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Jerome only agreed on the conditions that he be allowed to continue his monastic interests and that he would never be forced to take on priestly duties.


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Jerome spent the next three years in intensive study of the scriptures. He was heavily influenced by Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, whose ideas about the Trinity would become standard in the Church.

At one point, he traveled to Beroea where a community of Jewish Christians had a copy of a Hebrew text that they understood to be the original Gospel of Matthew. He continued to improve his understanding of Greek and came to admire Origen, translating 14 of his sermons into Latin.

He also translated Eusebius' Chronicon Chronicles and extended it to the year In Jerome returned to Rome and became secretary to Pope Damasus.

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The pontiff urged him to write some short tracts explaining the scriptures, and he was encouraged to translate two of Origen's sermons on the Song of Solomon. Also while in the employ of the pope, Jerome used the best Greek manuscripts he could find to revise the Old Latin version of the Gospels, an attempt that wasn't entirely successful and, furthermore, wasn't very well received among the Roman clergy. While in Rome, Jerome led classes for noble Roman women -- widows and virgins -- who were interested in the monastic life.

He also wrote tracts defending the idea of Mary as a perpetual virgin and opposing the idea that marriage was just as virtuous as virginity. Jerome found much of the Roman clergy to be lax or corrupt and did not hesitate to say so; that, along with his support of monasticism and his new version of the Gospels, provoked considerable antagonism among the Romans.

Accompanied by some of the virgins of Rome who were led by Paula, one of his closest friends , Jerome journeyed throughout Palestine, visiting sites of religious importance and studying both their spiritual and archaeological aspects. After a year he settled in Bethlehem, where, under his direction, Paula completed a monastery for men and three cloisters for women.

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Here Jerome would live out the rest of his life, only leaving the monastery on short journeys. Jerome's monastic lifestyle did not keep him from getting involved in the theological controversies of the day, which resulted in many of his later writings. Arguing against the monk Jovinian, who maintained that marriage and virginity should be viewed as equally righteous, Jerome wrote Adversus Jovinianum.

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When the priest Vigilantius wrote a diatribe against Jerome, he responded with Contra Vigilantium, in which he defended, among other things, monasticism and clerical celibacy. His stand against the Pelagian heresy came to fruition in the three books of Dialogi contra Pelagianos. A powerful anti-Origen movement in the East influenced him, and he turned against both Origen and his old friend Rufinus.

In the last 34 years of his life, Jerome wrote the bulk of his work.


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In addition to tracts on monastic life and defenses of and attacks on theological practices, he wrote some history, a few biographies, and many biblical exegeses. Most significantly of all, he recognized that the work he'd begun on the Gospels was inadequate and, using those editions considered most authoritative, he revised his earlier version.

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Jerome also translated books of the Old Testament into Latin. While the amount of work he did was considerable, Jerome didn't manage to make a complete translation of the Bible into Latin; however, his work formed the core of what would become, eventually, the accepted Latin translation known as The Vulgate.

Jerome died in or C.

In the later Middle Ages and Renaissance , Jerome would become a popular subject for artists, often depicted, incorrectly and anachronistically, in the robes of a cardinal. Saint Jerome is the patron saint of librarians and translators. Share Flipboard Email. Atlas sometimes wrote personal essays as vehicles with which to talk about the pressures and angst of his generation, or at least of the New York-dwelling, literary-leaning part of it.

His father was a physician, his mother a homemaker. Atlas graduated from high school in Evanston, Ill. I was in Chicago at the convention — we were being tear-gassed and all that — but what really interested me was that I ran into Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs and Jean Genet together, and for me that was the formative experience. Atlas wrote years later. He began thinking about a biography of Schwartz, an underappreciated poet who knew noted literary figures but died in isolation in a Manhattan hotel in , and secured an advance that allowed him to tackle it.

That helped give Mr.

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It was Philip Roth , he said, who eventually suggested that he take on a biography of Bellow. Though the resulting book was not an authorized biography, he did have the cooperation of Bellow, who died in Atlas, who lived in Manhattan, married Dr. Fels, a psychiatrist , in In addition to her, he is survived by a daughter, Molly Atlas; a son, William; and a grandson. In a interview with The Times , Mr.

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Atlas lamented the abundance of books on the market, the shortage of time to read them and the relatively brief shelf life most have. But I was totally fine with that. Neil Genzlinger is a writer for the Obituaries Desk. Previously he was a television, film and theater critic.