Chromatius vs. Jerome : The Origenist Controversy Reconsidered

Journal article


Hanaghan, Michael Peter. (2023). Chromatius vs. Jerome : The Origenist Controversy Reconsidered. The Journal of Theological Studies. 74(1), pp. 189-209. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flad010
AuthorsHanaghan, Michael Peter
Abstract

Chromatius, bishop of Aquileia, was closely acquainted with Jerome and Rufinus, the two main protagonists of the Origenist controversy in the Latin west. When hostilities between Jerome and Rufinus were renewed in 397 ce, Chromatius wrote to Jerome, urging him to be silent. Jerome demurred. In the years that followed, Chromatius continued as Rufinus’ patron, first asking Rufinus to translate Eusebius’ Ecclesiastica Historia and then requesting that Rufinus translate Origen’s Homilies on Joshua. Scholars have viewed Chromatius’ role in two ways, as either a pacific intermediary or subtly inclined towards Rufinus. This article argues that Chromatius was far more sympathetic to Rufinus. It examines first the relationship between Jerome and Chromatius prior to 397, then Jerome’s use of Chromatius’ name in his Apology and his epithets for Chromatius after Rufinus’ translation of Origen’s Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν in 397, which markedly change, losing the honorifics typical for the address of a bishop. This is set against Chromatius’ continued patron-
age of Rufinus, including his request in 403/404 for Rufinus to translate Origen’s Homilies on Joshua, and Chromatius’ use of Origenist ideas in his own work. Together, these arguments indicate that Jerome’s relationship with Chromatius increasingly deteriorated as the Bishop of Aquileia’s actions continued to favour Rufinus and his pro-Origenist position.

KeywordsChromatius; Jerome; Rufinus; Ecclesiastica Historia ; Homilies on Joshua; Origen; Origenist controversy; literary criticism
Year01 Jan 2023
JournalThe Journal of Theological Studies
Journal citation74 (1), pp. 189-209
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0022-5185
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/flad010
Web address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/jts/article/74/1/189/7083705
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range189-209
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Mar 2023
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Deposited03 Jul 2024
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Copyright © 2023, © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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