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Εσέβιος Σωφρόνιος ερώνυμος; c. 27 March 347 – 30 September 420) was a

Christian priest, confessor, theologian, and historian. He was born at Stridon, a

village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. [2][3][4] 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. [5]





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. [6]

Jerome is recognised as asaint and Doctor of the Churchby the Catholic Church, the

His feast day is 30 September.



Conversion to Christianity

After Rome


Translation of the Bible (382–405)

Commentaries (405–420)

Historical and hagiographic writings Description of vitamin A deficiency


Theological writings Eschatology

Reception by later Christianity

In art

See also


Further reading

External links Latin texts Facsimiles

English translations


Saint Jerome Saint Jerome in the Desert by Bernardino Pinturicchio Hermit and Doctor of the
Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome in the Desert by
Bernardino Pinturicchio
Hermit and Doctor of the Church
c. 27 March 347
Stridon (possibly
Strido Dalmatiae, on
the border of
Dalmatia and
30 September 420
(aged c. 73) [1]
Palaestina Prima
Venerated in
Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox
Anglican Communion
Oriental Orthodoxy
Major shrine
Basilica of Saint
Mary Major, Rome,
30 September
15 June (Eastern

Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus was born at Stridon around 347 [8] He was of

Illyrian ancestry and his native tongue was the Illyrian dialect. [9][10] He was not

as his friend who went to live as a hermit on an island in the Adriatic) to pursue

not the familiarity with Greek literature he would later claim to have acquired as a

schoolboy. [12]

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

would visit on Sundays the sepulchres of the martyrs and the Apostles in the

terrible bouts of guilt afterwards. [13] To appease his conscience, he

catacombs. This experience would remind him of the terrors ofhell:

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.
St. Jerome in His Study
(1480), by Domenico

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 aspederasty which was found

in Rome.

Conversion to Christianity

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 thePsalms 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 theBible, under

the impulse of Apollinaris of Laodicea, then teaching inAntioch and not yet suspected ofheresy.

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 withJewish Christiansin Antioch. Around this time he had copied for him a Hebrew Gospel, of which fragments are

St. Jerome in the Desert, by Giovanni Bellini
St. Jerome in the Desert, by
Giovanni Bellini

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).

This painting by Antonio da Fabriano II, depicts Saint Jerome working in his study. The
This painting by Antonio da
Fabriano II, depicts Saint
Jerome working in his study.
The writing implements,
scrolls, and manuscripts
testify to Jerome's scholarly
pursuits. [21] The Walters Art

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 daughtersBlaesilla 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 aconsecrated 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. [6]

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 ofGalilee, and then went toEgypt, 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 inPalestine, 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.

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. 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.


Painting by Niccolò Antonio Colantonio, showing Jerome's removal of a thorn from a lion's paw.
Painting by Niccolò Antonio
Colantonio, showing Jerome's
removal of a thorn from a lion's paw.

according to another tradition, is in theEscorial.

Translation of the Bible (382–405)

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

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, includingAugustine, who thought the Septuagintinspired. 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]

work by 405. Prior to Jerome's

Commentaries (405–420)

For the next 15 years, until he died, Jerome produced a number of commentaries on Scripture, often explaining his translation choice

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

Saint Jerome, unknown Southern Dutch artist, 1520, Hamburger Kunsthalle
Saint Jerome, unknown
Southern Dutch artist, 1520,
Hamburger Kunsthalle

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 hisPrologue 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's commentaries fall into three groups:

His translations or recastings of Greek predecessors, including fourteen homilies on the Book of Jeremiah and the same number on the Book of Ezekiel homilies on the Book of Jeremiahand the same number on theBook of Ezekiel by Origen (translated ca. 380 in Constantinople); two homilies of Origen of Alexandriaon the Song of Solomon(in Rome, ca. 383); and thirty-nine on theGospel of Luke (ca. 389, in Bethlehem). The nine homilies of Origen on theBook of Isaiah included among his works were not done by him. Here should be mentioned, as an important contribution to the topography of Palestine, his bookDe situ et nominibus locorum Hebraeorum,a translation with additions and some regrettable omissions of theOnomasticon of Eusebius. To the same period (ca. 390) belongs theLiber interpretationis nominum Hebraicorum, based on a work supposed to go back toPhilo and

expanded by Origen.

Jerome in the desert, tormented by his memories of the dancing girls, by Francisco de
Jerome in the desert, tormented by
his memories of the dancing girls, by
Francisco de Zurbarán. Rome.

Original commentaries on the Old Testament. To the period before his settlement at Bethlehem and the following five years belong a series of short Old Testament studies:De seraphim , De voce Osanna , De tribus quaestionibus veteris legis (usually included among De seraphim, De voce Osanna, De tribus quaestionibus veteris legis(usually included among the letters as 18, 20, and 36);Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim; Commentarius in Ecclesiasten; Tractatus septem in Psalmos 10–16(lost); Explanationes in Michaeam, Sophoniam, Nahum, Habacuc, Aggaeum. After 395 he composed a series of longer commentaries, though in rather a desultory fashion: first on Jonah and Obadiah (396), then on Isaiah (ca. 395-ca. 400), on Zechariah, Malachi, Hoseah, Joel, Amos (from 406), on theBook of Daniel (ca. 407), on Ezekiel (between 410 and 415), and on Jeremiah (after 415, left unfinished).

New Testament commentaries. These includeonly Philemon , Galatians , Ephesians , and Titus (hastily composed 387–388); Matthew (dictated in a Philemon, Galatians, Ephesians, and Titus (hastily composed 387–388); Matthew (dictated in a fortnight, 398);Mark, selected passages inLuke, Revelation, and the prologue to the Gospel of John.

Historical and hagiographic writings

Jerome is also known as a historian. One of his earliest historical works was his Chronicle (or Chronicon or Temporum liber),

composed ca. 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.

Lactantius, he includes a good deal of independent information, especially as to

western writers.

Four works of ahagiographic nature are:

the Vita Pauli monachi, written during his first sojourn a t Antioch (ca. 376), the legendary Vita Pauli monachi, written during his first sojourn atAntioch (ca. 376), the legendary material of which is derived from Egyptian monastic tradition;

the Vita Malchi monachi captiv i (ca. 391), probably based on an earlier work, although it Vita Malchi monachi captivi(ca. 391), probably based on an earlier work, although it purports to be derived from the oral communications of the aged ascetic Malchus of Syriaoriginally made to him in the desert of Chalcis;

the Vita Hilarionis , of the same date, containing more trustworthy historical matter than the other Vita Hilarionis, of the same date, containing more trustworthy historical matter than the other two, and based partly on the biography of Epiphanius and partly on oral tradition.

In the Middle Ages, Jerome was often ahistorically depicted as a cardinal.
In the Middle Ages, Jerome was
often ahistorically depicted as a

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 theapostolic 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 ofbarley 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]


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 inRome 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. [6] 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

Saint Jerome by Matthias Stom
Saint Jerome by Matthias Stom

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


Letter to Dardanus (Ep. 129)



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

located with






continues to the

west, as far as the

river of Egypt, that

discharges into

the open sea near




bounded on the

west by the sea

along the coasts

of Palestine,



Coele‑Syria, and



bounded on the

north by the circle

formed by the

Mountains [37] and
















Francesco St Jerome– Jacopo Palma il Giovane
Francesco St Jerome– Jacopo
Palma il Giovane

Theological writings









which discharges

into the salt sea,

now called the

Dead Sea. [38][39]

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 (ca. 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 th

Arian controversy, and especially with the schisms centering aroundMeletius of Antiochand 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 ofbaptism 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 composedDialogus contra Pelagianos(415).

The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino by Lorenzo Lotto
The Virgin and Child with Saints
Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino by
Lorenzo Lotto


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 nobl

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,

Savage tribes in countless numbers have overrun run all parts of Gaul.

and to them that give suck in those days.”

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!-- evenPannonians. [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


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 hornof 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.

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

Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after Augustine of Hippo) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Catholic Church, he is recognized as thepatron 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 estament.T

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.

The traditional view is that he used this

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).

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.

Saint Jerome in his studyby Pieter Coecke van Aelstand Workshop, Walters Art Museum
Saint Jerome in his studyby Pieter
Coecke van Aelstand Workshop,
Walters Art Museum

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


Jerome is also often depicted with a lion, in

reference to the popularhagiographical belief

that Jerome had tamed a lion in the

wilderness by healing its paw. The source for

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

the story may actually have been the second century Roman tale of Androcles, or

confusion with the exploits ofSaint 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

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

Saint Jerome and the Paulines painted by Gabriel Thaller in the St. Jerome Church inŠtrigova,
Saint Jerome and the Paulines
painted by Gabriel Thaller in the St.
Jerome Church inŠtrigova,
Međimurje County, northern Croatia
(18th century)













"St. Jerome (Christian scholar)"( Britannica Encyclopedia. 2 February 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2017.

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.

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."

Megan Hale Williams, The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the Making of Christian Scholarship, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006)

In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is known asSaint Jerome of Stridoniumor Blessed Jerome. Though "Blessed" in this context does not have the sense of being less than a saint, as in the West.

Williams, Megan Hale (2006),The Monk and the Book: Jerome and the making of Christian Scholarship, Chicago

Wilkes 1995, p. 266: "Alongside Latin the native Illyrian survived in the country areas, and St Jerome claimed to speak his 'sermo gentilis' (Commentary on Isaiah 7.19)."

Walsh, Michael, ed. (1992),Butler's Lives of the Saints, New York: HarperCollins, p. 307

Kelly, JND (1975), Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies, New York: Harper & Row, pp. 13–14

Payne, Robert (1951),The Fathers of the Western Church, New York: Viking Press, pp. 90–92




14. Psalm 55:15



Jerome, Commentarius in Ezzechielem, c. 40, v. 5

Patrologia Latina25, 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."

Payne, Robert (1951),The Fathers of the Western Church, New York: Viking, p. 91

Rebenich, Stefan (2002),Jerome, p. 211, "Further, he began to study Hebrew: 'I betookmyself to a brother who '"

before his conversion had been a Hebrew and

Pritz, Ray (1988),Nazarene Jewish Christianity: from the end of the New estamentT








, p. 50, "In his accounts of his "

desert sojourn, Jerome never mentions leaving Chalcis, and there is no pressing reason to think

Joyce Salisbury, Encyclopedia of women in the ancient world, Blaesilla

Bennett, Rod (2015).The Apostasy That Wasn't: The ExtraordinaryStory of the Unbreakable Early Church. Catholic Answers Press. ISBN 1941663494.

24. "(


die griechische Bibelübersetzung, die einem innerjüdischen Bedürfnis entsprang (


Später jedoch, als manche ungenaue Übertragung des hebräischenextesT

[von den] Rabbinen zuers in der Septuaginta und



gerühmt (

Übersetzungsfehler die Grundlage für hellenistische Irrlehren abgaben, lehte man die Septuaginta ab."erbandV

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, articleHieronymus, 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 abou the Hebrew that could not have been learned from the Greek translations."

31. Jerome, To Paulinus, Epistle 58 (A.D. 395), inNPNF2, 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 ofBaruch, '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


behold I have given you seven"


of the three proofs fromHoly Scripture which you said would satisfy you if I could produce them,

35. "regulae sancti pachomii 84 rule 104.

36. W. H. Fremantle, "Prolegomena to Jerome",V.

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 aurusT Syrian plain (Bechard 2000, p. 205, note 98.)"

Mountains, which marked the northern limit of the

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 nunciberiasT

appellatur, et Jordanem, qui mari

39. Hieronymus (1910). "Epistola CXXIX Ad Dardanum de erraT

promissionis (al. 129; scripta circa annum 414ce)".

Letters and select works, 1893. Second Series By Philip Schaff, Henry Wace.

41. See Jerome’s Letter to Pope Damasus(, 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(, p.449 in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church : St. Jerome: Letters and selec works, 1893. Second Series By Philip Schaff, Henry Wace.

43. See Jerome’s Letter to Ageruchia(, 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.


54. Stefan Rebenich, Jerome (New York: Routlage, 2002), pp. 52–59

55. "Jerome, St." Pages 872–873 inThe 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 conjecturesSaint(

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

about St Gerasimus; and that the author ofPlerosque 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( ks?id=kctEkMyhztQC&pg=PA11). D. S. Brewer. p. 12. ISBN 9780859916240.

Jerome in

made St Geronimus the hero of a story he had heard

61. The Collection: Saint Jerome(, gallery of the religious art collection ofNew Mexico State University, with explanations. Accessed August 10, 2007.


J.N.D. Kelly, Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies (Peabody, MA 1998) Jerome: His Life, Writings, and Controversies(Peabody, MA 1998)

S. Rebenich, Jerome (London and New York, 2002) Jerome (London and New York, 2002)

"Biblia Sacra Vulgata", Stuttgart, 1994.ISBN 3-438-05303-9 ISBN 3-438-05303-9

This article uses material from Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion.Sacra Vulgata", Stuttgart, 1994. ISBN 3-438-05303-9 Further reading Saint Jerome, Three biographies: Malchus,

Further reading

Saint Jerome, Three biographies: Malchus, St. Hilarion and Paulus the First Hermit Authored by Saint Jerome , Three biographies: Malchus, St. Hilarion and Paulus the First Hermit Authored by Saint Jerome, London, 2012. 978-1-78336-016-1

External links

of St. Jerome, Priest, Confessor and Doctor of the Churc h Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913) .

Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Jerome" . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company. ."St. Jerome" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Here Followeth the Life of Jerome from Caxton's translation of the Golden Legend Here Followeth the Life of Jeromefrom Caxton's translation of the Golden Legend

Beati Hyeronimi Epistolarum libe r , digitized codex (1464) Beati Hyeronimi Epistolarum liber, digitized codex (1464)

Epistole de santo Geronimo traducte di latino , digitized codex (1475–1490) Epistole de santo Geronimo traducte di latino, digitized codex (1475–1490)

Hieronymi in Danielem , digitized codex (1490) Hieronymi in Danielem, digitized codex (1490)

Sancti Hieronymi ad Pammachium in duodecim propheta s , digitized codex (1470–1480) Sancti Hieronymi ad Pammachium in duodecim prophetas, digitized codex (1470–1480)

Latin texts


English translations

Jerome's Letter to Pope Damasus : Preface to the Gospels Jerome's Letter to Pope Damasus: Preface to the Gospels

Letters , The Life of Paulus the First Hermit, The Life of S. Hilarion, The Letters, The Life of Paulus the First Hermit, The Life of S. Hilarion, The Life of Malchus, the Captive Monk, The Dialogue Against the Luciferians, The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary, Against Jovinianus, Against Vigilantius, To Pammachius against John of Jerusalem, Against the Pelagians, Prefaces (CCEL)