Note 21

Origen is known to have taken up very late the study of Hebrew to help his study of scripture. Erasmus's attitude to him had been notably favourable since Vitrier had introduced him to Origen's work, condemned for the doctrine of the non-eternity of Hell and for his view on the comparatively mild effects of original sin. On the significance of Erasmus's use of Augustine as an authority, see note 4, p. 142. The Catalogue of Jerome was the treatise On Famous Men. Erasmus was about to edit the letters of Jerome, patron of the Brethren of the Common Life. Erasmus had earlier referred to the decrees of the `Pontifical Senate' in a letter to Christopher Fisher of 1505. It is a Constitution of Clement V after the Council of Vienne (1311-12) ordaining the appointment of two teachers in each of the three languages, Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldaean in each of the four universities, at Paris, Oxford, Bologna and Salamanca. Greek was presumably omitted because the Constitution was aimed at promoting the conversion of the infidels, a category which did not include the schismatic Greeks.

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