The Catholic University of America


Philip Rousseau's Current Research

Jerome, Cassian, and Contemporaries

In this connection I have two sets of interests.
The first concerns what we might call a mapping of commitment.  Many of those involved - Jerome and Cassian included - were very much on the move, but in search of what (and at whose behest) is not always clear.  Two questions present themselves: what were the connections between Gaul, Italy, Asia Minor, Palestine, and Egypt; and what were the motives at work in those who followed the paths between them?  There are, in other words, both spatial and  personal aspects to be explored.
The second interest is focused more on Jerome himself.  I am not confident that I have yet been able to decide in what ways he remains important to us despite his faults of character.  I have made several efforts over the years to identify what we might think of as his significant virtues; and my more recent attempts have lighted on the theme of "Jerome the Translator of Culture," which I hope to make clearer to myself and others (in a planned Handbook on Jerome) over the next year or so.  I am also interested in creating an article, "Hagiography and Place: Thoughts on Jerome's Life of Hilarion."
Gregory the Great
My immediate interest here is a broad topic, "Gregory the Great and the Italian Culture of his Time," to recall (with some trepidation and humility) Momigliano's famous study of Cassiodorus.