Juditha triumphans

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First edition of Juditha triumphans
Juditha Triumphans
English: Judith Triumphant
Coat of Arms of the Republic of Venice.svg

National anthem of  Republic of Venice from 1716 until 1797.
Also known asSalve Invicta Juditha Formosa (English: Hail, unbeaten fair Judith!)
MusicAntonio Vivaldi, 1716
Relinquished1797 (Fall of Venice)

Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Judith triumphant over the barbarians of Holofernes), RV 644, is an oratorio by Antonio Vivaldi, the only survivor of the four that he is known to have composed. Although the rest of the oratorio survives completely intact, the overture has been lost. The Latin libretto was written by Iacopo Cassetti based upon the Book of Judith.

The exact date of composition and performance of Juditha triumphans are not known, but the allegorical treatment of the Venetian defense of Corfu dominated public discussion in Venice throughout 1716. This work was an allegorical description of the victory of the Venetians (the Christians) over the Turks in August 1716. The work was commissioned to celebrate the victory of the Republic of Venice over the Turks during the siege of Corfu: in July 1716, the Turks had landed on Corfu and set siege to the island. The population resisted the occupation and, in August, Venice signed an alliance with the Holy Roman Emperor. On 18 August, under the leadership of count Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg, the decisive battle was won and the Turks abandoned the island.

Although widely reported to have been performed at the Ospedale della Pietà in November 1716, the victorious General Schulenburg could not have been in the audience of any performance prior to January 3, 1717.


All characters, male and female, were interpreted by women of the Ospedale della Pietà. They are:

An all-female choir sings the parts of the Assyrian soldiers and of the Bethulian women. In the tradition of the Ospedale della Pietà, where some of the singers were trained to sing below the normal contralto range, the chorus is scored for SATB.

The string orchestra is augmented by timpani, 2 trumpets, mandolino, 4 theorbos, 5 "viole all'inglese" (viols), 1 viola d'amore, 2 recorders, 2 chalumeaux (soprano), "Clareni" (clarinet), 2 oboes, organ.


The Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar sends an army against Israel to demand overdue tributes. Under the leadership of the general Holofernes, the Assyrians lay siege to the town of Bethulia and are about to conquer it. The young Jewish widow Judith goes to him to implore mercy. He falls in love with her and she indulges him. After a rich banquet and having drunk much wine, Holofernes falls asleep. Judith beheads him, flees the enemy camp, and returns victorious to Bethulia.


Lyrics in Latin English Translation
Salve, invicta Juditha formosa!

Patriae splendor, spes nostrae salutis.

Hail, unbeaten fair Judith!

Pride of the homeland, hope of our salvation.

Summae norma tu vere virtutis,

eris semper in mundo gloriosa!

You're truly an example of great virtue,

and you will always be glorious in the world!

Debellato sic barbaro Thrace,

triumphatrix sit maris regina!

Thus, once the Thracian barbarian is defeated,

may the queen of the seas celebrate its victory!

Et placata sic ira divina,

Adria vivat et regnet in pace!

And when the divine rage will be appeased,

may Adria live and rule in peace!

Vivat, vivat, vivat in pace! May she live in peace!
Lyrics in Venetian English translation
Na bandiera, na łengoa, na storia,

łe ne da siviltà, forsa e glòria!

A flag, a language a history,

give us civility, strength and glory.

E'l futuro splendor łe tien alto,

de el gran pópoło fiol de San Marco!

And the future brightness is maintained,

by the great people of Saint Mark.

Na nasión, un cor soło, na vóxe,

cei e vèci, toxàti e tóxe... che inte'l cor i consèrva el león, no i se ciama mai vinti, i fa su i fondaminti de un nóvo domàn!

A country, one single heart, a voice,

the young and the elderly, the boys and the girls... whom in their hearts cherish the lion and who will never surrender build up the foundations for a new future.

Ne da lustro inte'l mondo ła nostra onestà,

e ła voja de far e de dar una man!

We're known around the world for our honesty,

and for the willingness to work and help out.

Fen fiorir ła tèra dai monti al mar,

defendémo ła pàxe e ła łibartà!

We cultivate our land from the mountains to the sea,

we protect peace and freedom.

Tuti insenbre co' un soło cor,

tuti insenbre, na soła nasión! Rento el cor conservémo el león, no saremo mai vinti, fon su i fondaminti de un nóvo domàn!

Altogether with one single heart,

altogether, a united nation! In our hearts we cherish the lion, we'll never surrender, we'll build up the foundations for a new future!

Viva, viva, viva łibartà!

Senpre, senpre, senpre łibartà!

Long live freedom!

Forever, freedom!



  • Gianfranco Formichetti, Venezia e il prete col violino. Vita di Antonio Vivaldi, Bompiani (2006), ISBN 88-452-5640-5.
  • Michael Talbot, Antonio Vivaldi, Insel Verlag (1998), ISBN 3-458-33917-5
  • Libretto in Latin with parallel translation into English.
  • Juditha triumphans, ed. Frances Bennion, Edmund Correia, Jr., and Eleanor Selfridge-Field. Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, 2013 (score; parts).
  • Review of the performance by the Academy of Santa Cecilia.
  • Walter Kolneder, Guía de Vivaldi, Alianza Editorial (1989), ISBN 0-520-01629-7