Report a glossed manuscript

We need your help!

Because the range and number of manuscripts that may contain glosses is huge, we would like to enlist the aid of scholars who are working with Latin manuscripts for other purposes, especially those who are working with the commentary traditions of popular school texts. Our request for help assumes that you, the reporter, have limited interest and expertise in identifying syntactical glosses, but that you have expertise in the paleography of the manuscripts and the traditions of the texts with which you are working that surpasses what we can achieve for any individual item in a large survey. By reporting to ISGM the presence of glosses or suspected glosses with relevant contextual details about the date, origin, and provenance of your manuscript and, if possible, its glossing layer(s), you will help us to establish a working classification scheme for glosses and an overview of the distribution of glossing practices.

What to look for:

Keep an eye out for unexplained dots and squiggles. These may look identical to signes de renvoi; if you find signes without referents, you may have syntax marks, instead. Keep an eye (and a raking light) out for scratched glosses. Watch for word-glosses that don’t seem to bear any lexical relationship to single lemmata: they may be cuing something about the structure of the sentence. Look for single letters over the parts of a sentence, as in the header image of this site. On the basis of manuscripts analyzed so far, we would expect most syntactical glosses to be part of the original preparation of the manuscript, or part of a campaign of sustained glossing of various sorts, rather than spontaneous additions by later readers — but we want to hear about readers’ marks, too. We expect to find glosses in Latin manuscripts, but if you find glosses to a vernacular text, by all means let us know. For more details about what to look for, see the Examples page.

How to report: 

Use the form below, or send an email to Carin Ruff. At a minimum, please report the shelfmark of the manuscript, folio(s) on which suspected glosses occur, text being glossed (if known), and a brief description of what you are seeing that might be syntactical glosses. If the manuscript is digitized and online, please provide a link to the digitized manuscript. If the manuscript is not online but you have images you can share of the relevant folio(s), that would be tremendously helpful.

Thank you for your help! We will credit your contribution and report back with at least a provisional analysis of your glosses, and will stay in touch as our work progresses.