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By John Moorhead

An account, and evaluation, 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 curious about the political, social and non secular problems with his day: struggles among church and kingdom (especially with Emperor Theodosius), the struggle opposed to heresy, yet he additionally had a deep effect on Church suggestion corresponding to the function and standing of ladies. John Moorhead considers a majority of these dimensions in a booklet that may be of compelling curiosity to historians of the Church and the overdue classical international and classical reviews.

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45). Yet within marriage, the husband and wife would play very different roles. Ambrose thought that a good example of a married couple acting in their proper roles was provided by Abraham and Sarah: while Abraham stood outside the tabernacle and offered hospitality to passing strangers, Sarah guarded her womanly modesty, carrying out the tasks of a wife with a sense of shame. When one of a group of visitors asked Abraham where his wife was, his purpose was to teach the degree of shame and modesty which was appropriate to women.

Significantly, a discussion of the virtue of silence immediately follows a passage on the bishop'S role of preaching which opens the De officiis; officiis; see further on silence £'/1. 33(=49). 33 AMBROSE Near the beginning of the third book of the De officiis, Ambrose alludes to a saying of Scipio which Cicero quoted at the beginning of the third book of his own De officiis: he was not alone when he was alone, and he was never less at leisure than when he was at leisure (off. 2; cf. Cic. off. 1).

He rejoiced to hear Ambrose repeating to the people in his preaching 'the letter kills but the Spirit gives life' (II Cor 3:6), for he opened up according to the Spirit those texts which seemed to teach perversity when taken according to the letter by taking away that which had veiled them in a mystery (conf. 6). We shall have occasion to turn to this passage of Augustine again later (below, page 172 n. 28). But for the time being we may observe that Ambrose is contrasted with Faustus with respect to the difficulty of obtaining a private interview as well as the content of his teaching.

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