The main glosses to the Bible in the 12th and 13th Centuries: orientation note

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Since the Early Middle Ages, several glossed editions of the biblical text has been have been released, either of single books (specially the Psalms, the Canticle, Paul's Epistles) or of the whole Bible. Here are only mentioned the most widespread versions that influenced the religious culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance:

  • Gloss of the school of Laon (circa 1100-1130)
* old titles : Glosa, Glosa parva, Glosa Laonis
* modern title : Glose ordinaire

Il s'agit d'un travail anonyme, en partie mené par les maîtres de l'Ecole de Laon (Anselme, Raoul). Walafried Strabon is not the author of this Gloss. There is no critical edition of the full text. 
Nevertheless, see:

Full editions

  1. Biblia latina cum Glossa ordinaria, Adolph Rusch, 4 vol., editio princeps, Strasbourg, 1480/1481.
    [fac simile reprint, Brepols, 1992; reference edition ; the text is a late version of the Gloss of Laon, heavily interpolated with Peter Lombard's Gloss for the Psalms and Paul's Epistles (cf. infra)].
  2.  Glossa ordinaria, PL 113, 67-1316 ; PL 114, 9-752.
    [This edition does not reflect the medieval manuscripts. It is a modern edition, interpolated with addenda of unidentified origin, some of which may come from isolated manuscripts. It musn't be used to identify quotations by medieval authors.]
  •  Critical editions of single books
  1. Cant. : Glossa ordinaria. Pars 22 : in canticum canticorum, edidit Mary Dove, Brepols, Turhout, 1997 (Corpus christianorum. Continuatio medievalis, 170).
  2. Lam. / Thren. : Andree (Alexander), Gilbertus Universalis: Glossa Ordinaria in Lamentationes Ieremie Prophete: Prothemata et Liber I: A Critical Edition with an Introduction and a Translation, Stockholm, 2005 (Studia latina stockholmia, 11).


  • 1130-1140: Gilbert de Poitiers's Gloss to the Psalms and the Paul's Epistles
* old titles: Glosa, Glosa media, Glosa Giliberti

* modern title: Glose de Gilbert de Poitiers or de la Porrée

Critical edition in the making, under the supervision of Karlfried Froelich
  • 1150-1160: Peter Lombard's Gloss to the Psalms and the Paul's Epistles

* old titles: Glosa Lombardi, Magna Glosatura, Magna Glosa, Glosa ordinaria [in psalmos]
* modern title: Glose de Pierre Lombard

Diffused since 1160. Numerous ancient editions, the best of which is still the one published in 1541.


  1. In totum Psalterium commentarii […] per fratrem Richardum Cenomanum […], Parisiis, apud Poncetum Lepreux, sub Lupo, typis Joannis Lodoici Tiletani, 1541, in fol.
  2. In Psalmos davidicos commentarii, Patrologia latina, t. 191, 55-1296
    [same as n° 1, but with mistakes.]
  3. Collectanea in omnes D. Pauli apostoli epistolas, Patrologia latina, t. 191, 1297-1696; t. 192, 9-520.
  • 1232-1236 c.: Hugues de Saint-Cher, O.P., Postille in Bibliam
* old titles: Postille Hugonis prioris
* modern titles : Postille d'Hugues de Saint-Cher

This Gloss is ascribed, in the most ancient manuscripts, to Hugues de Saint-Cher.  Over the past few decades, it has sometimes been called the "dominican Postil", although this title should be  used only for the abridged anonymous version derived from Hugues's Postil (see below).

Several ancient editions. No critical edition ; see Ressources documentaires.

  • 1235-1240 c.: the dominican Postil to the Bible
* modern title: dominican Postil ; postille brève d'Hugues de Saint-Cher

Didactic Postil, composed partly from an abridged version of Hugues de Saint-Cher's Postil, and partly from new texts or pre-existent abridged texts.

  • 1280 c. : Nicolas de Gorran, O.P., Postille in Bibliam
More widespread in the Middle Ages than Hugues de Saint-cher's Postil, because it was more concise, but more difficult to identify because less original and heavily dependent from Hugues's Postil and the dominican Postil. No known edition.
  • 1325-1330 c. : Nicolas de Lyre, O.F.M., Postille in Bibliam

* sometimes called "glosa ordinaria" in the 14th and 15th Centuries

Several ancient editions. No critical edition.