While transcribing the Durham A.IV.19 collectar material, I ran across an interesting gloss by Aldred of 1 Cor. 13.13 (fol. 3v lines 1-2). The Latin with Old English gloss reads:
broð’ nv wvt’ wvnað lvfv hyht godes lvfv
Fratres nunc autem manent fides spes caritas
oðas v‘ mara wvt’ ðisra is broðer lvfv
tria haec. maior autem [h]orum est caritas.
“Brothers, now however remain faith, hope, love,
these three; the greater however of these is love.”
[The Pauline epistle readings in this section (Capitula for Septuagesima and Sexagensima) are all addressed Brothers.]
Aldred’s gloss begins with his usual word-for-word translation into Old English. But when he comes to faith, hope, and love, he initially glosses faith with lvfv (lufu, Mod. Eng. love), a gloss of Lat. fides he uses in five other instances in Durham A.IV.19, although he also uses lufu in its more normative OE association with Lat. amor, caritas, and dilectio. Bosworth and Toller’s dictionary show lufu only with the latter meaning, not as a gloss for faith.
However, after Aldred glosses hope (Lat. spes) with OE hyht, he glosses Lat. caritas with godes lvfv, God’s love, perhaps to distinguish it from faith/love. [He runs into a similar difficulty much later in the manuscript at fol. 44v10, with da mentibus nostris eandem fidei caritatisque uirtutem, where he glosses fidei caritatis with lvfv’ 7 godes lvfv.]
But on fol. 3v1-2, he does two other things to clarify matters.
Above the lvfv gloss of fides, he adds an alternative, vel gileafa, a more common rendering of faith or belief.
Then in the next line when he expresses the greater love, caritas is glossed brother-love (broðer lvfv), something not found elsewhere in his glosses.
This in essence constitutes a commentary gloss, raising several questions.
First, does Aldred understand lufu as meaning both faith and love, with some kind of shared overlap in meaning?
Second, was he glossing word-for-word so assiduously that he did not anticipate the obvious redundancy in offering love, hope, love? Certainly this line from 1 Cor. 13 would have been predictable to someone this familiar with the daily office readings.
Third, why make this distinction between God’s love and brother love in a passage that does not make such a distinction? Certainly the addition in these readings of “Fratres” invites the meaning of love as applied in a religious community.
Last, do these additions, of the vel gloss alternative geleafa and of God and brother to love, mean that Aldred had an audience? Was he perhaps conversing with someone about the passage while glossing?
For purposes of my fiction writing, I am imagining a novice nearby. Perhaps Aldred is asking the student how he would gloss it, then offers his alternatives while clarifying the verse as connecting God’s love to love for one another. Indeed, he might also go on to apply the meaning to their own community and relationships. They might not be a reformed monastic community, but the daily office readings as annotated here suggest that they applied the Benedictine Rule’s principles of love in their daily lives.