Select Letters of St. Jerome
Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) of Stridon, Dalmatia, born to Christian parents c.345. At Rome listened to rhetoricians, legal advocates & philosophers. Baptized by Pope Liberius in 360. Travelled widely in Gaul & Asia Minor. Turned in 373-379 to hermetic life in Syria. Ordained presbyter at Antioch in 379 he went to Constantinople, met Gregory of Nazianzus & studied. He was called to Rome in 382 to help Pope Damasus, at whose suggestion he began his revision of the Old Latin translation of the Bible which came to form the core of the Vulgate version. Meanwhile he taught scripture & Hebrew & monastic living to Roman women. Suspected of luxurious habits, he left Rome (now under Pope Siricius) in 385. Toured Palestine, visited Egypt, then settled in Bethlehem, presiding over a monastery & (with help) translating the Old Testament from Hebrew. About 394 he met Augustine. Died on 9/30/420.
His letters constitute one of the most notable collections in Latin literature. They're an essential source for our knowledge of Christian life in the 4th-5th centuries. They provide insight into one of the most complex personalities of the time. Seven of the 18 letters in this selection deal with a primary interest: the morals & proper role of women. The most famous letter here fervently extols virginity.
Harvard University Press, 1991.
ISBN: 9780674992887. 510 pp.
Translated by F.A. Wright.
Loeb Classical Library, 262.
Hardcover. Very good in a very good jacket.