The contribution analyses Jerome’s Letter 64, sent in the spring of 397 to the Roman Fabiola and focused on the exegesis of priestly garments. The text, a veritable exegetical treatise in which the Stridonian displays his linguistic and scriptural skills, had been thoroughly invastigated by Origen on many occasions: in order to distinguish himself decisively from his bulky predecessor, Jerome focuses on the literal level, with ample recourse to the exegesis of Flavio Giuseppe – from which he also takes his cosmological exegesis – and emphasizes the value of hebraica veritas. In this way he has the opportunity to exhibit his own erudition, accrediting himself as the only interpreter of Scripture in the ascetic circles of the Roman aristocracy. A detailed analysis of the Latin terminology used by Jerome – made evident through a synoptic table of terms relating to the different priestly garments used in the letter, in the Hebrew text, in the LXX version, in the works of Flavius Josephus and Origen, on which Jerome depends in a sometimes literal way, in the Vetus Latina and, finally, in the Vulgata, subsequent to Epistle 64 – makes it clear that Jerome’s lexical choices have been partly conditioned by the priestly ideology of our author. The accentuation, in the lexicon, of a terminology afferent to the military semantic field, contributes, in fact, to construct an image of a monastic-military priest, made explicit in some contemporary epistles. Jerome’s choice to give little prominence to the diadem present in the priestly habit, an evident royal symbol opportunely emphasized by its source, Flavius Josephus, is contextualised, finding confirmation in the contemporary iconography of the Western area: a small iconographic appendix makes it possible to verify it, while the proposals of explanation remain hypothetical. In accordance with the origenian exegesis, the high priest is then identified, above all, with those who are able to combine the highest knowledge of the Scriptures with the right teaching and practice of justice: who, better than Jerome, can embody the Christian high priest? In evident disagreement, on the other hand, with the priestly ideal promoted in those same years in Rome by Bishop Siricius.

Noce, C. (2021). La veste del sacerdote cristiano fra spunti esegetici ed esigenze ascetiche. Un’indagine sul punto di vista di Girolamo, a partire dalla lettera alla romana Fabiola. In Ingo Schaaf (a cura di), Hieronymus Romanus. Studies on Jerome and Rome on the Occasion of the 1600th Anniversary of his Death (pp. 194-234). Turnhout : Brepols Publisher.

La veste del sacerdote cristiano fra spunti esegetici ed esigenze ascetiche. Un’indagine sul punto di vista di Girolamo, a partire dalla lettera alla romana Fabiola

Carla Noce
2021

Abstract

The contribution analyses Jerome’s Letter 64, sent in the spring of 397 to the Roman Fabiola and focused on the exegesis of priestly garments. The text, a veritable exegetical treatise in which the Stridonian displays his linguistic and scriptural skills, had been thoroughly invastigated by Origen on many occasions: in order to distinguish himself decisively from his bulky predecessor, Jerome focuses on the literal level, with ample recourse to the exegesis of Flavio Giuseppe – from which he also takes his cosmological exegesis – and emphasizes the value of hebraica veritas. In this way he has the opportunity to exhibit his own erudition, accrediting himself as the only interpreter of Scripture in the ascetic circles of the Roman aristocracy. A detailed analysis of the Latin terminology used by Jerome – made evident through a synoptic table of terms relating to the different priestly garments used in the letter, in the Hebrew text, in the LXX version, in the works of Flavius Josephus and Origen, on which Jerome depends in a sometimes literal way, in the Vetus Latina and, finally, in the Vulgata, subsequent to Epistle 64 – makes it clear that Jerome’s lexical choices have been partly conditioned by the priestly ideology of our author. The accentuation, in the lexicon, of a terminology afferent to the military semantic field, contributes, in fact, to construct an image of a monastic-military priest, made explicit in some contemporary epistles. Jerome’s choice to give little prominence to the diadem present in the priestly habit, an evident royal symbol opportunely emphasized by its source, Flavius Josephus, is contextualised, finding confirmation in the contemporary iconography of the Western area: a small iconographic appendix makes it possible to verify it, while the proposals of explanation remain hypothetical. In accordance with the origenian exegesis, the high priest is then identified, above all, with those who are able to combine the highest knowledge of the Scriptures with the right teaching and practice of justice: who, better than Jerome, can embody the Christian high priest? In evident disagreement, on the other hand, with the priestly ideal promoted in those same years in Rome by Bishop Siricius.
978-2-503-59259-6
Noce, C. (2021). La veste del sacerdote cristiano fra spunti esegetici ed esigenze ascetiche. Un’indagine sul punto di vista di Girolamo, a partire dalla lettera alla romana Fabiola. In Ingo Schaaf (a cura di), Hieronymus Romanus. Studies on Jerome and Rome on the Occasion of the 1600th Anniversary of his Death (pp. 194-234). Turnhout : Brepols Publisher.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/377996
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