Tribulationes civitatum - Timor et hebetudo - Nos enim pro peccatis (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2022-12-02)  CPDL #71759:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2022-12-02).   Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 144 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2004-01-21)  CPDL #06546:        (Sibelius 4)
Version transposed up a major 2nd:  
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-01-21).   Score information: A4, 12 pages, 170 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Dec 08.

General Information

Title: Tribulationes civitatum
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicings: ATTBB or SATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 11
First published: 1589 in Cantiones Sacrae I, no. 24-26
Description: The text of this responsory is based on the book of Judith, in its Vetus Latina or 'old Latin' translation, ie preceding St. Jerome's Vulgate. Source: Steiner 2007.


  • Steiner, Ruth. 2007. Gregorian responsories based on texts from the Book of Judith. In Terence Bailey and Alma Santosuosso, editors. Music in Medieval Europe.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Prima Pars
Tribulationes civitatum audivimus quas passae sunt, et deficimus.
Domine, ad te sunt oculi nostri, ne pereamus.

Secunda Pars
Timor et (h)ebetudo mentis cecidit super nos et super liberos nostros.
Ipsi montes nolunt recipere fugam nostram. Domine, miserere.

Tertia Pars
Nos enim pro peccatis nostris haec patimur.
Aperi oculos, Domine, et vide afflictionem nostram.

English.png English translation

First Part
We have heard the tribulations which the cities have suffered, and have wasted away.
O Lord, our eyes are turned to thee: let us not perish.

Second Part
Fear and dullness of mind :have fallen upon us and our children.
Even the mountains will not receive our flight. Lord, have mercy.

Third Part
For we suffer thus for our sins.
Open thine eyes, O Lord, and behold our affliction.