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Old High German glosses on ‘De cura pastorali’: MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57

Gregory the Great: Glosses of MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57 (Bodleian Library)

Preliminary results were presented at Literary, religious and manuscript cultures of the  German-speaking lands:  a  symposium  in memory of Nigel F. Palmer (1946-2022) . Link to the handout and to the presentation.

While digitising the manuscript MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57 (Bodleian Library), the team of the Bodleian discovered that it contains not only Latin but also Old High German (OHG) glosses – which have not been edited yet. In the following blog post, I will present the vernacular glosses and discuss them, adding more glosses each week.

The manuscript was written and glossed in the 11th century in the South-West area of Germany. It contains the full text of Gregory the Great’s ‘De cura pastorali’. The glosses, Latin and vernacular, are clearly visible between the lines of the main text, but some of them have been erased. At least two different hands can be identified which glossed in Latin as well as in Old High German. The main difference between the hands in this manuscript is the colour of the ink and the thickness of the lines, so it is possible that one scribe glossed and corrected the text in several passes. The erasure of some glosses could be part of the correction process. The text contains not only lexical glosses, but also grammatical markings that connect different words or add endings. I could not find any scratched glosses.

The corpus of glosses matches to a large extent the Alemannic-Franconian glosses of the manuscript B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), interestingly also some of the erased glosses.

A large part of the first page (fol. 1) has been excised. This was to remove part of folio 1r, probably library stamps, as the Latin text on folio 1v is incomplete because of the cut. Parts of the text have been erased in the middle of the page before the excision. Another (later) hand has added a few lines of Latin in the lower half of the page. There are some annotations by a much later hand (light ink) which left comments throughout the manuscript. The text of ‘De cura pastorali’ begins on folio 2r.

For detailed information, see also the online catalogue of the Bodleian Library.

First page of the text ‘De cura pastorali’ containing Latin and Old High German glosses (fol. 2r, Canon. Pat. Lat. 57, Oxford, Bodleian Library).

In the following, I will present the glosses of MS. Canon. Pat. Lat. 57 with focus on the Old High German glosses. Latin glosses will be included if they give additional information on relations to other manuscripts. At a later stage, the corpus of Latin glosses will be explored as well. Vernacular glosses are first listed and then gradually commented on and interpreted. Comments are very welcome! You can use either the commenting function at the end of this page, or email me (

I would like to extend special thanks to Prof. Dr Andreas Nievergelt (University of Zurich), who helped me with this edition.

Notes about the edition:

  • the Latin and OHG lemmas are spelled as in the manuscript, including abbreviations
  • if the Latin lemma or OHG gloss cannot be identified with certainty (mainly when marginal glosses were written without a reference marker, or the gloss was erased), there is a question mark before the lemma
  • the spelling of the Latin context follows the manuscript, abbreviations are resolved, the punctuation follows the manuscript
  • line breaks are marked by |, page breaks by ||
  • book and chapter of ‘De cura pastorali’ are given in brackets after the context (= Greg., Cura), with reference to the appropriate section of the edition Sources Chrétiennes 381/382 (= SC)
  • Latin lemmas in the context are underlined
  • if the glosses also appear in the manuscript B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), the glosses and reference to the edition in StSG are included
  • images were retrieved from the digitised manuscript, for reference please see the folio and line number given for the glosses


pastoralis cu|rę me pondera fugere de|litiscendo uoluisse . benigna frater karissime | atque humillima intentione reprehendis · (Greg., Cura 1,Praef.; cf. SC 381 124,3–5) 

1. delitiscendo bosconde .i. tacendo                                (fol. 2r, l. 7, interlinear)

adv loskênto (AWB 5,1299) ‘durch Verbergen, Verstecken’ = ‘through concealment, hiding’

Possibly scribal error b‑ instead of l‑; interpretament is a pres part of wv loskên (AWB 5,1298) ‘sich verbergen, verstecken’ = ‘to hide, to conceal’) with adverbial function, parallel to the function of Latin gerund in dat/ab. sg; vowel ‑o‑ in ending suggests that verb fluctuated between class II (‑ôn) and class III (‑ên) (cf. Braune §369 A.2), shifting from class III to class II is typical for the Franconian dialect (cf. Franck §198); the gloss is supplemented by the Latin gloss .i. tacendo, also a gerund in dat/abl sg, ‘to be silent’.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,22: ‘Delitiscendo losconde’ 

2. rep̄hendis lasteres                                                      (fol. 2r, l. 8, interlinear)

2nd pers sg pres ind act wv last(a)rôn (AWB 5,644) ‘jemandem Vorwürfe machen, jemanden tadeln’ = ‘to reproach someone, to reprimand someone’

Vowel ‑e‑ in ending suggests that verb fluctuated between class II (‑ôn) and class III (‑ên) (cf. Braune §369 A.2), but could also be weakened from ‑ô‑.

Quos rursum dominus detestatur | dicens · Et tenentes legem nescierunt me . Et | nesciri ergo se ab eis ueritas queritur . et nescire prin|cipatum nescientium protestatur · Quia profecto | hi qui ea quę sunt domini nesciunt . a domino nesciuntur · (Greg., Cura 1,1; cf. SC 381 130,32–132,36)

3. detestat̃ leidizot                                                         (fol. 3r, l. 19, interlinear)

3rd pers sg pres ind act wv leidazzen (AWB 5,753) ‘jemanden, etwas verabscheuen’ = ‘to detest someone, something’

Verb fluctuated between class II (‑ôn) and class I (‑jan) (cf. Braune §369 A.1), here it is class II; shifting from class I to class II is typical for the Franconian and Alemannic dialect (cf. Franck §198, Weinhold A §357).

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,27: ‘Detestatur leidizot’

4. querit̃ clagôt                                                              (fol. 3r, l. 21, interlinear)

3rd pers sg pres ind act wv klagôn (AWB 5,216) ‘sich beklagen, beschweren’ = ‘to complain’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,28: ‘Queritur clagot’

Quorum profecto humilitas | si cęteris quoque uirtutibus cingitur . tunc ante | dei oculos uera est . cum ad respuendum hoc quod | utiliter subire praecipitur . pertinax non est . (Greg., Cura 1,6; cf. SC 381 148,5–8)

5. tinax criegu                                                             (fol. 7v, l. 4, interlinear)

? nom sg f pos str adj kriegi (Hapax legomenon, cf. MHG adj kriege, BMZ 1,880a) ‘störrisch, abwehrend’ = ‘stubborn, defensive’

If the OHG interpretament is equivalent to the Latin (nom sg f pos adj), an unknown adjective must be assumed; the ending ‑u is rare but appears for nom sg f in Franconian sources (Braune §248 A.6a).

Ne | is quem crimen deprauat proprium . intercessor | fieri appetat pro culpis aliorum · (Greg., Cura 1,11; cf. SC 381 164,4–5)

6. depráuat gérget                                                          (fol. 11r, l. 13, interlinear)

3rd pers sg pres ind act wv gi-ergen (AWB 3,390) ‘entstellen (in moralischer Hinsicht)’ = ‘distort (in a moral sense)’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,29: ‘Déprauat gerget’

Si cęcus fuerit . si claudus . si uel paruo uel | grandi et torto naso . si fracto pede . si manu . | si gippus . si lippus . si albuginem habens in | oculo . si iugem scabiem . si impetiginem in | corpore . uel ponderosus · (Greg., Cura 1,11; cf. SC 381 164,9–12)

7. gippus houer                                                             (fol. 11r, l. 23, interlinear)

nom sg str m noun hovar, hovir (AWB 4,1168) ‘Buckel’ = ‘hunch’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,53: ‘Gyppus houer’

Sed sunt nonnulli . qui dum se estimari | hebetes nolunt . sepe se in quibusdam inquisitio|nibus plusquam necesse est exercentes . ex nimia | subtilitate falluntur. (Greg., Cura 1,11; cf. SC 381 166,34–6) [the first se was added by a later hand]

8. hébetes slegue                                                            (fol. 11v, l. 21, interlinear)

nom pl m pos str adj. slêo (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 557) ‘stumpfsinnig’ = ‘dull’

‑g‑ could have been included to prevent the hiatus of sleuue (cf. Franck §69); StSG 2,197,55 assumes a scribal error (fn 8).

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,55: ‘Hebetes slegue’

Quasi enim | cutis pruriginem paulus curabat abstergere | cum dicebat . Temptatio uos non apprehendat . nisi | humana · (Greg., Cura 1,11; cf. SC 381 170,89–91)

9. pruriginē iukiligi ·                                                     (fol. 12v, l. 23, interlinear)

acc sg str f noun juckiligî (AWB 4,1842) ‘juckender Ausschlag’ = ‘itchy rash’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,56: ‘Pruriginem iukiligi’

Sed decor membrorum perditur . quia aliarum quoque uirtutum per hanc pulchritudo deprauatur · (Greg., Cura 1,11; cf. SC 381 170,102–4)

10. deprauat̃ gérget                                                        (fol. 13r, l. 9, interlinear)

uninfl past part wv gi‑ergen (AWB 3,390) ‘entstellen (in moralischer Hinsicht)’ = ‘distort (in a moral sense)’

the Latin passive was only partly translated with the past part without auxiliary; cf. gloss 6.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,197,57: ‘Deprauatur gerget’

Hinc diuina | uoce praecipitur . vt in aaron pectore sacerdo|tale rationale iudicii . uittis ligantibus inpri|matur; (Greg., Cura 2,2; cf. SC 381 176,14–5)

11. uittis nestele                                                            (fol. 14r, l. 4, interlinear)

nom sg str w f noun nestila, w m noun nestilo (AWB 6,1186) ‘Haarband’ = ‘hair band’

glossed in the base form (Latin dat/abl pl); gloss added later (12th c.?, cf. catalogue description).

Cui in | esu quoque pectusculum cum armo tribuitur . ut quod | de sacrificio praecipitur sumere . hoc de semetipso | auctori discat immolare · (Greg., Cura 2,3; cf. SC 381 182,19–21)

12. pectusculū brustelin                                                 (fol. 15r, l. 11, interlinear)

nom sg str n noun brustilî(n) (AWB 1,1460) ‘kleine Brust’ = ‘small breast’

the Latin lemma was translated without context, in context it means ‘Bruststück’ = ‘brisket’ (cf. AWB 1,1460).

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,1: ‘Pectusculum prustelin’

Quod recte etiam super|humerale ex auro . [atque] iacincto . purpura . bis | tincto cocco . et torta fieri bisso praecipitur . | ut quanta sacerdos clarescere uirtutum diuersitate | debeat . demonstretur · (Greg., Cura 2,3; cf. SC 381 184,39–42) [atque was marked as incorrect by underlining with dots]

13. torta gezvvirendero                                                 (fol. 15v, l. 3, marginal)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,3: ‘Torta gezvvirendero’

Qui | igitur sic ad auctoris speciem anhelat . ut proximorum curam neglegat . vel sic proximorum | curam exsequitur | ut a diuino amore torpescat . quia qui unum horum | quodlibet neglegit . in superhumeralis ornamento | habere coccum bis tinctum nescit · (Greg., Cura 2,3; cf. SC 381 186,69–73)

14. exsequit̃ bigeht                                                         (fol. 16r, l. 7, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,6: ‘Exequitur bigeht’

Clauis quippe apertio|nis est . sermo correptionis · Quia increpando | culpam detegit . quam sepe nescit . ipse etiam qui | perpetrauit . (Greg., Cura 2,4; cf. SC 381 188,31–190,33)

15. clauis sluzel                                                             (fol. 16v, l. 26, interlinear)

nom sg str m noun sluzzil (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 561) ‘Schlüssel’ = ‘key’

16. détegit unbaret                                                        (fol. 16v, l. 28, interlinear)

3rd pers sg pres ind act wv int‑barôn (AWB 1,824) ‘offenlegen’ = ‘to disclose’

the ending is weakened.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,7: ‘Detegit unbaret’

Sa|cerdos namque ingrediens vel egrediens moritur . si | de eo sonitus non auditur · Quia iram contra se oc|culti iudicis exigit . si sine praedicationis sonitu | incedit · (Greg., Cura 2,4; cf. SC 381 190,52–4)

17. exigit ésget                                                               (fol. 17r, l. 21, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,8: ‘Exegit esget’

Hinc iterum dicit · Siue mente excedimvs . | deo . siue sobrii sumus . uobis . Quia et semetipsum no|uerat contemplando transcendere . et eundem se audi|toribus condescendendo temperare · (Greg., Cura 2,5; cf. SC 381 198,35–8)

18. excedimvs uzgeliden ·                                               (fol. 18v, l. 25, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,9: ‘Excedimus uzgeliden’

Unde et ante fores templi ad abluendas ingredien||tium manus . mare eneum . id est luterem . xii . boues | portant · (Greg., Cura 2,5; cf. SC 381 200,68–70)

19. luterē ? label                                                            (fol. 19v, l. 1, interlinear, erased)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,12: ‘Luterem label’

Plerumque | ergo . dum ex subiectorum affluentia animus inflatur . | in fluxum superbię ipso potentię fastigio lenoci|nante corrumpitur . (Greg., Cura 2,6; cf. SC 381 208,75–7)

20. lenocinante ? lôscosendemo                                     (fol. 21r, l. 8, interlinear, erased)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,14: ‘Lenocinante loscosendemo’

Uę his qui consuunt puluillos sub | omni cubitu manus . et faciant ceruicalia sub capite | uniuersę ętatis . ad capiendas animas . (Greg., Cura 2,8; cf. SC 381 232,20–2)

21. puluillos hŏbedfulv en                                             (fol. 26v, l. 20, interlinear)

Second v was erased, hence the gap in the gloss.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,16: ‘Puluillos hŏbedfulvven’ (fn 2: ‘d scheint aus n corr.’)

22. ceruicalia vvanccussui                                            (fol. 26v, l. 21, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,19: ‘Cer:̌icalia wancussui’

Sepe inordinata remissio . pietas creditur . et effrena|ta ira · spiritalis zeli uirtus estimatur . (Greg., Cura 2,9; cf. SC 381 236,6–7)

23. effrenata ira genodegot zoren .                                (fol. 27v, l. 21, interlinear)

uninfl past part wv gi‑nôtagôn (AWB 6,1363) ‘jmdn. bedrängen’ = ‘to harass so.’

nom sg str n noun zorn (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 768) ‘Zorn’ = ‘anger’

‑d‑ is WGmc /d/ which was word‑internally not shifted to /t/ in Middle and Rhine Franconian (Braune §163); glosses were written with visible gap between them and partly in the margins above effrenata, not above ira in the next line; participle is used as adjective attribute (as in Latin); figurative translation of Latin effrenata (literally ‘unbridled’), AWB assumes possible mistranslation.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,21: ‘Effrenata ira genodegoth zorn’

Aut hoc quod agi | recte aut grauiter potuit . inmature praeueniens | leuiget . aut bonę actionis meritum . differendo | ad deteriora permutet · (Greg., Cura 2,9; cf. SC 381 238,16–8)

24. inmature cefruo                                                       (fol. 28r, l. 2, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,23: ‘Mature cefruo’

Ut cum delinquens . | et deprehendi se agnoscit . et perpeti . has quas in se | tacite tolerari considerat . augere se culpas eru|bescat . seseque iudice puniat . quem sibi apud se rec|toris patientia clementer excusat . (Greg., Cura 2,10; cf. SC 381 238,9–13)

25. dep̄hendi iruarenvverden ·                                      (fol. 28r, l. 14, interlinear)

uninfl past part strv ir‑faran (AWB 3,603) ‘jmd. durchschauen’ = ‘to see through sb.’

inf strv uuerdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 712) ‘werden’ = ‘to become’

the glosses do not have a gap between them, which signals their close syntactic relation; the Latin synthetic present passive infinitive is translated with an OHG analytic infinitive construction with the auxiliary vverden.

Ne si minus contra culpas accen|ditur . culparum omnium reus ipse teneatur · Unde be|ne ad ezechielem dicitur · Sume tibi laterem . et pones || eum coram te . et describis in eo ciuitatem hierusalem · (Greg., Cura 2,10; cf. SC 381 244,108–246,1)

26. minus ? luzil                                                            (fol. 29v, l. 28, interlinear, erased)

base form adj luzzil (AWB 5,1464) ‘wenig’ = ‘little’

27. laterē ? zigel                                                            (fol. 29v, l. 30, interlinear, erased)

acc sg str m noun ziegal (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 761) ‘Ziegel’ = ‘brick’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,24: ‘Laterem zigel’

Et ordinabis aduersus eam | obsidionem . et ędificabus munitiones . et conportabis | aggerem . et dabis contra eam castra . et pones arietes | in giro . eique ad munitionem suam protinus subinfertur · | Et tu sume tibi sartaginem ferream . et pones eam mu|rum ferreum . inter te et inter ciuitatem · (Greg., Cura 2,10; cf. SC 381 246,112–7)

28. arietes ? phederere                                                   (fol. 30r, l. 4, interlinear, erased)

acc pl str m noun phetarâri (AWB 7,258) ‘Rammbock’ = ‘ram’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,27: ‘Arietes phedere’

29. sartaginē ? phanna                                                  (fol. 30r, l. 6, interlinear, erased)

? acc sg str f noun phanna (AWB 7,232) ‘Bratpfanne’ = ‘frying pan’

Either strong noun or weak noun glossed in base form.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,29: ‘Sartaginem phanna’

Aggerem namque comportat . | quando praedicator quisque molem crescentis temp|tationis enuntiat . et contra hierusalem castra erigit . | quando recte intentioni audientium . hostis cal|lidi circumspectas et quasi incomprehensibiles | insidias praedicit . Atque in giro arietes ponit . cum | temptationum aculeos in hac uita nos undique | circumdantes . et uirtutum murum perforantes . innotes|cit . (Greg., Cura 2,10; cf. SC 381 248,146–52)

30. p̄dicit firbûtit ·                                                         (fol. 30v, l. 11, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,32: ‘Predicit firbûtet’

31. aculeos angola                                                         (fol. 30v, l. 12, interlinear)

Per sartaginem | quippe frixura mentis . per ferrum vero fortitudo incre|pationis . signatur . Quid uero acrius doctoris | mentem quam zelus friget dei et excruciat . (Greg., Cura 2,10; cf. SC 381 248,158–61)

32. frixura côhunga                                                      (fol. 30v, l. 20, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,33: ‘Frixura cohunga’

33. friget cohot                                                              (fol. 30v, l. 22, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,34: ‘Friget cohot’

Quia uidelicet cum spiritale || aliquid a subditis pastor inquiritur . ignominiosvm | ualde est . si tunc quęrat discere . cum quęstionem | debet enodare · (Greg., Cura 2,11; cf. SC 381 254,45–256,47)

34. ignominiosv̄ honisam .                                            (fol. 32v, l. 1, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,35: ‘Ignominiosum honisam’

Sepe namque aliis officiunt | quę aliis prosunt . quia et plerumque herbę quę | hęc animalia nutriunt . alia occidunt · Et | lenis sibilus . equos mitigat . catulos instigat . (Greg., Cura 3,Prol.; cf. SC 382 258,5–8)

35. officiunt darent ·                                                      (fol. 32v, l. 21, interlinear)

Et | lenis sibilus . equos mitigat . catulos instigat . (Greg., Cura 3,Prol.; cf. SC 382 258,7–8)

36. sibilus vvisbiloht ·                                                   (fol. 32v, l. 24, interlinear)

Quia et plerumque dura uulnera . per | lenia fomenta mollescunt · (Greg., Cura 3,2; cf. SC 382 270,46–7)

37. fomenta baiunga                                                     (fol. 35r, l. 4, interlinear)

Discurre . festina . | suscita amicum tuum . ne dederis oculis tuis somnvm . | nec dormitent palpebrę tuę · Quisquis enim | aliis ad uiuendum in exemplo praeponitur . non solum | ut ipse euigilet . sed etiam amicum suscitet . ut eui|gilet . ammonetur · (Greg., Cura 3,4; cf. SC 382 278,44–8)

38. dormitent nafizon                                                    (fol. 36v, l. 23, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,37: ‘Dormitent nasizon’ (fn 3: ‘l. nafizon’)

39. suscitet uueke                                                          (fol. 36v, l. 25, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,39: ‘Suscitet vveke’

Quia uidelicet dum | praelatę dignitati . saltim innoxie et latenter dero|gant . quasi regis subpositi . uestem fędant · (Greg., Cura 3,4; cf. SC 382 282,100–2)

40. dérogant bisprehont                                                (fol. 37v, l. 24, interlinear)

3rd pers pl pres ind act wv bi‑sprehhôn (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 580) ‘verleumden’ = ‘to slander’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,40: ‘Derogant bisbrechont’

Quod enim antiquatur . | et senescit . prope interitum est · (Greg., Cura 3,6; cf. SC 382 286,27–8)

41. senescit firuuesenet ·                                               (fol. 38v, l. 28, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,42: ‘Senescit firvvesenet’

O in|sensati galathę quis uos fascinauit · (Greg., Cura 3,7; cf. SC 382 288,18–9)

42. fascinauit zouberota                                                (fol. 39r, l. 27, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,44: ‘Fascinauit zouberuta’

Nonnunquam vero cum se uicium proteruię | minime perpetrare cognoscunt . conpendiosius | ad correctionem ueniunt . si alterius culpę ma|nifestioris ex latere requisiti inproperio confun|duntur · vt ex eo quod defendere nequeunt . cog|noscant se tenere improbe quod defendunt · (Greg., Cura 3,8; cf. SC 382 290,15–292,20)

43. conpendiosius gefuorsamero                                    (fol. 39v, l. 20, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,47: ‘Compendiosivs gefoursamero’

Incesti culpam inmedium deduxit . quę apud eos | et perpetrata fuerat . et incorrecta remanebat | dicens · (Greg., Cura 3,8; cf. SC 382 292,22–4)

44. incesti huores                                                           (fol. 39v, l. 28, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,49: ‘Incesti houres’

Quatenus eorum teneritudinem | laus audita nutriat . quam culpa increpata | castigat · (Greg., Cura 3,8; cf. SC 382 292,34–5)

45. teneritudinem murvvin ·                                          (fol. 40r, l. 11, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,50: ‘Teneritudinem murvvin’

Illi namque | aurigarum ac strigonum gesta fauoribus efferunt · (Greg., Cura 3,10; cf. SC 382 308,18–9)

46. strigonum scernere ·                                                (fol. 44r, l. 6, interlinear)

gen pl str m noun skernâri (AWB 8.1,1022) ‘Schauspieler’ = ‘performer’

the suffix ‑âri appears in Franconian with short /a/ which could be weakened to /e/ (Braune §200 A.1b, Franck §53); the regular ending of the gen pl of OHG ja‑stem nouns, ‑eo, ‑o, was here also weakened to ‑e.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,52: ‘Cistrionum scernere’

Dicendum itaque est inuidis . quia dum se a liuore mi|nime custodiunt . in antiquam uersuti hostis ne|quitiam demerguntur · (Greg., Cura 3,10; cf. SC 382 312,49–51)

47. uersuti hinderscrenckicen                                      (fol. 44v, l. 9, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,54: ‘Uersuti hinderserekun’ (fn 6: ‘l. hinderscrēkun’)

Ibi habuit foueam ericius · (Greg., Cura 3,11; cf. SC 382 318,46–7)

48. ericius igil ·                                                              (fol. 46r, l. 3, interlinear)

Et qui totum iam de re|prehendendo uiderat . tergiuersatione prauę de|fensionis illusus . totum pariter ignorat · (Greg., Cura 3,11; cf. SC 382 318,65–7)

49. tergiuersatione hindersrencgunce                            (fol. 46r, l. 24, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,56: ‘Tergiuersatione hindersregone’

Patres quidem carnis | nostrę habuimus eruditores . et reuerebamur eos . non | multomagis obtemperabimus patri spirituum et uiue|mus . (Greg., Cura 3,12; cf. SC 382 328,85–7)

50. reuerebam̃ vviruorden                                        (fol. 48v, l. 10, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,58: ‘Reuerebamur eos werfonden’ (fn 7: ‘= wer forhden?’)

Insanus | quippe homo a subiugali muto corripitur · | quando elata mens . humilitatis bonum quod tene|re debeat . ab afflicta carne memoratur · (Greg., Cura 3,12; cf. SC 382 330,109–11)

51. memoratur irhuget                                                  (fol. 49r, l. 8, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,60: ‘Memoratur irhuget’

Liuor uulneris abstergit mala . et plagę in | secretioribus uentris . (Greg., Cura 3,12; cf. SC 382 330,119–20)

52. liuor uulneris bleizza                                                (fol. 49r, l. 17, interlinear)

nom sg w f noun bleizza (AWB 1,1197) ‘Striemen, blauer Fleck’ = ‘weal, bruise’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,61: ‘Liuor uulneris bleizza’

Bona enim pro semetipsis | amanda sunt . et non pęnis compellentibus exsequenda . (Greg., Cura 3,13; cf. SC 382 336,25–6)

53. exsequenda . ceduonne .                                           (fol. 50ar, l. 25, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,63: ‘Ex::sequenda ceduonne’

Plerumque enim sine dedignatione de|dignandi sunt . et sine desperatione desperandi . | ita duntaxat . vt ostensa desperatio formidinem | incutiat . et subiuncta ammonitio ad spem re|ducat . (Greg., Cura 3,13; cf. SC 382 336,33–6)

54. incutiat scude .                                                         (fol. 50av, l. 6, interlinear)

3rd pers sg subj act wv scutten (AWB 8.1,1355) ‘(Schrecken) hervorrufen, verursachen’ = ‘to cause, evoke (fright)’

‑d‑ is WGmc /d/ which was word‑internally not shifted to /t/ in Middle and Rhine Franconian (Braune §163).

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,65: ‘Incutiat scude’

Si contunderis stultum in pilo quasi tisanas . feri|ente desuper pilo . non auferetur ab eo stulticia eius · (Greg., Cura 3,13; cf. SC 382 336,40–1)

[reference marker before stamph refers to Latin gloss in the margin: ł in p̄lo (abbreviation for vel in pilo or vel in pistilo?)]

55. pilo stamph                                                         (fol. 50av, l. 11, interlinear)

nom sg str m noun stampf (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 584) ‘Mörser’ = ‘mortar’

the gloss does not translate the grammatical form of the Latin (abl sg) but the base form; see also gloss 57.

56. tisanas vesun                                                           (fol. 50av, l. 11, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,66: ‘Pthysinas fesen’

57. pilo stāpho                                                              (fol. 50av, l. 12, interlinear)

instr sg str m noun stampf (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 584) ‘Stößel’ = ‘pestel’

the Latin abl sg was translated with an OHG instr, transferring the instrumental meaning of the ablative into an equivalent OHG case; see also gloss 55.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,68: ‘In pila .i. instampho’

Uersa est mihi domus israel | in scoriam . omnes isti facti sunt mihi in aes . et stagnum . | et ferrum . et plumbum in medio fornacis . (Greg., Cura 3,13; cf. SC 382 338,54–5)

58. scoriam sinder                                                         (fol. 50av, l. 26, interlinear)

acc sg str m noun sintar (AWB 8.1,697) ‘Schlacke’ = ‘dross’

‑d‑ is WGmc /d/ which was word‑internally not shifted to /t/ in Middle and Rhine Franconian (Braune §163).

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,70: ‘Scoriam sinder’

59. stagnū . cin .                                                            (fol. 50av, l. 26, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,198,73: ‘Stagnum cin’

Scire igitur debent . qui plus quam expedit | tacent . ne inter molestias quę tollerant dum linguam | tenent . uim doloris exaggerant . (Greg., Cura 3,14; cf. SC 382 340,36–9)

60. expedit nucesi                                                          (fol. 51r, l. 8, interlinear)

Thimotheum namque ammonens ait . Ar|gue . obsecra . increpa . in omni patientia · et | doctrina · (Greg., Cura 3,16; cf. SC 382 356,36–8)

61. argue fleho                                                         (fol. 54r, l. 22, marginal)

Ne enim sibi uir|tutem suę liberalitatis deputent . audiant | quod scriptum est . (Greg., Cura 3,20; cf. SC 382 384,36–7)

62. liberalitatis cebegerni                                              (fol. 61r, l. 4, interlinear)

gen sg str f noun gebagernî (AWB 4,134) ‘Freigebigkeit’ = ‘generosity’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,1: ‘Libertatis Gebegerni’

Unde et nonnulli huius mundi diui|tes . cum fame crutientur christi pauperes . effusis | largitatibus nutriunt striones . (Greg., Cura 3,20; cf. SC 382 386,82–4)

63. striones scernere                                                      (fol. 61v, l. 30, interlinear)

Qui ergo innoxios se quia | aliena non rapiunt estimant . ictum securis uicinę | praeuideant . et torporem inprouidę securitatis amit|tant . ne dum ferre fructis boni operis neglegunt . | a praesenti uita funditus quasi auiriditate radicis | exsecentur . (Greg., Cura 3,21; cf. SC 382 398,53–8)

64. exsecentur abegesnidenvverdent ·                           (fol. 64r, l. 29, interlinear)

uninfl past part strv aba‑snîdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 565) ‘abschneiden’ = ‘to cut off’

3rd pers pl ind act strv uuerdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 712) ‘werden’ = ‘to become’

the gloss forms an analytic passive form translating the synthetic Latin passive, using the auxiliary vverdent and the past part abegesniden; the glosses are written without space between them, to signal that they belong together or because of the lack of space; the auxiliary is positioned after the past part, see also gloss 90.

Qui mercedes congregauit . misit eas in | saculum pertusum . In saculo quippe pertuso uidetur | quando pecunia inmittitur . sed quando amit|titur non uidetur . (Greg., Cura 3,21; cf. SC 382 400,96–9)

65. tusū lokeroden                                                      (fol. 65r, l. 11, interlinear)

66. amittit̃ uirlorenvvirdit                                            (fol. 65r, l. 12, interlinear)

uninfl past part strv fir‑liosan (AWB 5,1157) ‘(etw.) verlieren’ = ‘to loose (sth.)’

3rd pers sg ind act strv uuerdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 712) ‘werden’ = ‘to become’

the Latin synthetic passive is translated as OHG analytic passive with the auxiliary uuerdan; the glosses were written without a gap and not separated at the line break, which marks the close syntactic relation; the auxiliary follows the participle.

Ex qua scilicet praeceptione . pensandum | est quorum ostia repellitur . quam intollerabilis culpa | monstratur · (Greg., Cura 3,22; cf. SC 382 406,51–3)

67. p̄ceptione gebodeni                                                  (fol. 66r, l. 9, interlinear)

Admonendi sunt discordes . ut si aures | a mandatis cęlestibus declinant . mentis oculos ad con|sideranda ea quę ininfimis uersantur aperiant . | quod sepe aues unius eiusdemque generis sese socialiter | uolando non deserunt . quod gregatim animalia bru|ta pascuntur . (Greg., Cura 3,22; cf. SC 382 406,56–61)

68. gregatim cordegliho                                                (fol. 66r, l. 18, interlinear)

Hinc finees pec||cantium ciuium gratiam spernens . coeuntes cum madi|anitis perculit . et iram domini iratus placauit · Hinc | per semetipsam ueritas dicit · Nolite arbitrari quia | uenerim pacem mittere in terram . non ueni pacem mit|tere sed gladium · Malorum namque cum incaute ami|citiis iungimur . culpis ligamur · (Greg., Cura 3,22; cf. SC 382 410,103–9)

69. coeuntes gehivvende                                                (fol. 67r, l. 1, interlinear)

70. arbitrari trahtdon                                                    (fol. 67r, l. 3, interlinear)

71. malorū nāꝙ cū incaute amicitiis iungim͂ . culpis ligam̃ · ubilis gesellen . macman . siehc vverden .           (fol. 67r, l. 6, interlinear)

gen sg m pos str adj ubil (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 650) ‘böse’ = ‘bad’

gen sg m w noun gisello (AWB 8.1,439) ‘Geselle’ = ‘fellow’

nom pl m str noun mâg‑man (Hapax legomenon) ‘Freund’ = ‘friend’

nom pl m pos str adj sioh (AWB 8.1,707) ‘krank’ = ‘ill’

3rd pers pl pres subj act strv uuerdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 712) ‘werden’ = ‘to become’

the glosses translate the complex Latin passive construction consisting of two clauses with a simpler subjunctive syntagm, containing a subject macman with an attributive genitive object ubilis gesellen, and a copula construction siehc vverden; the predicative siehc is nominally declined (cf. Braune §247.2b); the gloss is positioned between the two lines of the Latin sentences, therefore, the glosses are not vertically linked to specific lemmas; the OHG word order still seems to be based on the Latin word order.

Admonendi sunt enim qui sacrę legis uerba non recte | intelligunt . ut perpendant quia saluberrimum uini potvm | inueneni sibi poculum uertunt . ac per medicinale | ferrum uulnere mortali se feriunt . dum per hoc in se | sana perimunt . per quod salubriter abscidere sauciata | debuerunt · (Greg., Cura 3,24; cf. SC 382 418,6–420,11)

72. ꝑ́imunt slahent ·                                                      (fol. 69r, l. 14, interlinear)

3rd pers pl pres ind act strv slahan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 555) ‘töten’ = ‘to kill’

Galaad namque | aceruus testimonii interpretatur · (Greg., Cura 3,24; cf. SC 382 420,23–4)

73. aceruus hufo                                                            (fol. 69r, l. 27, interlinear)

Frumentum quippe a domino accipimus . quando in dictis | obscurioribus . subducto tegmine literę . per medullam | spiritus . legis interna sentimus . (Greg., Cura 3,24; cf. SC 382 422,48–51)

74. subducto abegezogenemo ·                                      (fol. 69v, l. 22, marginal)

Audiant quod sponsi | eloquio ad sponsam dicitur . Quę habitas in hortis ami|ci . ausculta fac me audire uocem tuam · Ęcclesia quip|pe in hortis habitat . quę ad uiriditatem intimam | exculta plantaria uirtutum seruat . (Greg., Cura 3,25; cf. SC 382 432,67–70)

75. ? ausculta . zuloseno .                                              (fol. 72r, l. 7, marginal)

76. plantaria .i. flanzunga .                                           (fol. 72r, l. 9, interlinear)

In ciuitate quippe considemus . si intra mentium | nostrarum nos claustra constringimus . ne loquendo exterius | euagemur . Vt cum uirtute diuina perfecte induimur . tunc | quasi a nobismetipsis foras etiam alios instruentes exeamus . (Greg., Cura 3,25; cf. SC 382 436,118–22)

77. evagem̃ vvadelon                                                     (fol. 72v, l. 29, interlinear)

Hinc est quod idem re|demptor noster cum in cęlis sit conditor . et ostensio|ne suę potentię semper doctor angelorum . ante | tricenale tempus in terra magister fieri noluit ho|minum . ut uidelicet praecipitatis uim saluberrimi ti|moris infunderet . cum ipse etiam qui labi non posset . | perfectę uitę gratiam non nisi perfecta ętate praedicaret . (Greg., Cura 3,25; cf. SC 382 436,124–30)

78. p̄cipitatis gahen                                                       (fol. 73r, l. 7, interlinear)

Quia uidelicet reprobi cum recta opera diuinis muneribus non | rependunt . cum totos hic se deserunt et afluentibus | prosperitatibus dimittunt . unde exterius proficiunt . | inde ab intimis cadunt . (Greg., Cura 3,26; cf. SC 382 442,72–5)

79. dimittunt celazent .                                                 (fol. 74v, l. 6, interlinear)

Quem igitur cęlibem curarum sęcu|larium impedimentum praepedit . et coniugio se nequaquam sub|didit . et tamen coniugii onera non euasit · (Greg., Cura 3,27; cf. SC 382 454,130–2)

80. cęlibem · ungehiden ·                                               (fol. 77r, l. 15, interlinear)

Et quia cum mens | a culpa resipiscit . addicitur . atque admissum flere co|natur . corruptor autem spes ac securitates uacuas an|te oculos uocat, quatenus humilitatem tristicię sub|trahat . recte illic adiungitur . tristemque blandiens | deliniuit · (Greg., Cura 3,29; cf. SC 382 472,56–60)

81. addicit̃ geruogetvvirdit ·                                          (fol. 80v, l. 25, marginal)

uninfl past part wv ruogen (AWB 7,1256) ‘anklagen’ = ‘to accuse’

3rd pers sg ind act strv uuerdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 712) ‘werden’ = ‘to become’

Latin synthetic passive is translated with OHG analytic passive with auxiliary uuerdan; the two glosses stand next to each other without a gap; the participle precedes the auxiliary.

Nonnum|quam uero ita mens baratro temptationis absorbetur . ut nvl|latenus renitatur . sed ex deliberatione sequitur hoc . unde | ex delectatione pulsatur · (Greg., Cura 3,29; cf. SC 382 472,74–6)

82. baratro loke                                                             (fol. 81r, l. 13, interlinear)

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,7: ‘Baratro vverbin’

83. ex deliƀatione fonebemeineda                                 (fol. 81r, l. 14, interlinear)

Ammonendi sunt | qui admissa plangunt . nec tamen deserunt . ut ante | districti iudicis oculos eis se esse similes agnoscant . | qui uenientes ad faciem quorundam hominum magna | eis summissione blandiuntur . recedentes autem . inimici|cias ac damna quę ualent atrociter inferunt · (Greg., Cura 3,30; cf. SC 382 478,37–41)

84. summissione underdani                                           (fol. 82r, l. 28, interlinear)

Hinc | est enim quod pharisęis dicitur · liquantes culicem ca|melum autem glucientes · Ac si aperte diceretur . minima | mala discernitis . maiora deuoratis · Hinc est quod | rursum ore ueritatis increpantur cum audiunt · | Decimatis mentam et anetum et ciminum . et relinqve|tis quę grauiora sunt legis · (Greg., Cura 3,33; cf. SC 382 502,53–8)

85. liquantes smelcendo                                                (fol. 87r, l. 19, interlinear)

instr sg m pres part wv smelzen (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 562) ‘klären’ = ‘to clarify’ the instr case was used to translate a Latin acc; the gloss could form a syntagm with gloss 86 flohc but both glosses are written with a large space inbetween; it is also possible to interpret the gloss as adv smelzento which would be a Hapax legomenon and could be translated as ‘durch Klären (einer Flüssigkeit)’ = ‘through clarifying (liquid)’.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,8: ‘Liquantes sihinte’

86. culicem flohc                                                           (fol. 87r, l. 19, interlinear)

acc sg str m noun flôh (AWB 3,992) ‘Floh’ = ‘flea’

the interpretament is otherwise attested to translate Latin pulix (cf. AWB 3,992), while culicem is usually translated with str w f noun mugga (cf. AWB 6,817, see also parallel gloss in Basel ms.), flohc is therefore possibly a mistranslation; ‑c was corrected from ‑o.

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,28: ‘Culicem muccun’

87. mentã minzun ·                                                       (fol. 87r, l. 23, interlinear)

acc sg w f noun minza (AWB 6,639) ‘Minze’ = ‘mint’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,30: ‘Mentam minzun’

88. anetũ dille ·                                                              (fol. 87r, l. 23, interlinear)

acc sg str m noun tilli (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 625) ‘Dill’ = ‘dill’

d‑ is WGmc /d/ which was at the word beginning not shifted to /t/ in Middle and Rhine Franconian (Braune §163).

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,32: ‘Anetum tẏlle’

89. ciminũ cinemin ·                                                     (fol. 87r, l. 23, interlinear)

acc sg str m noun cinamîn (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 763) ‘Zimt’ = ‘cinnamon’

cf. B. V. 21 (Basel, UB), StSG 2,199,34: ‘Ciminum chumi’

Cum uero praua estimatio in quantum sine | peccato ualet . ab intuentium mente non tergitur . cunctis | mala credentibus per exemplum culpa propinatur . (Greg., Cura 3,35; cf. SC 382 516,79–518,81)

90. ꝓpinatur gescencgetvvirdit ·                                    (fol. 90v, l. 18, marginal)

uninfl past part wv skenken (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 537) ‘verbreiten’ = ‘to spread’

3rd pers sg ind act strv uuerdan (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 712) ‘werden’ = ‘to become’

‑cg‑ is not an attested spelling for /k/ but for the geminates Franconian /gg/ or Upper German /kk/ (cf. Braune §148 A.3, §149 A.7c), it must therefore be a spelling mistake; the Latin synthetic passive was translated with an OHG analytic passive with past part and auxiliary; the gloss is marginal and has a reference marker leading to the lemma; both glosses were written without space inbetween, emphasising the close syntactic relation of the glosses; the auxiliary is positioned after the past part, see also gloss 64.

Surdo quippe male|dicere . est absenti ac non audienti derogare . Coram | cęco vero offendiculum ponere . est discretam quidem | rem agere . sed tamen ei qui lumen discretionis non habet . | scandali occasionem praebere . (Greg., Cura 3,35; cf. SC 382 518,94–8)

91. derogare bissprachon ·                                             (fol. 91r, l. 2, interlinear)

inf bisprâhhôn (Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. p. 60) ‘verleumden’ = ‘to defame’

Et grauis quidem praedicatori labor est . | in communis praedicationis uoce ad occultos | singulorum motvs causasque uigilare . et palestri|tarum more in diuersi lateris arte se uertere . multo | tamen acriori labore fatigatur . quando uni e contrariis | uiciis seruienti praedicare compellitur . (Greg., Cura 3,37; cf. SC 382 522,3–8)

92. palestritarū . dumare .                                              (fol. 91v, l. 14, interlinear)

Cui iam torpenti seductor callidus omne | quod bene gessit enumerat . eamque quasi prae cęteris | praepollentem in tumore cogitationis exaltat . (Greg., Cura 4; cf. SC 382 534,39–41)

93. p̄pollentē · díhendā ·                                                (fol. 94r, l. 6, marginal)

Oppinionis suę gloriam dilatare desiderat . satagit | ut mirabilis cunctis innotescat . (Greg., Cura 4; cf. SC 382 536,62–3)

94. satagit · ilet ·                                                            (fol. 94r, l. 27, interlinear)

Nonnunquam vero superna moderatio prius|quam per munera prouehat . infirmitatis memoriam ad | mentem reuocat . ne de acceptis uirtutibus intumescat . (Greg., Cura 4; cf. SC 382 538,85–7)

95. ꝓuehat · framdihe ·                                                  (fol. 94v, l. 21, marginal)


abl = ablative

acc = accusative

act = active

adv = adverb

dat = dative

f = feminine

fn = footnote

gen = genitive

ind = indicative

instr = instrumental

m = masculine

nom = nominative

past part = past participle

pers = person

pl = plural

pos = positive

pres = present tense

redv = former reduplicating verb

sg = singular

str adj = strongly declined adjective

str f noun = strong feminine noun

str w f noun = strong/weak feminine noun

str m noun = strong masculine noun

str n noun = strong neuter noun

strv = strong verb

subj = subjunctive

uninfl = uninflected

w m noun = weak masculine noun

wv = weak verb


Ahd. Gl.‑Wb. = Starck, T. & Wells, J.C. (1971): Althochdeutsches Glossenwörterbuch. Heidelberg: Winter.

AWB = Karg-Gasterstädt, E., Frings, T., Grosse, R., & Schmid, H.-U. (1952–[2022]). Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch. Aufgrund der von Elias von Steinmeyer hinterlassenen Sammlungen im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig bearbeitet und herausgegeben von Elisabeth Karg-Gasterstädt und Theodor Frings.

BMZ = Benecke, G.F., Müller, W., & Zarncke, F. (1854–66): Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch. Stuttgart: Hirzel.

Braune = Braune, W. & Heidermanns, F. (2018): Althochdeutsche Grammatik. I. Laut‑ und Formenlehre. 16th ed. Boston: DeGruyter.

Franck = Franck, J. (1909): Altfränkische Grammatik. Laut‑ und Flexionslehre. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

SC 381 = Judic, B., Rommel, F. & Morel, C. (1992): Grégoire le Grand. Règle Pastorale. Tome I. Sources Chrétiennes 381. Paris: Éditions du Cerf.

SC 382 = Judic, B., Rommel, F. & Morel, C. (1992): Grégoire le Grand. Règle Pastorale. Tome II. Sources Chrétiennes 382. Paris: Éditions du Cerf.

StSG 2 = Steinmeyer, E. v., & Sievers, E. (1882): Die althochdeutschen Glossen. Glossen zu nichtbiblischen Schriften. Vol. 2. Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung.

Weinhold A = Weinhold, K. (1863): Alemannische Grammatik. Berlin: Ferd. Dümmler.

ETC seminar – Medieval Commentaries on Vergil

Dear All,

The final session of the Early Text Cultures Seminar on Pre-modern Commentaries will take place on Wednesday 30 November at Corpus Christi College, Seminar Room, 2-3pm. Vittorio Danovi (Oxford) will give a talk titled

Medieval Commentaries on Vergil (Bern scholia and Servius Auctus)

My research is primarily concerned with the commentary on Vergil’s Eclogues and Georgics known as Bern scholia and with the augmented version of Servius’ commentary on the whole of Vergil known, after its first editor Pierre Daniel, as Seruius Danielis or DS scholia. Both commentaries were probably assembled in seventh-century (Insular?) scriptoria by anonymous compilers who resorted to pre-existing commentaries, but almost all their extant witnesses date back to the Carolingian period. I am currently aiming to analyse the characters of the different versions of the Bern and DS scholia transmitted by each witness and to establish their genealogical relationships. On these grounds, I hope to shed some new light on the Carolingian engagement with the two commentaries.

Please do come in person! But if you cannot, here is a Zoom link to attend remotely:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 945 0337 3094
Passcode: 581504

All best wishes,
ETC Board

Violent Victorian Medievalism

Taylor Institution Library, 21st Nov-2 Dec 2022 and online

medievalism, n.

‘the reception, interpretation or recreation of the European Middle Ages in post-medieval cultures’

Louise D’Arcens, 2016

‘Violent Victorian Medievalism’ is an exhibition taking place at the Taylor Institution Library (21st November-2nd December 2022) and online. It tells part of the story of how ‘medieval’ often becomes synonymous with ‘violent’ in later responses to the Middle Ages by bringing together some of the Bodleian’s collection of Victorian and Edwardian English-language adaptations of the Nibelungenlied and related material. These publications are accompanied by eye-catching images, often focusing on some of the more violent aspects of the narrative.

The Nibelungenlied is the most famous medieval German version of a collection of heroic legends known also in various Scandinavian incarnations. It tells of the hero Siegfried, his courtship of the Burgundian princess, Kriemhild, and his involvement in facilitating the marriage between Kriemhild’s brother, King Gunther, and the warrior queen, Brünhild. Siegfried is subsequently betrayed and murdered by Gunther and Hagen, the king’s vassal. The widowed Kriemhild subsequently marries Etzel, King of the Huns, and engineers a catastrophic revenge, resulting in the complete annihilation of the Burgundian men.

Rediscovered in the eighteenth century, the Nibelungenlied was quickly acclaimed the German national epic, but over the course of the nineteenth century, various anglophone writers also identified it as their own cultural inheritance, based on a belief in a shared so-called Germanic ancestry. Particularly after the premiere of Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen, English-language adaptations proliferated, often illustrated, and many aimed at children. While – given the Nibelungenlied’s plot – references to violence are unavoidable in adaptations, it is striking how often editors or adapters chose to highlight these events in illustration.


Panel 1: Doomed Heroes

Here we see heroes who will not go on to triumph, whether they are to meet their deaths in a blaze of glory, or as a result of betrayal. Two images show Hagen’s cowardly murder of the great hero, Siegfried, whose strength and invulnerability mean that he can only be destroyed through deception. One image shows Hagen’s desperate and violent attempt to disprove a dreadful prophecy that all but one of the Burgundians are doomed, should they continue with their journey. The other images depict the Burgundian warriors, fighting unrelentingly in the face of certain death. This panel shows courage and pathos, bravery and treachery, and it tells a complex tale: Hagen is the aggressor in several of the images, yet one of the valiant warriors fighting against the odds in the others. 

The Nibelungenlied was viewed as the German national epic, but anglophone writers often also staked their own claims to it. The underdog’s struggle against immeasurable odds is a frequent feature of national narratives, including in this country, and we see here warriors depicted at their defining moment, characterised not necessarily by their virtues or achievements, but by their most desperate experiences.

Panel 2: Women and Violence

The chief architect of much of the violence in the Nibelungenlied is the beautiful Queen Kriemhild, seeking revenge for Siegfried’s death. This was a source of difficulty for many nineteenth-century adapters, who sought variously to make an example of her, to make excuses for her, or to rehabilitate her entirely. But even where there was an attempt to explain her actions, the temptation to depict her at her most transgressive – brandishing the decapitated head of her brother – was almost irresistible. And the scale of that transgression also gave illustrators licence to depict Kriemhild’s own violent death, with her final victim, Hagen, lying at her feet.

Kriemhild is not the only violent woman in the Nibelungen material. Her sister-in-law, Brünhild, who is a valkyrie in both Norse legend and Wagner’s Ring, was possessed of immense physical strength before her marriage, and children’s books in particular often include images of her with her spear. In contrast to Kriemhild, there is ultimately no direct victim of Brünhild’s violence, but the illustrators commonly show the fear of the male heroes, as they cower behind a shield, emphasising the threat offered by a physically strong woman.

Panel 3: Fantasy Violence

In this panel, we see the continuities between nineteenth-century medievalism and more recent medievalist fantasy material, particularly onscreen (e.g. Game of ThronesThe HobbitMerlinHarry Potter). Siegfried’s fight with the dragon takes place entirely off-stage in the Nibelungenlied, and it is only mentioned once or twice in passing. It is, though, far more prominent in other traditions, and its appeal to illustrators, especially of children’s adaptations, needs no explanation.

These versions for younger readers frequently avoid adapting, or fully adapting, the second half of the narrative, with its focus on brutal vengeance. This has the effect of rebalancing the story into one focused entirely on Siegfried’s heroics, with Kriemhild simply functioning as a mild and beautiful love interest. Such adaptations also tend to bring in material which is omitted from, or played down in, the Nibelungenlied itself. While Siegfried’s violent death prevents such adaptations from culminating in a traditionally child-friendly happy ending, their emphasis on fantasy elements like the dragon give them a fairy-tale quality which we recognise today.

Visit the digital exhibition

Sign up for the closing reception

Mary Boyle, November 2022

Medieval Matters: Week 3

Welcome to Week 3. Some timely advice from Alcuin for the stormy weather we had this weekend:

Hodie tempestas inminet, sed cras serenitas arridet
[Today a storm hangs over us, but tomorrow pleasant weather will smile upon us, Ep. 173]

I would like to draw particular attention to an especially pleasant event that will be smiling upon us this time next week, when we will be hosting the long-awaited termly OMS lecture / Astor Visiting Lecture by Prof. Ardis Butterfield. The lecture will take place on Monday 31 October, 5.15pm, in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty (St Cross Building). For full details, please see our blog post. This said, we are not fairweather Medievalists, and come rain or shine this week, there will be plenty of events and opportunities to enjoy. Please see below for everything happening this week:


  • Sign-ups Now Open for the Medieval Mystery Cycle! Just follow this link to propose a play and to join one of the highlights of the Oxford Medieval Studies calendar, which will be held on Saturday 22 April 2023 at St Edmund Hall. For full details on the kinds of play that you can put on and a wealth of inspiration from past years, see our blog post here.
  • OMS Small Grants Now Open: The TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies Programme invites applications for small grants to support conferences, workshops, and other forms of collaborative research activity organised by researchers at postgraduate (whether MSt or DPhil) or early-career level from across the Humanities Division at the University of Oxford. The activity should take place between the beginning of November 2022 and end of March 2023. The closing date for applications is Friday of Week 4 of Michaelmas Term = 4 November). Grants are normally in the region of £100–250. For full details, see our blog post here.
  • Meet your OMS Team 2022/23! Oxford’s medieval studies community continues to get bigger and better every year. This year we have our largest OMS team to date to help keep you informed about Medieval goings on in and around Oxford. To meet the team, please visit our blog post here.


Monday 24th October:

  • The Byzantine Graduate Seminar takes place at 12.30-2pm online via Zoom. This week’s speaker will be Joaquin Serrano (University of Edinburgh), The reliquary-cross of Saint Constantine and the military use of holy relics. To register, please contact the organiser at
  • The Medieval History Seminar takes place at 5pm in the Wharton Room, All Souls College and on Teams (Teams link here). This week’s speaker will be Ildar Garipzanov (Oslo), ‘Early Medieval Minuscule Texts: What, where, and why?‘. The Teams session can be accessed by logging in to Teams with your account and joining the group “Medieval History Research Seminar” (team code rmppucs). If you have any difficulties please email: 
  • The Old Norse Reading Group meets at 5.30-7.30pm. Please email Ashley Castelino ( to be added to the mailing list.

Tuesday 25th October:

  • The Medieval English Research Seminar takes place at 12.15pm in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty. This week’s speakers will be John Colley (Oxford), ‘Skelton and the Commonweal: Greek History in Quattrocento England’ Lucy Fleming  (Oxford), ‘ “A Racket at the Mill”: The Reeve’s Tale for a Century of Young Readers’. The paper will be followed by lunch with the speaker. All welcome.
  • The Governability across the medieval globe Discussion Group meets at 12:30 in the History Faculty. Everyone welcome, staff, students and researchers, of all historical periods. We encourage you to bring lunch along. This session we will be discussing ‘What is governability and how can we study it?’.
  • GLARE (Greek and Latin Reading Group) takes place at 4-5pm at Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College. Please meet at Jesus College Lodge. This week’s text will be Sophocles, Antigone. All welcome to attend any and all sessions. For more details and specific readings each week, or to be added to the mailing list, email or
  • The Medieval Church and Culture Seminar takes place at 5pm at Charles Wellbeloved Room, Harris Manchester College. The theme for this term is ‘Women’. This week’s speaker will be Philippa Byrne  (Somerville): Making Germans Sicilian in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Everyone is welcome at this informal and friendly graduate seminar.

Wednesday 26th October:

  • The Medieval German Graduate Seminar meets for a paper by Luise Morawetz on the ‘Hildebrandslied’ at 11:15am in Somerville College – ask at the Lodge for directions. If you want to be added to the medieval German mailing list, please contact Henrike Lähnemann.
  • The Codicology and the Material Book Seminar takes place at 1.30-3.30pm, in the Weston Library. Today’s seminar is on Paper & Parchment/Inks & Pigment. The seminar is open to all current Oxford students. To attend: email Please note that this takes place at 1.30pm, not at 2pm as previously advertised!
  • The Medieval Latin Document Reading Group meets on Teams at 4-5pm. We are currently focusing on medieval documents from New College’s archive as part of the cataloguing work being carried out there, so there will be a variety of hands, dates and types. A document is sent out in advance but homework is not expected. Contact Michael Stansfield ( for further details and the Teams link.
  • The Late Antique and Byzantine Seminar takes place at 5pm at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles. This week’s speaker will be Ine Jacobs (Oxford), The Byzantine Dark Ages at Stauropolis/Karia (FKA Aphrodisias).

Thursday 27th October:

  • The Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music will take place on Zoom at 5pm. This week’s speaker will be Laurie Stras (University of Southampton): Music, musicians, and community at the Florentine convent of San Matteo in Arcetri (1540-1630). If you are planning to attend a seminar this term, please register using this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. If you have questions, please just send me an email (
  •  The Launch of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Medieval Women’s Writing in the Global Middle Ages takes place at 5pm via Zoom. To celebrate the launch of this exciting volume, there will be a round table on Women’s Writing in the Global Middle Ages, featuring Diane Watt (University of Surrey), Ruth Lefevre (Palgrave), Michelle M. Sauer (University of North Dakota), Liz Herbert McAvoy (Swansea University), Ayoush Lazikani (University of Oxford), Kathryn Maude (American University of Beirut), Will Rogers (University of Louisiana at Monroe), and Alexandra Verini (Ashoka University). A Q&A will follow the roundtable. For full details, and to sign up, see the eventbrite page.
  • The Celtic Seminar will take place at 5.15pm via Zoom and The History of the Book Room, English Faculty. This week’s speaker will be Jon Morris (Caerdydd), ‘The interplay between social structures and language variation in Welsh-speaking communities‘. Please contact if you need a link.
  • At 9:20pm, the St Edmund Consort will sing Compline at Candlelight in the Norman Crypt under St-Peter-in-the-East, the library church of St Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane, featuring a hymn written in 1522 by Elisabeth Cruciger.

Friday 28th October:

  • The Medievalist Coffee Morning takes place at 10:30-11.30am in the Visiting Scholars Centre in the Weston Library (access via the Readers Entrance on Museum Road: straight ahead and up two floors!).
  • The Anglo-Norman Reading Group meets at 5-6.30pm at St Hilda’s College, in the Julia Mann Room. The text will be extracts from the Chronicle of Langtoft; pdf will be provided. For access to the text and further information, please email: or

Finally, here is some parting wisdom from Alcuin to keep in mind as you venture around town this week:

Non sis harundo agitata, non flos aura tempestatis decidens
[Do not be a reed shaken by the wind, a flower blown down by the storm, Ep. 72]

I interpret this to mean: be careful of your umbrella choice when navigating Oxford in the autumn winds!! In less literal understanding: don’t give up if you hit stormy seas in your research. Wishing you a week of sunny skies both literally and metaphorically.

[Medievalist struggles with an umbrella whilst on the way to the library]
Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian Library MS. Ashmole 1511, f. 19 r.
Viewable in full at Digital Bodleian

OMCN lectures now online

Trinity Term 2022 saw a lecture series at Christ Church on the medieval commentary tradition, organised by the Oxford Medieval Commentary Network. Video recordings of the lectures by Madalena Brito, Maria Czepiel, and Zachary Giuliano are now available to watch online, along with an extensive video archive of papers from last year’s OMCN workshop.

The CfP for the upcoming OMCN conference on 29 September is still open.

CfP: Oxford Medieval Commentary Network: Second Conference, 29 September 2022

Proposals are invited for the second conference organised by the Oxford Medieval Commentary Network, following the successful launch of the Network last year. The one-day conference will take place at Christ Church, Oxford on 29 September 2022.

The Oxford Medieval Commentary Network is a multi-disciplinary network for research and discussion of medieval commentary culture and its long afterlife. OMCN aims to bring together research on traditional forms of commentary as well as research on commentaries in a broader sense, including interpretations of texts through visual art, performance, music, and drama. OMCN seeks to establish a conversation between scholars from a range of disciplines working on different languages and geographical areas. This includes the medieval period and post-medieval responses to the commentary tradition. The longer-term objective for OMCN is to become a nexus of research and discussion of medieval commentary culture and its expression in various textual and artistic forms. The network is open to everyone with an interest in these topics.

Proposals are invited for presentations of 15 minutes on all aspects of the medieval commentary tradition and its post-medieval responses. Topics can include, but are not limited to, biblical interpretation, commentaries on classical texts, forms of commentary, textual criticism, interplay between Latin and the vernacular, etc. Please submit your title and abstract (150-200 words) by 31 July 2022 via this form. If you wish to attend without giving a paper, please sign up via the same form, by 31 August 2022. The workshop is free for all participants and will include a sandwich lunch and wine reception.

For further information, see, or contact Dr Cosima Gillhammer, cosima.gillhammer [at]

Public Lecture – Christine de Pizan

The Oxford Medieval Society is pleased to announce a public lecture by Dr Charlotte Cooper-Davis on Thursday 9th June 2022.

Dr Cooper-Davis will speak on the topic of “Christine de Pizan: Guilty Feminist?”.

The lecture will take place in the New Seminar Room in St. John’s College, 13:00-14.30.

About the speaker: Dr Charlotte Cooper-Davis is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, and the author of Christine de Pizan: Life, Works, Legacy (Reaktion Press, 2021). Her DPhil thesis explored text-image relations in de Pizan’s works, and a resulting monograph is currently under contract with ARC Humanities Press.

Please direct any queries to

Image credit: British Library MS Harley 4431, f.259v (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Medicine and Healing: The 18th Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference

The 2022 Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference organising committee is pleased to announce the programme for Medicine and Healing.

Medicine and Healing: The 18th Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference

21st-22nd April, online and in-person at Ertegun House, St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LD.

Sponsored by the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme in the Humanities, Oxford Medieval Studies, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature.

Organising Committee: Katherine Beard, Ashley Castelino, Corinne Clark, James Cogbill, Nia Moseley-Roberts, Diana Myers, Grace O’Duffy, Caleb Prus and Eugenia Vorobeva.

To register for online or in-person attendance, please visit our website.



9:30-9:55 Registration (in-person)

9:55-10:00 Opening Remarks

10:00-11:30 Session 1: Charmed (chair: Katherine Beard)

  • Grace Pyles, ‘The Medicinal Unicorn Horn in the European Middle Ages’
  • Emer Kavanagh, ‘Shape and Form: The Use of Sympathetic Magic in Irish Charming Tradition’
  • Radka Pallová, ‘Humane Treatment? Animal Bodies in Alexander of Tralles’

11:30-12:00 Break with refreshments

12:00-13:30 Session 2: Call the Midwife (chair: Diana Myers)

  • Ailie Westbrook, ‘‘Mulieribus non est dicendum’: Mediated Knowledge in Women’s Health in Medieval Denmark’
  • Shir Blum, ‘Appositusque Iuvat Mulierem Parturientem: the Material Variety of Amulets as Obstetrical Aides’
  • Rachel Chenault, ‘Experiencing Childbirth: The Search for Female Voices, 1000-1200 C.E.’

13:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30-15:30 Session 3: The Seventh Seal (chair: James Cogbill)

  • Ben Hatchett, ‘‘A suitable medicine against all crimes’: John of Rupescissa’s Purgative Plague’
  • Stephen Pow, ‘Was Bubonic Plague behind the Epidemic that Affected the Mongol Army in China in 1259?’

15:30-16:00 Break with refreshments

16:00-17:00 Keynote Address 1

  • Dr Hannah Bower, ‘Locating Authority in Medieval Medical Writing: Playing with Presence and Absence’

17:00 Drinks Reception

19:00 Conference Dinner (optional)


9:30-10:15 Medicine & Healing at Oxford: Manuscript & Social Session (with refreshments)

10:15-11:15 Session 4: Being Human (chair: Caleb Prus)

  • Melanie Socrates, ‘Impatient Medicine: Agency and Urgency in Middle English Medical Works’
  • S. Doğan Karakelle, ‘Knowing Horses and Thyself: Spiritual Healing and Rulership Practices in Ottoman-Turkish Veterinary Manuals 1400-1600’

11:15-11:45 Break with refreshments

11:45-13:15 Session 5: Inside Out (chair: Corinne Clark)

  • Ruth Rimmer, ‘Healing Through Lists in Lacnunga
  • Colette Sarjano Utama McDonald, ‘A Stitch Through Time: the Besloten Hofjes at Mechelen, Alberto Burri, and Judith Scott’
  • Madeleine Killacky, ‘Challenging the Monopoly of 16th-Century Anatomical Knowledge through Pop-up Paper Figures’

13:15-14:15 Lunch

14:15-15:45 Session 6: Sister Act (chair: Eugenia Vorobeva)

  • Magdalena Buszka, ‘Saint Barbara of Medieval French Mystery Plays – Healer of Bodies and Souls’
  • Hólmfríður Sveinsdóttir, ‘The Use of Lead Tablets and Anatomical Votives in Medieval Healing Practices: Case studies from the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo’

15:45-16:15 Break with refreshments

16:15-17:15 Keynote Address 2

  • Professor Emilie Savage-Smith, ‘Modern Myths and Medieval Medicine’

17:15-17:20 Closing Remarks

Image: Medieval dentistry, from the fourteenth-century Omne Bonum of James le Palmer (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

The Lyell Lectures 2022: From Memory to Written Record: English Liturgical Books and Musical Notations, 900–1150

You can book to attend the lectures in person or watch Lecture 1 live online. Click here to register.

3 May 2022, 5–6pm (BST)
Lecture 1: Sound and its Capture in Anglo-Saxon England

5 May 2022, 5–6pm (BST)
Lecture 2: Lecture 2: A Community of Scribes at Worcester

10 May 2022, 5–6pm (BST)
Lecture 3: St Augustine’s and Christchurch, 950–1091

12 May 2022, 5–6pm (BST)
Lecture 4: From Neumes in campo aperto to Neumes on Lines (at Christchurch, Canterbury)

17 May 2022, 5–6pm (BST)
Lecture 5: Assimilation or change? Normans at Winchester

Booking information


Registration is essential for attending in person at the Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. 

Booking is for the whole series, for the sake of simplicity. Your booking entitles you to attend as many lectures in the series as you are able.

View our guidance about attending in-person events in the Lecture Theatre.


An alternative way to see Lecture 1 in the series is online via livestream. Registration is required. 

All lectures will be available as recordings after the conclusion of the series.