Endlicher’s glossary

  • Latin, Gaulish
  • prose

A short glossary of forms of ‘Gaulish’, mainly toponymic words and phrases, with Latin gloss. It is named for Stephan Endlicher, who discovered the longer version of the text and included an edition in his catalogue of manuscripts in the Imperial Library of Vienna (1836). It is generally thought to have been originally compiled in the 5th or 6th century, on the basis of multiple Latin sources. Because it was created long after the heyday of Gaulish as a living language, it has provoked much discussion about its value and reliability as a source for the study of Gaulish. Alderik Blom has argued that to the compiler(s), the language used was not Gaulish in the modern linguistic sense, distinct from Gallo-Romance, but rather a historical-toponymic version of the native vernacular (lingua gallica).

Endlicher’s glossary

It is alternatively known as the Vienna glossary. 

First words (prose)
  • Lugduno: desiderato monte

A. Blom lists the following witnesses below. Many of them are found at the end of, or in association with, a copy of the Notitia Galliarum

De nominibus Gallicis: long version of the glossary

The version printed by Endlicher.

f. 189v
rubric: ‘De nominibus Gallicis’
beg. ‘Lugduno: desiderato monte’
List of 17 words with Latin gloss.

De uerbis Gallicis, the shorter version, group A

Witnesses dating between the 8th and 10th centuries.

Freiburg im Breisgau, Universitätsbibliothek, MS 8
f. 2r–v
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 4808
f. 79v
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 1451
f. 25r
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3838
f. 3r–v
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 4859
f. 1r

Fragment containing the entry for elenchus.

De uerbis Gallicis, short version, group B

Witnesses dating from the later medieval period, between the 14th and 15th centuries.

Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Plut. 30.21
f. 36r
Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Edili 168
f. 81r
Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Ashburnham 897
f. 182r
Leiden, University Library, MS VLQ 124
f. 49 v
Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. lat. 4496
f. 55v
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS 3190
f. 12v
  • Latin Gaulish
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Related: Notitia GalliarumNotitia Galliarum

Late antique register of the 17 Roman provinces of Gaul and their metropolitan cities and civitates, along with a number of castra and a single harbour (portus). The original text is thought to have been compiled in the late 4th or early 5th century. The text was widely copied during the early middle ages.



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Long version from the Vienna MS.
Short version in Albi MS 29, f. 62v.


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Blom, Alderik H., “Endlicher’s glossary”, Études Celtiques 37 (2011): 159–181.  
[FR] Édition nouvelle et étude globale du glossaire gaulois-latin découvert au début du XIXe siècle par le bibliothécaire de Vienne, Endlicher. L’auteur examine les textes qui accompagnent les deux versions du glossaire dans les manuscrits : ce sont principalement des listes de noms géographiques. Après une édition des deux versions, l’auteur livre des notes philologiques destinées à préciser la provenance géographique et les sources les plus probables. Concernant Lugudunum . i. desideratum montem, l’auteur apporte des modifications à la théorie de W. Meid, qui attribuait cette interprétation à une prononciation germanique, conduisant à la confusion avec des mots de la famille de l’angl. love. En fait, l’évolution de Lugu-vers luwu-caractérise autant le roman tardif que le germanique, et la confusion avec celui-ci, si elle s’est produite, est en direction du germanique des deux rives de la Mer du Nord, angl. love ou frison luve. L’influence germanique se marque aussi dans le sens de «montem » prêté à dunum, et dans l’emploi du mot bigardio, auquel il faut comparer, plutôt que le gotique, le toponyme flamand Bijgaarden. Il semble donc que le compilateur parlait une langue germanique de l’Ouest – ce qui est peu éloigné du lieu de provenance du manuscrit de la version longue, Saint-Amand. Concernant les sources, l’auteur décèle avec certitude une utilisation de l’Histoire des Francs de Grégoire de Tours : brio et treide sont tirés d’un toponyme Briotreide cité par cet auteur (HF X, 31). Le même texte a pu fournir les gloses concernant lautro (cf. Louolautro), auallo et onno.

[EN] New edition and general study of the Gaulish-Latin Glossary discovered at the beginning of the XIXth century by the librarian in Vienna, Endlicher. The author analyses the texts accompanying the two versions of the glossary in the manuscripts, mostly lists of geographical names. After an edition of the two versions of the glossary, the author delivers philological notes intended to determine the site of birth, and the most probable sources of the glossary. Concerning Lugudunum . i. desideratum montem, the authors modifies W. Meid ‘ s theory explaining this meaning by a Germanic pronunciation, leading to a confusion with Germanic words such as Engl. love. Actually the evolution of Lugu-into Luwu-is typical of late Romance as well as Germanic languages, and the confusion with these (if it took place) could have been made with the Germanic languages on both sides of the Northern Sea, Engl. love or Frisian luvu. A Germanic influence could also explain the meaning “ montem” given to dunum, and the use of the word bigardio, which should be compared to the Flemish Place-Name Bijgaarden, rather than to Gothic. The compiler was practicing a Western Germanic dialect, which is not very far from Saint-Amand, the place where the only manuscript of the longer version comes from. Concerning sources, the author has detected without any doubt the use of Historia Francorum by Gregory of Tours : brio et treide are taken from a toponym Briotreide quoted by this author (HF X, 31). The same text may have provided the glosses concerning lautro (cf. Louolautro), auallo and onno.
Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 37, 2011: <link>
[ed.] Lambert, Pierre-Yves, La langue gauloise: descriptions linguistique, commentaire d'inscriptions choisies, Paris: Éditions Errance, 1994.
[ed.] Mommsen, Theodor, Chronica minora saec. IV, V, VI, VII, vol. 1, MGH Scriptores. Auctores antiquissimi, 9, Berlin: Weidmann, 1892.
Digital MGH: <link> Internet Archive: <link>
[ed.] Endlicher, Stephan, Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Palatinae Vindobonensis, Vienna: F. Beck, 1836.
Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link> Digitale Sammlungen: <link> Digitale Sammlungen: View in Mirador

Editio princeps, based on the Vienna MS.

Secondary sources (select)

Toorians, Lauran, “Endlicher’s Glossary, an attempt to write its history”, in: Juan Luis García Alonso (ed.), Celtic and other languages in ancient Europe, 127, Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 2008. 153–184.
Blom, Alderik H., “lingua gallica, lingua celtica: Gaulish, Gallo-Latin, or Gallo-Romance?”, Keltische Forschungen 4 (2009): 7–54.
Blom, Alderik H., “Gallisch in de middeleeuwen? Over het glossarium van Endlicher”, Madoc: Tijdschrift over de Middeleeuwen 20–21 (2006): 12–18.
 : <link>
Luiselli, Bruno, “Il glossario gallo-latino di Endlicher: per la storia del rapporto linguistico celto-latino nella Gallia tardoantica”, in: Susanna Bonanni (ed.), Letterature comparate. Problemi e metodo: studi in onore di Ettore Paratore, 4 vols, vol. 2, Bologna: Pàtron Editore, 1981. 953–969.
Zimmer, Heinrich, “Keltische Studien 12. Endlichers Glossar, ein galloromanisches Denkmal des 5. Jahrhunderts”, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der indogermanischen Sprachen 32:2 (1893): 230–240.
Stokes, Whitley, “Note on Endlicher’s Gaulish glossary”, Transactions of the Philological Society 13 (1868–1869): 251–254.
HathiTrust: <link>

External links

Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
February 2023, last updated: June 2023