BIBITA - Italian translations of the Bible

BIBITA - Italian translation of the Bible

Italian translations of the Bible (BIBITA)
Research launched with the support of the École Française de Rome (1992-1998).

As a prose tradition in vernacular languages took root, many attempts were made to translate sacred text, first and foremost the New Testament, into a language that would make it accessible even to those who were not educated. In Italy, between Tuscany and Veneto, vernacular versions of the Bible multiplied in the period from the 13th and 15th centuries. In fact, the first modern-language edition of the Bible was Italian (1471). While the print tradition has been studied in depth, there remain many uncertainties concerning the delineation of the preceding manuscript tradition, which has its origins in the 1200s.

The bibliography on the subject is limited and the number of existent translations is uncertain; neither the manuscripts that contain it, nor the relations between the various texts and the contexts in which they were conceived and accomplished are known with precision. It is a landscape that remains to be explored, highly interesting from many perspectives, having not only linguistic and literary qualities, but also spiritual, given the innovative value of the acceptance of the vernacular as a language of devotion. The project proposes to prepare a catalogue of all the manuscripts that constitute the medieval tradition of the Bible in Italian vernaculars, as a necessary premise to construct a repertory of the vernacularisations for each book of Scripture. Another contemporaneous goal is to promote critical editions of the main translations, together with the study of the connection between the witnesses, and linguistic analysis of the processes of translation.

contact Lino Leonardi


Director: Lino Leonardi, Jaques Dalarun (from 1992 to 1998).

Editorial Staff: Caterina Menichetti, Sara Natale.

Scientific Committee: Geneviève Brunel-Lobrichon, Carlo Delcorno, Domenico De Robertis (†), François Dolbeau, Gigliola Fragnito, Robert Godding, Guy Lobrichon, Enrico Menestò, Giovanni Pozzi (†), André Vauchez.

Researchers: Stefano Asperti, Beatrice Fedi, Giovanna Frosini, Massimo Zaggia, Fabio Zinelli.

Researchers (1992-1998): Rosa Maria Dessì, Maria Teresa Dinale, Donatella Frioli, Patricia Frosini, Raffaella Pelosini, Valentina Pollidori (†).