the art

"ond þe þæt selre geceos, ece rædas; oferhyda ne gym"

"choose what is better, the eternal wisdom; heed not the blinding pride"

Sunday, July 28, 2013

prima luce: at dawn

Englisc Songcraeft has focused my otherwise wandering attention span toward small but useful reflections on old literature.  But my poor website has been greatly impoverished by his creator's neglectful hand.  For a time, I even considered banishing the wretched thing into obscurity.  "DELETE" I used to chant, over its tearful screen.  There are reasons I cannot explain for retaining my frail and sorry website.  I will say that along the way it has provided some amusement, not always good spirited, to my friends and has sparked conversations that have, at least, helped me to reflect on the work.  From my wanderings and digressions, +grant robertson has found sufficient amusement for the both of us.

But if this website, this sad orphan, is going to remain, it needs to start doing its fair share around here; "earn its keep," as they say. So I have given it a goal, something to stay focused on and to work for.  Into the foreseeable future, Englisc Songcraeft will be dedicated to a new, and revised, english translation of Jerome's Vulgate (the NRETJV, if you will).  The desire is simple: a translation that is faithful to the original, but still graceful and, above all, enjoyable to read.  

For centuries after its production, the Vulgate captivated readers across languages and political boundaries.  But today, we encounter the Bible in one of two predominate contexts: 1) evangelically, that is, for spiritual or moral reasons, and 2) historically, in that we imagine and consider the circumstances of its origin.  Returning to Jerome will offer critical insight into the centuries following the fall of Rome and preceding the printing press. It was an era of immense change.  It saw the rise of the merchant class, the institutionalization of religion, and the birth of the nation state.  Latin remained the lingua franca for a millennium and the Vulgate stood at the core of the literary and cultural tradition.

I hope the project will be edifying for me, amusing to others and, if nothing else, interesting to read by a few.  I leave it up to the anonymous mass of the digital populace to render a verdict.


  1. Vielleicht ist die Vulgata fehlerhaft von Anfang an? Ich glaube, dass die übersetzt schlecht schon von hebreisch und griechisch ist, aber ist das nur mich.
    ....viel Glück und viel Spaß!

  2. Well, I guess it demands what one means by "fehlerhaft." In a sense, I am more interested in its subsequent reception than in its fidelity to the hebrew and greek.