Friday, 24 May 2019
Marina Giani: Augustine as a source for early medieval glossography. Some remarks about the De civitate Dei extracts quoted in the Liberglossarum
The Liber Glossarum is an extensive encyclopedic glossary that was composed in the 7th-8th century, presumably by a team of compilers. It consists of approximately 55,000 entries, which are arranged in alphabetical order, and it is conceived as a gathering of human knowledge: its entries cover a broad diversity of fields, including artes liberales (especially grammatica), medicine, natural sciences etc. The sources include several Augustine’s works, among which the De civitate Dei is the most quoted. The paper aims to analyze the use of this treatise as a source for the glossary, by identifying the topics that arouse its compilers’ interest and describing the working method adopted for its exploitation. Moreover, it aims to investigate the relation between the Liber glossarum and the medieval tradition of De civitate Dei, by pinpointing the manuscripts which are (textually) the closest to the one(s) used by the Libe rglossarum compilers, in order to bring additional understanding on the origin of this glossary and to evaluate how reliable it is as an indirect witness, through which to restore the original text of Augustine.