Vetus Latina

Resource available to authorized IU Bloomington users (on or off campus)
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Bible versions of the Latin Fathers
Additional Information
From the Vetus Latina Institute: The Vetus Latina Institute was founded in Beuron in 1945 by the Benedictine monk Dom Bonifatius Fischer OSB († 1997). Its goal is the complete collection and critical edition of all surviving remnants of the Old Latin translations of the Bible from manuscripts and citations in ancient writers. Vetus Latina or "Old Latin Bible" is the collective title for the large and very diverse collection of Latin biblical texts used by Christian communities from the second century. Following the expansion and triumph of Christianity in the Roman Empire, Latin became increasingly used as a lingua franca in place of Greek, first in North Africa and then in Spain, England, Gaul and Germany. A diverse array of translations of the Bible appeared, frequently inaccurate and not controlled by any ecclesiastical authority. This flood of versions came to an end in the fourth century as one of them, later known as the Vulgate, gradually established itself in place of the others. By the Carolingian era, the variety of Old Latin texts had been completely superseded. In contrast [to the Vulgate] the Vetus Latina consists of all biblical texts translated from the Greek which do not correspond to the Vulgate. Most Old Latin versions have only been transmitted as fragments. Alongside the few manuscripts which have been preserved, covering an uneven selection of biblical books, the citations and allusions in Latin Church Fathers (and Christian writings in Greek which were translated into Latin at an early date) are an essential source for investigating the tradition. The citations of Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage († 258) provide a firm starting-point: the vocabulary and translation technique of the version used by Cyprian are clearly differentiated from later forms of text, attested in abundance from the fourth century onwards.
The database is updated as new citations are added to the collection.
Interlibrary Loan:
Not Permitted
Simultaneous User Limit:
Unlimited simultaneous users