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Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts$
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Daniel H. Williams

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198264644

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264644.001.0001

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(p.233) Conclusion
Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts

Daniel H. Williams

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the discussions in the preceding chapters. The historical reconstruction of the years 360–87 challenged assumptions resulting from the ‘triumphalist’ model, namely, that the west had always been sympathetic to Nicene Christianity and that its complete subjugation of Homoian Arianism was accomplished soon after the loss of its political support under the Emperor Constantius. The early career of Ambrose was construed in a way that radically diverged from the heroic caricature exhibited in presentations overly dependent on hagiographic literature. It was also shown that the synod of Aquileia, organized by Ambrose and composed mainly of fellow north Italian bishops, did not end the conflict with the Homoians as he had certainly hoped. On the contrary, the synod seems to have acted as a lightning rod, charging renewed Homoian efforts against Ambrose. An event that marked the political demise of Homoianism in the west was Maximus' invasion in the summer of 387 and Theodosius' subsequent occupation of the western provinces after his defeat of Maximus.

Keywords:   Nicene Christianity, Homoian Arianism, Ambrose of Milan, Maximus, Theodosius

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