(ed. J.-P. Migne, post. R. Khazarzar)

Patrologiae cursus completus. Series latina. Vol. 22.
Paris: Migne, 1845, pp. 325–1224.

In the earlier editions the letters of Jerome are grouped together according to their subjects, and are for the most part ranked under three great heads: Theologicae, Polemicae, Morales. This system being altogether vague and unsatisfactory, the Benedictines selected from the mass eighteen, including one from Pope Damasus, which refer directly to the interpretation of the Old Testament, and these they distinguished by the epithet Criticae or Exegeticae, placing them immediately before the commentaries on the Scriptures. The remainder they endeavoured to arrange according to their dates, dividing them into six classes, corresponding to the most remarkable epochs in the life of the author, to which a seventh class was added, containing those of which the time is uncertain; an eighth class, containing five epistles dedicatory, prefixed to various translations from the Greek; and a ninth class, containing some letters neither by nor to Jerome, but which in former editions had been mixed up with the rest. In the second class, however, they have thought fit to include all the biographical tracts of Jerome; and in the third class all his polemical and apologetical works; while in the fifth they have departed from their plan, for the purpose of presenting at one view the correspondence with Theophilus and Augustin, although of these epistles a few were written before some of those in the fourth class, and a few after some of those in the sixth class. Vallarsi has, moreover, pointed out several serious inaccuracies; and after a minute investigation, in the course of which many letters hitherto received without suspicion have been rejected as spurious, and others undoubtedly authentic collected, for the first time, from various sources, has adopted the chronological order for the whole, distributing them into five periods or classes. The first embraces those written from A. D. 370, before Jerome betook himself to the desert, up to 381, when he quitted his solitude and repaired to Rome; the second those written during his residence at Rome from 382 until he quitted the city in 385, and sailed for Jerusalem; the third those written at the monastery of Bethlehem, from 386 until the condemnation of Origen by the Alexandrian synod in 400; the fourth those written from 401 until his death in 420; the fifth those the date of which cannot be fixed with precision. The total number of epistles, including those written to, as well as those written by Jerome, is in the Benedictine edition 126, in the edition of Vallarsi 150.


William Smith

Prima classis (Epistolae I – XVIII)

Secunda classis (Epistolae XIX – XLV)

Tertia classis (Epistolae XLVI – XCV)

Quarta classis (Epistolae XCVI – CXLIV)

Quinta classis (Epistolae CXLV – CL)