Translating psalms from the Vulgate is in some ways a fool’s game.  They were composed in Hebrew and only translated into Latin centuries later with a “little” mediating help from the Septuagint.  It’s not like we are digging back to the original composer’s intent!  It’s also not an overly-ambitious Latin project, since I already know them pretty well in English and can “crutch” my way through any hard spot by consulting Knox or Douay-Rheims.

I was inspired to this project as a way to sift through the common prayers of the Divine Office, to virtually pray them for Lent, and to understand better the medieval authors who based all their spiritual writing off of them.  So the project is both historical and spiritual.

And translating is fun in itself!  This way I can stew over weird spots in the Latin and better appreciate real translators like the aforementioned Knox.

Here’s a list of the Psalms I have finished so far.  I’m torn between simple numbering, which is anachronistic but looks clean on the page, and the classical naming convention which makes things look a bit cluttered.  Somehow it seems very important to me to know the psalms by the names the Fathers knew them by, whether that be Greek or Latin.  Numbering is hopelessly modern.

Ah well, here they are:

From Lent 2017: 1 “Beatus Vir”, 2 “Quare fremuerunt”, 3 “Domine, quid multiplicati”, 4 “Cum invocarem”, 5 “Verba mea auribus”, 6 “Domine, ne in furore”, 7 “Domine Deus meus”, 8 “Domine, Deus noster”, 9 “Confitebor tibi, Domine”, 10 “In Domino confido”, 11 “Salvum me fac”, 12 “Usquequo, Domine”, 13 “Dixit insipiens”, 14 “Domine, quis habitabit”, 15 “Conserva me, Domine”, 16 “Exaudi, Domine, justitiam”, 17 “Diligam te, Domine”, 18 “Caeli enarrant”, 19 “Exaudiat te Dominus”, 20 “Domine, in virtute”, 21 “Deus, Deus meus”, 22 “Dominus regit me”, 23 “Domini est terra”, 24 “Ad te, Domine, levavi”, 25 “Judica me, Domine”

From Lent 2018: 26 “Dominus illuminatio”, 27 Ad te, Domine, clamabo”, 28 “Afferte Domino”, 29 “Exaltabo te, Domine”, 30 “In te, Domine, speravi”, 31 “Beati quorum”, 32 “Exsultati, justi”, 33 “Benedicam Dominum”, 34 “Judica, Domine, nocentes me”, 35 “Dixit injustus”, 36 “Noli aemulari”, 37 “Domine, ne in furore”, 38 “Dixi custodiam”, 39 “Exspectans exspectavi”, 40 “Beatus qui intelligit”, 41 “Quemadmodum desiderat”, 42 “Judica me, Deus”, 43 “Deus auribus nostris”, 44 “Eructavit cor meum”, 45 “Deus noster refugium”, 46 “Omnes gentes, plaudite”, 47 “Magnus Dominus”, 48 “Audite haec, omnes gentes”, 49 “Deus deorum”, 50 “Miserere”

From Lent 2019: 51 “Quid gloriaris”, 52 “Dixit insipiens”, 53 “Deus, in nomine tuo”, 54 “Exaudi, Deus”, 55 “Miserere mei, Deus”, 56 “Miserere mei, Deus”, 57 “Si vere utique”, 58 “Eripe me”, 59 “Deus, repulisti nos”, 60 “Exaudi, Deus”, 61 “Nonne Deo”, 62 “Deus Deus meus, ad te”, 63 “Exaudi Deus orationem”, 64 “Te decet”, 65 “Jubilate Deo”, 66 “Deus misereatur”, 67 “Exsurgat Deus”, 68 “Salvum me fac, Deus”, 69 “Deus in adjutorium”, 70 “In te, Domine”, 71 “Deus, judicium tuum”, 72 “Quam bonus Israel Deus”, 73 “Ut quid, Deus”, 74 “Confitebimur tibi”, 75 “Notus in Judaea”

From Lent 2020: Now this is getting too ambitious…

From Lent 2021: …and a monument to my mortality…

From Lent 2022: I guess this would be some kind of dedication.