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Elucidating Jerome

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Chapter Summary

While making Jerome's letters easier to understand for his readers, Erasmus encountered difficulties on his own. Erasmus conceived of his argumenta as doors opening the reader into Jerome's letters. Other paratexts had the same liminal function. But if they served as portals into Jerome's world, configured textually, they also functioned as thresholds for editors to take Jerome into the world of their readers. In refashioning Jerome, his editors sought to transform, or at least, admonish this world, a world that ought to embrace the ideals, learning, and style of antiquity as refined by Christianity. The appropriation of Jerome inscribed into various genres of paratexts was nothing other than an industrious editorial instauratio Hieronymiana. To revive Jerome in this way and to absorb him once printed and elucidated were both intellectual labours of Herculean proportions.

Keywords: Christianity; Erasmus; Herculean proportions; intellectual labours; Jerome's letters



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