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Tyrannius Rufinus of Aquileia

IV/V Centuries
Tyrannius Rufinus was born c. 345 in Aquileia. He studied in Rome, where he met Jerome, who encouraged him to become a monk. In 371, Rufinus travelled to Egypt to live in the Nitrian desert. He became a disciple of Didymus of Alexandria, and John of Jerusalem ordained Rufinus in 390. He may have founded, with his patron, St. Melania the Elder, a monastery on the Mount of Olives. In 393, both Rufinus and Jerome were accused of Origenism. The two quarrled. Jerome later attacked Rufinus' translation of Origen's First Principles and insisted that it omitted much to make Origen's theology palatable. Rufinus answered the accusations in a letter to Anastasius I, who was convinced of Rufinus' orthodoxy. Best known as a translator, Rufinus died in 410.

Rufinus also translated works by Pamphilius of Cæsarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Basil the Great. Rufinus translated and extended the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius; his continuation was the first history of the western church. Rufinus' commentary on the Apostles' Creed contains the earliest known continuous Latin text of the creed.

Karen Rae Keck

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