Visual aids

Typography is an indispensable aid to consultability in modern dictionaries. Variations in the size of type and changes in fonts, signal the change from macrotext to microtext and also indicate certain types of information - etymological, grammatical, historical, etc. Other factors affecting consultability include format, weight of paper, number of columns, width of margins, headings, and so on (Bray 1989a: 137f.).

Here we examine the visual measures developed by lexicographers before the age of printing to establish or improve the consultability of their dictionaries. Page layout and text division

An important aspect of the physical layout of lexica is the separation of text into vertical chunks or columns. Descriptions of lexical manuscripts indicate that, irrespective of type, they are usually set out in two columns to the page. This arrangement includes the large Latin and bilingual compilations: Papias, Hugutio, Catholicon, MPST, and DLV. However, if we are to judge from the only printed edition of Osbern of Gloucester's Liber derivationum (Mai 1836: Tome VIII), the manuscript was laid out in two ways, just as the content was divided into two parts. The Derivationes occupy the page from margin to margin, while the glossaries in the Repetitiones are arranged two columns per page.

The two-column layout was also commonly used in the smaller bilingual lexica: thematic glossaries, the Abavus series, and all but one of the manuscripts (A8) in the Aalma series. The text of A8 is laid out in a single column, and there is blank space between the lemma and the definition, and again between the definition and the grammatical sign against the right margin. A8 is the source manuscript for the first printed Latin-French dictionary, the Catholicon abbreviatum (see 4.0.).

Variations in letter size and ink colour were the most common methods of indicating text division. When used in lexica, they were combined with alphabetical order to achieve the desired effect. In the prologue to his Elementarium, Papias describes a somewhat complex system of subdivision to accomplish alphabetization, [63] where the breaks of the alphabet were to be marked by three sizes of letters (Rouse/Rouse 1982: 203). Ms. Paris, BN lat. 17162 illustrates the way in which a thirteenth-century scribe interpreted Papias's instructions. An ornate capital is located at the beginning of each letter division, at 'A', 'B', etc. Smaller capitals occur at the points where the sequence of words progresses from one letter to another in the third position, e.g. at Abba, Abdias, Abia, Ablactare, etc. However, there does not appear to be an initial to mark the progress of words from one letter to the next in second position (Daly/Daly 1964: 234).

Coloured ink is also used in ms. Paris, BN lat. 17162 (Papias) to distinguish the subdivisions of the text, a practice which Carruthers (1990: 226) tells us had been in use at least since the fourth century A.D. [64] In this manuscript, combined red and blue initials occur in the first lemma of each primary letter division, for example, at 'B'; then red and blue initials alternate with each change of letter in second and third position: a red 'B' for Babel, a blue 'B' for Baccha, a red 'B' for Baculus, a blue 'B' for Badium, and so on (Daly/Daly 1964: 234).

The scribe of ms. Paris, BN lat. 7678 (Comprehensorium) used a similar technique. The capital letter of the beginning of letter-section 'A' is combined red and blue ink and illuminated in gold. Then the capital at the beginning of each second-letter change alternates blue and red, i.e. the 'A' in the first word in 'Ab-' is blue, in 'Ac-' is red, in 'Ad-' is blue, and so on.

The Magnae derivationes of Hugutio of Pisa, despite its usefulness, is not an easy work to consult and, beginning in the thirteenth century, various attempts were made to render the dictionary more consultable. Simple aids include the use of ink in different colours, and of capital letters in different sizes, similar to those found in manuscripts of Papias's work. In ms. Paris, BN lat. 16217, for example, each lemma begins with a large red capital. Each derivative is preceded by a black paraph (¶) whose final right-facing stroke underlines the derived form. The latter begins with a smaller capital in blue, splashed with red. The body of the text is in black ink.

Wallis (1981: 17f.) notes that two important changes in the methods of compiling and presenting reference works were especially pertinent to Balbi's Catholicon. The first was the growing acceptance of and familiarity with alphabetical order and the second concerned the lay-out of the manuscript page. She remarks (1981: 19) "Balbi was particularly interested in the use of prominent initials and alternating colours to facilitate 'looking things up'". [65]

Hunt (1991: I) frequently mentions the use of coloured ink for initials, paragraph marks, and capital letters throughout the text, in his detailed descriptions of manuscripts containing Anglo-Norman glosses.

Roques (1938: xi) describes the appearance of A1, the earliest manuscript of the Aalma series. The lexicon begins with a large coloured initial (blue, lilac and gold), and large red and blue letters begin each alphabetical section of the text. Smaller red and blue initials were intended to mark subdivisions determined by the second letter of the words: Ac-, Ad-, etc., but this arrangement was not always observed.

According to Nobel (1986: 157f.), in MP, large initials mark the first lemma in each letter-section as well as at each second-letter subdivision. The scribe apparently intended to place paragraph marks at third-letter subdivisions, but did not do so consistently.

The visual aspect of the DLV is consistent with its organization. Lemmata begin with a large coloured initial, alternating red and blue, sometimes just red. Sub-lemmata are set against the left column margin, and begin with a normal-sized capital letter, written in the same brown ink as the text (Merrilees 1990: 288).

Columns of text in some manuscripts are further divided by the use of rubrics. Wallis (1981:20) mentions such an arrangement in the Catholicon in ms. Paris, BN lat. 7627, in which changes in the second letter are announced a ante b, a ante c, etc. [66] Manuscript A8 of the Aalma series separates the end of one letter-section from the beginning of the next: Et hec de --. Running headlines were used as early as the twelfth century. Rouse/Rouse (1982: 209) describe a manuscript written c.1170-1176 by Herbert of Mosham containing Peter Lombard's Magna glossatura: "At the top of the page is a running headline in alternating red and blue, giving the number of the psalm contained on that page; the running headline changes over the proper column, where the text of a new psalm begins." Reference systems

The creation of subject indexes in rational or alphabetical order was another step in improving consultability. They were developed initially for access to the Scriptures or to canon law compendia (Rouse/Rouse 1982a: 204), but later used in conjunction with other texts.

A common type of reference system is the alphabetical index or repertorium. Such an index accompanies the Mammotrectus super bibliam of Johannes Marchesinus, in which the text is written in the order of the books of the Bible. Several kinds of alphabetical repertoria are found in many manuscripts of Magnae derivationes, and it is quite common for a manuscript to include two or more repertoria. A simple model involves repetition of some of the lemmata and derivatives in the margins of the pages. More complex models are found in the form of tables, which may precede or follow the dictionary.

One of the best-known reference systems of the Middle Ages is that used by Parisian scholars from the beginning of the thirteenth century to subdivide the chapters of the Paris text of the Vulgate written about 1190 (of which Stephen Langton, future archbishop of Canterbury, was the principal architect), into seven paragraphs of roughly equal length (Châtillon 1985: 31). [67] William Brito adapted this system and applied it regularly in his Summa or Expositiones vocabulorum biblie for references to books of the Bible, and frequently for Juvenal, Lucan, Ovid, and Virgil (Daly/Daly 1964: 238).

Hauréau (1885: 594f.) was the first to describe the numerical reference system used by the compiler of the 'reverse' French-Latin dictionary in ms. Montpellier, Faculté de Médecine H236 (see 2.5.2.). The scribe divided each page of the Latin text in half horizontally, and assigned each half-page a Roman numeral. Thus the upper half of the first page is A I and the lower half is A II, the upper half of the second page is A III, the lower half A IV, and so on. The numbering recommences with each change of letter-section, at 'B', 'C', etc. French glosses are written in the margins of the manuscript in first-letter alphabetical order, and each is preceded by a number corresponding to the location of the entry in the text. For example, the entries for 'II Aloine' and 'II Amertume' are found in the bottom section of the first page:

Merrilees (1994: 14f.) describes another numerical reference system used in ms. Angers, BM n° 497, n° 498. A list of French words in alphabetical order appears at the beginning of each letter-section, and each word on the list is followed by a Roman numeral: 'Habile III', 'Habit XXVI', etc. The number refers to the folio of the letter-section where the French form is the lemma of an entry providing a Latin definition. The reference system is necessary because the lemmata are in first-letter alphabetical order only, and there is no discernible order in the articles themselves. Marginal notations

Another method of assisting the reader to locate a word quickly is through the use of marginal notations, that is, material written on the part of the page which is outside the main body of the text. The earliest glosses were written in all the margins, as well as between the lines. In medieval lexica, marginal notations are frequently intended to convey the source of a word or phrase. For example, in the Liber glossarum the source of each lemma is marked in the margin, e.g. ISID., VIRGL., DE GLS = DE GLOSSIS, various glossaries (GL I).

Papias says in his prologue to the Elementarium that he intends to identify some of the authors he cites by writing in the margin an abbreviation consisting of the first few letters of the name. [68] The extent to which his intention was carried out depends on individual scribes; however, in ms. Paris, BN lat. 17162, abbreviations are written in the margins in red ink, e.g. hy, pris, ser, aug, etc.

In the DLV, notations appear in the margin to draw attention to a particular point (nota), an exemplary verse (versus) or an authority (Merrilees 1991: 39). Versus are signalled in the Aalma manuscripts which we have examined by a symbol in the right- or left-hand margin next to the location of the versus in the text.

Here we have discussed material found in the margins of lexica which is intended to assist a reader to locate information contained in the microtext. Another use of the term 'marginal' concerns the location (at the end of the text line, against the right-hand margin) of grammatical information which is part of the content of the document (see Underlining

The text of didactic and grammatical treatises was usually written from margin to margin across a full page. Marginal commentary and glosses often drew the reader's attention to items of interest in the proximate text but, frequently, glosses integrated into the text are underlined. Such is the case in ms. Paris, BN lat. 11282, a thirteenth-century copy of the Dictionarius of John of Garland, where the French glosses are underlined in red.

It is unusual to find the French forms underlined in a Latin-French lexicon; however, in MP, the French terms are consistently underlined (Nobel 1986: 158). In the first three folios of DLV, a later hand has underlined the French glosses and definitions (Merrilees 1991: 41).

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