About the glosses

The St Gall Priscian (Stiftsbibliothek, ms 904) contains the Institutiones Grammaticae (Foundations of Grammar) by Priscian, a Latin grammarian based at Constantinople in the sixth century ad. This monumental treatise (c. 1,000 pages in the modern edition), completed c. 526/7, aims to synthesize much of the Greek and Latin grammatical traditions. The text was edited by Martin Hertz in Heinrich Keil (ed.), Grammatici Latini (6 vols, Leipzig, 1855–80), vols 2–3.

The manuscript was written in ad 850–1, probably in Ireland, and contains over 9,400 interlinear and marginal glosses, in addition to c. 4,000 construe marks (symbols to aid reading). More than one-third of these glosses were written in Old Irish, and as such constitute one of our most important corpora for that phase of the Irish language.

The Old Irish glosses were published in Whitley Stokes and John Strachan (eds), Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus (2 vols, London, 1901–1910), vol. 2, pp. 49–224. More recently, Rijcklof Hofman published roughly the first half of all of the glosses (Irish, Latin and symbols) in The Sankt Gall Priscian Commentary. Part 1 (2 vols, Münster, 1996).

The present digital edition presents the first complete transcription of all of the glosses, juxtaposed with the text of Priscian, and with links to images of the manuscript and other resources.

For a description of the manuscript, its sources, and an overview of the Irish Priscian gloss tradition, see the introduction to Rijcklof Hofman, Priscian Commentary, vol. 1. A bibliography to 1996 can be found in vol. 2 of the same work. A supplementary bibliography down to 2013 can be downloaded here: St Gall Priscian Bibliography 1996–2013.

A more general bibliography on Priscian is available at the Corpus Grammaticorum Latinorum website.