Glossa Ordinaria


The ''Glossa Ordinaria'', which is
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

for "Ordinary .e. in a standard formGloss", is a collection of biblical commentaries in the form of glosses. The glosses are drawn mostly from the
Church Fathers The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, div ...
, but the text was arranged by scholars during the twelfth century. The ''Gloss'' is called "ordinary" to distinguish it from other gloss commentaries. In origin, it is not a single coherent work, but a collection of independent commentaries which were revised over time. The ''Glossa ordinaria'' was a standard reference work into the Early Modern period, although it was supplemented by the Postills attributed to Hugh of St Cher and the commentaries of
Nicholas of Lyra Nicolas de Lyra __notoc__ 1479 260px, A page of ''Genesis'' in ''Postillae perpetuae...'' Basel, 1498: the first printed biblical exegesis: space has been left for a hand-lettered red initial (a ''rubric'') that was never added to this copy. N ...


Before the 20th century, this ''Glossa ordinaria'' was misattributed to
Walafrid Strabo Walafrid, alternatively spelt Walahfrid, surnamed Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. The father of Pompey was called " Pompeius Str ...
. The main impetus for the composition of the gloss came from the school of
Anselm of LaonAnselm often refers to Saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and Christian ...
(d. 1117) and his brother Ralph. Another scholar associated with Auxerre, Gilbert the Universal (d. 1134), is sometimes credited with the Gloss on much of the Old Testament, although only the gloss on Lamentations has been firmly attributed to him. The Gloss achieved a more-or-less standard form at Paris in the second half of the twelfth century.


The ''
Patrologia Latina The ''Patrologia Latina'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...
'', volumes 113 and 114, contain a version of the ''glossa'' which, as well as being misattributed to Strabo, represents a later manuscript tradition. There is currently available a
facsimile '', a famous illuminated manuscript An illuminated manuscript is a formally prepared document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the a ...
of the first printed edition of a ''glossa'', which was published at
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label= , Strossburi , gsw, label= , Strossburig ) is the and largest city of the of and the of the . Located at the with Germany in the historic region of , it is the prefecture of the . I ...

in 1480/1 which can be found here. There are now modern editions of the following books: Genesis (chps 1-3); Lamentations; Ecclesiastes; Song of Songs

Other works

It is a parallel tradition to the Jewish
Mikraot Gedolot The ''Mikraot Gedolot'' () "Great Scriptures," often called the " Rabbinic Bible" in English, is an edition of the Tanakh (in Hebrew) that generally includes four distinct elements: *The Biblical text according to the '' masorah'' in its letters, ...
. Many important works would also have their own ''glossa ordinaria,'' such as that of
Accursius __NOTOC__ Accursius (in Italian ''Accursio'' or ''Accorso di Bagnolo''; c. 11821263) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman p ...
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ambitious but only pa ...
's ''Corpus'' or that of
Johannes Teutonicus Zemeke Johannes Teutonicus Zemeke (died 1245), also Joannes Simeca Teutonicus and John Zimeke, was a Decretist glossator, best known for his glosses on Gratian's Decretum Gratiani, ''Decretum'' in collaboration with Bartholomew of Brescia. He also is known ...
Bartholomew of Brescia Bartholomew of Brescia (b. probably in the second half of the 12th century at Brescia Brescia (; lmo, link=no, label= Lombard, Brèsa ; lat, Brixia; vec, Bressa) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative divis ...
of Gratian (jurist), Gratian.Baldwin, John W., ''The Scholastic Culture of the Middle Ages, 1000-1300, pp. 72-73


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * *Litteral, John (editor) and Van Der Pas, Sarah (translator) (2014). ''The Glossa Ordinaria, Epistles of St. John''. Ancient Bible Commentaries in English. Litteral's Christian Library Publications. . *Van Der Pas, Sarah (2015). ''The Glossa Ordinaria on Revelation: an English Translation''. Consolamini Commentary Series. .

External links

* Complete glossa ordinaria at
Catholic Encyclopedia: Scriptural Glosses
*''Glossa ordinaria'', ed. Jacques Paul Migne, Migne, Google Books facsimile:
vol. 1vol. 2
*''Glossa ordinaria'' vi
! This version of the Glossa is incomplete and is not representative of the medieval text. It is not suitable for scientific work. *Website providing resources about the ''Glossa Ordinaria'' and other glosses to the Bible
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