Translation Process

There are many variants of Latin, all originating from Old Latin, which dates from 75 B.C. Within these variants are substyles, such as the one found in this Papal Bull: Ecclesiastical Latin, also known as Church Latin. This substyle refers to the Latin language as it  is used in Catholic rites, documents of the Roman Catholic Church, and liturgies. Due to its association with the ongoing activities of the church, this substyle can be found in all major Latin periods starting from the Late Latin period.

The Latin utilized in this Papal Bull can be dated to the Renaissance Latin period. Since it was written in an older Latin with an Ecclesiastical Latin substyle the Papal Bull had to undergo two translations, one to Contemporary Latin, the Latin of the Roman Empire which is the variant most commonly taught and understood by most scholars, and then finally from Contemporary Latin to English.  Each stage of the translation required its own period of research, refinement, and correction to create the clear and fluent translations ultimately produced. 

This translation was the work of many hands, but the lion's share of the credit must go to Professor Emeritus of Religion Peter Ahr, Ph.D., who researched and contextualized the piece as a whole as well as produced the final version of the English translation.  

Michael Mascio, Ph.D. ,Lecturer in Classical Studies and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures made the initial review of the document, and recommended Reverend/Doctor Federico Gallo, Director of the Library at Dottore della Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, who translated the Ecclesiastical Latin version of the text into Contemporary Latin.  Dr. Mascio then worked together with Fred Booth, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, to produce a first draft of an English translation from the Contemporary Latin version.  

This exhibit is dedicated with many thanks to all the above scholars, without whose work this exhibit would not have been possible.  



                                                           English Translation                                                                                        Latin Translation