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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a school of jurists of the 11-13th centuries at the University of Bologna in Italy. The remarks inscribed by the glossators in the margins and between the lines of texts that they were studying were called glosses (hence the term “glossator”).

The glossators revived—at first for teaching purposes and later for practical application as well—the classical Roman law, mainly the Code of Justinian. The founder of the glossator school, Irnerius, was the first to separate Roman law from the general rhetoric curriculum and teach it as a separate subject, not in excerpts but in full. The glossator school is represented by Bulgarus, Martinus, Hugo, Azo, Jacobus, and Accursius, who systematized his predecessors’ work in a single compendium of glosses, the Glossa ordinaria. The glossators did not understand the historical limitation of legal institutions, considering Roman law outside time and above the state (ratio scripta—written reason). With their explications they promoted the imperial policies of the German emperors and the increase of feudal exploitation. At the same time, because of the secular character of the argumentation, the comprehensive, meticulous comparisons of legal norms, and the extensive use of juridical concepts and categories, the glossators laid the foundation of juridical science and culture, which had been almost completely lost since the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The glossators were the first to envisage the acceptance of Roman law by Western Europe, and by their activity they facilitated its development. Their labors served as the foundation of later commentary on the Roman law by the postglossators and legists.


Sauvigny, F. K. O rimskom prave v srednie veka [iz soch.]. St. Petersburg, 1838. (Translated from German.)
Dernburg, H. Pandekty, vols. 1-3. Moscow-St. Petersburg, 1906-11. (Translated from German.)
Muromtsev, S. A. Retseptsiia rimskogo prava na Zapade. Moscow, 1886.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(24.) For the glossator tombs, see Josef Deer, The Dynastic Porphyry Tombs of the Norman Period in Sicily, trans.
Thus, the glossator's notes that provide information about the authors of songs may be incorrect, and furthermore they may reflect "a European preoccupation with authorship" (98).
By analysing the glosses of the Satires with such clarity and care, Reynolds uncovers the thought processes behind the glossators' work and reveals much about their expectations of their pupils' abilities at any given stage in the educational programme.
In order to explain why OE hoeden would have come up in the mind of the glossator while rendering L mastruca we need to look at the original context of the lemma, an approach which has proven to be fundamental to the understanding of many other Old English glosses.
If glossators' comments on Boethius were fair game for insertion into a translation of the Consolation, then surely clarifying passages from the Liber consolationis would have been equally fair game for insertion into the Melibee, were Chaucer interested only in writing another translation-as-interpretation.
Indeed, she suggests--the verb is the one she herself cautiously uses--"that the Aldhelm glossators [notably in the Brussels manuscript of the prose De virginitate of Aldhelm], the Royal [Psalter] Glossator and the translator of the Rule [i.e., probably Aethelwold] shared some stylistic predilections (such as a flair for striking and brilliant neologisms) and a similar scholarly disposition (in their constant resort to standard reference works)." Furthermore, she has "singled out Aldhelm's prose as an important stylistic force in the shaping of the attitude towards the vernacular which is revealed in the Royal Psalter gloss and (to some extent) in the Rule" (184).
As Howlett notes, the 'polyglot' glossary in Norfolk Rolls 81 'illustrates the glossator's range of interests in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, and French, in etymology, orthography, accidence, grammatical gender, generic and numerical distinctions of sense, and distinction of homophones and homographs...' (86); it is also 'one of the oldest glossaries yet known to have been written in both French and English' (87).
Little research, however, has been done on the glossator's art of transmitting one language int o another.
Usually it is the general that glosses the specific, not the other way around (sometimes a glossator will indicate that a general has been used for a particular, but that situation does not apply here).
He rightly argues that to hold out any hope of recapturing the vitality, the breathtaking economy, and the sheer audacity of Dante's style, the translator must jettison constraints which the academic glossator might hold as essential.