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Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Tasso Revised Version (1)

In GC 2: 53 ff, in an episode that Gerusalemme Liberata didn't report, Christians are forced to leave Jerusalem. In marching towards the Crusaders' encampment, they pray and recite some Psalms, of which Tasso provides a personal translation into Italian -- based on the Latin Vulgate version; during the Renaissance, Christian scholars and philosophers rediscovered Hebrew, but Tasso wasn't among those who knew this language, as far as I can say.

As an example, we'll examine Psalm 15, or Psalm 14 according to the numbering in the ancient Greek version - the LXX - that was then followed by Latin Christian Bibles. Tasso modifies the text so as to make it fit the narrative, with very interesting additions and changes. But, for a starter, here's Psalm 14 / 15 in the classic King James Version and in a modern rendition, the New International Version:

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
He that walketh uprightly,
and worketh righteousness,
and speaketh the truth in his heart.
He that backbiteth not with his tongue,
nor doeth evil to his neighbour,
nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned;
but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.
He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his money to usury,
nor taketh reward against the innocent.
He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken.