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On Illustrious Men

ISBN: 0813201004

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Often cited as a source of biographical information on ancient Christian authors, On Illustrious Men provides St. Jerome’s personal evaluations of his forebears and contemporaries, as well as catalogs of patristic writings known to him. Heterodox writers and certain respected non-Christians (Seneca, Josephus, and Philo) are included in this parade of luminaries, which begins with the apostles and concludes with St. Jerome himself and a list of his own works prior to 393, the year in which On Illustrious Men was composed.

St. Jerome produced this work in his monastery at Bethlehem, to which he had retreated after his precipitous exit from Roman ecclesiastical politics. He had, however, maintained correspondences with several of his former associates, such as Dexter (the son of Pacian, bishop of Barcelona), to whom he addressed the work. Relying heavily on Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, St. Jerome attempts to demonstrate the erudition and nobility of character which render Christianity immune to the criticisms of its cultured despisers.

Since this work can be regarded as the patrology textbook of its day, its translator, Thomas P. Halton, has continued St. Jerome’s mission by compiling bibliographical data on recent editions, translations, and studies of ancient writings mentioned in On Illustrious Men. Extensive footnote material and appendices furnish a wealth of information useful for patristic research. In addition, an index to all of the Fathers of the Church volumes published to date, listed by individual authors, appears in this, the hundredth volume of the series.

For The Fathers of the Church series in its entirety, see Fathers of the Church Series (127 vols.).

Key Features

  • A historiographical study in Patristics
  • Contains Jerome’s reflections on those who lived and taught before him
  • One of 127 published volumes in a well-respected series on the Church Fathers

Top Highlights

“Nevertheless, by age and use5 it has gained authority and is reckoned among the Holy Scriptures” (Page 11)

“and because in it he quotes from the apocryphal book of Enoch” (Page 11)

“Acts, πράξεων, of the Apostles,6 a history which extends to the second year of Paul’s sojourn at Rome, that is, to the fourth year of Nero, from which we learn that the book was composed in that same city.” (Page 16)

“having been attracted to the priesthood, was elected bishop of Carthage.4” (Page 95)

“left a short epistle which is reckoned among the seven Catholic Epistles” (Page 11)

  • Title: On Illustrious Men
  • Author: Jerome
  • Series: The Fathers of the Church
  • Volume: 100
  • Publisher: Catholic University of America
  • Print Publication Date: 1999
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Pages: 150
  • Era: era:nicene
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Fathers of the church › Bio-biography; Church history › Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
  • ISBNs: 0813201004, 9780813201009
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T20:05:11Z

St. Jerome (c. 347–30 September 420) (formerly Saint Hierom) was an Illyrian Catholic priest and apologist. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, and his list of writings is extensive. He is recognized by the Catholic Church as a saint and Doctor of the Church, and the Vulgate is still an important text in Catholicism.


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  1. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    his is both my first reading of something from Jerome, as well as my first reading of a volume from the Fathers of the Church set. It may seem strange that I would start at volume 100 of the latter, but this work of Jerome's was one that I wanted to read for some time, and thus I thought it would be a good intro to the series for me. Whilst I don't know Latin (besides a few words and phrases) and thus can't say how good the translation is, I found that it did read well - much better than many of the Church Fathers that were translated into English in the late 19th / early 20th centuries. It is well indexed and cross-referenced. So I will definitely be reading more in this series. I was keen to see this history of the early church that Jerome produced at the end of the 4th Century, as it is a set of short biographies. Some just a sentence or two, more commonly two or three paragraphs. I especially found "interesting" his coverage of Ambrose - and that he includes himself (Jerome) as the last entry. Whilst I don't think Jerome is aiming to be a noted Historian, rather he is putting on one place what he knows, or what he has been told, about these people - there is no indication of a rigorous investigation. So there are comments that seem quite strange at times, but I still see much value in them. So this is quite an easy read - and introduces you to many names - some that you will hear much of in Early Church, and many whose claim to fame may just be that they are written down here (at least until other works are found).


Digital list price: $34.99
Save $7.00 (20%)