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

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

(p.128) 5 The Publication of and Reaction to Ambrose’s De fide, I–II
Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts

Daniel H. Williams

Oxford University Press

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

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