Jerome (Hieronymus) from Dalmatia and Rufinus of Aquileia, born at nearby Concordia, were old friends who shared the aspiration to make good Greek theology accessible to an ignorant Latin world. To help western Christians acquire a sense of their tradition, Jerome composed, after the manner of Suetonius, the Lives of Illustrious men (392/3) with brief biographies of Christian writers, and translated the Chronicle of Eusebius, continued down to 378. Jerome briefly sat at the feet of Didymus the Blind at Alexandria (ep. 50. 1; in Osee, prol.), a disciple of Origen's way of writing biblical commentaries whose own expositions have been partly recovered in consequence of a papyrus find near Cairo in 1941, thereby showing how much Jerome owed to him. At Antioch he studied exegesis under Apollinaris (ep. 84. 3). In 379 he had been at Constantinople listening to Gregory of Nazianzos (ep. 52. 8; in Esai. 3. 6. 1), and Gregory is a probable voice to have directed him towards Origen's expositions of scripture. He met Gregory of Nyssa, who read him his refutation of Eunomius, and also Amphilochius of Iconium. Like other Latin contemporaries, he could not bring himself to mention the council of Constantinople of 381. Augustine wrote to remonstrate against his use of Origen, Didymus, and Apollinaris, whose reputation for orthodoxy was uncertain (ep. 116. 23). Jerome was not much disposed to pay serious attention to criticism from the younger African, 'the new wealth of Africa', especially when Augustine criticized his (Origenist) commentary on Galatians 2, where he saw the dissension between Peter and Paul as edifying playacting.
Jerome found excellent matter in Origen's exegesis of scripture and in his impassioned sermons, and decided to make some Latin translations. They would be valuable guides for western exegetes. 'The interpretation of scripture is the one art where all claim to be masters', he wrote ironically (ep. 53. 7). Origen could teach the point that biblical commentaries are not