Osbern of Gloucester

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Lexicographer, exegete; fl. c. 1150. Little is known about his life beyond the fact that he was born probably in the township of Pinnock in Gloucestershire, England, that he was a Benedictine at Gloucester under Abbot Hamelin (114879), and that he dedicated his commentary on Judges to Gilbert Foliot, who was then bishop of Hereford (114863). Although Osbern also wrote commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers and treatises on the Incarnation, Nativity, Passion, and Resurrection (none published), his most influential work remained his Liber derivationum (sometimes called Panormia ), which is to be assigned to the third quarter of the 12th century when Osbern was an old man. Set in an allegorical framework and arranged alphabetically with two sections to each letter, this dictionary of derivations, well equipped with testimonia from both ancient and medieval writers, entered the main stream of European learning, appearing in Bavaria and Austria before the end of the 12th century and becoming the main source for the glossary of huguccio of pisa (d. 1210).

Bibliography: Works. Liber derivationum, ed. a. mai, in Classicorum auctorum e Vaticanis codicibus editorum, 10 v. (Rome 182838), v.8. g. loewe, Corpus Glossariorum latinorum, ed. g. goetz, 7 v. (Leipzig 18881923) 1:196215, for description of work and reproduction of preface. Preface also in r. w. hunt, "The 'Lost' Preface to the Liber derivationum of Osbern of Gloucester," Mediaeval and Renaissance Studies 4 (1958) 267282. British Museum MS Bibl. Reg. 6DIX, for exegetical works. Biography. w. meyer, "Ueber Mai's Thesaurus novus latinitatis," Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 29 (1874) 179183, g. goetz, "Beiträge zur Geschichte der lateinischen Studien im Mittelalter," Berichte über die Verhandlungen der KöniglichSächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Philologisch-Historische Klasse 55 (1903) 121154. Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters 3:187190. É. pellegrin, "Un Manuscrit des Derivationes d'Osbern de Gloucester annoté par Pétrarque (Paris BN cod. lat. 7492)," Italia medioevale e umanistica 3 (1960) 263266.

[r. b. palmer]