Vol. 25 (2022): Cromohs
The Jewish ‘Life of Jesus’ in Early Modern Contexts: Case Studies

The Ladino Istoriah de Iesus natsareno (EH 47 D 10) as the Vorlage for the Huldricus version of the Toledot Yeshu

Ignacio Chuecas Saldías
Finis Terrae University
Thomas Coryat, Coryat’s Crudities: Reprinted from the Edition of 1611. To which are Now Added, His Letters from India, &c. and Extracts Relating to Him, from Various Authors [...] Together with His Orations, Character, Death, Etc. [...] (London: Printed for W. Cater, et. al., 1776), vol. III, n.p., ‘Coryat’s Letters from India’. Copy at The British Library, digitised by Google books.

Published 2023-07-17


  • Toledot Yeshu,
  • Ladino,
  • 16th century,
  • Iberian literature,
  • Huldricus


This article deals with one of the Ladino versions of the Toledot Yeshu preserved in the Ets Haim library in Amsterdam. It is an exceptional manuscript in cursive Mughrabi script, copied around the middle of the seventeenth century but showing significant traces of having originally been composed around the middle of the sixteenth century. The importance of this document goes far beyond its role as the probable Vorlage used by Johannes Jacob Ulrich for his Hebrew-Latin edition Historia Jeschuae Nazareni (1705). Providing an apparently vivid reflection of the cultural context in the Iberian societies to which the Judaisers and converts belonged, the text of the Istoriah de Iesus natsareno (איסטרייה די ישו״ז נאצארינו) is an excellent example of an original process of rewriting. At the same time, the work carried out in composing this version and its successive reception in Hebrew, Latin and Judeo-German translations can help to clarify the complex relationships between redaction, translation and rewriting in the narrative traditions of Jewish versions of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.