first-ever manuscript conference and exhibition held at Saint Savior’s Library of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem. I also attended the Seventh International Medieval Latin Congress, held in Lyons, where I presented a paper on William of Tyre’s use of Einhard’s biography of Charlemagne as part of his own agenda as historiographer of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.