cursus.79 The major clerical orders were the prestigious college of seven deacons, each being responsible for one of the seven regions of Rome,80 and the far more numerous college of presbyters attached to the urban titular churches. The two scholae of notaries (notarii) and advocates (defensores) became the backbone of the emerging ecclesiastical administration, especially from the sixth century.81 The popes and their apparatus increasingly relied on well-ordered archives and libraries, which served, in effect, as the bureaucratic memory of the Roman see. The Roman church was not alone in this respect, but the scope and quality of the Roman archives were such that they invited consultation when difficult cases of church administration and discipline arose elsewhere.

Rome also played its role in the development of a Western theological tradition. Under Damasus' predecessor Liberius Marius, Victorinus, a renowned teacher of rhetoric, had converted to Christianity.82 In constant dialogue with Gnostic and Neoplatonic thought, he formulated his remarkable Trinitarian theology in treatises and hymns.83 But Damasus' episcopate was a watershed. The pope himself sponsored the first-rate scholarship ofJerome.84 Aware of the defects of the Old Latin versions of the Bible, he asked Jerome to revise them. The result (some twenty years on, and with the help of further translators) was the so-called Vulgate, the most important Western translation of the Bible before the Reformation.85 Damasus' episcopate also saw Latin become the Roman church's liturgical language.86 Theological works in Greek, particularly the series of biblical commentaries and other theological writings by Origen and Didymus the Blind, were translated and made accessible to learned clergy and aristocratic Romans. Jerome initiated the project and was eventu-allyjoinedby Rufinus of Aquileia. From 393, however, their collaboration came to a halt with the eruption of the Origenist Controversy; their relationship, too, was irretrievably damaged. For the next fifteen years Jerome and Rufinus fought an embittered literary battle, which did not abate after Rufinus had

79 Despite c. 10 of the Western council of Serdica, this cursus honorum was not strictly adhered to in other Western Christianities, for example in the African churches; see Leo, Letter 12 (PL 54: 645-56) with C. Lepelley, 'Saint Léon le Grand', 427.

80 The division of Rome into ecclesiastical regions is first attested in the Catalogus Liberianus which attributes it to Pope Fabian (236-50); see Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne, 1: 5) and cf. Eusebius, H.E. 6.43.11.

81 C. Sotinel, 'Le personnel episcopal'.

82 Augustine, Confessions 8.2-4.

83 See P. Hadot, Marius Victorinus; M. Tardieu, Recherches sur la formation de l'Apocalypse de Zostrien.

85 Kelly,Jerome, 85-90.

86 Th. Klauser, 'Der Ubergang der romischen Kirche'.

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