Urbs Beata Jerusalem Dicta Pacis Visio

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A nine-stanza office hymn that was historically prescribed for the dedication of a church. Authorship and date of origin are unknown, though it was probably written c. 700. The accentual trochaic tetrameter rhythm of the original was changed into quantitative iambic dimeter, and the beginning of the hymn changed to Caelestis Urbs Jerusalem/Beata pacis visio in the revision of office hymns under Pope Urban VIII. Many hymnologists think that this Scripture-filled hymn lost much of its strength and beauty when revised. There is another Latin version of it, Urbs beata, vera pacis visio Jerusalem (Sens Breviary, 1726). Numerous translations exist of this hymn.

Bibliography: u. chevalier, Repertorium hymnologicum, 6v. (Louvain-Brussels 18921921) 2:695. Analecta hymnica (Leipzig 18861922) 51:110112, text. j. julian, ed., A Dictionary of Hymnology, 2 v. (2d ed. London 1907; repr. New York 1957) 2:11981200. a. s. walpole, ed., Early Latin Hymns (Cambridge, Eng. 1922) 377380. h. ashworth, Ephemerides liturgical 70 (1956) 238241. j. connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster, Md. 1957) 158161, Eng. tr. j. szÖvÉrffy, Die Annalen der lateinischen Hymnendichtung. Ein Handbuch, 2 v. (Berlin 196465) 1:151153.

[g. e. conway]