- Aug 2023
- Apr 2022
Concordances and indexes to authoritative texts are evidence of a new sense of the limitations of the florilegium, which seemed increasingly inadequate to the complexity of university teaching and preaching.
In the twelfth century Peter Comestor and Alan of Lille had “published” distinctiones, which listed alphabetically some words found in the Bible (action words, abstract words, and concrete words), along with expla-nations of their various allegorical meanings, as an aid to preachers in search of appropriate biblical passages on a theme.119
In a precursor to a full concordance of the Bible in 1247, Peter Comestor and Alan of Lille created their distinctiones in the twelfth century. Used as an aid to preachers looking for potential sermon themes, the compilation didn't include every word from the Bible, but instead listed important words including action words, and abstract and concrete words as well as allegorical meanings of words.
These “con-cordances” (called so at the time) offered an alphabetical index not of the words themselves but of the theological concepts found in the Bible (realia); in modern
parlance they were subject indexes.126
126 Théry (1935), 443n99.
Yeshiva teaching in the modern period famously relied on memorization of the most important texts, but a few medieval Hebrew manu-scripts from the twelfth or thirteenth centuries include examples of alphabetical lists of words with the biblical phrases in which they occurred, but without pre-cise locations in the Bible—presumably because the learned would know them.
Prior to concordances of the Christian Bible there are examples of Hebrew manuscripts in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that have lists of words and sentences or phrases in which they occurred. They didn't include exact locations with the presumption being that most scholars would know the texts well enough to quickly find them based on the phrases used.
Early concordances were later made unnecessary as tools as digital search could dramatically decrease the load. However these tools might miss the value found in the serendipity of searching through broad word lists.
Has anyone made a concordance search and display tool to automatically generate concordances of any particular texts? Do professional indexers use these? What might be the implications of overlapping concordances of seminal texts within the corpus linguistics space?
Fun tools like the Bible Munger now exist to play around with find and replace functionality. https://biblemunger.micahrl.com/munge
Online tools also have multi-translation versions that will show translational differences between the seemingly ever-growing number of English translations of the Bible.
Around 1230 the Dominicans of the house of St. Jacques in Paris started a project that was completed by 1247: each member of the team recorded the words he encountered in reading the Bible beginning with the letter (or first two letters) he had been assigned, along with a brief indi-cation of the context and a precise location. This version survives in twenty- two manuscripts, most from the thirteenth century, all of them plain and of small size for portability.
Started around 1230 and completed in 1247, a full concordance of the Bible was created by the Dominican house of St. Jacques in Paris. The group was broken up into word groups of one or two beginning letters and each member would then create an indication of the context and exact location of their assigned words as they encountered them. Twenty two small portable copies of the concordance exist from the thirteenth century. Eighty larger manuscript copies of a later version are extant from from roughly 1280 and 1330.
In a further sign that there was widespread interest in indexing the Bible, biblical concordances were developed independently in both Paris and England around the same time, although the English concordance was overshadowed by the Parisian one and survives only in a single, partial copy
The first concordances of the Bible were created in the middle of the eleventh century independently by groups in England and Paris. The Parisian version became more widespread while there is only one partial extant copy of the English one.
the biblical concordances that indexed every word in the Holy Scriptures (the first one completed ca. 1247);
The first biblical concordance was completed in 1247.
When was the first biblical concordance completed? :: 1247 (anorak)
- Bible Munger
- find and replace
- Peter Comestor
- text editors
- bible translation
- thirteenth century
- Dominican Order
- Alan of Lille
- corpus linguistics
- Feb 2022
The idea of the index was invented twice in roughly 1230.
Once by Hugh of Saint-Cher in Paris as a concordance of the Bible. The notes towards creating it still exist in a variety of hands. The project, executed by a group of friars at the Dominican Friary of Saint-Jacques, listed 10,000 words and 129,000 locations.
The second version was invented by Robert Grosseteste in Oxford who used marginal marks to create a "grand table".
The article doesn't mention florilegium, but the head words from them must have been a likely precursor. The article does mention lectures and sermons being key in their invention.
<small><cite class='h-cite via'>ᔥ <span class='p-author h-card'>Aaron Davis</span> in 📑 Monks, a polymath and an invention made by two people at the same time. It’s all in the history of the index | Read Write Collect (<time class='dt-published'>02/15/2022 21:22:10</time>)</cite></small>
- Sep 2021