De Officiis: Commentary
One of the most important texts of Latin Patristic literature. Modelled on the De Officiis of Cicero, it sets out Ambrose's ethical vision for his clergy, synthesizing ancient Stoic assumptions on virtue and expediency with Biblical patterns of humility, charity and self-denial to present a paradigm of a Church hierarchy capable of making the right impact on its social world. Ambrose aspires to demonstrate that Christian values have superseded the ideals of the classical age. This study constitutes the first modern English translation of Ambrose's Latin. The text and translation in Vol. 1 are accompanied by a detailed Commentary (vol. 2) that concentrates on Ambrose's debts to Cicero and his attempts to renovate his philosophical inheritance. An extensive Introduction analyzes his ethical ideals and sets them in their social context.
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