The Glosas Emilianenses (Spanish for "glosses of [the monastery of Saint] Millán/Emilianus") are gloss (annotation), glosses written in the 10th or 11th century to a 9th-century Latin codex. These marginalia are important as early examples of writing in a form of Romance similar to Spanish language, Spanish, and in Basque language, Basque. The anonymous author is assumed to have been a monk at the monastery now known as Suso ("the upper one"), one of the twin monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla (now in La Rioja (autonomous community), La Rioja, Spain, then in the Kingdom of Navarre). He wrote about a thousand years ago in three languages: * A simplified version of Latin * The medieval form of a Iberian Romance languages, Hispanic Romance language (traditionally regarded as Castilian or Old Spanish, but now most often classified as Navarro-Aragonese or a related dialect); * Medieval Basque The latter two would have been the vernacular languages in the region surrounding the monastery, although there is a possibility that the author of the glosses was an incomer to the area. The Glosses were formerly considered to include the first instances of early Spanish. However, in November 2010, the Real Academia Española declared that the first appearances of written Spanish can be found in the Cartularies of Valpuesta, medieval documents in Latin from the Burgos (province), province of Burgos.

Latin text

The codex is a compilation of several codices, including ''Verba seniorum'', ''Passio martyrum Cosmae et Damiani'', ''Sermones beati Augustini''.

Location of the glosses

The codex is known as ''Aemilianensis 60'' (''Aemilianus'' is Latin for Emilian of Cogolla, Emilian, "Millán" or "Emilia (region of Italy), Emiliano" in modern Spanish language, Spanish) and was preserved in the monastery library at Yuso (the lower re-foundation of the monastery). Its significance was recognised in the early twentieth century when it was brought to the attention of the philologist Ramón Menéndez Pidal. The manuscript's current location since 1951 is the Real Academia de la Historia in Madrid. The original place where it was produced is uncertain (M. C. Díaz y Díaz proposes the Pyrenees) but it is often assumed to be San Millán.

Romance glosses

Some of the marginalia are grammar notes, others are additions and others, glosses. There is still some debate as to whether the Iberian Romance language of the glosses should be classed as an early form of Castilian or of Aragonese, although some recent studies show that most features belong indeed to the latter. It is not the only text to be difficult to classify: other texts traditionally assumed to be in Old Spanish, like the Kharjas, are proved to be in a different medieval Romance, Mozarabic language, Mozarabic, which happens to be classified along with Aragonese in a Pyrenean-Mozarabic group. Some scholars have proposed that it is anachronistic to classify such varieties of Ibero-Romance according to dialectal labels based on geographical particularism before the thirteenth century, leaving the Glosas to be understood as "in an unspecialized informal register of Ibero-Romance". However, should the Romance language of the glosses be classified, San Millán de la Cogolla's former reputation as the "birthplace of the Spanish language" was important in its designation as a World Heritage Site ("cultural" type) in 1997.

Text and translation

The longest gloss appears on page 72 of the manuscripts. The Spanish philologist Dámaso Alonso called this little prayer the "first cry of the Spanish language" (in Spanish: ''"el primer vagido de la lengua española"'').

Comparative table

Comparison of some words used in the glosses, along with their current corresponding forms in Aragonese, Spanish and Latin language. English translation provided.

Basque glosses

''Aemilianensis 60'' has been publicized as the earliest known codex with inscriptions in Basque, though other codices are posited. Only two of the glosses in ''Aemilianensis 60'' (of a total of about one thousand) are actually in Basque. ''Glosas en vascuence''
article by Juan Ángel Nieto Viguera on the Basque glosses
These short texts (only 6 words in total) can be seen on the 1974 plaque. However, it has been suggested that some of the Romance glosses reflect the influence of the Basque language, the implication being that their author was a fluent Basque-speaker.


See also

* Spanish language * Monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla * Navarro-Aragonese, Navarro-Aragonese dialect * Spanish literature, Early Spanish Literature and the Middle Ages * Basque language * Wikisource
Glosas Emilianenses
{{Authority control Earliest known manuscripts by language Spanish manuscripts Spanish literature Spanish language Basque language Riojan culture History of the Spanish language 9th-century manuscripts 10th-century manuscripts 11th-century manuscripts Christian manuscripts