Monday, June 23, 2014

Urban VIII?

Does any body know if the following verses, taken from the hymn Ut queant laxis, are "improvements" to a lost original text made by Pope Urban VIII? I could be off on this one, but did Paulus Diaconus really write this!?

Nuntius celso veniens Olympo,
Te patri magnum fore nasciturum,
Nomen, et vitae seriem gerendae
Ordine promit


  1. Apparently the entire Vespers hymn was left untouched by Urban VIII and his helpers (like a few others, "Ave Maris Stella," and St. Thomas's great hymns for Corpus Christi). I suppose the use of "Olympo" is analogous to the use of "barathro" in the "Ad coenam Agni providi."

    A very blessed feast of the Holy Forerunner, one of my favorite feast days, as it seems to be for you, too!


    "celso veniens olimpo" is at least in this 15th century Breviary. In Liber Hymnarius (1983) this is for some unknown reason corrected to "caelo veniens supremo".

  3. "Veniens Olympo" is the translation that's in the 1570 option on, which surprised me also yesterday, since that is pre-Urban VIII.

  4. Indeed, 'veniens Olympo' appears in 1568BR and in the Breviarium Monasticum. In my, 1880s, copy of the latter olympo is not capitalised.