2.5.3. Aalma series

The Catholicon of John Balbi was, as we have remarked earlier, the foundation for much of medieval Latin and vernacular lexicography. The earliest alphabetical Latin-French lexicon based entirely on the Catholicon is found in ms. Paris, BN lat. 13032 (A1), and dates from the end of the fourteenth century (Roques 1938: xi). It comprises 166 folios, two columns per page, thirty-six lines per column. Roques published this manuscript in Tome II of Lexiques alphabétiques, calling it Catholicon français or Aalma (id. 1938: xiv).

Roques (1938: xvii) identifies eleven other manuscripts containing the Aalma lexicon:

A2 Paris, BN lat. 17881; end of the fourteenth or beginning of the fifteenth century
A3 Paris, BN lat. 14748; 1433
A4 Paris, BN lat. 7679; fifteenth century
A5 Exeter n° 3517; 1431
A6 Salins n° 44; before 1436
A7 Lille n° 388 (now n° 147); fifteenth century
A8 Metz n° 510; fifteenth century
A9 Saint-Omer n° 644; fifteenth century
A10 Troyes n° 1459; fifteenth century
A11 Angers n° 417; fragments of letters D, E, F
A12 Épinal n° 224; sixteenth century.

It should be kept in mind that the dates given only represent the approximate dating of the copies. Roques believes (1938: xiii) that A1 is not an original version but a copy based on an earlier Latin-French adaptation of the Catholicon. Littré (1852: 29), in describing A4, remarks that despite the recent date of this copy (fifteenth century), the glossary contains words which belong to an older state of the language.

The prologue to A3 [36] recognizes the contribution of the Catholicon to the Aalma glossary, and also clearly indicates the glossary's didactic purpose:

The following comparison illustrates the close relationship between the Catholicon and Aalma:

Exhibit 16: Source of the Aalma glossary in ms. Paris, BN lat. 13032 (A1)

Abactus. ta. tum
Abalieno. nas
Abamita. te
Abatis. batus
Abax. acis
Abbatissa. tisse
Abdico. cas. cavi. care
Abdicatorium. rii
Abditus. ta. tum
Abdo. dis. abdidi. ditum
Abduco. ducis. xi. ctum
Abeo. abis. abivi. ire
Abesus. a. um
Abgrego. gas. gare

Mainz 1460; reprint
Gregg: Westmead, 1971

Ms. Paris, BN lat. 13032

Abactus. ta. tum
Abamita. abamite
Abavus. abavi
Abbas. abbatis
Abbacia. cie
Abbatissa. tisse
Abdicativus. tiva. tivum
Abdico. cas. cavi. care. catum
Abditus. ta. tum
Abdo. abdis. abdidi. abdere. abditum
Abduco. abducis. abduxi. abducere. abductum

It also points up the fact that the author of Aalma omits some proper nouns, rare words and derivations. On the other hand, he gives to Abavus, which is a sub-lemma of Avus, and to Abiectio, which is a sub-lemma of Abiectus in the Catholicon, the status of lemmata in alphabetical order in Aalma. Roques (1938: xvi) gives some other examples of this intervention.

Roques (1938: xviif.) demonstrates that, compared with articles in the Catholicon, the definitions in the Aalma glossary are significantly abridged. At the same time, he points out the wide variances among the texts:

Exhibit 17: Article Coragium in Catholicon and the Aalma manuscripts
    Coragium: a coragios dicitur hoc coragium. gii. id est suffragium, et coragium pars ludi scilicet quando proverbia dicuntur, vel coragium est virginale signum, vel virginalis pompa quam solent vergines facere in quibusdam locis circa mortuum, vel chorea et quelibet chorea sic potest dici: et componitur a chorea et ago. gis. Sed hoc corragium per duo. r. aliud est scilicet id quod ex toto et intimo corde petitur, et componitur a cor et ago. gis.
A1, A8
    coragium. gii. courages, suffrages ou partie du jeu (de dieu Metz) quand on dit les proverbes ou signe de verge (vierge Metz) ou dance de virges environ le mort et toute dance.
    courage aut suffragium vel virginale signum.
    souffrage, danse, carole.
A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A10 and A12
Roques 1938: xvii f.

Although A1 is the oldest and the most complete of the Aalma group, Roques (1938: xix) concludes that the other manuscripts are not copies of it, but rather represent different editions of a more complete version. He also points out (1938: xx) that "a reduced version" of Aalma is the source of the first printed Latin-French dictionary, known as Catholicon abbreviatum (see 4.0.).

We believe that three other manuscripts, which were apparently unknown to Roques, should be added to the twelve which he identifies as constituting the Aalma series. The first is described in Littré (1852: 33) as Catholicum or Dictionnaire latin-français, conserved by the Archives nationales de France, section historique, as ms. M.897 (A13). [37] Littré remarks that although the writing in the manuscript dates from the fifteenth century, the original appears to have been much older. He does not give the number of folios, and at the present time the manuscript is not available to us. [38]

According to Littré (1852: 36), the first word of the dictionary in A13 is alma - 'vierge', and the last word is zucara - 'sucre, une espice', which corresponds with the first and last entries in A1. There is also close correspondence among the other entries which Littré cites as being of interest: [39]

Exhibit 18: Comparison of the Aalma glossary
in mss. Paris, Archives Nationales M.897 (A13)
and Paris, BN lat. 13032 (A1)
Ms. Paris, Arch. Nat. M.897
Ms. Paris, BN lat. 13032
alma vierge Aalma virge secrete ou sainte
Aaron propre nom Aaron propre nom d'ome
abactus chasses Abactus chassés
abbas abbes Abbas abbes
adamas ayement Adamas aymant
aedus bichet ou chevriet <Edus bouch ou chevril - s.v. Edus>
affari aresnier ou parler Affor arraignier ou parler
albugo albuns d'oeuf Albugo la clarté ou blancheur des yeux
- Albumen albin de oef
ambo ambedeux Ambo deux
amigdalum li amendre Amigdalum amande
amigdalus li amendrier Agmidalus amendier
ardelio hardiaux ou lecheur Ardelio hardieux ou lecheur
avarus aver Avarus aver
bibliopola le vendeur ou aourneur de livres Bibliopola le vendeur ou aourneur de livres
burgensis bourgeois Burgensis bourgois
calamitosus chetis, malestruit Calamitosus chetiz et malestruz
cespes wason Cespes wason. gason
chere, grece Dieu te saut Chere en grec. Dieu te sault ou esjoie toy
clamo clamer, ou braire, ou apeler Clamo clamer ou appeller
debilitas flebesse Debilitas feblesse
desipio assotir ou amenrir del sen Desipio assotir ou amenrir de sen
dyamas dyamant, une pierre precieuse Dyamas dyamans. une perre precieuse
heros baron Heros baron
heroys baronnesse Heroys baronnesse
immaturus non mehur Immaturus non mehur
irundo arondelle Irundo arondelle
jacobipeta perelin de Saint-Jacques Iacobipeta pelerin Saint Jaques
jugum jou a acoupler beufs Iugum jou a coupler buefs ou tertres
juveneus veel, c'est jeusne buef ou tourel Iuvencus veel. pigron. c'est juenne buef ou touriau
lacerta laisarde Lacerta laisarde
lacertula petite laisarde Lacertula leisardecte
legumen leun Legumen leun. comme pois feves et les semblans
zucara sucre, une espice Zucara succres. une espice
Littré 1852: 33f.

Littré (1852: 36) remarks that versus appear occasionally in A13 and cites three of them. They are identical to three versus occurring in A1.

The second manuscript which we believe to be a part of the Aalma series is found in ms. Metz, BM n° 1182 (A14). [40] It is slightly smaller (141 folios, two columns per page, thirty-two lines per column) than A1. A comparison of the first twenty-two lemmata from A14 with parallel lemmata in A1 shows a high degree of correspondence between them:

Exhibit 19: Comparison of the Aalma glossary
in mss. Metz, BM n° 1182 (A14) and Paris, BN lat. 13032 (A1)
Ms. Metz, BM n° 1182
Ms. Paris, BN lat. 13032
A<a>lma. a<a>lme. vierge secrete ou sainte et est fem. generis Aalma. virge secrete ou sainte f.
Aaron nomen proprium et est m.ge. Aaron. propre nom d'ome m.
Ab est preposicion deservens ablativo Ab preposicion qui sert a l'ablatif. de ou du
Abactus .acta .tum estre chasse ou chassiez et est o.ge. Abactus. ta. tum chassés o.
Ab<ami>ta .te [*] la seur du grant pere Abamita. abamite la seur de l'aiol. la tante grans f.
Abavus .vi tieres aiel. le pere du grant pere Abavus. abavi tiers aiol m.
Abatis huius abatis est ille qui deliberat advenam equis
Versus: Abatis ad cenam dat equis abbatis advenam
Abbas .tis abe Abbas. abbatis abbes m.
Abbacia .tie abbaie Abbacia. cie abbaie f.
Abbatissa .sse abbesse
Versus: Abbatissa timens ne lederet ille sorores
Malint ista pati quam parentus oves .i. sue moniales
Abbatissa. tisse abbeesse f.
Abdias .dis vel .ados et est nomen proprium m.ge. Abdias propre nom d'onme m.
Abdicativus .va .vum refusans o.ge. Abdicativus. tiva. tivum refusens o.
Abdico .as .aci .catum .tu refuser ou denoier et est a.ge. Abdico. cas. cavi. care. catum refuser ou denoier a.
Abditus .ta .tum musier ou oster Abditus. ta. tum mussés ou cachez ou ostés o.
Abdo .dis .didi .re .ditum oster ou musier et est verbum a.ge. Abdo. abdis. abdidi. abdere. abditum musser ou oster a.
Abduco .cis .xi .cere .ctum separer absenter ou mener hors a.ge. Abduco. abducis. abduxi. abducere. abductum separer ou absenter ou mener hors a.
- Abel propre nom d'onme m.
Abeo .is .bii vel abivi departir ou en aler dun lieu et est a.ge. Abeo. abis. abii vel abivi. abire partir du lieu ou aler en n.
Abiectus .ta .tum degeter ou despiter Abiectus. ta. tum degetés ou despités o.
Abiectio .onis degetement ou despitement et est f.ge. Abiectio .cionis despit ou degetement f.
Abiens .untis departir et est o.ge. Abiens. abeuntis departens o.
- Abienus. abiena. num. vel abiegnus. a. um de sapin o.
Abies .etis est quedam arbor Abies. etis sapin. un arbre f.
Abbel est nomen proprium -
[*] ms. Ab muta .te

The principal differences are the lack of one lemma in each manuscript (Abienus in A14 and Abatis in A1), the lack of a French equivalent or definition in some articles in A14, and the inclusion of two versus memoriales in the latter. We believe, however, that A14 without doubt forms part of the Aalma series.

In the course of our research at l'Institut d'Histoire et Recherche des Textes, Paris, we learned of another likely addition to the Aalma inventory: ff.14-25 of ms. Paris, BN nouv.acq.fr. 24398 (A15), which contain a fragment of the dictionary. These twelve folios, which apparently date from the end of the fourteenth or the beginning of the fifteenth century, were found in the cover of l'Article 104 de la Série E des Archives du Cogner. They are all badly mutilated in the upper corners.

Exhibit 20 compares twenty-one lemmata beginning Mur- to Musca- from A15 with the corresponding lemmata from A1.

Exhibit 20: Comparison of the Aalma glossary
in mss. Paris, BN nouv.acq.fr. 24398 (A15) and Paris, BN lat. 13032 (A1)
Ms. Paris, BN nouv.acq.fr. 24398
Ms. Paris, BN lat. 13032
Munimen nis.     } Munimen .minis deffension, garnissement, aide n
Munimentum ti.} garnissement, aide Munimentum .ti idem n
Munio is ivi. garnir, deffendre, aider Munio, munis, munivi .nire .nitum garnir, faire deffense ou aide
Munitorium rii. garnison -
Munium nii. don, office n Munium .nii office deu ou don n
Munus eris. don, office n -
Munisculum li. petit don Munisculum .culi petit don n
Muralis et hoc le. de mur o Muralis et hoc murale de mur o
Murale lis. mur n Murale, muralis mur n
Murena ne. lamproye vel Murena, murene lemproie f
- Murena eciam dicitur une perre precieuse f
- Murenula .mule petite lemproie ou petite telle perre precieuse. chainette a ourner le col f
- Muria, murie la crouste qui vient par dessus l'oile f
Muricida de. occiseur de souris c Muricida .de occiseur de soris c
Murilegus gi. chat Murilegus .gi chat m
Murmur ris. murmusement, noaise n Murmur, murmuris murmuremens n
Murmuro as. noaiser n Murmuro .ras .ravi .rare murmurer n
- Murtetum .ti yaue qui sourt chaude de terre comme de bains naturelx n
Muratus ta tum. muré o Muratus .ta .tum murés o
Muro as. murer d Muro, muras .ravi .rare murer a
Murus .ri mur m Murus, muri murs m
Mus muris. souriz m Mus, muris soris m
Musa se. science f Musa, muse muse f
Musca sce. mousche f Musca, musce mouche f
Muscarium rii. .i. flabellum esmouchouer Muscarium .carii .i. flabellum esmouchoer n

Although A15 lacks four lemmata which occur in A1 and the latter lacks two which occur in A15, and there are some differences in French equivalents, it is apparent there is a close relationship between the two manuscripts.

Naïs (1986) announced a project to create a concordance of Roques' edition of A1, but, as far as we know, the proposed project has not been completed.

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