Book Series Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis, vol. 206A

Anonymus, Petrus Abaelardus

Glossae super Peri hermeneias II

Glossae "Doctrinae sermonum"; De propositionibus modalibus

Peter King, Klaus Jacobi, Christian Strub (eds)

  • Pages: 274 p.
  • Size:155 x 245 mm
  • Language(s):Latin, English
  • Publication Year:2017

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55468-6
  • Hardback
  • Available


"Before Abelard turned to the study of theology he was an influential teacher of logic. His glosses on On interpretation analysed statement-making sentences and may first have been written up in about 1118–1120, after he had become a monk, and later expanded during the 1120s and 1130s when he had also become a highly controversial teacher of theology. The present volume is a supplement to the volume containing those glosses (CC CM, 206) and provides for the first time complete editions of two anonymous texts, themselves incomplete, stemming from the milieu in which Abelard’s work was studied and disputed. (...) An electronic version of an Index verborum et rerum to the Glossae will become accessible at and will support further specialised studies of language and logic in the world in which medieval scholasticism was taking shape." (David Luscombe, in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 69, 2018, p. 133-134)


Klaus Jacobi is Professor emeritus of Philosophy, Freiburg i. Br. His main field of research is ancient and medieval philosophy.

Peter King is Professor of Philosophy and of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. His research has primarily been in medieval philosophy.


The twelfth-century anonymous Glossae "Doctrinae sermonum" presents a commentary on Aristotle's Peri hermeneias that makes extensive use of Peter Abaelard's own commentary, as well as drawing on other contemporary sources. In addition to its historical value - the author apparently made use of an earlier version of Abaelard's commentary than we now possess - it is of philosophical interest in its own right. The author offers his own theory of true and false understandings, criticizing the theory put forward by Abaelard, and offers his own analysis of modal logic. The text is a "mixed commentary" since it combines careful exegesis of Aristotle with independent self-contained analyses of philosophical issues raised by Aristotle's text. In covering the Peri hermeneias, the Glossae "Doctrinae sermonum" deals with issues in philosophical semantics, the philosophy of mind, and logic in both its assertoric and modal forms.

The text of Peter Abelard's Glossae super Peri hermeneias (see CC CM, 206) is transmitted completely only in manuscript B (Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, lat. fol 624). In manuscript A (Milano, Biblioteca Ambrosiana M 63 sup.) the scribe breaks off in the middle of the extended analysis of modal propositions, which precedes the commentary to Chapter XII. After a few empty lines there follows an independent short treatise on modalities, which certainly is not a work of Abelard. The text shows that the theory of modal propositions was of great interest not only for Abelard, but for a wider circle of philosophers in the twelfth century as well.


Anonymus — De propositionibus modalibus — ed. K. Jacobi, Ch. Strub

Anonymus — Glossae 'Doctrinae sermonum' — ed. P. King