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The Vetus Latina Database (VLD) comprises the comprehensive patristic records of the Vetus Latina Institut in Beuron.

The huge panoply of Latin biblical texts which were in existence and use from the second century AD/CE until the time when the Vulgate became predominant are known under the common rubric of the Vetus Latina, or the Old Latin, Bible. The term Vetus Latina refers to all those biblical texts translated into Latin which are not found in the Vulgate. The textual tradition of the Vetus Latina is complex and incomplete. Because there are a limited number of extant manuscripts that haphazardly cover the biblical text the basic sources are biblical citations or allusions that are found within the writings of the Latin Fathers or Greek patristic authors who were translated at an early date into Latin.

The Latin Bible is at the core of Western culture, but it also bears witness to the development of this civilisation, through the many reworkings the text has undergone down the centuries. Our whole intellectual and religious history can be held up to the mirror of these variants. They are a fundamental resource not only for theologians, but for historians and literary scholars. Many layers of language, from the most vernacular to the most refined, can be seen in these texts.

Abbot Joseph Denk, in the early twentieth century undertook to start collecting all citations to the Latin Bible from the writings of the Church Fathers. Denk’s collection, comprising many hundreds of thousands of files, was deposited at Saint Boniface Abbey in Beuron (Germany). The collection is the foundation for the task of editing the ancient Latin versions of the Bible being undertaken by the Vetus Latina Institute at the abbey itself.

Aims & Scope

The VLD contains every citation, listed by book, chapter and verse of the Bible. The use of the application is simple. The application allows the scholar to search citations individually or as a whole, following the biblical structure to print the results. The result of the search is the image of the archival cards with the up-to-date information as it is held in the Vetus Latina Institute in Beuron. The interface is very straightforward.

The VLD also includes online consultation of the repertorium of H.J. Frede and its updates (H.J. Frede, Kirchenschriftsteller. Verzeichnis und Sigel, 4. aktualisierte Auflage, Freiburg, Herder, 1995; Aktualisierungsheft 1999, mise à jour par R. Gryson, Freiburg, Herder, 1999; mise à jour actuelle par R. Gryson, 2013).

VLD: view of a record

key_features Key Features

  • Contains the comprehensive patristic records of the Vetus Latina Institut in Beuron
  • Over 800,000 biblical citations
  • The complete repertorium of H. J. Frede (Kirchenschriftsteller – Verzeichnis und Sigel, Freiburg, 1995) can be consulted online within the application, as well as the repertorium’s regular updates by Professor Gryson

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English version (PDF)

slide3 Slides

A PowerPoint tutorial is available here.

related Related Databases

See also the Index Religiosus, the Library of Latin Texts, the Database of Latin Dictionaries.

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