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359

II. Jerome.

Lives of Illustrious Men.

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Preface.

You have urged me, Dexter,23202320    Dexter. Compare chapters 132 and 106. to follow the example of Tranquillus23212321    Tranquillus. C. Suetonius Tranquillus (about a.d. 100). De illustribus grammaticis; De claris rhetoribus. in giving a systematic account of ecclesiastical writers, and to do for our writers what he did for the illustrious men of letters among the Gentiles, namely, to briefly set before you all those who have published23222322    Published or handed down “Prodiderunt.” Some mss. read “tradiderunt,” and Jerome usually employs “Edo” for publish. any memorable writing on the Holy Scriptures, from the time of our Lord’s passion until the fourteenth year of the Emperor Theodosius.23232323    Fourteenth year of the Emperor Theodosius. a.d. 492. A similar work has been done by Hermippus23242324    Hermippus of Smyrna. (3rd century b.c.) Lives of distinguished men. the peripatetic, Antigonus Carystius,23252325    Antigonus. Antigonus of Carystus (Reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus?). the learned Satyrus,23262326    Satyrus. A Peripatetic (Reign of Ptolemy Philopator) “wrote a collection of biographies.” and most learned of all, Aristoxenus the Musician,23272327    Aristoxenus the musician. A Peripatetic, pupil of Aristotle, wrote lives of various Philosophers. among the Greeks, and among the Latins by Varro,23282328    Varro. M. Terentius Varro the “most learned of the Romans” (died b.c. 28) published among other things a series of “portraits of seven hundred remarkable personages” (Ramsay in Smith’s Dictionary). Santra,23292329    Santra. Santra the Grammarian? Nepos,23302330    Nepos. Cornelius Nepos friend of Cicero wrote Lives of Illustrious men. Hyginus,23312331    Hyginus. Caius Julius Hyginus, freedman of Augustus and friend of Ovid. and by him through whose example you seek to stimulate23322332    Seek to stimulate 30 31 a [H e 21] and the mass of mss. also Fabricius; stimulate. A.T. Migne. Her. us,—Tranquillus.

But their situation and mine is not the same, for they, opening the old histories and chronicles could as if gathering from some great meadow, weave some23332333    SomeA H 25 31 e 21. Fabricius; No T a? Migne Her. small crown at least for their work. As for me, what shall I do, who, having no predecessor, have, as the saying is, the worst possible master, namely myself, and yet I must acknowledge that Eusebius Pamphilus in the ten books of his Church History has been of the utmost assistance, and the works of various among those of whom we are to write, often testify to the dates of their authors. And so I pray the Lord Jesus,23342334    The Lord Jesus A H T 25 31 e; The Lord Jesus Christ a; Our Lord Jesus Christ Bamb. Bern; My Lord Jesus Christ Norimb. that what your Cicero, who stood at the summit of Roman eloquence, did not scorn to do, compiling in his Brutus, a catalogue of Latin orators, this I too may accomplish in the enumeration of ecclesiastical writers, and accomplish in a fashion worthy of the exhortation which you made. But if, perchance any of those who are yet writing have been overlooked by me in this volume, they ought to ascribe it to themselves, rather than to me, for among those whom I have not read, I could not, in the first place, know those who concealed their own writings, and, in the second place, what is perhaps well known to others, would be quite unknown to me in this out of the way corner of the earth.23352335    Out of the way corner of the earth i.e., Bethlehem. But surely when they are distinguished by their writings, they will not very greatly grieve over any loss in our non-mention of them. Let Celsus, Porphyry, and Julian learn, rabid as they are against Christ, let their followers, they who think the church has had no philosophers or orators or men of learning, learn how many and what sort of men founded, built and adorned it, and cease to accuse our faith of such rustic simplicity, and recognize rather their own ignorance.

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, farewell.23362336    In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ farewell T 25 31 a 21; do. omitting Christ A; omit all H e.


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