Ambrose of Milan

BookAmbrose of Milan

Ambrose of Milan

Political Letters and Speeches

Translated Texts for Historians, 43

2010

February 4th, 2010

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The episcopate of Ambrose of Milan (374-97) is pivotal to understanding the developing relationship between the Christian Church and the Roman Empire in late antiquity. As bishop of Milan, Ambrose came into frequent contact with the highest levels of the imperial administration, including the emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I themselves. He also exerted a degree of leadership in doctrinal matters over the bishops of northern Italy and adjacent regions. Any consideration of Ambrose’s career must begin with his own writings. This volume presents some of his most important works: the tenth book of his collection of letters; the letters that are preserved outside his published collection (Epistulae extra collectionem); and his funeral speeches for Valentinian II and Theodosius I. They document not only his influence over the bishops of neighbouring cities, but also his celebrated conflicts with the imperial court over the altar of Victory at Rome, the imperial siege of churches in Milan, the affair of the synagogue at Callinicum, and the massacre of civilians at Thessalonica. In these texts Ambrose sets forth his views about his rights as bishop to govern his church without imperial interference, and to condemn any emperor whose actions were deemed to be sinful. This volume will be of value to students and scholars of the history of the Church and the Roman Empire in late antiquity, and to anyone interested in the passage from pagan antiquity to the Christian Middle Ages.

The episcopate of Ambrose of Milan (374–97) is pivotal to understanding the developing relationship between the Christian Church and the Roman Empire in late antiquity. As bishop of Milan, Ambrose came into frequent contact with the highest levels of the imperial administration, including the emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I themselves. He also exerted a degree of leadership in doctrinal matters over the bishops of northern Italy and adjacent regions. Any consideration of Ambrose’s career must begin with his own writings. This volume presents some of his most important works: the tenth book of his collection of letters; the letters that are preserved outside his published collection (Epistulae extra collectionem); and his funeral speeches for Valentinian II and Theodosius I. They document not only his influence over the bishops of neighbouring cities, but also his celebrated conflicts with the imperial court over the altar of Victory at Rome, the imperial siege of churches in Milan, the affair of the synagogue at Callinicum, and the massacre of civilians at Thessalonica. In these texts Ambrose sets forth his views about his rights as bishop to govern his church without imperial interference, and to condemn any emperor whose actions were deemed to be sinful. This volume will be of value to students and scholars of the history of the Church and the Roman Empire in late antiquity, and to anyone interested in the passage from pagan antiquity to the Christian Middle Ages. ‘The translations in Liebeschuetz’s volume are clear and precise, and they are accompanied by informative introductions and rigorous notes… an invaluable tool for students of Ambrose, early Christian political thinking and imperial-episcopal relations.’ Journal of Ecclesiastical History

The translations in Liebeschuetz’s volume are clear and precise, and they are accompanied by informative introductions and rigorous notes… an invaluable tool for students of Ambrose, early Christian political thinking and imperial-episcopal relations.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History

[Ambrose's]... letters have been translated and commented on with rare independence of mind by Liebeschuetz in his Ambrose of Milan: Political Letters and Speeches.

New York Review of Books

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9781846312434?cc=us

Author Information

J. H. W. G. Liebeschuetz is Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Nottingham, a Fellow of the British Academy, and Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute, and was a member of the European Science Foundation ‘Transformation of the Roman World’ Project 1992-97.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Preface xi
Abbeviations xii
General Introduction p.1
I. The Life of Ambrose of Milan p.3
II. The Letters of Ambrose of Milan p.27
Translation and Commentary
Letters, Book Ten
Letters on Matters Arising from the Council of Capua
Introduction to episulate 70 and 71 p.49
Epistula 70 (Maur. 56) to Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria (392) p.52
Epistula 71 (Maur. 56a) to the bishops of Macedonia (393) p.56
Letters on the Altar of Victory
Introduction to episulate 72, 72a and 73 p.61
Epistula 72 (Maur. 17) to the emperor Valntinian II (384) p. 62
Epistula 72a (Maur. 17a): Symmachus' Third Relatio to Valentinian p.69
Epistula 73 (Maur. 18) Ambrose's formal reply to Symmachus (384) p.78
Letters on the destruction of the Synagogue at Callinicum
Epistula 74 (Maur. 40) = Epistula extra collectionem 1a to the emperor Theodosius (388/389) p.95
Appendix: Epistula extra collectionem 1 (Maur.41), to Ambrose's sister Marcellina (388/389) p.111
Ambrose's Conflict with the empress Justina at Milan
Introduction to Episulate 75, 75a, 76 and 77 p.124
Epistula 75 (Maur. 21) to the emperor Valentinian II (AD 386) p. 136
Epistula 75a (Maur. 21a), also known as Contra Auxentium (386) p.142
Epistula 76 (Maur. 20) to Ambrose's sister, Marcellina (386) p.160
Oration on the Death of Theodosius I
Introduction p.174
De Obitu Thdosii (395) p.177
Letter on the discovery of the relics of Gervasius and Protasius
Epistula 77 (Maur. 22) to Ambrose's sister, Marcellina (386) p.204
Letters outside the Collection (Epistulae extra collectionem)
Note on Epistulate extra collectionem 1 and 1a p.215
Letter to Theodosius I on his Victory over Usurper Eugenius
Epistula extra collectionem 2 (Maur. 61): Ambrose to the emperor Theodosius I (394) p.216
Epistula extra collectionem 3 (Maur. 62): Ambrose to the emperor Theodosius I (394) p. 218
Letters of the Council of Aquileia (AD 381)
Epistula extra collectionem 4 (Maur. 10): the bishops of the council to the emperors of Gratain, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (381) p.221
Epistula extra collectionem 5 (Maur. 11): the bishops of the council to the emperors of Gratain, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (381) p.227
The Council of Aquileia and the Decisions of the Council of Constantinople
Introduction to Epistula extra collectionem 6 (Maur. 12), 8 (Maur. 14) and 9 (Maur. 13) p.231
Notes on the order of the letters p.233
Epistula extra collectionem 6 (Maur. 12): the bishops of the council to the emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (381) p. 234
Epistula extra collectionem 9 (Maur. 13): Ambrose and the Italian bishops to the emperor Theodosius I (381) p.237
Epistula extra collectionem 8 (Maur. 14): Ambrose and the Italian bishops to the emperor Theodosius I (382) p.241
Petition of a Roman Council to the Emperors Gratian and Valentinian II
Introduction p. 244
Epistula extra collectionem 7: the council to the emperors Gratian and Valentinian II (378) p.248
Letter on the altar of the Victory
Introduction p.255
Epistula extra collectionem 10 (Maur. 57) Ambrose to the usurper Eugenius (394) p.256
Letter on the massacre at Thessalonica
Introduction p.262
Epistula extra collectionem 11 (Maur 51): Ambrose to the emperor theodosius I (390) p. 263
Letters of Ambrose and Gratian
Letter of the emperor Gratian to Ambrose (379) p. 270
Epistula extra collectionem 12 (Maur. 1): Ambrose to the emperor Gratian (379) p. 272
Letter on the date of Easter
Introduction p. 278
Epistula extra collectionem 13 (Maur. 23): Ambrose to the bishops of Aemilia (386) p. 281
Asceticism and Dissension at Vercelli and the Affair of Jovinianus
Epistula extra collectionem 14 (Maur. 63): Ambrose to the church of Vercelli (396) p.292
Letter of Pope Siricius (Maur. 41a) p. 336
Epistula extra collectionem 15 (Maur. 42): Ambrose and his fellow bishops to Pope Siricius (393) p.339
Apendices
Appendix I: Ambrose and Magnus Maximus
Introduction p.349
Epistula extra collectionem 30 (Maur. 24): Ambrose to the emperor Valentinian II (date uncertain) p. 352
Appendix II: Ambrose's Funeral Oration on the Death of Valentinian II (De Obitu Valentiniani)
Introduction p.358
De Obitu Valentiniani (392) p.364
Glossary p.400
Bibliography .405
Maps p.415
Index p.419
Preface
Abbeviations
General Introduction
I. The Life of Ambrose of Milan
II. The Letters of Ambrose of Milan
Translation and Commentary
Letters, Book Ten
Letters on Matters Arising from the Council of Capua
Introduction to episulate 70 and 71
Epistula 70 (Maur. 56) to Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria (392)
Epistula 71 (Maur. 56a) to the bishops of Macedonia (393)
Letters on the Altar of Victory
Introduction to episulate 72, 72a and 73
Epistula 72 (Maur. 17) to the emperor Valntinian II (384)
Epistula 72a (Maur. 17a): Symmachus' Third Relatio to Valentinian
Epistula 73 (Maur. 18) Ambrose's formal reply to Symmachus (384)
Letters on the destruction of the Synagogue at Callinicum
Epistula 74 (Maur. 40) = Epistula extra collectionem 1a to the emperor Theodosius (388/389)
Appendix: Epistula extra collectionem 1 (Maur.41), to Ambrose's sister Marcellina (388/389)
Ambrose's Conflict with the empress Justina at Milan
Introduction to Episulate 75, 75a, 76 and 77
Epistula 75 (Maur. 21) to the emperor Valentinian II (AD 386)
Epistula 75a (Maur. 21a), also known as Contra Auxentium (386)
Epistula 76 (Maur. 20) to Ambrose's sister, Marcellina (386)
Oration on the Death of Theodosius I
Introduction
De Obitu Thdosii (395)
Letter on the discovery of the relics of Gervasius and Protasius
Epistula 77 (Maur. 22) to Ambrose's sister, Marcellina (386)
Letters outside the Collection (Epistulae extra collectionem)
Note on Epistulate extra collectionem 1 and 1a
Letter to Theodosius I on his Victory over Usurper Eugenius
Epistula extra collectionem 2 (Maur. 61): Ambrose to the emperor Theodosius I (394)
Epistula extra collectionem 3 (Maur. 62): Ambrose to the emperor Theodosius I (394)
Letters of the Council of Aquileia (AD 381)
Epistula extra collectionem 4 (Maur. 10): the bishops of the council to the emperors of Gratain, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (381)
Epistula extra collectionem 5 (Maur. 11): the bishops of the council to the emperors of Gratain, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (381)
The Council of Aquileia and the Decisions of the Council of Constantinople
Introduction to Epistula extra collectionem 6 (Maur. 12), 8 (Maur. 14) and 9 (Maur. 13)
Notes on the order of the letters
Epistula extra collectionem 6 (Maur. 12): the bishops of the council to the emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (381)
Epistula extra collectionem 9 (Maur. 13): Ambrose and the Italian bishops to the emperor Theodosius I (381)
Epistula extra collectionem 8 (Maur. 14): Ambrose and the Italian bishops to the emperor Theodosius I (382)
Petition of a Roman Council to the Emperors Gratian and Valentinian II
Introduction
Epistula extra collectionem 7: the council to the emperors Gratian and Valentinian II (378)
Letter on the altar of the Victory
Introduction
Epistula extra collectionem 10 (Maur. 57) Ambrose to the usurper Eugenius (394)
Letter on the massacre at Thessalonica
Introduction
Epistula extra collectionem 11 (Maur 51): Ambrose to the emperor theodosius I (390)
Letters of Ambrose and Gratian
Letter of the emperor Gratian to Ambrose (379)
Epistula extra collectionem 12 (Maur. 1): Ambrose to the emperor Gratian (379)
Letter on the date of Easter
Introduction
Epistula extra collectionem 13 (Maur. 23): Ambrose to the bishops of Aemilia (386)
Asceticism and Dissension at Vercelli and the Affair of Jovinianus
Epistula extra collectionem 14 (Maur. 63): Ambrose to the church of Vercelli (396)
Letter of Pope Siricius (Maur. 41a)
Epistula extra collectionem 15 (Maur. 42): Ambrose and his fellow bishops to Pope Siricius (393)
Apendices
Appendix I: Ambrose and Magnus Maximus
Introduction
Epistula extra collectionem 30 (Maur. 24): Ambrose to the emperor Valentinian II (date uncertain)
Appendix II: Ambrose's Funeral Oration on the Death of Valentinian II (De Obitu Valentiniani)
Introduction
De Obitu Valentiniani (392)
Glossary
Bibliography
Maps
Index