'Alii discunt–pro pudor!–a feminis': Jerome, Epist. 53.7.1

Classical Quarterly 44 (02):559- (1994)
Abstract
In the letter which initiated his correspondence with Paulinus of Nola Jerome deplores the propensity of the inexpert to pontificate on scripture. Three kinds of incompetence are denounced. The second takes the following form: ‘alii discunt – pro pudor!–a feminis, quod viros doceant’ . As in the other two denunciations, Jerome has chosen to express himself in general terms; scholars have nonetheless assumed that here a specific individual is meant. Nautin argued that with these words Jerome was attacking Rufinus, who is here represented as being intellectually dependent on his patroness Melania. More recently Testard has maintained that Jerome's criticism is in fact directed against Ambrose. However Nautin's view that Rufinus is the target has now been re-affirmed by Rebenich. The purpose of the present note is to draw attention to a piece of evidence which has hitherto been overlooked; it would seem to indicate that the object of Jerome's attack cannot be Rufinus
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