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LIBGLOSS Report Summary

Project ID: 263577
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

Final Report Summary - LIBGLOSS (The Liber glossarum. Edition of a Carolingian ecyclopaedia)

Aiming to replace the notoriously lacking edition provided by Lindsay (1926), the LibGloss project intended to give a complete online edition of the Liber glossarum (s. VII-VIII). Achieved in 2016, the project succeeded in providing an open access to this text, allowing multi research into it. The reader is granted a free reading of the text, whether in its entirety or in sections, but also a complete search on lemmas as well as on any word contained in any definition. The database also allows searching lists, namely lists of lemmas and lists of authors. This function is most important, since for the very first time one is now able to find in a few seconds all the occurrences of an author, whether quoted by the compilators of the Liber glossarum and/or identified by the editors as a source of the glossary. The result is a multi-research database, whose access is granted by an open website ( The Liber glossarum, which is the link between the encyclopaedic tradition inherited from the Antiquity and the medieval tradition of dictionaries, can now be explored within all its dimensions (text, sources, tags of the sources, symbols provided by the scribes), that made it a main tool for Carolingian scholars. Additionally, studies were conducted within the time of the project, producing a vast among of publications. Their main result is an accurate datation and localisation of the text itself: as previously suggested by Goetz against Lindsay, the Liber glossarum is not the first realisation of the Carolingian Renaissance, but the very last production of Visigothic Spain. It appears to be an anonymous outcome of three steps: the first one occurred in Seville when a lot of schedules were gathered as preparatory materials for Isidore of Seville’s works; the second one took place in Zaragoza under bishops Braulio and Taio (631-664), when these preparatory files, transferred to Zaragoza in 633, were remixed and increased, by adding about 20.000 extracts from Isidore’s own works, as well as breaking down every list of synonyms in order to create 15.000 more alphabetical entries; the final step might have taken place in Toledo under archbishop Julian († 690, who happens to be the last author used in the Liber glossarum), who might have added a smaller number of new entries, mainly borrowed from Visigothic poetry and consisting in definitions of grammatical figures. The Liber glossarum is thus a blend of quotations taken from Isidore’s works and Isidore’s sources. Furthermore, it has been brought to light that the appearance of the Liber glossarum in Northern France (s. IX) was deeply linked to the major influence of two main libraries / scriptoria, among which St Riquier, but more especially the great abbey of Reichenau. The link is clearly made, for instance, by the Hypomnesticon by a Pseudo Augustin, firstly used by Taio of Zaragoza and namely quoted by the Liber glossarum, as well as mentioned in the library catalogue of Reichenau (between 786 and 820).

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