The Bodley Glossaries: The Glossaries in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 730

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by
Claudio Cataldi

Publications of the Dictionary of Old English 11 • xii, 140 pp. • ISBN 978-0-88844-911-5 • Cloth • $90.00

Between the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries, scribes at the Cistercian abbey of Buildwas in the West Midlands copied four glossaries at the end of a manuscript containing the De institutis coenobiorum and Conlationes by John Cassian. These glossaries, preserved in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 730, offer precious evidence of the continuity of the Old English glossarial tradition well into the Middle English period. At the same time, in their Latin (and sometimes Greek) entries followed by Latin, Anglo-Norman, and English glosses, they bear witness to the multilingual environment of their time and place.

This volume presents the first full edition and comprehensive study of the Bodley Glossaries that adequately sets them in the history of medieval English lexicography. An introduction that analyzes the structure of the glossaries, their sources and analogues, their language, and their context, prefaces the edition. A complete textual apparatus and explanatory notes offering fresh interpretations, parallels to, and commentary on each entry succeed each glossary. Detailed indexes conclude the book.

Published for the Dictionary of Old English by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies


Claudio Cataldi earned his doctorate in English at the University of Bristol in 2018 with a dissertation on the theme of the “soul and body” in medieval English literature. His main research interests are in the field of Old and Early Middle English religious poetry, Old and Middle English glosses and glossaries, and Old Frisian literature. Educare alla salvezza, his edition, with commentary, of the Old English poems in Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 201, was published in 2021. Essays by him have appeared in diverse journals, including Anglia, Filologia Germanica – Germanic Philology, The Journal of English and Germanic Philology, and Notes & Queries.


“The four glossaries transmitted in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 730 are intriguing witnesses to the joint use of Latin, English and Anglo-Norman after the Norman Conquest of England. Dating from the early thirteenth century and originating in Buildwas Abbey in the West Midlands, they shed a fascinating light on the reuse and transformation of Anglo-Saxon linguistic material in the early Middle English period. Claudio Cataldi’s new edition makes available for the first time the complete text of these glossaries, along with a comprehensive discussion of the sources and analogues of entries. It will prove indispensable for future studies on English medieval glossography and to all readers interested in the transition from Old to Middle English and the multilingual milieu in post-Conquest England.” — Annina Seiler, University of Zurich


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