By Neil B. McLynn
During this new and illuminating interpretation of Ambrose, bishop of Milan from 374 to 397, Neil McLynn completely sifts the facts surrounding this very tricky character. the result's a richly precise interpretation of Ambrose's activities and writings that penetrates the bishop's painstaking presentation of self. McLynn succeeds in revealing Ambrose's manipulation of occasions with no making him too Machiavellian. Having synthesized the mammoth complicated of scholarship on hand at the overdue fourth century, McLynn additionally provides a powerful examine of the politics and historical past of the Christian church and the Roman Empire in that period.Admirably and logically geared up, the e-book strains the chronology of Ambrose's public task and reconstructs very important occasions within the fourth century. McLynn's zesty, lucid prose provides the reader a transparent figuring out of the complexities of Ambrose's existence and occupation and of past due Roman govt.
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Additional resources for Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital
23] The fall from grace implied by his alleged cooperation with the Arians eight years later is inherently improbable, for Ursinus continued to enjoy enough popular support at Rome to encourage a prefect of the city in 381 to make a renewed appeal on his behalf. It was this situation which occasioned the letter from Ambrose and his colleagues.  On inspection the allegation hardly amounts to much. Ursinus had been coupled and conjoined with the Arians at that time, when he set about disrupting the church of Milan in his unholy alliance with Valens, sharing secret counsels in front of the synagogue doors or in the homes of the Arians, and joining his followers with them; and because he could not himself openly attend their congregations, he offered instruction and information on how the peace of the church might be disturbed  Ep.
Ambrose was well protected, but there remained a considerable element of uncertainty. Irregular appointments, even when they were supported by the influence of the greatest men in the empire, risked exciting Valentinian's suspicions and anger.  But his removal from Milan also achieved a more positive result. As the captive of the Nicenes, Ambrose was still the creature of a party. If he were to take the place of Auxentius, he needed to assert a less partisan identity. Escape was therefore a further step in his transformation, turning him from the minister of the state's terrible justice to a fugitive from it.
Denied the opportunity to settle accounts directly with Auxentius, he nevertheless created the impression of decisive action.  The preamble (in one of the two versions of the text that survive) announces that the council had been convened 'ex imperiali rescripto', which must mean that it had been sanctioned by Valentinian himself. How this permission was obtained from a ruler notorious for his reluctance to disturb the religious status quo is unclear. The text, however, suggests that a certain amount of subterfuge and misrepresentation was involved.
Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital by Neil B. McLynn