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Chapter Summary

In a 1936 article, one of a groundbreaking series attempting to establish the origins of the Gloss, Beryl Smalley wryly observed, "The problem of authorship becomes more complicated the more one examines it". Johannes Trithemius, in the 1494 Basel edition of his De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis, attributed the authorship of the Gloss to Walafrid Strabo, ninth-century abbot of Reichenau and pupil of Rabanus Maurus. Trithemius' ascription of the Gloss to Strabo was not universally conceded in early printed editions of the Gloss. The preface to a 1495 Venice edition of the Gloss is more circumspect, and closer to the modern view. Smalley used Paris, Bibliothèque Mazarine, MS 76, but she also found notes in manuscripts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy from Buildwas abbey. The question of authorship is further obscured in a world where listening to oral teaching was still prized more highly than reading the written form of lectures.

Keywords: anonymous manuscripts; authorship; Beryl Smalley wryly; Gloss; Johannes Trithemius



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