O vere ius summum, summa malitia: The Genre and Intent of Jerome‘s Ep. 1


  • Domen Iljaš University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia
  • Miran Špelič OFM University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Theology, Slovenia




Jerome, epistolography, hagiography, gender identity, martyrdom, monasticism


The paper analyses the first letter from the correspondence of Saint Jerome. The author had a somewhat ambivalent attitude towards the text, and this fact provides the basis for exploring its multi-layered communication. After an attempt at dating, rhetorical and stylistic analysis, and presentation of the basic embedded story, the examination continues on two challenging levels. The late-antique town was not capable of surviving without a new type of leading personality, namely the bishop. Jerome may have planned to pave the way to the bishopric of Vercelae for his friend Evagrius of Antioch. The analysis of the unclear gender identities of both protagonists of the story, the less-than-manly young man and the manly and unbreakable woman, shows that Jerome was trying to establish a new ideal for Christians, one based on monastic asceticism and in continuity with martyrdom.


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How to Cite

Iljaš, Domen, and Miran Špelič OFM. 2021. “O Vere Ius Summum, Summa Malitia: The Genre and Intent of Jerome‘s Ep. 1”. Clotho 3 (1):101-21. https://doi.org/10.4312/clotho.3.1.101-121.




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