This chapter discusses the internal dynamics of Jerome's cultural program and evaluates its larger historical, or even intellectual, significance. Everything that Jerome did, thought, and wrote was shaped by the tension between the classical literary culture of the imperial elite, and the ascetic Christian focus on the Bible that emerged in its shadow. Others in his day articulated similar tensions in different terms. Some of them were more influential than Jerome. Nevertheless, Jerome's life and work, viewed as a cultural program, impresses upon the observer a sense of coherence, even monumentality.
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