2.0. Latin-vernacular lexica

2.1. Early Bilingual Lexica

Bilingualism in Greek and Latin long continued in the Roman Empire, but by the third century "a growing linguistic rupture between East and West [...] is evidenced by the emergence of bilingual schools manuals, the Hermeneumata pseudodositheana" (Copeland 1991: 38). Although bilingualism declined, cultural and commercial relations continued between the two empires, leading to creation of bilingual lexica. Dating from the early Middle Ages are the Greek-Latin glossary wrongly attributed to Cyril (patriarch of Alexandria from 380 to 444 A.D.), and the Latin-Greek glossary wrongly attributed to Philoxenus (a Roman consul in 535 A.D.).

An example of a bilingual glossary created for administrative purposes is found in the so-called 'Malberg glosses', which date from the late fifth or early sixth century. They are Latin-Salian Frankish (a Low German dialect spoken by the Salian Franks who conquered Gaul at the end of the fifth century). Hessels (1910: 126) explains that they are not true glosses, but appear to be an attempt to translate some terms from Frankish law into Latin for the benefit of Roman inhabitants.

Latin-vernacular glossaries were primarily compiled for didactical purposes - to assist in teaching and learning Latin, the language of literate people. Initially, difficult words in Latin texts were glossed with simpler Latin or, occasionally, vernacular interpretamenta, written between the lines or in the margins. Later, the lemmata and their interpretamenta were collected to form glossaries. Vulgar Latin and/or vernacular terms appear in glossaries at an early date. Well-known examples of early compilations containing Anglo-Saxon elements are the Corpus College Glossary (beginning of the eighth century), the Erfurt Glossaries (eighth century), the Leiden Glossary (end of the eighth century), and the Epinal Glossary (beginning of the ninth century). At this stage, the number of Latin glosses far exceeds the number of vernacular ones.

The renowned Reichenau Glossary (beginning of the tenth century) comprises nearly 5000 lemmata with vulgar Latin, Romanic and Germanic glosses. Bischoff (1981: 49) notes that earlier estimates had placed the number of Romanic glosses at nearly one-quarter of the total, but Klein (1936: 36) estimates that romanisms do not exceed ten percent of the total.

The Reichenau Glossary is made up of two parts: a Biblical glossary which follows the order of the text, and an alphabetical wordlist. Its principal sources are the Abavus Glossary and Liber glossarum; others are Isidore and St. Eucherius. In the following example, Labhardt (1936: 43f.) convincingly demonstrates the debt owed to the Abavus maior:

Exhibit 7: Source of the Reichenau Glossary
Abavus maior

Exsequias: prosecutio funeris
Bullas: ornamenta regalium camelorum
Capulum: spate manubrium

Labhardt 1936: 43f.

Gloses de Reichenau

Exsequiae: prosecutio funeris
Bullas: ornamenta regalium camelorum
Capulum: spata manubrium

Identification of the Abavus and the Liber glossarum as sources, dates the Reichenau Glossary to the beginning of the tenth century at the earliest, and not to the eighth century as some scholars had believed (noted in Bischoff 1981: 48).

Aelfric (c.955-1030) abbot of Eynsham in Oxfordshire was responsible for the texts which "did so much for the early study of Latin in England" (Sandys 1921: I, 512). These schoolbooks include a Latin grammar with material taken from Priscian, which is followed by a glossary of some 3,000 words in Latin and English. It is the oldest existing Latin-English glossary (id. 1921: I, 513).

The Vocabularius brevilogus was probably first compiled in northern Germany in the last quarter of the fourteenth century. Some German elements appear in the earliest manuscripts and, as time passes, German glosses gradually increase in relation to Latin ones (Grubmüller 1967: 31; Lindemann 1994: 116). The Catholicon and the Magnae derivationes are its primary sources. However, as shown in the following comparison made by Grubmüller (1967: 33) of a corresponding article in the Catholicon and the Brevilogus, much of Balbi's material is omitted:

Exhibit 8: Article Abies in Catholicon and Vocabularius brevilogus

Abies abietis. fe.ge. arbor quedam est, dicta ab abeo, abis, quia cito et longe sursum abeat et in excelsum promineat. Et corripit e ante t ut abietis. Est autem abies expers terreni humoris, ac proinde habilis et levis est, candorem habet et sine nodo est plana et odorifera et venenosis animalibus inimica secundum ysidorum.

Grubmüller 1967: 33

Vocabularius brevilogus

Abies est nomen arboris, teutonice danne, et est 3e declinacionis.

Lindemann (1994: 117) observes that the Brevilogus contains few additional lemmata not found in the Catholicon or Magnae derivationes. Any additions are usually common words which Balbi and Hugutio ignored. She speculates that the didactic objective of the work is responsible for inclusion of common words, and also for its unusual structure; the Brevilogus is made up of three parts: Nomina, Verba and Indeclinabilia, and each part is alphabetically ordered.

A further indication of the Brevilogus's purpose may be observed in the appearance of a system of abbreviations to indicate conjugation and gender (although it is not evident in Exhibit 8 above). This system extends to a printed descendant of the Brevilogus, the Latin-German Vocabularius ex quo (Grubmüller 1967: 33; Lindemann 1994: 117). It is interesting to note that a system of grammatical signs is also used in the Aalma manuscripts (see 2.5.3.), in the Glossarium gallico-latinum (see 2.5.5.) and in the Dictionarius of Firmin Le Ver (see 2.5.6.).

The Brevilogus was re-drafted by the German humanist and reformer, Johannes Reuchlin, as an all-Latin dictionary, with additional lemmata. It was first printed at Basle in 1478 under the title Vocabularius breviloquus, and subsequently reprinted many times (see 5.1.2.).

2.2. Latin Texts with French Glosses

Tony Hunt's excellent three-volume [23] account of Teaching and Learning Latin in 13th-Century England is the only comprehensive survey to date of the wide range of glossing activity in Anglo-Norman. His study concentrates on vernacular glosses in an array of manuscripts, including literature, hymnals, commentaries, exotica, non-grammatical works and grammars, but also includes wordlists and glossaries. On the original purpose of most of the documents, Hunt observes (1991: I, 19): We have restricted our examination to Latin grammars and lexica containing French forms, and have organized them into the four categories proposed by Roques (1936a: 250f.; 1936b: xf.):
  1. French glosses inserted into a text or added in marginal notes;
  2. glossaries, primarily bilingual, which assemble the glosses in lists which are independent of the work to which they relate;
  3. topical or thematic dictionaries, often bilingual; and,
  4. alphabetical dictionaries, generally bilingual.
Our research concentrates on category d); therefore, references and examples under the first three headings are representative but by no means exhaustive.

The first category defined by Roques consists of lexicographical and grammatical works designed for the teaching of Latin, where French glosses are integrated with the text or added as explanatory notes. "In medieval education, observe Febvre/Martin (1971: 22), the gloss or commentary on well-established authorities was all-important in every field of learning."

Into this group fall wordbooks such as Adam of Petit Pont's De utensilibus ad domum regendam pertinentibus, Alexander Nequam's De utensilium nominibus, and John of Garland's Commentarius and Dictionarius, as well as grammars such as Eberhard of Bethune's Graecismus and Alexander of Villedieu's Doctrinale. Scheler (1865a: 43f.) comments on the didactic nature of these texts in the introduction to his edition of the Dictionarius.

The twelfth-century English scholar and teacher, Adam of Petit Pont, spent much time in France. His De utensilibus relates a visit (real or imagined) to his estate in England, and describes the people and the everyday objects he encounters. The treatise exists in fifteen manuscripts (Hunt 1991: I, 167). The De nominibus utensilium numbers among the more modest works of another twelfth-century English scholar, Alexander Nequam. The treatise, which is similar to that of Adam of Petit Pont, survives in over thirty manuscripts (id. 1991: I, 177). Exhibit 9 gives a few vernacular glosses from Scheler's editions (1866, 1867) of these two wordbooks:

Exhibit 9: Some vernacular glosses from the De nominibus utensilium of Alexander Nequam
and the De utensilibus of Adam of Petit Pont
De nominibus utensilium
of Alexander Nequam
Ms. Bruges, SB n° 536,

pulli, pucins
galli, chocs
galline, gelines
gallinarii, kochereus
altiles sive altilia, chapuns
anseres, gars
anates, annes
ciconee, cigoynie, storc (angl.)
ardee, heyruns

Scheler 1866: 71f.

De utensilibus
of Adam of Petit Pont
Ms. Bruges, SB n° 536,

telarum, de teiles
stamina, estinz, warp (angl.)
tramas, tremes, vof (angl.)
licta, fils
radios, raies, slaies (angl.)
panulos, petite perches
globellos, lusseus
mataxas, serences
alabre, traules, reles (angl.)

Scheler 1867: 89

"The Dictionarius [of John of Garland], following the tradition established by Adam of Petit Pont and Alexander Nequam, is [...] a storehouse - promptuarium John calls it - of the names of everyday things." (Hunt 1991: I, 194). The contents of the wordbook, which was written in Paris c.1220, are arranged in a familiar assortment of topics, ranging from parts of the body to commercial trades and their equipment, through arms and weapons, domestic objects, clothing, weaving and other feminine occupations, to flora and fauna. [24] The Dictionarius is often collocated in manuscripts with the treatises of Adam of Petit Pont and Alexander Nequam. John of Garland's Commentarius, composed in Paris in 1246, is also a wordbook and concentrates on features of the life of the nobility, especially courtiers (id. 1991: I, 204). [25] Despite John of Garland's considerable other literary production, these two treatises (in particular, the Dictionarius) remained very popular and were glossed extensively. Exhibit 10 presents a few vernacular glosses from these two works:

Exhibit 10: Some vernacular glosses from the Dictionarius and the Commentarius of John of Garland
Ms. Oxford, Bodleian,
Rawlinson C. 496, ff.1r-9v

gingiva: gallice gencive
uva: gallice grape
ren -nis: membrum in singulari gallice renon, renes in plurali gallice reins
plusculas: gallice bocles
tibialia: gallice estivaus
cruralia: hoc crurale gallice houses
crepitas: gallice botes
pulvilli: ille partes selle, gallice dicuntur bat

Hunt 1979b: 11

Ms. Bruges,
SB n° 546, ff.77va-83va

hec scoria, -rie: gallice machefer, anglice sinder
hec lentiscus: bul gallice
hic sacrista: gallice segresteyn
hoc suffragum: frese gallice
hec clientela: serchuere
astutus: vezé
hic fragus: pael de genul
convalles: praeries
armenta: vacheries

Hunt 1991: I, 229

The Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu, which he completed c.1199, consists of three parts, of which the first relies heavily on Priscian and the third on Donatus. The second section is chiefly Alexander's own work. The Doctrinale quickly became popular in schools and universities, and survives in over 400 manuscripts (Hunt 1991: I, 85). Eberhard of Bethune wrote the Graecismus toward the end of the twelfth century. Its contents are also divided into three parts, but it leans more heavily toward derivation and the meaning of words than does the Doctrinale (id. 1991: I, 94f.).

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