By John Moorhead

ISBN-10: 0582251133

ISBN-13: 9780582251137

An account, and review, of the profession of St Ambrose (339-397), from 374 bishop of Milan and one of many 4 medical professionals of the Christian Church (with Sts. Jerome, Augustine and Gregory the Great). A key determine within the transition of the later Roman Empire into its medieval successor, Western Christendom, Ambrose was once deeply occupied with the political, social and non secular problems with his day: struggles among church and nation (especially with Emperor Theodosius), the struggle opposed to heresy, yet he additionally had a deep impact on Church concept reminiscent of the function and standing of ladies. John Moorhead considers most of these dimensions in a ebook that would be of compelling curiosity to historians of the Church and the past due classical international and classical reports.

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12). At the end of book five, Augustine describes how, having come to Milan as professor of rhetoric, he sought out Ambrose. The bishop received him kindly, indeed as a son, and Augustine began to attend his sermons, doubtless partly motivated by the professional interest of a rhetorician. In language strikingly similar to that he used of Faustus, Augustine states that he was delighted by the sweetness of Ambrose's language. But it was more learned, ifless cheerful and soothing, than that of the Manichean.

Coll. 7lf). 71£). He wished the clergy to act in a way which would win them public esteem (off. 247). They had to pay attention to how they appeared in public, for their bodily posture was a sign of their mental disposition, the movement of the body being like a voice of the soul (off. 71; see further below, page 161). Needless to say, a person living in this way was subject to the temptations of a public figure: generosity could be the fruit of exhibitionism rather than of a concern for justice (off.

It will be worth our while teasing out some of the implications of this self-description. It is clear that Ambrose was not brought up in the lap of the church. To be sure, he had been raised in a household which received bishops as visitors and which was pious enough to produce a consecrated virgin, but the world of his family may have been one he saw himself as leaving 27. Paen. 72; cf. his referring to his having been called to the episcopate 'from the din of civil quarrels and the dread inspired by public administration' (pant.

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