Tag Archives: Ambrose of Milan

#390 – A History of the Catholic Church – Penance

While adult baptism was the norm at the end of the 4th century, sometimes there were exceptions. Moreover, as the Church increasingly encouraged earlier baptisms, so did the number of those needing to avail themselves of the possibility of reconciliation increase.

Links:

Painting of Saint Fabiola by Jean-Jacques Henner

Basil of Caesarea’s recommended penances for serious sins

Letter of Saint Jerome on Saint Fabiola

Ambrose’s Eulogy of Valentinian II – important in development of theology of Baptism of Desire

Ambrose on Penance – Book I and Book II

Apostolic Constitutions – Book VIII, Chapter 9 concerns penance

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#390 – A History of the Catholic Church – Penance

#389 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Baptism of Augustine

The Baptism of Augustine helps us better understand the practice and theology of the Initiation Rites at the end of the 4th century and the transforming power these rites were believed to possess.

Links:
Painting of the Baptism of St. Augustine by Benozzo Gozzoli

Photo of ruins of baptistery of Ambrose in Milan where Augustine was baptized

Ambrose – On the Mysteries/De Mysteriis

Ambrose – On the Sacraments/De Sacramentis

Augustine’s account of his baptism in the Confessions

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#389 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Baptism of Augustine

#388 – A History of the Catholic Church – Theodosius Triumphant

Theodosius once again unites the Eastern and Western halves of the Roman Empire after defeating the armies of Arbogast and Eugenius. Having looked at the relationship of Christianity to Judaism and Paganism, we turn our attention to the problem of heresy and the work of Epiphanius of Salamis.

Links:
A copy of the Missiorium of Theodosius

Map of Roman Empire in 395 after Death of Theodosius

Ambrose
Letter to Emperor Eugenius
Letter to Emperor Theodosius after Battle of Frigidius
Funeral Oration of Theodosius

The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis
Book One, Books Two and Three
Excerpts

Michele Renee Salzman. “Ambrose and the Usurpation of Arbogastes and Eugenius: Reflections on Pagan-Christian Conflict Narratives.” Journal of Early Christian Studies 18, no. 2 (2010): 191-223.

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#388 – A History of the Catholic Church – Theodosius Triumphant

#387 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Destruction of the Serapeum

Ambrose of Milan helps Theodosius after an unfortunate incident in Thessalonica. The complex and tumultuous relationship between Christians and Pagans is explored including Christian desecration of pagan temples such as the famous Serapeum of Alexandria.

Links:
Painting of Saint Ambrose barring Theodosius I from the Milan Cathedral by Anthony van Dyck.

Theodoret on the incident at Thessalonica

Rufinus on the destruction of the Serapeum

Photos of the ruins of the Serapeum today

Judith S. McKenzie, Shiela Gibson and A. T. Reyes. “Reconstructing the Serapeum in Alexandria from the Archaeological Evidence”. The Journal of Roman Studies. Vol. 94 (2004). 73-121.

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#387 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Destruction of the Serapeum

#386 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Judaizers

The relationship between Jews and Christians in the 4th century was greatly complicated. Christians, known as Judaizers, greatly admired the Jews. However, some Christian leaders such as Chrysostom and Ambrose spoke harshly of the Jews and saw them as a threat to the Church.

Links:
Photo of the Reliquary of the Maccabean martyrs by Hans Peter Schaefer.

John Chrysostom, “Eight Homilies Against the Judaizing Christians”

Ambrose’s letter to Theodosius on the destruction of the synagogue at Callinicum

Ambrose’s letter to Marcellina about confronting Theodosius over the synagogue at Callinicum

Michael J. Petrin, “Justifying the Cult of the Macabeean Martyrs”

Margaret Schatkin, “The Maccabean Martyrs”, Vigiliae Christianae, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Jun., 1974), pp. 97-113.

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#386 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Riot of Judaizers

#385 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Riot of the Statues

In the West, Ambrose triumphs over Valentinian thanks to a fortuitous discovery. In the East, John Chrysostom comes on the scene at a time of crisis for the city of Antioch.

Links:
Photo of the Brescia Casket.

Ambrose’s letter on the finding of the bones of SS. Gervasius and Protasius

The crypt of Ambrose with the relics of SS. Gervasius and Protasius

Wikipedia entry and pictures of the Brescia Casket

John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Statues

Justin Stephens: A Pagan and Christian interpretation of the Riot of the Statues

Caroly Joslin Watson. “The Program of the Brescia Casket”. Gesta. Vol. 20. No. 2 (1981: 283-298.

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#385 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Riot of the Statues

#384 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Crisis of the Churches

Ambrose and Valentinian II fight over the right of the Homoean Arians to use the churches of Milan while the threat of Magnus Maximus continues to grow.

Links:
Statue of Valentinian II.

Ambrose’s Sermo contra Auxentium – considered a masterpiece of ancient political rhetoric

Ambrose’ letter to Valentinian rejecting the proposed debate

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#384 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Crisis of the Churches

#383 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Problem of Priscillian – Part II

Priscillian’s triumphant return to Hispania does not last long. He faces renewed charges of heresy and sorcery and his fate is placed in the hands of the new emperor Magnus Maximus.

Links:
Photo of gem engraved with image of the Crucifixion courtesy of the British Museum.

Pope Leo I’s letter on the errors of the Priscillians

Augustine on Priscillians

Acts of the Council of Toledo [in Spanish]

Virginia Burrus, The Making of a Heretic: Gender, Authority, and the Priscillianist Controversy

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#383 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Problem of Priscillian – Part II

#382 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Problem of Priscillian – Part I

We start calling the bishops of Rome – the popes of Rome. Priscillian of Avila offers us an example of the challenges of the rising ascetical movement as bishop fights against bishop in Spain.

Links:
Photo of Gold-glass depiction of Jonah and the whale by Anne-Marie Bouché

More on Priscillian.

Various New Testament Apocrypha, including those that Priscillian would have used.

About the so-called Epistle of Saint Paul to the Laodiceans

Map of the Roman provinces in Hispania at the time of Priscillian. Priscillian and his main support was found in Spanish Galicia/Gallaecia.

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#382 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Problem of Priscillian – Part I

#381 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Altar of Victory

Major political and religious events take place in the Empire as Gratian moves against some of the oldest Roman pagan traditions, Magnus Maximus moves against Gratian, and Ambrose asserts himself against Valentinian.

Links:
Solidus of Gratian by Rasiel Suarez

More on the Altar of Victory, including pictures of what it may have looked like.

The Relatio of Symmachus and the two responses of Ambrose

Cameron, Alan “Gratian’s Repudiation of the Pontifical Robe”. The Journal of Roman Studies. Vol. 58. Parts 1 and 2 (1968). pp. 96-102.

Cameron, Alan. “The Imperial Pontifex”. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. 103 (2007). 341-84.

Thomas Graumann. “The Synod of Constantinople, AD 383. History and Historiography”. Millenium Jahrbuch. 7 (2010). 133-168.

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#381 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Altar of Victory