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By John Moorhead

An account, and overview, of the occupation 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 focused on the political, social and non secular problems with his day: struggles among church and country (especially with Emperor Theodosius), the struggle opposed to heresy, yet he additionally had a deep impression on Church suggestion corresponding to the function and standing of ladies. John Moorhead considers most of these dimensions in a booklet that may be of compelling curiosity to historians of the Church and the past due classical global and classical experiences.

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Extra info for Ambrose: Church and State in the Late Roman World

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Against those who condemned it (LUG. (Luc. 10, referring to Manicheans), he insisted that fertility was a gift of God to parents and that God had given his approval to marriage at the beginning of Genesis (Luc. 30). As the first woman was created for the purpose of procreation, Ambrose believed that the purpose of marriage was 8. OJ!. 84. See elsewhere on the gravitas of widows bon. mort. 12; Luc. 89, vid. 83; the modesty of married women is exemplified by Sarah (Abr. 37, 42). 9. The categories occur in the reverse order at vid.

36 (the pre-eminence Ambrose attributes to the day may have masculine overtones, cf. cf. 37 and below, pp.. 45) ; Luc. 49 ; Nab. Nab. 38; ob. Theod. 39. 42 WOMEN wife Elizabeth was fitting, for it belongs to a woman to learn divine things rather than teach them (LuG. (Luc. 35). Yet women came in various categories. Ambrose pictured himself as a worker in the countryside who wished to see the field of the church which had been entrusted to him in a fertile condition: it would bloom with the flower of integrity, be strong in the dignity of widowhood, and overflow with the fruits of marriage (vid.

He thought that there were three kinds of women, virgins, widows and wives, and that while marriage imposed slavery on a woman, virginity brought her freedom. In this respect, his teaching was strongly opposed to traditional Roman values. Encouraging women to commit themselves to lives of virginity, Ambrose used the erotic language of the Song of Songs. This was a risky strategy, for the use to which he puts this text seems to fly in the face of its content, and themes he draws from it appear to be opposed to those which he developed in other works.

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