“Ciobanu” Slavonic-Romanian Psalter, f. 2v, 16th century, (Rom. Ms. no. 3465, Romanian Academy Library)

Re-evaluating the Sixteenth Century Romanian Psalters.
Aligned Corpus and Comparative Studies

Research project: roPSALT

Start date: 4 January 2021 | End date: 31 December 2023

Funded under  PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-2939 | UEFISCDI

Host institution
“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași | UAIC
Institute of Interdisciplinary Research
Department of Social Sciences and Humanities

Philology and palaeography | Computer science
Cultural studies, cultural identities and memories, cultural heritage

Summary and Aims

The sixteenth century Romanian Psalters are among the oldest texts written in Romanian. There is no consensus in the academic literature on their translation initiative, which was attributed to Orthodox, Hussites, Catholics or Reformers. However, it is generally acknowledged that the prototype translation, from a Church Slavonic source yet unidentified, underwent multiple revisions following different sources, resulting in related versions, of which four manuscripts and three printed texts from the sixteenth century survived; some of them are bilingual (Slavonic-Romanian). The difficulty of establishing their precise source(s) came from the fact that the Church Slavonic Psalter has a complicated and incompletely explored textual tradition. Moreover, other scholars advanced a Latin or even a Hungarian source hypothesis, but these perspectives need further investigation. 

While the oldest Romanian Psalters have been studied for more than a century, their translation process, sources, relations and reception are not entirely clarified. The lack of a tool facilitating their comprehensive linguistic comparison and a Bible-philology related analysis, the fragmental knowledge about the sources and the lack of modern philological editions are among the causes of this state-of-the-art. Seeking to fill this research gap, roPSALT will a) create a digitally aligned (at verse level) corpus of the sixteenth-century Romanian Psalters, b) compare and emphasize their translation practices and relations with the sources and between them, c) assess the context of their appearance.

Research Questions

Which are the sources of the sixteenth century Romanian Psalters? 

What is the relation between them and their sources?

Find out more:

  1. The Sources of the Oldest Romanian Versions of the Psalter;
  2. The Musical Instruments in the Early Vernacular Translations of the Psalms, pp. 120–125.

Slavonic-Romanian Psalter from Voroneț, f. 26r, 16th century, (Rom. Ms. no. 693, Romanian Academy Library)

Project Outline

Objective 1 (Y1): Creating a digitally aligned corpus of the texts

The aims of the project’s first phase are to transcribe the Psalters (from Romanian Cyrillic into Latin) and collect them, alongside the Church Slavonic text, in a structured database. The outcome will be a digital corpus aligned at the verse and word level, which will be comparatively investigated and displayed open-access at the end of the project. 

Objective 2 (Y2 and Y3): Re-evaluating the hypotheses regarding the sources and filiations of the Romanian texts. Comparative studies

The outcome of the project’s second phase is a comparative study between the Romanian texts and their presumed source(s). The main research questions are: Which are the sources of the sixteenth century Romanian Psalters? What is the relationship between them? Clarifying the relationships between them and their sources would be a first step towards elucidating the context of their translation. Every hypothesis regarding the sources (Church Slavonic, Latin, Hungarian) will be addressed. Methodologically, the texts will be analysed and compared from a Bible-philology perspective and in the light of the new knowledge about the textual tradition of the Church Slavonic Psalter.

Objective 3 (Y3): Synthesis and dissemination

The main outcomes of the project’s third phase:

1. a philological edition; 2. a thematic volume proposed for publication; 3. articles.

Team and Collaboration

Dr. Ana-Maria GÎNSAC (
Dr. Mădălina-Andreea UNGUREANU
Dr. Iosif CAMARĂ
Dr. Alex MORUZ
Prof. Dr. Marina VRACIU (“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași)
Dr. Gabriela HAJA (“A. Philippide” Institute of Romanian Philology, Iași)

Dr. Vladimir AGRIGOROAEI (CÉSCM Poitiers – CNRS)
Dr. Ágnes KORONDI (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)
Drd. Constanța BURLACU (University of Oxford)


  1. Vernacular Bible(s): From Manuscript to the Digital Edition, International workshop, Prague - Iași, September 9, 2021.
  2. Les automatismes de traduction dans l’édition des textes sacrés, International workshop, Poitiers, November 4-5, 2021.
  3. Antichitatea şi moştenirea ei spirituală [Antiquity and its Spiritual Heritage], Symposium, Iași, November 13, 2021.





  1. Ana-Maria Gînsac, Les noms propres dans les premiers psautiers roumains et le problème des sourcesLes automatismes de traduction dans l’édition des textes sacrés, International Workshop, Poitiers, November 4-5.
  2. Ana-Maria Gînsac, Gabriela Haja, Alex Moruz, The Sixteenth-Century (Slavonic-) Romanian Psalters Digital Corpus: Challenges, Solutions Vernacular Bible(s): From Manuscript to the Digital Edition, International Workshop, Czech Language Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague (DiaBible) & “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași (roPsalt), Praga-Iași, September 9 (online).
  3. Iosif Camară, Straturi redacţionale în Psaltirea “Hurmuzaki” [Redactional Layers in “Hurmuzaki” Psalter] – International Conference “Zilele Sextil Puşcariu”, 5th edition, “Sextil Pușcariu” Institute of Linguistics and Literary Theory, Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca, September 9-10 (online).
  4. Iosif Camară, În căutarea surselor Psaltirilor rotacizante. Cercetări în biblioteci din Bulgaria, Serbia şi Muntele AthosSimpozionul Internaţional “Slavistica Românească şi dialogul culturilor”, 9th edition, University of Bucharest - Departamentul de Filologie Rusă şi Slavă, Asociaţia Slaviştilor din România, October 22-23 (online).
  5. Ana-Maria Gînsac, Iosif Camară, O reevaluare a psaltirilor românești din secolul al XVI-lea. Corpus aliniat și studii comparative (roPSALT): prezentarea proiectului – Romanian Academic Lexicography. The Challenges of Digitization, International Colloquium, 10th edition, Institute of Romanian Philology “A. Philippide”, Romanian Academy, Iaşi, May 27-28 (online).
  6. Iosif Camară, Descendenţii lat. *poenitare în cele mai vechi versiuni româneşti ale Psaltirii şi Apostolului [Descendants of Lat. *poenitare in the Oldest Romanian Versions of the Psalter and Apostle] – Simpozionul Internaţional “Provocări trecute şi prezente în evoluţia limbii, literaturii şi culturii române”, 20th edition, Institute of Romanian Philology “A. Philippide”, Romanian Academy, September 22-24.
  7. Iosif Camară, Rom. lângoare (< lat. languorem) în cele mai vechi texte românești [Rom. lângoare (< Lat. languorem) in Oldest Romanian Texts] – Simpozionul „Antichitatea şi moştenirea ei spirituală”, 17th edition, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi, Classical Philology, November 12-13 (online).
Created by Alex Moruz on 2021/06/09 00:23