The Glossa ordinaria was the main exegetical instrument by which the Bible was taught and studied during the Middle Ages, a resource whose influence began in the early twelfth and remained perceptible in theological writing beyond the sixteenth century. For much of its modern history, the sheer scale, range, and ubiquity of the Glossa has deterred scholars from sustained study of its origins and development, its reception. However, the recent growth of studies devoted to the Laon--Paris teaching milieu in which the Glossa was central has altered the scholarly landscape.
This volume, like the series of which it is part, hopes to contribute to this development by providing the first textual and historical analysis of the earliest written version of the glossed Ecclesiastes. The edition and the historical study that prefaces it offer a glimpse into how medieval theologians grappled with this most abstruse and provocative biblical text in a new format that was gaining increasing currency. Together they reveal the ways in which the Book of Ecclesiastes became the fixed point at which fundamental figures and movements of patristic, medieval, and early modern teaching and learning converged.