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Jerome, Saint

latin studied rome bible

Jerome , one of the four Latin *Doctors of the Church, was born at Stridon in Dalmatia, brought up as a Christian, studied classical literature, traveled much throughout his life, and gained great fame for his scholarship. He lived as a hermit and in community with other ascetics at various periods in his life, was ordained a priest in Antioch, studied under Saint *Gregory Nazianzus, served as secretary to Pope Damasus in Rome from 382 to 385, was extremely involved in discussions of contemporary theological controversies and heresies, and founded a monastery in Bethlehem where he lived his last years. His preeminent work of scholarship was his revised translation of the Latin Bible from Hebrew and Greek sources (referred to as the “Vulgate” Bible) which he began c.382 under the direction of Pope Damasus and completed c.404. He produced three versions of the Psalter (the “Roman” and “Gallican,” based on Greek sources, and the later “Hebrew” revision). He also composed numerous biblical commentaries, a bibliography of church writers (De viris illustribus) , plus copious tracts and over 100 letters. Jerome’s teaching in Rome inspired several female disciples (Melania, elder and younger) as well as Paula and her daughter, Eustochium, who both accompanied Jerome to Bethlehem and founded convents. In art, Jerome appears as a scholar (for example in *author portraits in manuscripts), as an ascetic, and may be accompanied by a lion; according to the * Golden Legend , he withdrew a painful thorn from the lion’s paw, and the beast became his companion.
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