While quill and ink were the writing implements of choice in the Anglo-Saxon scriptorium, other colouring and non-colouring writing implements were in active use, too. The stylus, among them, was used on an everyday basis both for taking notes in wax tablets and for several vital steps in the creation of manuscripts. Occasionally, the stylus or perhaps even small knives were used for writing short notes that were scratched in the parchment surface without ink. One particular type of such notes encountered in manuscripts are dry-point glosses, i.e. short explanatory remarks that provide a translation or a clue for a lexical or syntactic difficulty of the Latin text. The present study provides a comprehensive overview of the known corpus of dry-point glosses in Old English by cataloguing the 34 manuscripts that are currently known to contain such glosses. A first general descriptive analysis of the corpus of Old English dry-point glosses is provided and their difficult visual appearance is discussed with respect to the theoretical and practical implications for their future study.
Dieter Studer-Joho ist Archivleiter des Phonogrammarchivs der Universität Zürich.
„[T]his study does much with what it has, and hopefully opens the door for significantly more work to be done on dry-point glossing in the future as well as—by bringing attention to them—making the identification of such glosses more probable.“
The Year's Work in English Studies 98,1 (2019) / 17.04.20