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By Boniface Ramsey

ISBN-10: 0203430255

ISBN-13: 9780203430255

ISBN-10: 0415118417

ISBN-13: 9780415118415

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397, was once the most very important 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 impression; as a poet, ascetic, mystic and flesh presser. Ambrose combines an updated account of his lifestyles and paintings, with translations of key writings. Ramsey's quantity provides a finished and available perception right into a rather unexplored character and argues that Ambrose has stimulated the Western global in methods as but unrealized.

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This was but one of several maneuvers, none of them entirely praiseworthy, engineered by Ambrose in order to achieve his objective. As a result the council easily obtained the condemnation of Palladius and also of Secundianus of Singidunum (modern Belgrade). In his reports on the council to Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius, Ambrose then urged the emperors to act decisively against all deviations from Catholic orthodoxy. The final lines of the first of these reports are indicative of what he expected from them, and they demonstrate nicely the kind of relationship between the Church and the Empire that he had in mind: We beseech Your Clemency…to order that respect be given first to the Catholic Church, and then as well to your laws.

With that, and under the inspiration of ‘a kind of prophetic ardor,’ he ordered the ground to be excavated near the 28 INTRODUCTION graves of the martyrs Felix and Nabor, and in a short while the still bloody bones of two men of extraordinary size were exhumed. They were identified—we are not told exactly how—as the remains of Protasius and Gervasius, two martyrs who had died in an early persecution. The two skeletons, accompanied by an enthusiastic crowd, were brought first to the so-called Basilica of Fausta and then, on the following day, to the Ambrosian Basilica.

In late March of 385, Valentinian, doubtless urged on by his mother Justina, expressed the wish to have a church in which the imperial court, now heavily Arian in composition, could celebrate its own liturgy, inasmuch as at this point all the churches of Milan were orthodox and hence in the hands of Ambrose. Specifically, Valentinian wanted to have the Portian Basilica at his disposal. As has been noted, this church may have been an imperial foundation, which would have made the young emperor feel that he could reasonably lay claim to it for his own purposes.

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Ambrose (The Early Church Fathers) by Boniface Ramsey


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