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(p.184) Psalms
The Complete Writings of an Italian Heretic
Olympia Morata
University of Chicago Press

This chapter shows that the Book of Psalms lay at the heart of the worship of the new Protestant churches. The services being forged across Europe demanded a new song to the Lord. Olympia Fulvia Morata's Psalms represent a unique moment in the cultural history of Europe. They are an exemplary product of both halves of biblical humanism. Morata's Psalms are demonstrations of her command of ancient Greek and of Homer's poetry. In this way, they functioned no differently than other display pieces of humanist Greek poetry. However, even the earlier translations were more than mere exercises in verse composition. Set to music by her husband, Morata's songs of praise were intended to have a genuine devotional purpose. She wrote them to be read, to be sung, and even perhaps to be used in the worship of the church.

Keywords:   Book of Psalms, Protestant churches, Olympia Fulvia Morata, cultural history, Europe, biblical humanism, Homer, poetry

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