The Publication of and Reaction to Ambrose’s De fide, I–II

Daniel H. Williams

in Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts

Published in print May 1995 | ISBN: 9780198264644
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682735 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The Publication of and Reaction to Ambrose’s De fide, I–II

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The publication of De fide represents a sudden and dramatic reversal in Ambrose's policies towards the Homoians in Milan. Probably written in late autumn of 378, the document is nothing less than a full-scale attack against western Arianism, denigrating it as the worst of heresies and as an enemy to the truth. Such a transformation indicates that the carefully balanced scales of Ambrosian administration had been tipped. In reality, however, this polemical manifesto by Ambrose is not so surprising. The chapter shows how much had transpired at Milan to vitiate Valentinian's promise to Ambrose that his episcopate would be characterized by a ‘peaceful future’. The composition of De fide is itself a reaction to these events and must be considered in light of the political and religious circumstances that gave rise to it.

Keywords: Ambrose of Milan; De fide; Homoians; anti-Arianism; Arianism; religious politics

Chapter.  12664 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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