Medieval philology comes to life in the fascinating universe of Las Glosas Emilianenses y Silenses. What linguistic secrets are hidden in these ancient manuscripts? Discover how an innovative project is unraveling the mysteries of ancient Spanish, offering a new perspective on our linguistic and cultural origins. From the San Millán de la Cogolla Foundation to the Royal Academies of History and Language, this journey will take you through centuries of history and knowledge.

The San Millán de la Cogolla Foundation and its International Spanish Language Research Center, Cilengua, have been driving a research project on Las Glosas Emilianenses y Silenses, under the direction of Don Claudio García Turza.

The fundamental contents of this work will be distributed in four volumes, published jointly with the State Agency of the Official State Gazette. They are these: Vol. I: the paleographic-critical edition and the translation of the basic Latin texts of Las Glosas Emilianenses and Silenses. Vol. II: the paleographic-critical edition of Las Glosas Emilianenses y Silenses together with its specifically philological analysis, followed by a complete linguistic study, including the pan-Romanesque documentation. This volume will be the protagonist of the project. Vol. III: a compilation of interdisciplinary studies (historical, paleographic, liturgical, etc.), essential for a full understanding of the glosses. Vol. IV: a monographic work dedicated to the edition and philological study of the Cono aIutorio prayer, the so-called “Glosa 89”, the most precious and precious pearl of the origins of Spanish. These four volumes are preceded by the elaboration of the facsimile of the Emilianense codex 60 (which contains the Emilianense Glosses).

On February 22, this research project was presented at the Royal Spanish Academy along with the two works already completed: vol. I and the facsimile of Em 60. The presentation ceremony was attended by Mr. Gonzalo Capellán, president of the Government of La Rioja and the San Millán de la Cogolla Foundation, and among other academics, Mr. Santiago Muñoz Machado, director of the Royal Spanish Academy , and Mrs. Carmen Iglesias Cano, director of the Royal Academy of History, in addition to García Turza himself.

The studies in volume I presented include, exactly, the paleographic-critical edition and the translation of the basic Latin texts of Las Glosas Emilianenses and Silenses by Professor José Carlos Martín-Iglesias and his linguistic study, which has carried out by Professor Maurilio Pérez González. Also included are two works closely related to the aforementioned basic Latin texts: the first publication of the transcription and the study of the renowned Homiliario Toledano of the ancient Hispanic liturgy, by Don Miguel Vivancos, as well as the transcription, critical apparatus, sources and study of the Emilian and Cordoba Penitentials, prepared by the professor and academic Don Juan Gil. 

Preceding all these works is a methodologically innovative study of sociolinguistics in long diachrony (5th to 9th centuries), on The genesis of Romance languages ​​in the 21st century, by Professor Michel Banniard (with translation by Professor César Hernández Alonso). . In short, he leads all the preceding works in defending the need to put into practice the method that in Cilengua is considered genuinely philological when it comes to conveniently analyzing the glosses and their Latin contexts. All of this illustrated with several samples adjusted to the selected approach.

The originality of this new edition and study of Las Glosas Emilianenses y Silenses lies precisely in following the aforementioned philological methodology; one that is specifically aimed at clarifying, interpreting and, above all, understanding the significant totality of each gloss and, note well, the respective Latin context in which it is found. For which it is necessary to approach the examination of Latin glosses and contexts from very diverse approaches (historical, paleographic, liturgical, etc., mentioned above), whose variety immediately surpasses merely linguistic issues. 

It should be noted that the editions and studies carried out to date on the glosses have not applied this method, which is essential to achieve a secure, and above all, meaningful, identification of each one of them. Likewise, they have not analyzed in depth the meaning of the Latin contexts, when their full understanding was precisely what moved the glossator to create the glosses. This has been the reason why the first volume of the project has focused on the edition and linguistic study of the basic Latin texts where the glosses appear.

It must always be taken into account that the monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla and Santo Domingo de Silos were distinguished precisely by the exceptional dedication of some monks of their respective desks to the activity of clarifying the meaning and meaning of many of the words, expressions and passages from Latin texts that, within the codices of their respective libraries, contained some type of difficulty in understanding for the less educated monks, since they did not correspond to expressions of the spoken language. In this sense, it seems fair to us to value the role played by its monks in this area of ​​early medieval philology, as we do in that of the Spanish language in the first stage of its history. Ultimately, both the unique glossary production, glosses and glossaries, as well as the outstanding contribution to the creation and systematization of the Spanish alphabet were a consequence of the indicated interest of some monks from San Millán and Silos to clarify the texts for their own use and, above all, to reveal its meaning thinking about his less prepared religious brothers.