From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

New to this[edit]

Request for comments about geneology/name of St. Ambrose. 17:46, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I've tried every way I can find but still the correction to the St Ambrose page has been removed. 'Aurelius Ambrosius' was NOT St Ambrose's name!!! It was his Dads.

If you remove my correction then one of you correct it - but correct the basic error!

If there is any doubt about this read YOUR references! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

St. Ambrose was also known as Aurelius Ambrosius. See: Paredi, Angelo, Saint Ambrose: his life and times, University of Notre Dame Press, 1964, p. 380: "The Ambrosian distichs for the basilica of St. Nazarius preserved in the Dresden codex are subscribed Aur. Ambrosius episc. (See GB Pighi in Aevum, XVIII [1944], p.17, and the studies of A. Silvagni cited there." Cagwinn (talk) 22:18, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Your references are very old!
Regarding Ambrose's father, note the following (which indicates that there isn't much evidence for the man's full name): Paredi, Angelo, Saint Ambrose: his life and times, University of Notre Dame Press, 1964, p. 380: "S. Paulinus in Vit. Ambr. 3 has the following: posito in administratione praefecturae Galliarum patre eius Ambrosio natus est Ambrosius. From this, practically all of Ambrose's biographers have concluded that Ambrose's father was praetorian prefect in Gaul. This is the only evidence we have, however, that there ever was an Ambrose as prefect in Gaul." Cagwinn (talk) 22:27, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
For more on this last point, see Christoph Markschies, Ambrosius von Mailand und die Trinitätstheologie, Mohr Siebeck, 1995, p. 42-43.Cagwinn (talk) 00:44, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I partly agree with this, Ambrose's father held high status within Romano-British nobility but I strongly suggest you read Myres J.N.L. (1989)"The English Settlements" part of the Oxford History of England page 15. The issue is not as clear cut as you are trying to make it and anything 'subscribed' needs to be treated with the greatest caution. Your dogmatic reluctance to move away from 'out of copyright'/freeware information demonstrates the fundamental weakness of WIKI. It must be remembered that google books etc. are not the definitive statement...

Threaded Comments[edit]

Name issue suggestion: If there is an uncertainty of his "real" name, couldn't the article simply state that? St. Ambrose (real name commonly attributed as Aurelius Ambrosius</ref>, but sources vary)... Or something similar that accurately describes the uncertainty of his name. Readers actually interested in the name issue can check the sources themselves if further info is desired. Most will be content on knowing him as "St. Ambrose" and/or the fact that his real name is under some dispute. Quinn SUNSHINE 16:15, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

no, there is no literature stating he had a different nane. The duobt arose in the above post about the possible confusion with his father name, but being a roman also his father was actually the same. A ntv (talk) 23:46, 23 June 2012 (UTC)


I added this: "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 abundant evidence that silent reading did occur in antiquity and that it was not usually regarded as freakish."

And all of Ambrose and Celibacy.

I got the information word-for-word from the Barnes and Noble classics Confessions by Saint Augustine. The quotes from Confessions can be found on page 74, while the notes I added under the quotes is from the Endnotes Section. Unfortuntately I do not understand how to site this stuff, so you might have to. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Glorthac (talkcontribs) 00:02, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Last edits[edit]

I deleted the most obvious POV evaluations without source and added some text from the German Wikipedia. I also replaced the four section titles "Battling XXX" which infer a certain POV in the biography of a bishop with more neutral titles and moved some paras to fit the new titles. I added some external links. --Irmgard 20:53, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Dont see any reference to the relationship of Ambrose with the mother of the Emperor Constantine in this article. Raybo

Is there any? Ambrose was born in ca. 337 (the year of Constantine's death) and Helena died about 329. The empress that did play a role in his life was Justina, the mother of Valentinian II - Ambrose was at out with her because she wanted him to hand over churches to the Arians. This is mentioned in the article. Irmgard 09:05, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

The link on this page to Hilary is wrong. The link should be to Hilary of Poitiers, not Hilary of Arles.

Extremely POV, Criticism section required[edit]

With all due respect to the author, this article seems to have a very pro-Ambrose POV. I don't think there was a single criticism of Ambrose in the entire article despite the fact that he remains a very controversial figure in religious studies to this day. For instance, in the section on Ambrose and the Arians, the text reads, "Ambrose applied his theological prowess, using his eloquence to effectively refute the heretical Arian propositions." That passage is paradigmatic of the entire tenor of this article, namely that Ambrose could do no wrong and his victories over his opponents were preordained by God.

The following section on Ambrose and the Emperors continues this biased narrative. In detailing the fight between Ambrose and Symmachus over whether the Altar of Victory should be restored to the Roman Senate, the author devotes a full paragraph to Ambrose's argument and not even a sentence to Symmachus. This was one of the most important events in the religious struggle between Christianity and Paganism and deserves a fair portrayal. The arguments raised by Ambrose - which the author of course conveys in the best light – were arrogant and intolerant by even the most objective measure. Symmachus, on the other hand, presented compelling, logical arguments whose message still resounds today:

“It is reasonable that whatever each of us worships is really to be considered one and the same. We gaze up at the same stars, the sky covers us all, the same universe encompasses us. What does it matter what practical system we adopt in our search for the truth? Not by one avenue only can we arrive at so tremendous a secret."

The fact that the article contains no citations leads me to believe that it was taken, either in whole or in part, from a Catholic source. Wikipedia’s commitment to viewpoint neutrality demands the insertion of a criticism section to balance the rampant pro-Ambrose bias. As of now, this is more a shrine to Ambrose fandom than an encyclopedia article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DMMike1 (talkcontribs) 03:48, 4 April 2007 (UTC).

This article does seem rather hagiographic. The source seems mostly to be the Brittanica. I can make some small changes but this isn't my field.HG | Talk 23:17, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Apologies, forgot to sign Mike 03:50, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Such a pantheistic point view is "compelling" for you because, I suspect, you agree with Symmachus. The need for Symmachus' argument exists because it was given and is part of history, not because you find it compelling. That reasoning for including his argument is as inappropriate as the obvious pro-Ambrose and citation-lacking POV that the original author gave. (And I will not argue against its need to be corrected.) For what its worth, any Christian would respond to Symmachus in this way: "Whatever you worship, the stars or the sky or the Universe itself was created by God and that is the difference between the truth proclaimed through the Christian faith and your secret.", very likely followed by a quote from the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. My point being that the Christian POV has a cosmology with no place for Symmachus argument -- through their definitions of the stars, when they look up they both see something different. Therefore you may not conclude it is compelling, without quantification, simply because we live in a post-modern age with a form of hope that is undeniably similar to the pagan worldview of Symmachus' Roman world. Chrismon 18:46, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Point well taken. I didn't mean to insinuate that Symmachus' argument should be included simply because I find it compelling. The crux of my argument, which you admittedly agree with, is that this article should sound more like an encyclopedia article and less like an exercise in christian apologetics. While I do not intend to turn this page into a theological debate, your hypothetical christian response to Symmachus demonstrates why his argument deserves a fair exposition. Although his argument has pantheistic overtones, Symmachus was not strictly arguing for the divine status of the stars and sky, but rather appealing to the shared sense of awe and wonder we all experience when contemplating the meaning of existence. Mike 01:34, 30 May 2007 (UTC) Pie tastes good.
I think it needs to be clarified, also with a view to the rendition of the debate in the article, that the essence of Symmachus' argument is not that there is no difference between Paganism and Christianity - he explicitly describes them as different ways to search for truth - so just repeating the Christian view of what the difference is and how the Pagans are wrong is completely irrelevant. Symmachus' argument can be broken down like this: Step 1. Pagans and Christians have a lot in common, since both seek the divine in the Universe, each in their own way, and we all agree that seeking the divine is a good idea; Step 2. We can't be sure who is right ("man's reason moves entirely in the dark; his knowledge of divine influences can be drawn from no better source than from the recollection and the evidences of good fortune received from them"), and who knows, maybe they're both right; Step 3. Therefore, there should be tolerance for both. The hypothetical Christian response given by Chrismon boils down to "yeah, maybe we both kinda seek the divine, but the difference is that I 'm doing it right and you 're doing it wrong, b*tch." To make the argument complete by addressing Step 2, we may also infer the addition "and I know that's so, cuz I just know." The counter-conclusion in response to Step 3 is, presumably: "No, Symmachus, there shouldn't be any tolerance for religions other than Christianity". BTW, Symmachus doesn't even say that the physical stars, sky or universe are literally gods themselves, and he and his co-religionists most likely didn't believe that either, so, as usual, the Christian accusation that the pagans "worship the creature instead of the creator" (as in Romans 1:23 and 1:25) is arguing with a strawman. So yeah, compared with this kind of argumentation - which even most self-described Christians nowadays would find too embarrassing to use - Symmachus certainly does seem a billion times more intelligent, mature and "compelling", even if one need not be personally convinced by him (for the record, I'm not, since I disagree with Step 2; we can, in fact, be pretty sure that all religions are wrong. :)). -- (talk) 22:50, 29 June 2014 (UTC)

Not sure how to post my concerns, so forgive the errors. Just wanted to agree that this article is hagiographic. Badly needs a Criticism section. For example, here are some of Ambrose's writings on the Jews.

"The faithlessness of the Synagogue is an insult to the Savior. Therefore, He chose the barque of Peter and deserted the boat of Moses; that is, He rejected the faithless Synagogue and adopted the believing Church ... Of these two ships, one is left at the shore, idle and empty; the other, loaded filled, is launched into the deep. For the Synagogue is left idle on the beach. Because of its own fault, it has lost Christ along with the warnings of the prophets. But the freighted Church is taken out into the deep, because it received the Lord together with the teaching of the Apostles. The Synagogue, I say, remains on the land, held fast as it were to earthly things. The Church is called forth to the deep, as though to search into the profound mysteries of Heaven." ~ St. Ambrose


"The Synagogue is a godless house, a collection of wickedness, and God Himself has damned it." ~ St. Ambrose


"O Jewish hearts, harder than rocks!" ~ St. Ambrose


These quotes, and the beliefs that begat them, are deserving of some mention in any article on Ambrose, I think. Sgsnow (talk) 13:33, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

A criticism section definitely must be made. To not have a criticism section when such quotes from him about Jews are well known is really being non-neutral. Senjuto 21:21, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

More on Theology, please![edit]

The Theology says nothing about apologisms or vindications, actually. More needed! Said: Rursus 18:13, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Forms of name[edit]

Do we really need to give his name in Latin, Italian, and Lombard? Is there some policy of which I am unaware that says we should? It doesn't seem to be worth the space it takes up, in my opinion. Personally, I'd keep the Latin and delete the other two, but I'd like to know what others think. Carl.bunderson 15:53, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Before reading your comment, I reworked the lead, moving those names to the end of it. That opening was unreadable, and not just the alternative names. I think we tend too often to try to get all our pedantry into the very first sentence of an article. It’s not a good idea, it puts readers off! Does it look better now, or would you still want to remove them? —Ian Spackman 16:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I did see your edit, which is actually what prompted my comment. It's definitely a good edit, much better than it was. But the different forms of his name seem kind of orphaned/out of place now. That's what made me suggest that we just do away with them. Carl.bunderson 16:16, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
You are right that they look orphaned, though I’d still marginally prefer to keep them somewhere—the Latin and the Italian at least. My intention was to relegate them to a footnote, but didn’t quite find a way to do it to my satisfaction. Maybe just a footnote to the word ‘Ambrose’? I’d suggest that, having read what I think, you do what you think looks best. I won’t revert you! And I wouldn’t hang around too long waiting for comments. If what you do turns out to be controversial then there can be a discussion. What to do about the rest of the article is a bigger problem. If it is mostly 1911, then it’s 1911 on a bad day. It’s not just the POV issue, but a readability one. I couldn’t bring myself to read much of it—my attention kept straying. And I start off with the advantage of being fairly interested in Milan. —Ian Spackman 17:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Well I made a footnote for them, keeping them all. I guess its the best solution. And I may or may not tackle the article as a whole, but not now anyhow. Carl.bunderson 17:19, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Footnote 1[edit]

With all the edits--and I didn't see it before they began--footnote 1 seems to have been orphaned. The 1st note in the text is [2], and down below, [1] does not have a link. What happened? Kit1066 13:55, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

First footnote is to the infobox and several other places in the article. Don't worry: nothing went wrong here. --Dampinograaf (talk) 09:46, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

strange part[edit]

There is a strane paragraph. It seems that someone introduced it for "fun". I do not know if I can erase it. I will copy it here for you to see it: [edit] Bishop of Milan

ambrose was very tall. he hit puberty at the age of 5. he was born with an extra webbed toe. since there were no doctor he kept it. it helped later when he was on a cruise he had too many beers and fell into the nile river however god saved him.his weird toe helped him swim too!he loved god very much! he also loved turkey everyone loves turkey.!!!!!! <Comment from Sombody else>: That guy is a jack ass... But i agree, i also like turey.

Reinachbia 18:59, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Non-neutral and lacking citations[edit]

This article is written almost exclusively from a Christian perspective and not a historical one. Sources that I've read regard things treated in this article as fact as mythical at best. Most of these statments are unreferenced. For example, the nature of his election to the office of Bishop is legend as far as I have read and not historical fact. These distinctions are critical for neutrality. DJLayton4 (talk) 05:48, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Given the above, the article does not currently meet B-class criteria. I've reduced it to C-class until improvements are made. DJLayton4 (talk) 05:57, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Half of the citations are from secular sources. Skimming over this article; I see a few weak points, but it's mostly excellent. I would recommend moving this back up to B-Class, unless you have some other or more specific objections. -- LightSpectra (talk) 19:17, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I can't understand Djlayton4's criticism. The article states Ambrose's theological positions without - so far as I understand it - expressing approval or disapproval. What else would a genuinely NPOV article do? And Djlayton4 quotes 'sources I have read' without any references! What 'things treated' Djlayton4? The account of his election to the office of Bishop is from a biography of Ambrose written by his own secretary, Paulinus! How much more historical - and NPOV - can you get? This should be put back up to B-Class, without any question. OldTownAdge (talk) 15:21, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
This article suggests that the only dispute was between Nicene adherents and Arians - this is completely untrue. The opinion at the imperial court was in line with the church councils convened by the Emperor Constantius and often described as 'Homoean' - a belief that Jesus was like the Father but not of identical substance. This was arguably the majority opinion in Christianity. To use the term 'heresy' to describe the Homoean or Arian position shows that this article is simply a Catholic Church view. There is no attempt to understand Ambrose's opponents or question his motives. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Being that Ambrose was a Catholic, and the Catholic Church considered heterodox opinions to be "heresy", I don't see what the problem is. -- LightSpectra (talk) 19:48, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

The Character section is also short on citations--who is it who said he used relics for political power or was snickered at by a "court party"? Sounds like an interesting passage to read, but, um, whose? (talk) 04:40, 5 March 2010 (UTC)


Is it really appropriate to have 'Ambrose' redirect to this page? Hue White (talk) 23:37, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

No. But when I searched for "[[Amb" in text, couldn't find it. Student7 (talk) 19:11, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposal concerning Ambrose on almsgiving[edit]

I am planning on adding the following material to the article on Saint Ambrose in order to provide more information on his philosophy in regard to giving charity to the poor. In summary, it points out his view that almsgiving should not be done in a condescending manner and that in giving charity we are giving back to the poor what is theirs. The proposed insert is based on references from Peter Brown, distinguished Professor at Princeton in his book "Through the Eye of the Needle" and primary resources from Saint Ambrose in "De Nabuthae" and "De Officiis". I would appreciate and comments or edits before I make the insert in the article. I am thinking of placing it in a new section on "Giving to the Poor" after the section on "Imperial Relations", although I am open to other suggestions.

Giving to the Poor

Ambrose held that giving to the poor should be based on a strong sense of human solidarity. The poor should not be seen as outsiders. He went out of his way to make sure that Christians did not see almsgiving as a condescending gesture. Instead they were to see it as a gracious repayment to their fellow humans of an ancient debt. [1] Ambrose wrote the following in De Nabuthae: It is not anything of yours that you are bestowing on the poor; rather you are giving back something of theirs. For you alone are usurping what was given in common for the use of all. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich…. Hence Scripture say to you: Incline your soul to the poor, give back what is owed, And answer him with peaceable words in gentleness (Sirach / Ecclesiasticus 4:8) [2] .

Ambrose was referring back to a time of innocence, when the earth was the possession of all, and God had provided food for everyone in common, and before usurping greed had established private rights. [3]

1.Jump up ^ {{Citation | first = Peter | last = Brown | title = Through the Eye of the Needle - Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. | publisher = Princeton University Press | year = 2012 | page 133 2.Jump up ^ {{Citation | S. Ambrosii | De Nabuthae | translator | first = Boniface | last = Ramsey | title = Ambrose | publisher = Routledge | year = 1997 | page = 135 3.Jump up ^ {{Citation | S. Ambrosii | De Officiis | translator | first = Ivor J. | last = Davidson | publisher = Oxford University Press year = 2001 | at 1.28.132, page 194.

Balenceinall (talk) 16:15, 12 July 2014 (UTC)Balenceinall


Perhaps it is best not to let others edit your text here, so that those who comment later will still know what it is that you are proposing, while seeing also what comments others have made. I have therefore made bold to reformat what you wrote. Do you know that the Brown text is available on Google Books (published, it appears, in 2013, not 2012)? SeePeter Brown, Through the Eye of a Needle (Princeton University Press 2013 ISBN 978-1-40084453-1). You can give a link to Ecclesiasticus/Sirach thus: Sirach 4:8. Esoglou (talk) 18:10, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the Comments

The printed version of "Through the Eye of the Needle" indicates that the copyright was in 2012. My only reason for putting the proposed alteration on this page was that I did not receive any response when I put my proposed draft in for review. I was hoping to get some response, which I have not received officially yet. Should I consider your comments an official response? What do I do next? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Balenceinall (talkcontribs) 22:38, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

WP:BOLD. Esoglou (talk) 06:55, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
In other words, Balenceinall, we generally don't put forward text on the Talk page unless it might be controversial. Usually, we just edit the article directly. Others then may or may not modify it "live" in the article, or if someone really doesn't like it they revert the article to what it looked like before the addition. If it's not reverted it is deemed to be accepted. See WP:EDITCONSENSUS. But nothing "officially" happens. It's all about "consensus" of volunteer editors. For more on thst read WP:CONSENSUS. The Talk page is more for when there is a disagreement as to whether a change should have been reverted. The idea is to resolve the disagreement here. Read also WP:BRD on how the process should ideally work. DeCausa (talk) 08:22, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
This is so closely paraphrased from Brown that it raises issues of copyright. Even the quote of Ambrose is taken directly from Brown, including the ellipsis. Furthermore, I'd say a section on Ambrose's teachings should be a part of "theology", not of "life" - we're not discussing whether Ambrose himself gave to the poor, but what he thought on giving in general. I'll move and reword the section accordingly, but it may need more attention from an expert. Huon (talk) 18:52, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Only St. Ambrose?[edit]

Is this Ambrose the only St. Ambrose?

I ask because in the 70s I was in a German cathedral ( I don't recall the city, but obviously not Milan where the present Ambrose is displayed) that had an "Ambrose" under glass as a relic.

Either it was a different Ambrose being venerated or it was a competing claim to have the body of this Ambrose.-- (talk) 16:12, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

The Roman Martyrology lists the following Ambroses canonized or beatified (I give their names in Latin, as in the book, even that of Ambrose Edward Barlow): Ambrosius (Aloysius) Valle Matamales (feastday: 26 August), Ambrosius (Salvator) Chuliá Ferrandi (18 September), Ambrosius Augustinus Chevreux (2 September), Ambrosius Eduardus Barlow (10 September), Ambrosius Fernández (7 January), Ambrosius Franciscus Ferro (3 October), Ambrosius Kibuka (3 June), Ambrosius Leo (Petrus Lorente Vicente (23 Octover), Ambrosius Sansedoni (20 March), Ambrosius, Abbot (2 November), Ambrosius, Bishop of Milan (7 December). Esoglou (talk) 17:05, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Ambrose. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 21:57, 27 November 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Ambrose. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:58, 1 December 2017 (UTC)