Ambrose

Ambrose

Overview
Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (c. between 337 and 340 – 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan
The Archdiocese of Milan is a metropolitan see of the Catholic Church in Italy. It has long maintained its own rite: the Ambrosian rite. It is led by the Archbishop of Milan who serves as metropolitan to the dioceses of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Crema, Cremona, Lodi, Mantova, Pavia, and Vigevano.The...

 who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.

Ambrose was born into a Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 family between about 337 and 340 and was raised in Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

. His father was Ambrosius Aurelius, the praetorian prefect of Gaul
Praetorian prefecture of Gaul
The praetorian prefecture of the Gauls was one of four large praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.- History :...

; his mother was a woman of intellect and piety.
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Quotations

It is not death therefore that is burdensome, but the fear of death.

De bono mortis, 8, 31.

It did not please God to save his people through dialectic.

De fide, I, 5, 42.

When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the church where you are.

Quoted in St. Augustine of Hippo|Augustine, Epistle to Januarius, II, section 18 and Epistle to Casualanus, XXXVI, section 32

Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more;Si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi.

If you are at Rome, live in the Roman style; if you are elsewhere, live as they live there.
Encyclopedia
Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (c. between 337 and 340 – 4 April 397), was a bishop of Milan
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan
The Archdiocese of Milan is a metropolitan see of the Catholic Church in Italy. It has long maintained its own rite: the Ambrosian rite. It is led by the Archbishop of Milan who serves as metropolitan to the dioceses of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Crema, Cremona, Lodi, Mantova, Pavia, and Vigevano.The...

 who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.

Political career


Ambrose was born into a Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 family between about 337 and 340 and was raised in Trier
Trier
Trier, historically called in English Treves is a city in Germany on the banks of the Moselle. It is the oldest city in Germany, founded in or before 16 BC....

. His father was Ambrosius Aurelius, the praetorian prefect of Gaul
Praetorian prefecture of Gaul
The praetorian prefecture of the Gauls was one of four large praetorian prefectures into which the Late Roman Empire was divided.- History :...

; his mother was a woman of intellect and piety. Ambrose's siblings, Satyrus (who is the subject of Ambrose's De excessu fratris Satyri) and Marcellina
Saint Marcellina
Saint Marcellina was born in Trier, Gaul around the year 330 as a member of a Catholic family. She was the only sister of Saint Ambrose of Milan, older sister of two brothers, and daughter to a man who resided as Praetorian prefecture of Gaul...

, are also venerated as saints. There is a legend that as an infant, a swarm of bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

s settled on his face while he lay in his cradle, leaving behind a drop of honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

. His father considered this a sign
Christian symbolism
Christian symbolism invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and...

 of his future eloquence and honeyed tongue. For this reason, bees and beehives
Beehive (beekeeping)
A beehive is an enclosed structure in which some honey bee species of the subgenus Apis live and raise their young. Natural beehives are naturally occurring structures occupied by honeybee colonies, while domesticated honeybees live in man-made beehives, often in an apiary. These man-made...

 often appear in the saint's symbology
Saint symbology
Christianity has used symbolism from its very beginnings. Each saint has a story and a reason why he or she led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic...

.

After the early death of his father, Ambrose followed his father's career. He was educated in Rome, studying literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, and rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

. Praetor
Praetor
Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

 Anicius Probus first gave him a place in the council and then in about 372 made him consular prefect or "Governor" of Liguria
Liguria
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It is a popular region with tourists for its beautiful beaches, picturesque little towns, and good food.-Geography:...

 and Emilia
Emilia (region of Italy)
Emilia is a historical region of northern Italy which approximately corresponds to the western and north-eastern portions of today’s Emilia-Romagna region...

, with headquarters at Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, which was then (beside Rome) the second capital in Italy.

Ambrose was the Governor of Aemilia-Liguria in northern Italy until 374 when he became the Bishop of Milan. He was a very popular political figure, and since he was the Governor in the effective capital in the Roman West, he was a recognizable figure in the court of the Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Valentinian I
Valentinian I
Valentinian I , also known as Valentinian the Great, was Roman emperor from 364 to 375. Upon becoming emperor he made his brother Valens his co-emperor, giving him rule of the eastern provinces while Valentinian retained the west....

. Ambrose never married.

Bishop of Milan



In the late 4th century there was a deep conflict in the diocese of Milan between the Catholics and Arians
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

. In 374 the bishop of Milan, Auxentius, an Arian, died, and the Arians challenged the succession
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

. Ambrose went to the church where the election was to take place, to prevent an uproar, which was probable in this crisis. His address was interrupted by a call "Ambrose, bishop!", which was taken up by the whole assembly.

Ambrose was known to be Catholic in belief, but also acceptable to Arians due to the charity shown in theological matters in this regard. At first he energetically refused the office, for which he was in no way prepared: Ambrose was neither baptized nor formally trained in theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

. Upon his appointment, St. Ambrose fled to a colleague's home to seek hiding. Upon receiving a letter from the Emperor Gratian praising the appropriateness of Rome appointing individuals evidently worthy of holy positions, St. Ambrose's host gave Ambrose up. Within a week, Ambrose was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

.

As bishop, he immediately adopted an ascetic lifestyle, apportioned his money to the poor, donating all of his land, making only provision for his sister Marcellina
Saint Marcellina
Saint Marcellina was born in Trier, Gaul around the year 330 as a member of a Catholic family. She was the only sister of Saint Ambrose of Milan, older sister of two brothers, and daughter to a man who resided as Praetorian prefecture of Gaul...

 (who later became a nun), and committed the care of his family to his brother. Ambrose also wrote a treatise by the name of "The Goodness Of Death".

Ambrose and Arians


According to legend, Ambrose immediately and forcefully stopped Arianism
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

 in Milan. In his pursuit of the study of theology with Simplician
Simplician
Simplician or Simplicianus was Archbishop of Milan from 397 to 400 . He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic Church and his feast day is August 14.-Life:...

, a presbyter
Presbyter
Presbyter in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, then a synonym of episkopos...

 of Rome he was to excel. Using his excellent knowledge of Greek, which was then rare in the West, to his advantage, he studied the Hebrew Bible and Greek authors like Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

, Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

, Athanasius, and Basil of Caesarea
Basil of Caesarea
Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor . He was an influential 4th century Christian theologian...

, with whom he was also exchanging letters. He applied this knowledge as preacher, concentrating especially on exegesis of the Old Testament, and his rhetorical abilities impressed Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

, who hitherto had thought poorly of Christian preachers.

In the confrontation with Arians, Ambrose sought to theologically refute their propositions, which were heretical. The Arians appealed to many high level leaders and clergy in both the Western and Eastern empires. Although the western Emperor Gratian held orthodox belief in the Nicene creed, the younger Valentinian II
Valentinian II
Flavius Valentinianus , commonly known as Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from 375 to 392.-Early Life and Accession :...

, who became his colleague in the Empire, adhered to the Arian creed. Ambrose did not sway the young prince's position. In the East, Emperor Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

 likewise professed the Nicene creed; but there were many adherents of Arianism throughout his dominions, especially among the higher clergy.

In this contested state of religious opinion, two leaders of the Arians, bishops Palladius
Palladius of Ratiaria
Palladius of Ratiaria modern Archar Bulgaria was a late 4th century Arian Christian theologian, based in the Roman province of Dacia in modern Bulgaria....

 of Ratiaria
Ratiaria
Ratiaria was a city founded by Moesi, a Daco-Thracian tribe, in 4th century BC, along the river Danube. The city had a gold mine in the vicinity, which was exploited by the Thracians.It is located 2 km west of present village Archar in Vidin Province, northwestern Bulgaria...

 and Secundianus of Singidunum
Singidunum
Singidunum is the name for the ancient city in Serbia which became Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It was recorded that a Celtic tribe Scordisci settled the area in the 3rd century BC following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans. The Roman Empire conquered the area in 75 BC and later garrisoned...

, confident of numbers, prevailed upon Gratian
Gratian
Gratian was Roman Emperor from 375 to 383.The eldest son of Valentinian I, during his youth Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers...

 to call a general council from all parts of the empire. This request appeared so equitable that he complied without hesitation. However, Ambrose feared the consequences and prevailed upon the emperor to have the matter determined by a council of the Western bishops. Accordingly, a synod
Council of Aquileia, 381
The Council of Aquileia in 381 AD was a church synod which was part of the struggle between Arian and orthodox ideas in Christianity. It was one of five councils of Aquileia....

 composed of thirty-two bishops was held at Aquileia
Aquileia
Aquileia is an ancient Roman city in what is now Italy, at the head of the Adriatic at the edge of the lagoons, about 10 km from the sea, on the river Natiso , the course of which has changed somewhat since Roman times...

 in the year 381. Ambrose was elected president and Palladius, being called upon to defend his opinions, declined. A vote was then taken, when Palladius and his associate Secundianus were deposed from the episcopal office.

Nevertheless, the increasing strength of the Arians proved a formidable task for Ambrose. In 385 or 386 the emperor and his mother Justina, along with a considerable number of clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 and laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

, especially military, professed Arianism. They demanded two churches in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, one in the city (the basilica of the Apostles), the other in the suburbs (St Victor's), to the Arians. Ambrose refused and was required to answer for his conduct before the council. He went, his eloquence in defense of the Church reportedly overawed the ministers of Emperor Valentinian, so he was permitted to retire without making the surrender of the churches. The day following, when he was performing divine service in the basilica, the prefect of the city came to persuade him to give up at least the Portian basilica in the suburbs. As he still continued obstinate, the court proceeded to violent measures : the officers of the household were commanded to prepare the Basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 and the Portian churches to celebrate divine service upon the arrival of the emperor and his mother at the ensuing festival of Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

.

In spite of Imperial opposition, Bishop Ambrose declared:

Ambrose and Jews


An address by Ambrose to Christian young people warns them against intermarriage with Jews ("De Abrahamo," ix. 84, xiv. 451). But his opposition assumed a more positive and active character in the matter of the bishop of Callinicum in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

. It appears that in 388 a mob, led by the local bishop and many monks, destroyed the synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 at Callinicum. The emperor Theodosius the Great ordered the rebuilding of the synagogue at the expense of the rioters, including the bishop. Ambrose immediately issued a fiery protest to the Emperor. He writes to Theodosius ("Epistolæ," xl. xvi. 1101 et seq.) that "the glory of God" is concerned in this matter, and that therefore he cannot be silent. "Shall the bishop be compelled to reerect a synagogue? Can he religiously do this thing? If he obey the emperor, he will become a traitor to his faith; if he disobey him, a martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

. What real wrong is there, after all, in destroying a synagogue, a 'home of perfidy, a home of impiety,' in which Christ is daily blasphemed? Indeed, he must consider himself no less guilty than this poor bishop; at least to the extent that he made no concealment of his wish that all synagogues should be destroyed, that no such places of blasphemy be further allowed to exist." At the end, he succeeded in obtaining from Theodosius a promise that the sentence should be completely revoked, with the very natural consequence that thereafter the prospect of immunity thus afforded occasioned spoliations of synagogues all over the Empire. That Ambrose could nevertheless occasionally say a good word for the Jews is shown by a passage in his "Enarratio in Psalmos" (i. 41, xiv. 943), in which he remarks, "Some Jews exhibit purity of life and much diligence and love of study."

Ambrose and emperors



The imperial court was displeased with the religious principles of Ambrose, however his aid was soon solicited by the Emperor. When Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus , also known as Maximianus and Macsen Wledig in Welsh, was Western Roman Emperor from 383 to 388. As commander of Britain, he usurped the throne against Emperor Gratian in 383...

 usurped the supreme power in Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

, and was meditating a descent upon Italy, Valentinian sent Ambrose to dissuade him from the undertaking, and the embassy was successful.

On a second attempt of the same kind Ambrose was again employed; and although he was unsuccessful, it cannot be doubted that, if his advice had been followed, the schemes of the usurper would have proved abortive; but the enemy was permitted to enter Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

; and Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 was taken. Justina and her son fled; but Ambrose remained at his post, and did good service to many of the sufferers by causing the plate of the church to be melted for their relief.

In 385 Ambrose, backed by Milan's populace, refused Valentinian II
Valentinian II
Flavius Valentinianus , commonly known as Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from 375 to 392.-Early Life and Accession :...

's imperial request to hand over the Portian basilica for the use of Arian troops. In 386 Justina and Valentinian received the Arian bishop Auxentius, and Ambrose was again ordered to hand over a church in Milan for Arian usage. Ambrose and his congregation barricaded themselves inside the church, and the imperial order was rescinded.

Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

, the emperor of the East, espoused the cause of Justina, and regained the kingdom. Theodosius was threatened with excommunication by Ambrose for the massacre
Massacre of Thessaloniki
The Massacre of Thessalonica was a retaliatory action by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I in 390 against the inhabitants of Thessalonica, who had risen in revolt....

 of 7,000 persons at Thessalonica in 390, after the murder of the Roman governor there by rioters. Ambrose told Theodosius to imitate David in his repentance as he had imitated him in guilt — Ambrose readmitted the emperor to the Eucharist only after several months of penance . This incident shows the strong position of a bishop in the Western part of the empire, even when facing a strong emperor — the controversy of John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom , Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic...

 with a much weaker emperor a few years later in Constantinople led to a crushing defeat of the bishop.

In 392, after the death of Valentinian II
Valentinian II
Flavius Valentinianus , commonly known as Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from 375 to 392.-Early Life and Accession :...

 and the acclamation of Eugenius
Eugenius
Flavius Eugenius was an usurper in the Western Roman Empire against Emperor Theodosius I. Though himself a Christian, he was the last Emperor to support Roman polytheism.-Life:...

, Ambrose supplicated the emperor for the pardon of those who had supported Eugenius after Theodosius was eventually victorious.

Persecution of Paganism


Under Ambrose's major influence, emperors Gratian
Gratian
Gratian was Roman Emperor from 375 to 383.The eldest son of Valentinian I, during his youth Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers...

, Valentinian II
Valentinian II
Flavius Valentinianus , commonly known as Valentinian II, was Roman Emperor from 375 to 392.-Early Life and Accession :...

 and Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

 carried on a persecution of Paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

. Under Ambrose's zealous pressure, Theodosius issued the infamous 391 "Theodosian decrees," a declaration of war on paganism, and the Altar of Victory
Altar of Victory
The Altar of Victory was located in the Roman Senate House bearing a gold statue of the goddess Victory. The altar was established by Octavian in 29 BC in honor of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. The statue depicted a winged woman, holding a palm and descending to present a laurel...

 was removed by Gratian. Ambrose prevailed upon Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius to reject requests to restore the Altar.

Death and legacy


Soon after acquiring the undisputed possession of the Roman empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Theodosius died at Milan in 395, and two years later (April 4, 397) Ambrose also died. He was succeeded as bishop of Milan by Simplician
Simplician
Simplician or Simplicianus was Archbishop of Milan from 397 to 400 . He is honoured as a Saint in the Catholic Church and his feast day is August 14.-Life:...

. Ambrose's body may still be viewed in the church of S. Ambrogio in Milan, where it has been continuously venerated — along with the bodies identified in his time as being those of Sts. Gervase and Protase — and is one of the oldest extant bodies of historical personages known outside Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

Character



Many circumstances in the history of Ambrose are characteristic of the general spirit of the times. The chief causes of his victory over his opponents were his great popularity and the reverence paid to the episcopal character at that period. But it must also be noted that he used several indirect means to obtain and support his authority with the people.

He was generous to the poor
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

; it was his custom to comment severely in his preaching on the public characters of his times; and he introduced popular reforms in the order and manner of public worship. It is alleged, too, that at a time when the influence of Ambrose required vigorous support, he was admonished in a dream to search for, and found under the pavement of the church, the remains of two martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

s, Gervasius and Protasius. The saints, although they would have had to have been hundreds of years old, looked as if they had just died. The applause of the people was mingled with the derision of the court party.

Theology


Ambrose ranks with Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

, Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, and Gregory the Great, as one of the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Doctors of the Church
Doctor of the Church
Doctor of the Church is a title given by a variety of Christian churches to individuals whom they recognize as having been of particular importance, particularly regarding their contribution to theology or doctrine.-Catholic Church:In the Catholic Church, this name is given to a saint from whose...

. Theologians compare him with Hilary
Hilary of Poitiers
Hilary of Poitiers was Bishop of Poitiers and is a Doctor of the Church. He was sometimes referred to as the "Hammer of the Arians" and the "Athanasius of the West." His name comes from the Latin word for happy or cheerful. His optional memorial in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints is 13...

, who they claim fell short of Ambrose's administrative excellence but demonstrated greater theological
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 ability. He succeeded as a theologian despite his juridical training and his comparatively late handling of Biblical and doctrinal subjects. His spiritual successor, Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

, whose conversion was helped by Ambrose's sermon
Sermon
A sermon is an oration by a prophet or member of the clergy. Sermons address a Biblical, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law or behavior within both past and present contexts...

s, owes more to him than to any writer except Paul
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

.

Ambrose's intense episcopal consciousness furthered the growing doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 of the Church and its sacerdotal ministry, while the prevalent asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

 of the day, continuing the Stoic
Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.Stoics were concerned...

 and Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

nian training of his youth, enabled him to promulgate a lofty standard of Christian ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

. Thus we have the De officiis ministrorum, De viduis, De virginitate and De paenitentia.

Ambrose displayed a kind of liturgical flexibility that kept in mind that liturgy was a tool to serve people in worshiping God, and ought not to become a rigid entity that is invariable from place to place. His advice to Augustine of Hippo on this point was to follow local liturgical custom. "When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the church where you are." Thus Ambrose refused to be drawn into a false conflict over which particular local church had the "right" liturgical form where there was no substantial problem. His advice has remained in the English language as the saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

One interpretation of Ambrose's writings is that he was a Christian universalist
Christian Universalism
Christian Universalism is a school of Christian theology which includes the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings or all fallen creatures will ultimately be restored to right relationship with God....

. It has been noted that Ambrose's theology was significantly influenced by that of Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

 and Didymus the Blind
Didymus the Blind
Didymus the Blind was a Coptic Church theologian of Alexandria, whose famous Catechetical School he led for about half a century. He became blind at a very young age, and therefore ignorant of the rudiments of learning...

, two other early Christian universalists. One quotation cited in favor of this belief:

Our Savior has appointed two kinds of resurrection in the Apocalypse. 'Blessed is he that hath part in the first resurrection,' for such come to grace without the judgment. As for those who do not come to the first, but are reserved unto the second resurrection, these shall be disciplined until their appointed times, between the first and the second resurrection.


One could interpret this passage as being another example of the mainstream Christian belief in a general resurrection (both for those in heaven and for those in hell). Several other works by Ambrose clearly teach the mainstream view of salvation. For example:

The Jews feared to believe in manhood taken up into God, and therefore have lost the grace of redemption, because they reject that on which salvation depends.

Mariology



The powerful Mariology of Ambrose of Milan influenced contemporary Popes like Pope Damasus and Siricius and later, Pope Leo the Great. Central to Ambrose is the virginity
Virginity
Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth...

 of Mary and her role as Mother of God.
  • The virgin birth is worthy of God. Which human birth would have been more worthy of God, than the one, in which the Immaculate Son of God maintained the purity of his immaculate origin while becoming human?

  • We confess, that Christ the Lord was born from a virgin, and therefore we reject the natural order of things. Because not from a man she conceived but from the Holy Spirit.

  • Christ is not divided but one. If we adore him as the Son of God, we do not deny his birth from the virgin... But nobody shall extend this to Mary. Mary was the temple of God but not God in the temple. Therefore only the one who was in the temple can be worshipped.

  • Yes, truly blessed for having surpassed the priest (Zechariah). While the priest denied, the Virgin rectified the error. No wonder that the Lord, wishing to rescue the world, began his work with Mary. Thus she, through whom salvation was being prepared for all people, would be the first to receive the promised fruit of salvation.


Ambrose viewed virginity
Virginity
Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth...

 as superior to marriage and saw Mary as the model of virginity. He is alleged to have founded an institution for virgins in Rome.

Writings


In matters of exegesis
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

 he is, like Hilary, an Alexandrian
Alexandrian
Alexandrian is either:* an adjective referring to a place called Alexandria, as in Alexandrian text-type* a person from and/or inhabiting a city called Alexandria...

. In dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

 he follows Basil of Caesarea
Basil of Caesarea
Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great, was the bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor . He was an influential 4th century Christian theologian...

 and other Greek authors, but nevertheless gives a distinctly Western cast to the speculations of which he treats. This is particularly manifest in the weightier emphasis which he lays upon human sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

 and divine grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

, and in the place which he assigns to faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 in the individual Christian life.
  • De fide ad Gratianum Augustum (On Faith, to Gratian Augustus
    Gratian
    Gratian was Roman Emperor from 375 to 383.The eldest son of Valentinian I, during his youth Gratian accompanied his father on several campaigns along the Rhine and Danube frontiers. Upon the death of Valentinian in 375, Gratian's brother Valentinian II was declared emperor by his father's soldiers...

    )
  • De Officiis Ministrorum (On the Offices of Ministers, an ecclesiastical handbook modeled on Cicero's De Officiis
    De Officiis
    De Officiis is an essay by Marcus Tullius Cicero divided into three books, in which Cicero expounds his conception of the best way to live, behave, and observe moral obligations.- Origin :...

    .)
  • De Spiritu Sancto (On the Holy Ghost)
  • De incarnationis Dominicae sacramento (On the Sacrament of the Incarnation of the Lord)
  • De mysteriis (On the Mysteries)
  • Expositio evangelii secundum Lucam (Commentary on the Gospel according to Luke)
  • Ethical works: De bono mortis (Death as a Good); De fuga saeculi (Flight From the World); De institutione virginis et sanctae Mariae virginitate perpetua ad Eusebium (On the Birth of the Virgin and the Perpetual Virginity of Mary); De Nabuthae (On Naboth); De paenitentia (On Repentance); De paradiso (On Paradise); De sacramentis (On the Sacraments); De viduis (On Widows); De virginibus (On Virgins); De virginitate (On Virginity); Exhortatio virginitatis (Exhortation to Virginity); De sacramento regenerationis sive de philosophia (On the Sacrament of Rebirth, or, On Philosophy [fragments])
  • Homiletic commentaries on the Old Testament
    Old Testament
    The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

    : the Hexaemeron (Six Days of Creation); De Helia et ieiunio (On Elijah and Fasting); De Iacob et vita beata (On Jacob and the Happy Life); De Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    ; De Cain et Abel; De Ioseph (Joseph); De Isaac vel anima (On Isaac, or The Soul); De Noe (Noah); De interpellatione Iob et David (On the Prayer of Job and David); De patriarchis (On the Patriarchs); De Tobia (Tobit); Explanatio psalmorum (Explanation of the Psalms
    Psalms
    The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

    ); Explanatio symboli (Commentary on the Symbol).
  • De obitu Theodosii; De obitu Valentiniani; De excessu fratris Satyri (funeral orations)
  • 91 letters
  • A collection of hymns
  • Fragments of sermons
  • Ambrosiaster
    Ambrosiaster
    Ambrosiaster is the name given to the writer of a commentary on St Paul's epistles, "brief in words but weighty in matter," and valuable for the criticism of the Latin text of the New Testament...

    or the "pseudo-Ambrose" is a brief commentary on Paul's Epistles, which was long attributed to Ambrose.

Church music



Ambrose is traditionally credited but not actually known to have composed any of the repertory of Ambrosian chant
Ambrosian chant
Ambrosian chant is the liturgical plainchant repertory of the Ambrosian rite of the Roman Catholic Church, related to but distinct from Gregorian chant. It is primarily associated with the Archdiocese of Milan, and named after St. Ambrose much as Gregorian chant is named after Gregory the Great...

 also known simply as "antiphonal chant
Chant
Chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, often primarily on one or two pitches called reciting tones. Chants may range from a simple melody involving a limited set of notes to highly complex musical structures Chant (from French chanter) is the rhythmic speaking or singing...

", a method of chanting where one side of the choir alternately responds to the other. (The later pope St. Gregory I the Great is not known to have composed any Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic liturgical music within Western Christianity that accompanied the celebration of Mass and other ritual services...

, the plainsong
Plainsong
Plainsong is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Catholic Church. Though the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Catholic Church did not split until long after the origin of plainchant, Byzantine chants are generally not classified as plainsong.Plainsong is monophonic, consisting of a...

 or "Romish chant".) However, Ambrosian chant was named in his honor due to his contributions to the music of the Church; he is credited with introducing hymnody from the Eastern Church into the West.

Catching the impulse from Hilary
Hilary of Arles
Saint Hilary of Arles was a bishop of Arles. He is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, with his feast day celebrated on 5 May.- Life :...

 and confirmed in it by the success of Arian psalmody, Ambrose composed several original hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s as well, four of which still survive, along with music which may not have changed too much from the original melodies. Each of these hymns has eight four-line stanza
Stanza
In poetry, a stanza is a unit within a larger poem. In modern poetry, the term is often equivalent with strophe; in popular vocal music, a stanza is typically referred to as a "verse"...

s and is written in strict iambic dimeter (that is 2 x 2 iambs).
Marked by dignified simplicity, they served as a fruitful model for later times.
  • Deus Creator Omnium
  • Aeterne rerum conditor
  • Jam surgit hora tertia
  • Jam Christus astra ascendante"
  • Veni redemptor gentium (a Christmas
    Christmas
    Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

     hymn)
  • Text of some Ambrosian Hymns


In his writings, Ambrose refers only to the performance of psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

, in which solo singing of psalm verses alternated with a congregational refrain called an
antiphon
Antiphon
An antiphon in Christian music and ritual, is a "responsory" by a choir or congregation, usually in Gregorian chant, to a psalm or other text in a religious service or musical work....

.

St. Ambrose was also traditionally credited with composing the hymn
Te Deum
Te Deum
The Te Deum is an early Christian hymn of praise. The title is taken from its opening Latin words, Te Deum laudamus, rendered literally as "Thee, O God, we praise"....

, which he is said to have composed when he baptised St. Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

, his celebrated convert.

Ambrose and Augustine


Ambrose was Bishop of Milan at the time of Augustine's conversion, and is mentioned in Augustine's
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 
Confessions
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

.

Ambrose and celibacy


In a passage of Augustine's
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 
Confessions
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

 in which Augustine wonders why he could not share his burden with Ambrose, he makes a comment which bears on the history of celibacy:

Ambrose and reading


In this same passage of Augustine's
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 Confessions
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

 is a curious anecdote in which bears on the history of reading:
This is a celebrated passage in modern scholarly discussion. The practice of reading to oneself without vocalizing the text was less common in antiquity than it has since become. In a culture that set a high value on oratory and public performances of all kinds, in which the production of books was very labor-intensive, the majority of the population was illiterate, and where those with the leisure to enjoy literary works also had slaves to read for them, written texts were more likely to be seen as scripts for recitation than as vehicles of silent reflection. However, there is also evidence that silent reading did occur in antiquity and that it was not generally regarded as unusual.

Further reading

  • Hexameron, De paradiso, De Cain, De Noe, De Abraham, De Isaac, De bono mortis – ed. C. Schenkl 1896, Vol. 32/1
  • De Iacob, De Ioseph, De patriarchis, De fuga saeculi, De interpellatione Iob et David, De apologia prophetae David, De Helia, De Nabuthae, De Tobia – ed. C. Schenkl 1897, Vol. 32/2
  • Expositio evangelii secundum Lucam – ed. C. Schenkl 1902, Vol. 32/4
  • Expositio de psalmo CXVIII – ed. M. Petschenig 1913, Vol. 62; editio altera supplementis aucta – cur. M. Zelzer 1999
  • Explanatio super psalmos XII – ed. M. Petschenig 1919, Vol. 64; editio altera supplementis aucta – cur. M. Zelzer 1999
  • Explanatio symboli, De sacramentis, De mysteriis, De paenitentia, De excessu fratris Satyri, De obitu Valentiniani, De obitu Theodosii – ed. Otto Faller
    Otto Faller
    Rev.Otto Faller SJ was Provincial Superior of the Jesuit order in Germany, educator, teacher and Dean at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria and Kolleg St. Blasien in Germany, professor of patristic studies at the Gregorian University. He was life-long editor of the works of St. Ambrose...

     1955, Vol. 73
  • De fide ad Gratianum Augustum – ed. Otto Faller
    Otto Faller
    Rev.Otto Faller SJ was Provincial Superior of the Jesuit order in Germany, educator, teacher and Dean at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria and Kolleg St. Blasien in Germany, professor of patristic studies at the Gregorian University. He was life-long editor of the works of St. Ambrose...

     1962, Vol. 78
  • De spiritu sancto, De incarnationis dominicae sacramento – ed. Otto Faller
    Otto Faller
    Rev.Otto Faller SJ was Provincial Superior of the Jesuit order in Germany, educator, teacher and Dean at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria and Kolleg St. Blasien in Germany, professor of patristic studies at the Gregorian University. He was life-long editor of the works of St. Ambrose...

     1964, Vol. 79
  • Epistulae et acta – ed. Otto Faller
    Otto Faller
    Rev.Otto Faller SJ was Provincial Superior of the Jesuit order in Germany, educator, teacher and Dean at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria and Kolleg St. Blasien in Germany, professor of patristic studies at the Gregorian University. He was life-long editor of the works of St. Ambrose...

     (Vol. 82/1: lib. 1-6, 1968); Otto Faller
    Otto Faller
    Rev.Otto Faller SJ was Provincial Superior of the Jesuit order in Germany, educator, teacher and Dean at Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria and Kolleg St. Blasien in Germany, professor of patristic studies at the Gregorian University. He was life-long editor of the works of St. Ambrose...

    , M. Zelzer ( Vol. 82/2: lib. 7-9, 1982); M. Zelzer ( Vol. 82/3: lib. 10, epp. extra collectionem. gesta concilii Aquileiensis, 1990); Indices et addenda – comp. M. Zelzer, 1996, Vol. 82/4


Several of Ambrose's works have recently been published in the bilingual Latin-German Fontes Christiani
Fontes Christiani
Fontes Christiani is a widely-cited German bilingual collection of patristic and medieval Latin works with modern German translations. Published initially by Herder, a long-established German theological publisher beginning in 1988, it is now published by the Belgian company Brepols, a major...

 series (currently edited by Brepols
Brepols
Brepols was once one of the largest printing companies of the world and one of the main employers in Turnhout . Besides its printing business, Brepols is also active as a publisher...

).

Several religious brotherhoods which have sprung up in and around Milan at various times since the 14th century have been called Ambrosians. Their connection to Ambrose is tenuous

See also


  • Ambrosian hymnography
    Ambrosian Hymnography
    Ambrose in the fourth century wrote hymns in a severe style, clothing Christian ideas in classical phraseology, and yet appealing to popular tastes. He had found a new form and created a new school of hymnody. St. Hilary of Poitiers , who is mentioned by St...

  • Ambrosian Liturgy and Rite.
  • St. Ambrose Basilica
    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio
    The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is a church in Milan, northern Italy.-History:One of the most ancient churches in Milan, it was built by St. Ambrose in 379-386, in an area where numerous martyrs of the Roman persecutions had been buried. The first name of the church was in fact Basilica...

    , Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...



External links