Medieval Monks



Medieval Monks in the news

Italian scientists give Dante a makeover 

AP via Yahoo! News - 52 minutes ago
Dante Alighieri, traditionally portrayed as a stern figure with a large hooked nose, is now showing a softer side, thanks to a reconstruction of his face by Italian scientists.
Missal not to be missed 
The Plain Dealer - Jan 11 2:35 AM
he scribe la bored long and hard to finish the great book. But as he dipped his quill into blue and red inks to write the holy words in Latin, he realized he was running out of room on a very important page.

Good, evil play a part 
Times Leader - Jan 05 12:17 AM
The monastery floor is littered with books, the brown robes are thin and flimsy, and – further proof that all is not well in “Incorruptible,” a dark comedy set in the Dark Ages – the monks are sniping at each other.

In Oxford, town and gown mingle happily 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jan 06 9:04 PM
OXFORD, England -- For nearly 1,000 years, Oxford has perfected the dual realities of town and gown -- busy commercial crossroads intermingled with the secluded quads and cloisters of its famous colleges.

- Medeival Monks

Here is an article on Medieval Monks.

For other uses of the term Gloss, see Gloss (disambiguation).

A gloss (from Koine Greek γλώσσα glossa, meaning 'tongue') is Medival Monks a note made in the margins or between the lines Medeival Monks of a book, in which the meaning of the text Medeval Monks in its original language is explained, sometimes in another language. As such, glosses can vary in Mediveal Monks thoroughness and complexity, from simple marginal notations of words one reader found difficult Medieal Monks or obscure, to entire interlinear translations of the original text and Meideval Monks cross references to similar passages.

A collection of glosses is a glossary (though glossary also means simply a collection of specialized terms with their meanings). A collection of medieval legal glosses, made by so called glossators, commenting legal texts, is called an apparatus. The compilation of glosses into glossaries was the beginning of lexicography, and the glossaries so compiled were in fact the first dictionaries.


  • 1 In theology
  • 2 In philology
  • 3 In linguistics
  • 4 In sociology

In theology

Glosses were a primary format used in medieval Biblical theology, and were studied and memorized almost upon their own merit, without regards to the author. Many times a Biblical passage was heavily associated with a particular gloss, whose truth was taken for granted by many theologians. This phenomenon occurred also in medieval law: the glosses on Roman law and Canon law created for many subjects standard starting points of reference, a socalled sedes materiae (literally: seat of the matter).

In philology

Glosses are of some importance in philology, especially if one language—usually, the language of the author of the gloss—has left few texts of its own. The Reichenau glosses, for example, gloss the Latin Vulgate Bible in an early form of one of the Romance languages, and as such give insight into late Vulgar Latin at a time when that language was not often written down. A series of glosses in the Old English language to Latin Bibles give us a running translation of Biblical texts in that language; see Old English Bible translations. Glosses of Christian religious texts are also important for our knowledge of Old Irish. Glosses frequently shed valuable light on the vocabulary of otherwise little attested languages; they are less reliable for syntax, because many times the glosses follow the word order of the original text, and translate its idioms literally.

In linguistics

In linguistics, a simple gloss in running text is usually indicated in single quotation marks, following the transcription of a foreign word. For example:

  • A Cossack longboat is called a chaika ‘seagull’.
  • The moose gains its name from the Algonquian mus or mooz (‘twig eater’).

A longer or more complex transcription requires an interlinear gloss. This is often placed between a text and its translation when it is important to understand the structure of the language being glossed. It has become standard to align the words and to gloss each morpheme separately. Grammatical terms are commonly abbreviated and printed in SMALL CAPITALS to keep them distinct from translations. Varying levels of analysis may be detailed. For example,

Lezgian (Haspelmath 1993: 207)

Gila abur-u-n ferma hamišaluǧ güǧüna amuqʼ-da-č
now they-OBL-GEN farm forever behind stay-FUT-NEG


Gila aburun ferma hamišaluǧ güǧüna amuqʼ-da-č
now their.OBL farm forever behind stay-will-not


Gila aburun ferma hamišaluǧ güǧüna amuqʼdač
now their farm forever behind won't.stay
Now their farm will not stay behind forever.

A semi-standardized set of parsing conventions and grammatical abbreviations is contained in the Leipzig Glossing Rules.

In sociology

Talcott Parsons used the word "gloss" to describe how mind constructs reality. We are taught how to "put the world together" by others who subscribe to a consensus reality — which many disciplines, Zen for example, strive to overcome. Studies have shown that our brains "filter" the data coming from our senses. This "filtering" is largely unconsciously created and determined by biology, cultural constructs including language, personal experience, belief systems, etcetera. Different cultures create different glosses.

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