Jan M. Ziolkowski

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Jan Ziolkowski (born 1956) is the Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard University and Director of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. His scholarship has focused on the literature of the Latin Middle Ages. He was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2017.[1]


Ziolkowski was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the son of Theodore Ziolkowski, a scholar of German and Comparative Literature. Jan Ziolkowski received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1977 and, in 1982, his Ph.D. in medieval Latin from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar. At Harvard, where he has taught since 1982, he has chaired the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on Medieval Studies, and, briefly, the Department of Classics.

Since 2007, Ziolkowski has been Director of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, a Harvard institution for scholarship in Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape studies, situated on a historic property in Washington, D.C. Under his tenure Dumbarton Oaks has expanded the scope and pace of its activities, welcoming to its campus both more scholars and more members of the public as well as establishing new partnerships with universities and other cultural institutions in the Washington area.[2]


Ziolkowski’s books include critical editions and translations of medieval Latin texts, such as Jezebel: A Norman Latin Poem of the Early Eleventh Century, as well as wide-ranging studies in literary and intellectual history, such as Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales: The Medieval Latin Past of Wonderful Lies. He has also co-edited two anthologies of translations, The Medieval Craft of Memory (with Mary Carruthers) and The Virgilian Tradition: The First Fifteen Hundred Years (with Michael C.J. Putnam). Ziolkowski is at work on a Vergil Encyclopedia, co-edited with Richard F. Thomas, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Ziolkowski is general editor of the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, a book series that he initiated,[3] which presents medieval primary texts in Latin, Greek, and Old English along with facing-page translations. The first volumes of the series were released in 2010 by Harvard University Press.

Partial bibliography[edit]

Books and monographs

Translation anthologies

Editions and translations of Latin texts

  • Co-editor with Bridget K. Balint. A Garland of Latin Satire, Wisdom, and History: Verse from Twelfth-Century France (Carmina Houghtoniensia). Houghton Library Studies 1. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press for Houghton Library, 2007.
  • The Cambridge Songs (Carmina cantabrigiensia). Garland Library of Medieval Literature, vol. 66, series A. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1994
  • Nigel of Canterbury, The Passion of St. Lawrence, Epigrams, and Marginal Poems. Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 14. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994
  • Jezebel: A Norman Latin Poem of the Early Eleventh Century. Humana Civilitas 10. New York: Peter Lang, 1989. ISBN 0-8204-0932-4.
  • Nigel of Canterbury, Miracles of the Virgin Mary, in Verse. Miracula sancte Dei genitricis Marie, uersifice. Toronto Medieval Latin Texts 17. Toronto: Published for the Centre for Medieval Studies by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1986
  • Solomon and Marcolf. Harvard Studies in Medieval Latin 1. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2008.
  • Letters of Peter Abelard, Beyond the Personal. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2008.



  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20170915195158/https://amphilsoc.org/members/electedApril2017
  2. ^ "Inside Dumbarton Oaks". Harvard Gazette. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  3. ^ Lenfield, Spencer (November–December 2010). "A Renaissance for Medieval Classics". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 12 September 2011.

External links[edit]