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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Calligonus, Eunuch and Chamberlain to Valentinian II

Calligonus, eunuch and chamberlain to Valentinian II., insulted Ambrose, a.d. 385 (Ambr. Ep. xx. (1), iii. p. 859). He conveyed a message, or reported a saying, of the emperor's, and added, "While I am alive, dost thou contemn Valentinian? I will remove thy head from off thee." Ambrose answered, "God grant thee to fulfil thy threat; for I shall suffer what bishops suffer, and thou wilt do what eunuchs do. And would that God would avert them from the church, that they might turn all their weapons on me." Calligonus was afterwards put to death on a peculiarly infamous charge (Augustine, contra Julianum, vi. 14, vol. x. 845). Tillemont (x. 175) supposes that these events were in the mind of Ambrose when he wrote the 6th chapter of his book on Joseph. This is very probable, but the further inference that that book was written two years later seems wholly erroneous. The event that occurred after two years was the usurpation of Maximus. It is possible that Ambrose encountered two eunuchs. Cf. also de Broglie, l’Eglise et l’Empire, vi. 173.

[E.B.B.]

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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Calligonus, Eunuch and Chamberlain to Valentinian II'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hwd/c/calligonus-eunuch-and-chamberlain-to-valentinian-ii.html. 1911.

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