Patristic Scholarship

Patristic Scholarship: The Edition of St Jerome, Volume 61

James F. Brady
John C. Olin
Volume: 61
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 293
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttgn3
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Patristic Scholarship
    Book Description:

    This selection from the edition, translated and annotated by James F. Brady and John C. Olin, is the first presentation of this outstanding work since the sixteenth century and makes available parts that are both important in themselves and representative of Erasmus' contribution.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7830-9
    Subjects: History, Philosophy, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
    JFB and JCO
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxxviii)

    In the portrait of Erasmus by Quinten Metsys at Hampton Court the name HIERONYMUS is prominently inscribed on the page ends of a book lying on a shelf in the centre of the picture. The portrait appears as the frontispiece in this volume and can serve well as an introduction to its content and in a sense as a representation of its theme. The painting vividly expresses the affinity and the bond between Erasmus and Jerome that we are now going to explore.¹

    There was a humanist cult of St Jerome as well as a more religious and devotional one...

  5. DEDICATORY LETTER ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM, DOCTOR OF DIVINITY, TO THE MOST REVEREND FATHER AND LORD, WILLIAM WARHAM, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND AND LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF THE SAID REALM, GREETING
    (pp. 2-14)

    Erasmus’ dedicatory letter to Archbishop William Warham of Canterbury, primate of England and lord chancellor of the realm, serves as the general preface to the edition of Jerome. Warham (1456?–1532) had been archbishop of Canterbury since 1503 and lord chancellor since 1504, although Cardinal Wolsey had succeeded him in the latter office at the end of 1515, a change Erasmus apparently was unaware of when he wrote this dedication. Erasmus first met him during his second visit to England in 1505, and he dedicated to him at that time his translation of Euripides’Hecuba(Ep 188) and subsequently his...

  6. Life of Jerome / Hieronymi Stridonensis vita
    (pp. 15-62)

    Erasmus’Life of Jeromeis the first critical biography of the saint, and as an extended historical work it stands alone among Erasmus’ writings. Erasmus was not a historian, but in this instance he wrote history and wrote it well.¹ As an introduction to the edition of Jerome theLifeshares in the purpose of that undertaking as well as in Erasmus’ broader goals for reform. It also bears a particularly personal stamp because of Erasmus’ devotion and scholarly attachment to Jerome. The work thus has dimensions other than the purely historical and displays a distinctly rhetorical character, wherein purpose...

  7. Prefaces to Volume II of Erasmus’ Edition of St Jerome
    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 63-66)

      Aside from the dedicatory letter to Archbishop Warham, which serves as a general preface to the entireOpera,the three prefaces translated here are the longest and most substantial in the edition. The first two are prefaces to the first and third parts of volume II in the 1516 edition (volume IV in the later editions), the volume reserved forspuriaand the writings of others that have a connection with Jerome’s works. In the threefold division of this volume, the first part containsspuriaworth reading, the third worthless trash wrongly ascribed to Jerome. Erasmus expatiates in the prefaces...

    • PREFACE TO VOLUME II (1516) PART 1 ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM TO ALL STUDENTS OF THEOLOGY, GREETING
      (pp. 67-82)

      In the previous volume I have placed in random order writings that are hortatory in nature and bear on the conduct of life. Included, as it were, in one package are panegyrical, consolatory, cautionary, and historical themes, that is, writings concerned with the expression of praise, the alleviation of suffering, the application of reproof, or the narration of events. Several familiar letters are also in the collection’smélange.I have placed all of this material in the same volume because Jerome himself blended these components into an all but inseparable union, and his goal everywhere is one and the same:...

    • PREFACE TO VOLUME II (1516) PART 3 ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM TO ALL STUDENTS OF THEOLOGY, GREETING
      (pp. 83-97)

      I am not unaware, dear reader, that in the first part of this volume I have omitted certain pieces which smack of both the folly and the stammer of the same impostor whose nonsense we have relegated to the last part here in this volume, giving them, so to speak, steerage accommodation. They would not moreover be worthy of inclusion if, as I declared before, I had not considered it more humane and forbearing to err in the direction of tolerance by letting certain pieces that deserved to be discarded remain rather than to remove anything at all worth reading;...

    • PREFACE TO VOLUME II (1524) TO THE MOST REVEREND FATHER IN CHRIST WILLIAM WARHAM, LORD ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, LEGATUS NATUS OF THE APOSTOLIC SEE, PRIMATE OF ALL ENGLAND, FROM DESIDERIUS ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM, GREETING
      (pp. 99-104)

      Whatever related to the principles of the Christian life, since this must be our first care, I have collected in the first volume, arranged by order of subject-matter, with the more perfect Christian first and descending by gradual stages to the lower levels, then to lapsed Christians, and finally to the awful warnings. The catalogue of authors I have added as a kind of appendix to a volume which by itself was rather thin, for I could see no more suitable place for it elsewhere. And at this present moment I shall pass over what in the first edition I...

  8. Selections from Jerome’s Letters with Erasmus’ Commentaries
    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 105-108)

      This section contains Erasmus’ notes and comments on six key letters of St Jerome, along with the letters themselves in the English translation of W.H. Fremantle.¹ Jerome’s ‘letters’ include a variety of writings – polemical treatises, prefaces to books of Holy Scripture, and other works – as well as correspondence in the conventional sense. We have selected six from the latter group to illustrate how Erasmus dealt with this important segment of Jerome’s work. Erasmus’ order and organization of these letters in combination with other writings of Jerome differ entirely, however, from the chronological order and enumeration of the correspondence in Migne...

    • LETTER 1 JEROME INVITES HIS FRIEND HELIODORUS TO THE DESERT
      (pp. 109-133)

      When St Jerome had gone to the desert he tried to keep with him his dearest friend Heliodorus, who out of a sense of duty had accompanied him, as he testifies elsewhere. Failing in this endeavour he wrote him a letter urging him to join him in the solitary life. He refutes several considerations which could either keep him from the desert or detain him in a city. And he shows him how it is not safe to undertake the office of bishop and how it is not easy to keep that office safe once undertaken. Then as in a...

    • LETTER 2 JEROME TO NEPOTIAN ON THE LIFE OF CLERICS AND PRIESTS
      (pp. 134-154)

      He prescribes for Nepotian, who was the son of Heliodorus’ sister, the way of life that clerics and bishops ought to follow, recommending certain very wholesome precepts concerning the disdain of riches and the avoidance of intimate association with worldly persons and especially with women. He treats the teaching of piety, restraint in dress, buildings, and table, avoidance of both the praises and the detraction of men, the pledge of silence, the refusal of gifts, and the dispensing of alms to the poor. The letter belongs to the class which gives moral exhortation, a class in which St Jerome is...

    • LETTER 3 JEROME TO EUSTOCHIUM ON GUARDING VIRGINITY
      (pp. 155-193)

      Of all the children of Paula, Eustochium alone embraced perpetual virginity, and she alone accompanied her mother on her journey to Bethlehem. Jerome therefore uses her example, since she was in the highest rank of Roman nobility, to teach all virgins how they ought to live. And in fulfilling the office of the good teacher he not only presents the model one should follow but also reveals and lays bare the tricks and deceits of virgins, monks, and clerics who under the pretext of chastity were serving their bellies and their greed. In depicting these individuals his treatment was a...

    • LETTER 4 JEROME TO DAMASUS
      (pp. 194-200)

      He wrote this letter as soon as he had migrated to Syria and was dwelling in that region which is near Antioch. Although they had been ousted from most places, the Arian factions at this time nevertheless either still held control of several churches or were seeking to gain control. The church of Antioch, which long ago had been tossed about in violent upheavals, seemed still to smack of the Arian heresy and was requiring of everyone the formula of threehypostases.² Believing such a profession suspect, Jerome consults Damasus, the bishop of Rome, and asks him to signify in...

    • LETTER 5 JEROME TO MAGNUS, ROMAN ORATOR
      (pp. 201-206)

      Rufinus incites Magnus, a Roman orator, to ask Jerome why he mixes the writings of pagans into his ecclesiastical works and contaminates the sacred with the profane. Jerome gives an explanation for this and shows to what extent it is allowed and whose example he follows.

      1 That our friend Sebesius has profited by your advice I have learned less from your letter than from his own penitence. And strange to say the pleasure which he has given me since his rebuke is greater than the pain he caused me from his previous waywardness. There has been indeed a conflict...

    • LETTER 6 JEROME TO PAULINUS
      (pp. 207-228)

      With examples of wise pagans as well as of men of the church he summons Paulinus to the study of literature, especially sacred literature, and he shows what difficulties there are in this endeavour. Then he sets before his eyes the world of Holy Scripture, as it were, and displays it as if through a lattice-work window in order to incite him more to the study of it, while at the same time with pithy remarks he commends each of its books and their authors and themes.

      1 Our brother Ambrose has delivered to me, along with your little gifts,...

  9. THE AMERBACHS’ PREFACES TO VOLUME V OF THE EDITION OF ST JEROME
    (pp. 229-236)

    The following two prefaces addressed to the reader by the Amerbach brothers appear in volume v of the edition of Jerome. The first and very short one is on the title-page under the descriptive title; the second, which bears the name of Bruno and Basilius Amerbach, is on the title-page verso. Their ascription to the Amerbachs is questioned by P.S. Allen,¹ though the personal references and tone in the second preface would seem to warrant the attribution at least in that case. The statements are particularly interesting because of the light they shed on the initiation and the preparation of...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 237-280)
  11. WORKS FREQUENTLY CITED
    (pp. 282-283)
  12. SHORT-TITLE FORMS FOR ERASMUS’ WORKS
    (pp. 284-288)
  13. Index
    (pp. 289-293)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 294-294)