Jerome

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Saint Jerome
Bernardino Pinturicchio - Saint Jerome in the Wilderness - Walters 371089.jpg
Hermit and Doctor of the Church
Bornc. 347
Stridon (possibly Strido Dalmatiae, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia)
Died30 September 420 (aged c. 73) [1]
Bethlehem, Palaestina Prima
Venerated in Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
Anglican Communion
Lutheranism
Major shrine Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome, Italy
Feast 30 September (Western Christianity)
15 June (Eastern Christianity)
Attributes lion, cardinal attire, cross, skull, trumpet, owl, books and writing material
Patronage archeologists; archivists; Bible scholars; librarians; libraries; school children; students; translators; Morong, Rizal
Jerome
Italian (Emilian) - St Jerome in Penitence - Google Art Project.jpg
St Jerome in Penitence
Education Catechetical School of Alexandria
Occupation Translator, Theologian and Writer
Notable work
The Vulgate
De viris illustribus
Chronicon
Theological work
Language Latin and Greek language
Main interests Apologetics
Notable ideas Perpetual virginity of Mary
Barnabas authorship [2]
Asceticism
Hortative
Consecrated virgin

Jerome ( /əˈrm/ ; Latin : Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus; Greek : Εὐσέβιος Σωφρόνιος Ἱερώνυμος; c. 347 – 30 September 420) was a Latin Catholic priest, confessor, theologian, and historian, commonly known as Saint Jerome. He was born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. [3] [4] [5] He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive. [6]

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

In the New Testament, a presbyter is a leader of a local Christian congregation. The word derives from the Greek presbyteros, which means elder or senior. The Greek word episkopos literally means overseer; it refers exclusively to the office of bishop. Many understand presbyteros to refer to the bishop functioning as overseer. In modern Catholic and Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and synonymous with priest. In predominant Protestant usage, presbyter does not refer to a member of a distinctive priesthood called priests, but rather to a minister, pastor, or elder.

Confessor is a title used within Christianity in several ways.

Contents

The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention on the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families. [7]

Pope Damasus I pope

Pope Damasus I was Bishop of Rome, from October 366 to his death in 384. He presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of Sacred Scripture. He spoke out against major heresies in the church and encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible with his support for St. Jerome. He helped reconcile the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs.

Jesus The central figure of Christianity

Jesus, also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.

Jerome is recognised as a saint and Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. [8] His feast day is 30 September.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Doctor of the Church one of the early Christian theologians regarded as especially authoritative in the Western Church

Doctor of the Church is a title given by the Catholic Church to saints recognized as having made significant contribution to theology or doctrine through their research, study, or writing.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Life

Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus was born at Stridon around 347 AD. [9] He was of Illyrian ancestry, [10] although his ability to speak the Illyrian languages causes controversy. He was not baptized until about 360–366, when he had gone to Rome with his friend Bonosus of Sardica (who may or may not have been the same Bonosus whom Jerome identifies as his friend who went to live as a hermit on an island in the Adriatic) to pursue rhetorical and philosophical studies. He studied under the grammarian Aelius Donatus. There Jerome learned Latin and at least some Greek, [11] though probably not the familiarity with Greek literature he would later claim to have acquired as a schoolboy. [12]

Stridon

Stridon was a town in the Roman province of Dalmatia. The town is known as the birthplace of Saint Jerome. From Stridon also came the priest Lupicinus of Stridon. Although Domnus of Pannonia, a bishop who took part in the First Council of Nicaea, is often said to have hailed from or been bishop of Stridon, he was in fact bishop of Sirmium. In 379 the town was destroyed by the Goths. Jerome wrote about it in his work De viris illustribus: "Hieronymus patre Eusebio natus, oppido Stridonis, quod a Gothis eversum, Dalmatiae quondam Pannoniaeque confinium fuit...".

Illyrians group of tribes in ancient times

The Illyrians were a group of Indo-European tribes in antiquity, who inhabited part of the western Balkans. The territory the Illyrians inhabited came to be known as Illyria to Greek and Roman authors, who identified a territory that corresponds to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo, part of Serbia and most of central and northern Albania, between the Adriatic Sea in the west, the Drava river in the north, the Morava river in the east and the mouth of the Aoos river in the south. The first account of Illyrian peoples comes from the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, an ancient Greek text of the middle of the 4th century BC that describes coastal passages in the Mediterranean.

Illyrian languages language family

The Illyrian languages were a group of Indo-European languages that were spoken in the western part of the Balkans in former times by groups identified as Illyrians: Ardiaei, Delmatae, Pannonii, Autariates, Taulantii. Some sound changes from Proto-Indo-European to Illyrian and other language features are deduced from what remains of the Illyrian languages, but because there are no examples of ancient Illyrian literature surviving, it is difficult to clarify its place within the Indo-European language family. Because of the uncertainty, most sources provisionally place Illyrian on its own branch of Indo-European, though its relation to other languages, ancient and modern, continues to be studied.

As a student in Rome, Jerome engaged in the superficial escapades and sexual experimentation of students there, which he indulged in quite casually but for which he suffered terrible bouts of guilt afterwards. [13] [ better source needed ] To appease his conscience, he would visit on Sundays the sepulchres of the martyrs and the Apostles in the catacombs. This experience would remind him of the terrors of hell:

Conscience judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong

Conscience is a cognitive process that elicits emotion and rational associations based on an individual's moral philosophy or value system. Conscience stands in contrast to elicited emotion or thought due to associations based on immediate sensory perceptions and reflexive responses, as in sympathetic central nervous system responses. In common terms, conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a person commits an act that conflicts with their moral values. An individual's moral values and their dissonance with familial, social, cultural and historical interpretations of moral philosophy are considered in the examination of cultural relativity in both the practice and study of psychology. The extent to which conscience informs moral judgment before an action and whether such moral judgments are or should be based on reason has occasioned debate through much of modern history between theories of modern western philosophy in juxtaposition to the theories of romanticism and other reactionary movements after the end of the Middle Ages.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem, Israel, containing the two holiest sites in Christianity

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The church contains, according to traditions dating back to at least the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus's empty tomb, where he is said to have been buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicula. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site.

Martyr person who suffers persecution and death for advocating, refusing to renounce, and/or refusing to advocate a belief or cause, usually a religious one

A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded by an external party. In the martyrdom narrative of the remembering community, this refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of an actor by an alleged oppressor. Accordingly, the status of the 'martyr' can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those who are considered worthy of the concept of martyrdom by the living, regardless of any attempts by the deceased to control how they will be remembered in advance. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.

Often I would find myself entering those crypts, deep dug in the earth, with their walls on either side lined with the bodies of the dead, where everything was so dark that almost it seemed as though the Psalmist's words were fulfilled, Let them go down quick into Hell. [14] Here and there the light, not entering in through windows, but filtering down from above through shafts, relieved the horror of the darkness. But again, as soon as you found yourself cautiously moving forward, the black night closed around and there came to my mind the line of Vergil, "Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent". [15] [16]

St. Jerome in His Study (1480), by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Domenico Ghirlandaio - St Jerome in his study.jpg
St. Jerome in His Study (1480), by Domenico Ghirlandaio.

Jerome used a quote from Virgil—"On all sides round horror spread wide; the very silence breathed a terror on my soul" [17] —to describe the horror of hell. Jerome initially used classical authors to describe Christian concepts such as hell that indicated both his classical education and his deep shame of their associated practices, such as pederasty which was found in Rome.[ citation needed ]

Conversion to Christianity

St Jerome in the Nuremberg Chronicle Nuremberg chronicles f 135r 1.jpg
St Jerome in the Nuremberg Chronicle

Although initially skeptical of Christianity, he was eventually converted. [18] After several years in Rome, he travelled with Bonosus to Gaul and settled in Trier where he seems to have first taken up theological studies, and where, for his friend Tyrannius Rufinus, he copied Hilary of Poitiers' commentary on the Psalms and the treatise De synodis. Next came a stay of at least several months, or possibly years, with Rufinus at Aquileia, where he made many Christian friends.

Some of these accompanied Jerome when about 373, he set out on a journey through Thrace and Asia Minor into northern Syria. At Antioch, where he stayed the longest, two of his companions died and he himself was seriously ill more than once. During one of these illnesses (about the winter of 373–374), he had a vision that led him to lay aside his secular studies and devote himself to God. He seems to have abstained for a considerable time from the study of the classics and to have plunged deeply into that of the Bible, under the impulse of Apollinaris of Laodicea, then teaching in Antioch and not yet suspected of heresy.

St. Jerome in the Desert, by Giovanni Bellini (1505) Giovanni Bellini St Jerome Reading in the Countryside.jpg
St. Jerome in the Desert , by Giovanni Bellini (1505)

Seized with a desire for a life of ascetic penance, Jerome went for a time to the desert of Chalcis, to the southeast of Antioch, known as the "Syrian Thebaid", from the number of eremites inhabiting it. During this period, he seems to have found time for studying and writing. He made his first attempt to learn Hebrew under the guidance of a converted Jew; and he seems to have been in correspondence with Jewish Christians in Antioch. Around this time he had copied for him a Hebrew Gospel, of which fragments are preserved in his notes, and is known today as the Gospel of the Hebrews, and which the Nazarenes considered to be the true Gospel of Matthew. [19] Jerome translated parts of this Hebrew Gospel into Greek. [20]

Returning to Antioch in 378 or 379, Jerome was ordained there by Bishop Paulinus, apparently unwillingly and on condition that he continue his ascetic life. Soon afterward, he went to Constantinople to pursue a study of Scripture under Gregory Nazianzen. He seems to have spent two years there, then left, and the next three (382–385) he was in Rome again, as secretary to Pope Damasus I and the leading Roman Christians. Invited originally for the synod of 382, held to end the schism of Antioch as there were rival claimants to be the proper patriarch in Antioch. Jerome had accompanied one of the claimants, Paulinus back to Rome in order to get more support for him, and distinguishing himself to the pope, took a prominent place in his papal councils.

Jerome was given duties in Rome, and he undertook a revision of the Latin Bible, to be based on the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He also updated the Psalter containing the Book of Psalms then in use in Rome, based on the Septuagint. Though he did not realize it yet, translating much of what became the Latin Vulgate Bible would take many years and be his most important achievement (see Writings – Translations section below).

Saint Jerome in His Study, 1451, by Antonio da Fabriano II, shows writing implements, scrolls, and manuscripts testifying to Jerome's scholarly pursuits. The Walters Art Museum. Antonio da Fabriano II - Saint Jerome in His Study - Walters 37439.jpg
Saint Jerome in His Study, 1451, by Antonio da Fabriano II, shows writing implements, scrolls, and manuscripts testifying to Jerome's scholarly pursuits. The Walters Art Museum.

In Rome Jerome was surrounded by a circle of well-born and well-educated women, including some from the noblest patrician families, such as the widows Lea, Marcella and Paula, with Paula's daughters Blaesilla and Eustochium. The resulting inclination of these women towards the monastic life, away from the indulgent lasciviousness in Rome, and his unsparing criticism of the secular clergy of Rome, brought a growing hostility against him among the Roman clergy and their supporters. Soon after the death of his patron Pope Damasus I on 10 December 384, Jerome was forced to leave his position at Rome after an inquiry was brought up by the Roman clergy into allegations that he had an improper relationship with the widow Paula. Still, his writings were highly regarded by women who were attempting to maintain a vow of becoming a consecrated virgin. His letters were widely read and distributed throughout the Christian empire and it is clear through his writing that he knew these virgin women were not his only audience. [7]

Additionally, Jerome's condemnation of Blaesilla's hedonistic lifestyle in Rome had led her to adopt ascetic practices, but it affected her health and worsened her physical weakness to the point that she died just four months after starting to follow his instructions; much of the Roman populace were outraged at Jerome for causing the premature death of such a lively young woman, and his insistence to Paula that Blaesilla should not be mourned, and complaints that her grief was excessive, were seen as heartless, polarising Roman opinion against him. [22]

After Rome

In August 385, Jerome left Rome for good and returned to Antioch, accompanied by his brother Paulinian and several friends, and followed a little later by Paula and Eustochium, who had resolved to end their days in the Holy Land. In the winter of 385, Jerome acted as their spiritual adviser. The pilgrims, joined by Bishop Paulinus of Antioch, visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the holy places of Galilee, and then went to Egypt, the home of the great heroes of the ascetic life.

At the Catechetical School of Alexandria, Jerome listened to the catechist Didymus the Blind expounding the prophet Hosea and telling his reminiscences of Anthony the Great, who had died 30 years before; he spent some time in Nitria, admiring the disciplined community life of the numerous inhabitants of that "city of the Lord", but detecting even there "concealed serpents", i.e., the influence of Origen of Alexandria. Late in the summer of 388 he was back in Palestine, and spent the remainder of his life working in a cave near Bethlehem, the very cave where Jesus was born, [23] surrounded by a few friends, both men and women (including Paula and Eustochium), to whom he acted as priestly guide and teacher.

Painting by Niccolo Antonio Colantonio, showing Jerome's removal of a thorn from a lion's paw. Colantonio, Jerome in his Study.jpg
Painting by Niccolò Antonio Colantonio, showing Jerome's removal of a thorn from a lion's paw.

Amply provided for by Paula with the means of livelihood and for increasing his collection of books, Jerome led a life of incessant activity in literary production. To these last 34 years of his career belong the most important of his works; his version of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text, the best of his scriptural commentaries, his catalogue of Christian authors, and the dialogue against the Pelagians, the literary perfection of which even an opponent recognized[ citation needed ]. To this period also belong most of his polemics, which distinguished him among the orthodox Fathers, including the treatises against the Origenism later declared anathema, of Bishop John II of Jerusalem and his early friend Rufinus. Later, as a result of his writings against Pelagianism, a body of excited partisans broke into the monastic buildings, set them on fire, attacked the inmates and killed a deacon, forcing Jerome to seek safety in a neighboring fortress in 416.

Death

It is recorded that Jerome died near Bethlehem on 30 September 420. The date of his death is given by the Chronicon of Prosper of Aquitaine. His remains, originally buried at Bethlehem, are said to have been later transferred to the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, though other places in the West claim some relics, the cathedral at Nepi boasting possession of his head, which, according to another tradition, is in the Escorial.[ citation needed ]

Translation of the Bible (382–405)

St Jerome, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1607, at St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta Caravaggio St Jerome.jpg
St Jerome, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1607, at St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

Jerome was a scholar at a time when that statement implied a fluency in Greek. He knew some Hebrew when he started his translation project, but moved to Jerusalem to strengthen his grip on Jewish scripture commentary. A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, funded his stay in a monastery in Bethlehem and he completed his translation there. He began in 382 by correcting the existing Latin language version of the New Testament, commonly referred to as the Vetus Latina. By 390 he turned to translating the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint which came from Alexandria. He believed that the mainstream Rabbinical Judaism had rejected the Septuagint as invalid Jewish scriptural texts because of what were ascertained as mistranslations along with its Hellenistic heretical elements. [24] He completed this work by 405. Prior to Jerome's Vulgate, all Latin translations of the Old Testament were based on the Septuagint, not the Hebrew. Jerome's decision to use a Hebrew text instead of the previous translated Septuagint went against the advice of most other Christians, including Augustine, who thought the Septuagint inspired. Modern scholarship, however, has sometimes cast doubts on the actual quality of Jerome's Hebrew knowledge. Many modern scholars believe that the Greek Hexapla is the main source for Jerome's "iuxta Hebraeos" (i.e. "close to the Hebrews", "immediately following the Hebrews") translation of the Old Testament. [25] However, detailed studies have shown that to a considerable degree Jerome was a competent Hebraist. [26]

Commentaries (405–420)

Saint Jerome, unknown Southern Dutch artist, 1520, Hamburger Kunsthalle 1520 Sudniederlandisch Hl. Hieronymus anagoria.JPG
Saint Jerome, unknown Southern Dutch artist, 1520, Hamburger Kunsthalle

For the next 15 years, until he died, Jerome produced a number of commentaries on Scripture, often explaining his translation choices in using the original Hebrew rather than suspect translations. His patristic commentaries align closely with Jewish tradition, and he indulges in allegorical and mystical subtleties after the manner of Philo and the Alexandrian school. Unlike his contemporaries, he emphasizes the difference between the Hebrew Bible "apocrypha" and the Hebraica veritas of the protocanonical books. In his Vulgate's prologues, he describes some portions of books in the Septuagint that were not found in the Hebrew as being non-canonical (he called them apocrypha ); [27] for Baruch , he mentions by name in his Prologue to Jeremiah and notes that it is neither read nor held among the Hebrews, but does not explicitly call it apocryphal or "not in the canon". [28] His Preface to The Books of Samuel and Kings [29] includes the following statement, commonly called the Helmeted Preface:

This preface to the Scriptures may serve as a "helmeted" introduction to all the books which we turn from Hebrew into Latin, so that we may be assured that what is not found in our list must be placed amongst the Apocryphal writings. Wisdom, therefore, which generally bears the name of Solomon, and the book of Jesus, the Son of Sirach, and Judith, and Tobias, and the Shepherd are not in the canon. The first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style.

Although Jerome was once suspicious of the apocrypha, it is said that he later viewed them as Scripture. For example, in Jerome's letter to Eustochium he quotes Sirach 13:2, [30] elsewhere Jerome also refers to Baruch, the Story of Susannah and Wisdom as scripture. [31] [32] [33]

Jerome in the desert, tormented by his memories of the dancing girls, by Francisco de Zurbaran, 1639, Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe Francisco de Zurbaran 023.jpg
Jerome in the desert, tormented by his memories of the dancing girls, by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1639, Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

Jerome's commentaries fall into three groups:

Historical and hagiographic writings

In the Middle Ages, Jerome was often ahistorically depicted as a cardinal. Hans Bilger Kirchenvater 3 Liebieghaus.jpg
In the Middle Ages, Jerome was often ahistorically depicted as a cardinal.

Jerome is also known as a historian. One of his earliest historical works was his Chronicle (or Chronicon or Temporum liber), composed c. 380 in Constantinople; this is a translation into Latin of the chronological tables which compose the second part of the Chronicon of Eusebius, with a supplement covering the period from 325 to 379. Despite numerous errors taken over from Eusebius, and some of his own, Jerome produced a valuable work, if only for the impulse which it gave to such later chroniclers as Prosper, Cassiodorus, and Victor of Tunnuna to continue his annals.

Of considerable importance as well is the De viris illustribus , which was written at Bethlehem in 392, the title and arrangement of which are borrowed from Suetonius. It contains short biographical and literary notes on 135 Christian authors, from Saint Peter down to Jerome himself. For the first seventy-eight authors Eusebius ( Historia ecclesiastica ) is the main source; in the second section, beginning with Arnobius and Lactantius, he includes a good deal of independent information, especially as to western writers.

Four works of a hagiographic nature are:

The so-called Martyrologium Hieronymianum is spurious; it was apparently composed by a western monk toward the end of the 6th or beginning of the 7th century, with reference to an expression of Jerome's in the opening chapter of the Vita Malchi, where he speaks of intending to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times.

Description of vitamin A deficiency

The following passage, taken from Saint Jerome's "Life of St. Hilarion", which was written about A.D. 392, appears to be the earliest account of the etiology, symptoms and cure of severe vitamin A deficiency. "From his thirty-first to his thirty-fifth year he had for food six ounces of barley bread, and vegetables slightly cooked without oil. But finding that his eyes were growing dim, and that his whole body was shrivelled with an eruption and a sort of stony roughness (impetigine et pumicea quad scabredine) he added oil to his former food, and up to the sixty-third year of his life followed this temperate course, tasting neither fruit nor pulse, nor anything whatsoever besides." [34]

Letters

Saint Jerome by Matthias Stom MatthiasStom-SaintJerome-Nantes.jpg
Saint Jerome by Matthias Stom

Jerome's letters or epistles, both by the great variety of their subjects and by their qualities of style, form an important portion of his literary remains. Whether he is discussing problems of scholarship, or reasoning on cases of conscience, comforting the afflicted, or saying pleasant things to his friends, scourging the vices and corruptions of the time and against sexual immorality among the clergy, [35] exhorting to the ascetic life and renunciation of the world, or breaking a lance with his theological opponents, he gives a vivid picture not only of his own mind, but of the age and its peculiar characteristics. Because there was no distinct line between personal documents and those meant for publication, we frequently find in his letters both confidential messages and treatises meant for others besides the one to whom he was writing. [36]

Due to the time he spent in Rome among wealthy families belonging to the Roman upper-class, Jerome was frequently commissioned by women who had taken a vow of virginity to write them in guidance of how to live their life. As a result, he spent a great deal of his life corresponding to these women about certain abstentions and lifestyle practices. [7] These included the clothing she should wear, the interactions she should undertake and how to go about conducting herself during such interactions, and what and how she ate and drank. The letters most frequently reprinted or referred to are of a hortatory nature, such as Ep. 14, Ad Heliodorum de laude vitae solitariae; Ep. 22, Ad Eustochium de custodia virginitatis; Ep. 52, Ad Nepotianum de vita clericorum et monachorum, a sort of epitome of pastoral theology from the ascetic standpoint; Ep. 53, Ad Paulinum de studio scripturarum; Ep. 57, to the same, De institutione monachi; Ep. 70, Ad Magnum de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis; and Ep. 107, Ad Laetam de institutione filiae.

Francesco St Jerome - Jacopo Palma il Giovane Francescostjerome.jpg
Francesco St Jerome Jacopo Palma il Giovane

You may delineate the Promised Land of Moses from the Book of Numbers (ch. 34): as bounded on the south by the desert tract called Sina, between the Dead Sea and the city of Kadesh-barnea, [which is located with the Arabah to the east] and continues to the west, as far as the river of Egypt, that discharges into the open sea near the city of Rhinocolara; as bounded on the west by the sea along the coasts of Palestine, Phoenicia, Coele‑Syria, and Cilicia; as bounded on the north by the circle formed by the Taurus Mountains [37] and Zephyrium and extending to Hamath, called Epiphany‑Syria; as bounded on the east by the city of Antioch Hippos and Lake Kinneret, now called Tiberias, and then the Jordan River which discharges into the salt sea, now called the Dead Sea. [38] [39]

Theological writings

The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino by Lorenzo Lotto Lorenzo Lotto - The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino - Google Art Project.jpg
The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino by Lorenzo Lotto

Practically all of Jerome's productions in the field of dogma have a more or less vehemently polemical character, and are directed against assailants of the orthodox doctrines. Even the translation of the treatise of Didymus the Blind on the Holy Spirit into Latin (begun in Rome 384, completed at Bethlehem) shows an apologetic tendency against the Arians and Pneumatomachoi. The same is true of his version of Origen's De principiis (c. 399), intended to supersede the inaccurate translation by Rufinus. The more strictly polemical writings cover every period of his life. During the sojourns at Antioch and Constantinople he was mainly occupied with the Arian controversy, and especially with the schisms centering around Meletius of Antioch and Lucifer Calaritanus. Two letters to Pope Damasus (15 and 16) complain of the conduct of both parties at Antioch, the Meletians and Paulinians, who had tried to draw him into their controversy over the application of the terms ousia and hypostasis to the Trinity. At the same time or a little later (379) he composed his Liber Contra Luciferianos, in which he cleverly uses the dialogue form to combat the tenets of that faction, particularly their rejection of baptism by heretics.

In Rome (c. 383) Jerome wrote a passionate counterblast against the teaching of Helvidius, in defense of the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary and of the superiority of the single over the married state. An opponent of a somewhat similar nature was Jovinianus, with whom he came into conflict in 392 (Adversus Jovinianum, Against Jovinianus) and the defense of this work addressed to his friend Pammachius, numbered 48 in the letters). Once more he defended the ordinary practices of piety and his own ascetic ethics in 406 against the Gallic presbyter Vigilantius, who opposed the cultus of martyrs and relics, the vow of poverty, and clerical celibacy. Meanwhile, the controversy with John II of Jerusalem and Rufinus concerning the orthodoxy of Origen occurred. To this period belong some of his most passionate and most comprehensive polemical works: the Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum (398 or 399); the two closely connected Apologiae contra Rufinum (402); and the "last word" written a few months later, the Liber tertius seuten ultima responsio adversus scripta Rufini. The last of his polemical works is the skilfully composed Dialogus contra Pelagianos (415).

Eschatology

Jerome warned that those substituting false interpretations for the actual meaning of Scripture belonged to the "synagogue of the Antichrist". [40] "He that is not of Christ is of Antichrist," he wrote to Pope Damasus I. [41] He believed that "the mystery of iniquity" written about by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 was already in action when "every one chatters about his views." [42] To Jerome, the power restraining this mystery of iniquity was the Roman Empire, but as it fell this restraining force was removed. He warned a noble woman of Gaul:

"He that letteth is taken out of the way, and yet we do not realize that Antichrist is near. Yes, Antichrist is near whom the Lord Jesus Christ "shall consume with the spirit of his mouth." “Woe unto them," he cries, "that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days."... Savage tribes in countless numbers have overrun run all parts of Gaul. The whole country between the Alps and the Pyrenees, between the Rhine and the Ocean, has been laid waste by hordes of Quadi, Vandals, Sarmatians, Alans, Gepids, Herules, Saxons, Burgundians, Allemanni, and—alas! for the commonweal!—even Pannonians. [43]

His Commentary on Daniel was expressly written to offset the criticisms of Porphyry, [44] who taught that Daniel related entirely to the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes and was written by an unknown individual living in the second century BC. Against Porphyry, Jerome identified Rome as the fourth kingdom of chapters two and seven, but his view of chapters eight and 11 was more complex. Jerome held that chapter eight describes the activity of Antiochus Epiphanes, who is understood as a "type" of a future antichrist; 11:24 onwards applies primarily to a future antichrist but was partially fulfilled by Antiochus. Instead, he advocated that the "little horn" was the Antichrist:

We should therefore concur with the traditional interpretation of all the commentators of the Christian Church, that at the end of the world, when the Roman Empire is to be destroyed, there shall be ten kings who will partition the Roman world amongst themselves. Then an insignificant eleventh king will arise, who will overcome three of the ten kings... after they have been slain, the seven other kings also will bow their necks to the victor. [45]

In his Commentary on Daniel, he noted, "Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form." [46] Instead of rebuilding the Jewish Temple to reign from, Jerome thought the Antichrist sat in God's Temple inasmuch as he made "himself out to be like God." [47]

Jerome identified the four prophetic kingdoms symbolized in Daniel 2 as the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the Medes and Persians, Macedon, and Rome. [48] Jerome identified the stone cut out without hands as "namely, the Lord and Savior". [49]

Jerome refuted Porphyry's application of the little horn of chapter seven to Antiochus. He expected that at the end of the world, Rome would be destroyed, and partitioned among ten kingdoms before the little horn appeared. [50]

Jerome believed that Cyrus of Persia is the higher of the two horns of the Medo-Persian ram of Daniel 8:3. [51] The he-goat is Greece smiting Persia. [52] Alexander is the great horn, which is then succeeded by Alexander's half brother Philip and three of his generals.

Reception by later Christianity

Statue of Saint Jerome (Hieronymus) - Bethlehem, Palestine Authority, West Bank Saint Jerome ( Hieronymus ).JPG
Statue of Saint Jerome (Hieronymus) – Bethlehem, Palestine Authority, West Bank

Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after Augustine of Hippo) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Catholic Church, he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists. [53]

Jerome acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position (for that time) that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament. The traditional view is that he used this knowledge to translate what became known as the Vulgate, and his translation was slowly but eventually accepted in the Catholic Church. [54] The later resurgence of Hebrew studies within Christianity owes much to him.

Jerome showed more zeal and interest in the ascetic ideal than in abstract speculation. It was this strict asceticism that made Martin Luther judge him so severely. In fact, Protestant readers are not generally inclined to accept his writings as authoritative. The tendency to recognize a superior comes out in his correspondence with Augustine (cf. Jerome's letters numbered 56, 67, 102–105, 110–112, 115–116; and 28, 39, 40, 67–68, 71–75, 81–82 in Augustine's).[ citation needed ]

Despite the criticisms already mentioned, Jerome has retained a rank among the western Fathers. This would be his due, if for nothing else, on account of the great influence exercised by his Latin version of the Bible upon the subsequent ecclesiastical and theological development. [55]

In art

In art, Jerome is often represented as one of the four Latin doctors of the Church along with Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose, and Pope Gregory I. As a prominent member of the Roman clergy, he has often been portrayed anachronistically in the garb of a cardinal. Even when he is depicted as a half-clad anchorite, with cross, skull and Bible for the only furniture of his cell, the red hat or some other indication of his rank as cardinal is as a rule introduced somewhere in the picture.

During Jerome's life, cardinals did not exist. However, by the time of the Renaissance and the Baroque it was common practice for a secretary to the pope to be a cardinal (as Jerome had effectively been to Damasus), and so this was reflected in artistic interpretations.

Jerome is also often depicted with a lion, in reference to the popular hagiographical belief that Jerome had tamed a lion in the wilderness by healing its paw. The source for the story may actually have been the second century Roman tale of Androcles, or confusion with the exploits of Saint Gerasimus (Jerome in later Latin is "Geronimus"). [56] [57] [58] Hagiographies of Jerome talk of his having spent many years in the Syrian desert, and artists often depict him in a "wilderness", which for West European painters can take the form of a wood or forest. [59]

From the late Middle Ages, depictions of Jerome in a wider setting became popular. He is either shown in his study, surrounded by books and the equipment of a scholar, or in a rocky desert, or in a setting that combines both themes, with him studying a book under the shelter of a rock-face or cave mouth. His attribute of the lion, often shown at a smaller scale, may be beside him in either setting.

Jerome is often depicted in connection with the vanitas motif, the reflection on the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. In the 16th century Saint Jerome in his study by Pieter Coecke van Aelst and workshop the saint is depicted with a skull. Behind him on the wall is pinned an admonition, Cogita Mori ("Think upon death"). Further reminders of the vanitas motif of the passage of time and the imminence of death are the image of the Last Judgment visible in the saint's Bible, the candle and the hourglass. [60]

Jerome is also sometimes depicted with an owl, the symbol of wisdom and scholarship. [61] Writing materials and the trumpet of final judgment are also part of his iconography. [61] He is commemorated on 30 September with a memorial.

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

Notes

  1. "St. Jerome (Christian scholar)". Britannica Encyclopedia. 2 February 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-03-24. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  2. The Epistle of Barnabas: Outlook and Background
  3. Scheck, Thomas P. Commentary on Matthew (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 117). p. 5. Archived from the original on 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2015-06-03. ""
  4. Maisie Ward, Saint Jerome, Sheed & Ward, London 1950, p. 7 "It may be taken as certain that Jerome was an Italian, coming from that wedge of Italy which seems on the old maps to be driven between Dalmatia and Pannonia."
  5. Tom Streeter, The Church and Western Culture: An Introduction to Church History, AuthorHouse 2006, p. 102 "Jerome was born around 340 AD at Stridon, a town in northeast Italy at the head of the Adriatic Ocean."
  6. Schaff, Philip, ed. (1893). A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. 2nd series. VI. Henry Wace. New York: The Christian Literature Company. Archived from the original on 2014-07-11. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  7. 1 2 3 Megan Hale Williams, The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006)
  8. In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is known as Saint Jerome of Stridonium or Blessed Jerome. Though "Blessed" in this context does not have the sense of being less than a saint, as in the West.
  9. Williams, Megan Hale (2006), The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the making of Christian Scholarship, Chicago
  10. Pevarello, Daniele (2013). The Sentences of Sextus and the origins of Christian ascetiscism. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. p. 1. ISBN   978-3-16-152579-7. Archived from the original on 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  11. Walsh, Michael, ed. (1992), Butler's Lives of the Saints, New York: HarperCollins, p. 307
  12. Kelly, JND (1975), Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies, New York: Harper & Row, pp. 13–14
  13. Payne, Robert (1951), The Fathers of the Western Church, New York: Viking Press, pp. 90–92
  14. Psalm 55:15
  15. Jerome, Commentarius in Ezzechielem, c. 40, v. 5
  16. Patrologia Latina 25, 373: Crebroque cryptas ingredi, quae in terrarum profunda defossae, ex utraque parte ingredientium per parietes habent corpora sepultorum, et ita obscura sunt omnia, ut propemodum illud propheticum compleatur: Descendant ad infernum viventes (Ps. LIV,16): et raro desuper lumen admissum, horrorem temperet tenebrarum, ut non-tam fenestram, quam foramen demissi luminis putes: rursumque pedetentim acceditur, et caeca nocte circumdatis illud Virgilianum proponitur (Aeneid. lib. II): "Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent."
  17. P. Vergilius Maro, Aeneid Theodore C. Williams, Ed. Perseus Project Archived 11 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine (retrieved 23 August 2013)
  18. Payne, Robert (1951), The Fathers of the Western Church, New York: Viking, p. 91
  19. Rebenich, Stefan (2002), Jerome, p. 211, Further, he began to study Hebrew: 'I betook myself to a brother who before his conversion had been a Hebrew and...'
  20. Pritz, Ray (1988), Nazarene Jewish Christianity: from the end of the New Testament, p. 50, In his accounts of his desert sojourn, Jerome never mentions leaving Chalcis, and there is no pressing reason to think...
  21. "Saint Jerome in His Study". The Walters Art Museum. Archived from the original on 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  22. Joyce Salisbury, Encyclopedia of women in the ancient world, Blaesilla
  23. Bennett, Rod (2015). The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church. Catholic Answers Press. ISBN   1-941663-49-4.
  24. "(...) die griechische Bibelübersetzung, die einem innerjüdischen Bedürfnis entsprang (...) [von den] Rabbinen zuerst gerühmt (...) Später jedoch, als manche ungenaue Übertragung des hebräischen Textes in der Septuaginta und Übersetzungsfehler die Grundlage für hellenistische Irrlehren abgaben, lehte man die Septuaginta ab." Verband der Deutschen Juden (Hrsg.), neu hrsg. von Walter Homolka, Walter Jacob, Tovia Ben Chorin: Die Lehren des Judentums nach den Quellen; München, Knesebeck, 1999, Bd.3, S. 43ff
  25. Pierre Nautin, article Hieronymus, in: Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Vol. 15, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin – New York 1986, p. 304-315, here p. 309-310.
  26. Michael Graves, Jerome's Hebrew Philology: A Study Based on his Commentary on Jeremiah, Brill, 2007: 196–198. Page 197: "In his discussion he gives clear evidence of having consulted the Hebrew himself, providing details about the Hebrew that could not have been learned from the Greek translations."
  27. "The Bible". Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  28. Kevin P. Edgecomb, Jerome's Prologue to Jeremiah, archived from the original on 2013-12-31, retrieved 2015-12-14
  29. "Jerome's Preface to Samuel and Kings". Archived from the original on 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
  30. Barber, Michael (6 March 2006). "Loose Canons: The Development of the Old Testament (Part 2)". Archived from the original on 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  31. Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395), in NPNF2, VI:119.: "Do not, my dearest brother, estimate my worth by the number of my years. Gray hairs are not wisdom; it is wisdom which is as good as gray hairs at least that is what Solomon says: "wisdom is the gray hair unto men.’ [Wisdom 4:9]" Moses too in choosing the seventy elders is told to take those whom he knows to be elders indeed, and to select them not for their years but for their discretion [Num. 11:16]? And, as a boy, Daniel judges old men and in the flower of youth condemns the incontinence of age [Daniel 13:55–59 aka Story of Susannah 55–59]"
  32. Jerome, To Oceanus, Epistle 77:4 (A.D. 399), in NPNF2, VI:159.:"I would cite the words of the psalmist: 'the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,’ [Ps 51:17] and those of Ezekiel 'I prefer the repentance of a sinner rather than his death,’ [Ez 18:23] and those of Baruch, 'Arise, arise, O Jerusalem,’ [Baruch 5:5] and many other proclamations made by the trumpets of the Prophets."
  33. Jerome, Letter 51, 6, 7, NPNF2, VI:87-8: "For in the book of Wisdom, which is inscribed with his name, Solomon says: "God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity."[Wisdom 2:23]...Instead of the three proofs from Holy Scripture which you said would satisfy you if I could produce them, behold I have given you seven"
  34. Taylor, F. Sherwood (23 December 1944). "St. Jerome and Vitamin A". Nature. 154: 802–802. doi:10.1038/154802a0.
  35. "regulae sancti pachomii 84 rule 104.
  36. W. H. Fremantle, "Prolegomena to Jerome", V.
  37. Bechard, Dean Philip (1 January 2000). Paul Outside the Walls: A Study of Luke's Socio-geographical Universalism in Acts 14:8–20. Gregorian Biblical BookShop. pp. 203–205. ISBN   978-88-7653-143-9. Archived from the original on 5 February 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2015. In the Second Temple period, when Jewish authors were seeking to establish with greater precision the geographical definition of the Land, it became customary to construe "Mount Hor" of Num 34:7 as a reference to the Amanus range of the Taurus Mountains, which marked the northern limit of the Syrian plain (Bechard 2000, p. 205, note 98.)
  38. Sainte Bible expliquée et commentée, contenant le texte de la Vulgate. Bibl. Ecclésiastique. 1837. p. 41. Archived from the original on 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2015-07-26. Quod si objeceris terram repromissionis dici, quae in Numerorum volumine continetur (Cap. 34), a meridie maris Salinarum per Sina et Cades-Barne, usque ad torrentem Aegypti, qui juxta Rhinocoruram mari magno influit; et ab occidente ipsum mare, quod Palaestinae, Phoenici, Syriae Coeles, Ciliciaeque pertenditur; ab aquilone Taurum montem et Zephyrium usque Emath, quae appellatur Epiphania Syriae; ad orientem vero per Antiochiam et lacum Cenereth, quae nunc Tiberias appellatur, et Jordanem, qui mari influit Salinarum, quod nunc Mortuum dicitur; (Image of p. 41 at Google Books)
  39. Hieronymus (1910). "Epistola CXXIX Ad Dardanum de Terra promissionis (al. 129; scripta circa annum 414ce)". Epistularum Pars III —Epistulae 121–154 Archived 2015-12-14 at the Wayback Machine , p. 171 (The fifty-sixth volume of Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum also known as the Vienna Corpus: Letters Part 3, Containing letters 121–154 of St. Jerome.) Image of p. 171 at Archive.org
  40. See Jerome's The Dialogue against the Luciferians Archived 1 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine , p.334 in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church : St. Jerome: Letters and select works, 1893. Second Series By Philip Schaff, Henry Wace.
  41. See Jerome's Letter to Pope Damasus Archived 13 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine , p.19 in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church : St. Jerome: Letters and select works, 1893. Second Series By Philip Schaff, Henry Wace.
  42. See Jerome's Against the Pelagians, Book I Archived 1 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine , p.449 in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church : St. Jerome: Letters and select works, 1893. Second Series By Philip Schaff, Henry Wace.
  43. See Jerome's Letter to Ageruchia Archived 2014-01-01 at the Wayback Machine , p.236-7 in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church : St. Jerome: Letters and select works, 1893. Second Series By Philip Schaff, Henry Wace.
  44. Eremantle, note on Jerome's commentary on Daniel, in NPAF, 2d series, Vol. 6, p. 500.
  45. See Jerome's Commentary on Daniel Archived 2010-05-26 at the Wayback Machine
  46. See Jerome's Commentary on Daniel Archived 26 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  47. See Jerome's Commentary on Daniel Archived 26 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  48. "Jerome, Commentaria in Danelem, chap. 2, verses 31-40". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  49. "Jerome, Commentaria in Danieluem, chap. 2, verse 40". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  50. "Jerome, Commentario in Danielem, chap. 7, verse 8". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  51. "Jerome, Commentario in Danielem". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  52. "Jerome, Commentaria in Danielem, chap. 8, verse 5". Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  53. "St. Jerome: Patron Saint of Librarians | Luther College Library and Information Services". Lis.luther.edu. Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  54. Stefan Rebenich, Jerome (New York: Routlage, 2002), pp. 52–59
  55. "Jerome, St." Pages 872–873 in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Third Edition Revised. Edited by E. A. Livingstone; F. L. Cross. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  56. Hope Werness, Continuum encyclopaedia of animal symbolism in art, 2006
  57. "Eugene Rice has suggested that in all probability the story of Gerasimus's lion became attached to the figure of Jerome some time during the seventh century, after the military invasions of the Arabs had forced many Greek monks who were living in the deserts of the Middle East to seek refuge in Rome. Rice conjectures (Saint Jerome in the Renaissance, pp. 44–45) that because of the similarity between the names Gerasimus and Geronimus – the late Latin form of Jerome's name – 'a Latin-speaking cleric . . . made St Geronimus the hero of a story he had heard about St Gerasimus; and that the author of Plerosque nimirum, attracted by a story at once so picturesque, so apparently appropriate, and so resonant in suggestion and meaning, and under the impression that its source was pilgrims who had been told it in Bethlehem, included it in his life of a favourite saint otherwise bereft of miracles.'" Salter, David. Holy and Noble Beasts: Encounters With Animals in Medieval Literature. D. S. Brewer. p. 12. ISBN   978-0-85991-624-0. Archived from the original on 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  58. "a figment" found in the thirteenth-century Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine Williams, Megan Hale. The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship. Chicago: U of Chicago P. p. 1. ISBN   978-0-226-89900-8.
  59. "Saint Jerome in Catholic Saint info". Catholic-saints.info. Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-06-02.
  60. "Saint Jerome in His Study". The Walters Art Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
  61. 1 2 The Collection: Saint Jerome Archived 22 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine , gallery of the religious art collection of New Mexico State University, with explanations. Retrieved 10 August 2007.

Bibliography

Attribution

Further reading

Latin texts

Facsimiles

English translations