Reading between the lines in early medieval England: Old English interlinear glosses

It’s pretty much as cool as it sounds: check out the homepage of the Dutch Anglo-Saxonist Thijs Porck, for all manner of A-S stuff: in depth academic work, more “popular” pieces on Tolkien & the like, & much more.

Dutch Anglo-Saxonist

A great portion of the extant Old English corpus survives between the lines of Latin manuscripts, as interlinear glosses. Generally, these glosses provide a simple word-for-word Old English translation of the Latin text in order to aid the reader, but various alternative glossing methods existed.  This blog post takes a look at what could be read between the lines in early medieval English manuscripts. 

Save me, Lord: A simple word-for-word gloss in The Vespasian Psalter

Glosses.WordForWord

This beautiful page from the eighth-century Vespasian Psalter shows the opening lines of Psalm 68. A careful look at the words SALVUM ME reveals a great number of animals hiding out among these letters (animals often feature in such illustrated capitals; for another example see my blog on A medieval manuscript ransomed from Vikings: The Stockholm Codex Aureus ). More interesting, linguistically speaking, are the little words written above the Latin: Old English glosses, that…

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