St Jerome’s Lives and the Formation of the Hagiographic Canon

Scripta & e-Scripta vol. 12, 2013
  • Author(s):
  • Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies //
  • Published by: Institute for Literature BAS
  • Print ISSN: 1312-238X
  • Summary/Abstract:

    This article approaches the question to what extent Jerome, as the first author who composed hagiographical works dedicated to hermits, constituted the hagiographical canon, to what extent he borrowed from the prior tradition and how he enriched Christian hagiography. Irina Kuzidova reconsiders the well-established opinion that his works Vita Pauli, Vita Malchi, and Vita Hilarionis, also known as Vitae Patrum eremitarum, are strongly influenced by the great example of Vita Anthonii by Athanasius of Alexandria. Without trying to deny the obvious effort and ambition of Jerome, the Bible’s translator into Latin, to surpass Athanasius of Alexandria’s hagiographic techniques and methods of glorifying an anchoret, St. Antonius, Kuzidova outlines the basic differences in Jerome’s and St. Athanasius of Alexandria’s narrative models. She focuses on innovative ideas and descriptions of important spiritual phenomena of the fourth century that were reflected for the first time in Jerome’s hagiography, such as anchoretic practices and regimes, formation of religious communities, shaping the Palestinian hierotopy, intellectual partnership between women and men and female activity in Christian societies.