Summary and chronology of Marot's Psalm project
For more information, see chapter 2: "Tracing Marot's Psalm paraphrases", in
D. Wursten, Clément Marot and religion (Brill: Leiden, 2010). The scheme
below is derived from the summary concluding this chapter (pp. 103-104).
a more extensive extract, can be read
unknown date and at an unknown occasion Marot began to translate his first
Psalm into French verse (almost certainly Psalm 6).
This Psalm appeared - printed as a booklet ("plaquette")
in Lyon (after 1529, before 1532) and was afterwards incorporated in Marguerite's de Navarre's devotional
prayer(book), Le Miroir de treschrestienne Princesse Marguerite de France (second Augereau edition, Paris 1533). It appears
that under the aegis of Marguerite this verse translation became a
project which in 1535 was continued under the auspices of Renée in Ferrara,
the result of which Marot shared with his friends. After his return from
exile (winter 1536-37) he must have continued working on the translation in
Marot's Psalms paraphrases were
copied and distributed in manuscript. Perhaps Jean Girard was the
first to print a collection of them around 1538 (mentioned during an
inquiry in 1539; no copy is known). A collection of thirty
Psalms was put together based on different sources in Ms. 2337.
The most ancient text is present in this manuscript sous rature,
Part of this collection appeared
in print with music notes in 1539 (Strasbourg - Aulcuns Pseaulmes
et cantiques, edited by John Calvin, at the time minister in
In 1541 the Antwerp
printer Antoine des Gois printed a booklet with 45 Psalm
translations, containing 30 Psalms by Marot, the second edition also containing the
dedicatory epistle to King François Ier. This publication seems
to have been unauthorised.
The collector(s) and editor(s)
of Ms. 2336 probably worked with a partly revised version of the
Trente Pseaulmes, to which Arguments (summary of and info about
the Psalm in question) and hints for their proper use above the text were
Estienne Roffet (Paris)
printed the first official (i.e., authorised) edition of Marot's thirty
Psalm translations, Trente Pseaulmes,
publication winter 1541/1542. The text is a thorough revision of the unauthorised Antwerp edition,
not seldom along the lines of Ms. 2336; almost always the same (or very
similar) Arguments and applications are included.
In 1542 the Strasbourg
Psalter was printed once more, based on the Antwerp edition of 1541, but
enlarged to form a complete church book, containing for instance Marot's 30
Psalm translations. A similar (but not identical) edition appeared in print
the same year in Geneva. For this edition the melodies from the 1539
Strasbourg edition were revised and melodies for all new Marot's Psalms were
included (probably composed by the cantor of St. Pierre, Guillaume
In November/December 1542 Marot
arrived in Geneva and committed himself to continuing the metrical
translation of biblical Psalms.
March 1543: Marot dispatched
twenty new Psalm paraphrases (Vingt Pseaulmes
= nineteen Psalms + Nunc dimittis
) to the King accompanied by an epigram (huitain).
Roffet also received a copy and tried once more to obtain a printing
privilege and a theological nihil obstat.
June 1543: in Geneva Jean Girard
printed a new service book including Cinquante Pseaumes and some
canticles. In all probability this officially appeared after the removal of
the French translation of the first part of the Ave Maria, the
Salutation Angelique. This edition was printed with
music notes, but no copy of the Psalter part is known.
In August 1543 Marot finished
his Epistre aux Dames de France, which together
with the text of the Cinquante Pseaumes
including the prayers
(Decalogue, Les Commandements de Dieu" , Creed "Les Articles
de la Foy" , Pater noster, purified Ave Maria "Salutation
angelique", and two Prayers (before and after the meal) was
published anonymously (but in fact printed by Jean Girard in Geneva); for
the Geneva edition (both the ecclesial as the secular) the 30
Psalms were apparently once more revised.
Estienne Roffet (Paris)
reprinted the Trente Pseaulmes (unrevised version of 1541) together with the
Vingt Pseaulmes, nouvellement envoyées au Roy towards the end of 1543 (royal
privilege 31 October 1543); with the exception of the Decalogue (Les
Commandements de Dieu), all prayers from the anonymous (but Genevan)
edition by Girard. He published it with the curious title
Trente deux Pseaulmes, Plus vingt autres.
Towards the end of 1543, Marot
had left Geneva.