Ambrose [The Early Church Fathers] by Boniface Ramsey

By Boniface Ramsey

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397, used to be essentially the most vital figures of the fourth century Roman empire. This quantity explores the large effect of Ambrose on Western civilization, and examines the complexity of his principles and effect; as a poet, ascetic, mystic and flesh presser. Ambrose combines an up to date account of his lifestyles and paintings, with translations of key writings. Ramsey's quantity offers a accomplished and obtainable perception right into a fairly unexplored character and argues that Ambrose has stimulated the Western global in methods as but unrealized.

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Ambrose, at least, had been brought up in a devoutly Christian family. 6 Paulinus mentions such motivation when he discusses the events surrounding the election and ordination: ‘Returning to his house in distress, [Ambrose] determined to become a philosopher. But he was to be Christ’s true philosopher’ (7). Here, though, we probably have to understand a life of calm, study and reflection of the sort that was possible for and desirable to a wealthy and leisured gentleman of that era. 3) is memorable for telling how he would snatch moments to read in the midst of his busy schedule and how, while he was engaged in reading, he would be oblivious to the people around him.

3) is memorable for telling how he would snatch moments to read in the midst of his busy schedule and how, while he was engaged in reading, he would be oblivious to the people around him. Perhaps, in fact, he had taken celibacy upon himself in accordance with the common notion that marriage was incompatible with a life of study. And so Ambrose was baptized and, eight days later, ordained bishop. While it is true that there was hardly an alternative for him as a Catholic catechumen, the form that his baptism took none the less sounds a programmatic note: ‘He asked to be baptized by no one but a Catholic bishop, for he was anxiously on guard against the perfidy of the Arians’ (Paulinus, Life 9).

Arbogast’s boast, recorded by Paulinus (cf. 31), that he would turn the cathedral of Milan into a stable once he had returned victorious to the city, had come to naught. Theodosius was now the undisputed emperor, and Ambrose praised him fulsomely in a letter (61) as the restorer of peace to both the Empire and the Church. Paganism had ceased to be a threat. Between the conflict with Valentinian and Justina in 385–86 over the imperial court’s demand for a basilica and the events of 389–90 that culminated in the Thessalonikan massacre and Theodosius’ public penance, there was yet another incident involving Ambrose on the one hand and the emperor on the other.

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