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Geographical Lore in the Liber Glossarvm

  • M. L. W. Laistner (a1)


In the encyclopaedia portion of the Liber Glossarum the compiler introduced numerous historical and geographical excerpts of varying length. The writers from whose works the geographical extracts are primarily taken are Isidore, Orosius, and Eutropius; but though the compiler has in many cases appended the labels ESIDORI, PAVLI HOROSI, or simply OROSI, and EVTROPI to the entries, this is by no means always the case. A few of the excerpts are of great length; thus, the longest of all, Hispania (HI 233), which is labelled PAVLI HOROSI, SVLINI, OROSI, fills a whole column of the Paris MS. (P.). Other long geographical entries are IT 12 (Italia), GA 52–4 (Gallia Belgica, Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia), and RO 105–8 (Roma). The length of HI 233, coupled with the fact that the next entry (HI 234) fills half a column of P., and contains Isidore's remarks on Spain (Etym. 14, 4, 28–30), has been used as an argument by those scholars who maintain that the Liber Glossarum is the work of a Spanish compiler. To this the obvious retort would seem to be that the presence of three passages about Gaul might with equal justice be used to support the view that the compilation was made in France. Other evidence of a ‘Spanish hand’ in certain geographical items will be given below, but it is of such a character that it adds nothing to the evidence for the vexed question of provenance.



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page 49 note 1 Contains Oros. 1, 2, 69–72; Solin. 23, 1–3; Oros. 1, 2, 73–4; id. 5, 23, 16.

page 49 note 2 Labelled ESIDORI; it contains Etym. 14, 4, 18–9.

page 49 note 3 GA 52 (OROSI) contains Oros. 1, 2, 63; 53 (unlabelled)= id. 1, 2, 64–5; 54 (Esidori, ) contains Etym. 14 , 4, 25–7.

page 49 note 4 RO 105, labelled ESIDORI, but not in his works as they have come down to us; 106 Oros. 2, 4, 1–3; 107. A variant version of , Isid. Etym. 15 , 1, 1, and Eutr. 1, 1; 9, 15, though the item is only labelled ESIDORI. 108, , Isid. Etym. (with variations) 15 , 1, 55; 9, 4, 42.

page 49 note 5 In primis by Goetz; but from his latest work, C.G.L.I., published in 1922, it would seem that he has become doubtful about the Spanish origin of Lib. , Gloss, (cf. op. cit., p. 108) . His pupil , Wessner, however (ib., p. 331) , would still appear to be an uncompromising supporter of this theory.

page 49 note 6 For Vergil glosses in Abstrusa cf. , Thomson, St. Andrews Univ. Publ. XIII., pp. 46 sqq.

page 49 note 7 E.g. EN 66 ‘Enipeus: fluuium Thessali[u]ae,’ cf. Geo. 4, 368; and PA 312 ‘Pantagras (gias): fluuius in Sicilia qui ante Pantagrus (?) uoca-batur,’ cf. Serv. auct. ad Aen. 3, 689.

page 49 note 8 The latest investigation of Julius Honorius and his work is that of Kubitschek in Pauly-Wissowa-Kroll X. 1, coll. 614–28.

page 50 note 1 The two versions of the Cosmographia will the sequel be referred to as A and B, the Liber Glossarum version as L.G. The italics indicate in verbal agreement between L.G. and A. or B, or both.

page 51 note 1 , Cass. Instit. diu. script. 25. The passage is quoted in full by , Kubitschek (op. cit., coll. 617–8).

page 52 note 1 That the lemma is a gloss on , Ausonius, Parent. 7 , 2 (‘tellus Rutupina’), is quite unlikely; the case for Lucan is strengthened by taking the three glosses together; and, besides, Ausonius is not an author found in the ‘quotation’ glosses as Lucan is.

page 52 note 2 E.g. N.H. 3, 35 (‘amnis Varus ex Alpium monte Caenia profusus’); Mela, 2, 72; Florus, 1, 19, 4.

page 52 note 3 On this question cf. , Thomson, op. cit., p. 54 .

page 53 note 1 The thames must surely be meant.Apart in Gilldas, while favours Tamensis. from the classical writers, Thamesis occurs once

Geographical Lore in the Liber Glossarvm

  • M. L. W. Laistner (a1)


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