Jerome (AD c. 347-420) is best remembered as the author of the Vulgate translation of the Bible. But he was also an untiring letter-writer. Among the many letters which have survived are several written to friends who have suffered recent bereavement. In the most impressive of these, Letter 60, Jerome consoles Heliodorus, Bishop of Altinum in north-east Italy, on the early death of his young nephew Nepotianus. The letter is composed from a thoroughly Christian perspective; but it belongs to a tradition of consolatory literature that reaches far back into the pagan world. In this commentary, Professor Scourfield places the letter in the context of this consolatory tradition, showing how in the late fourth century a highly literate Christian author could take over pagan ideas and put them to Christian use. The commentary also includes a full discussion of matters of language and style, theology and exegesis, as well as the historical background. There is a freshly revised text, as well as a completely new translation of the Letter.
The text ... is accompanied by a masterly translation and commentary. Scourfield misses no nuance of Jerome's stylish, erudite and, at times, very moving prose.
'it will offer a valuable introduction to late antique Latin Christianity'
James J. O'Donnell, University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 4.3 (1993)
'The text ... is accompanied by a masterly translation and commentary. Scourfield misses no nuance of Jerome's stylish, erudite and, at times, very moving prose. Scriptural, Patristic and classical references are elucidated and points of historical, theological or exegetical interest are full expounded.'
Carol Harrison, The Expository Times, August 1993, Volume 104, Number 11
'With few exceptions, the letters have been generally neglected. Scourfield has begun to remedy this deficiency with his impressive edition of Letter 60 ... Both classicists and patrologists will find this work highly informative.'
William G. Rusch, Religious Studies Review, Volume 20, Number 1/January 1994
'impressive edition of Letter 60...Both classicists and patrologists will find this work highly informative.'
William G Rusch, Religious Studies Review, Vol 20, No 1, January 1994
'J.D.H. Scourfield has produced a well organized and erudite commentary on the epistle. This lucidly written and erudite commentary can be warmly recommended. It will obviously be of particular interest to the student of Jerome, but the curious nonspecialist will find much to chew on, too.'
James Carleton Paget, Queens' College, Cambridge, Theological Book Review, Vol. 6, No. 3, June 1994
'This impressive piece of work is elegantly presented, both inside and out. The introduction consists of a clear and useful summary of Jerome's life ... an important work for all who study the consolation ... most helpful and wide-ranging commentary.'
R.P.H. Green, University of St Andrews, The Classical Review, Vol. XLIV, No. 1, '94
'Scourfield's book comprises a most readable introduction, a revised version of Hilberg's text from the Vienna corpus, with an English translation, and extensive commentary. The book conforms to the usual high standards the Clarendon Press sets its authors and editors... thorough scholarship... Scourfield is himself well-grounded in the classical school, but sensibly can distinguish between pure classical tradition, common human experience, and the
essentially Christian... Scourfield exhibits a mastery of his subjects... Scourfield provides a key to the thought of a powerful theological mind.'
Jo-Marie Claassen, Journal of Roman Studies
`He comments on matters of both literary and theological interest, and his comments are always judicious ... This is an important book, of absorbing interest.'
Andrew Louth, University of Durham, Scottish Journal of Theology
`This detailed book will be of interest to scholars of Patristics and Late Latin literary style ... we are given an extremely detailed word-by-word commentary .,.. The commentary ranges much wider than Ep. 60 and provides sometimes fascinating evidence of Jerome's scholarship and erudition, as well as background information on linguistic, stylistic and literary matters. This book is a welcome and substantial addition to our knowledge of Jerome's works. The
author is to be warmly praised for his erudition and hard labour in producing a fine and scholarly volume.'
Dennis Brown, Irish Theological Quarterly 68/1