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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Ambrosius of Alexandria

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Ambrosius (1) ( Ἀμβρόσιος ) of Alexandria, a deacon according to Jerome (de Vir. Ill. 56), the disciple and friend of Origen, died c. 250.

It is not certain whether Ambrose was a Christian by birth; but he was of a noble and wealthy family (Orig. Exhort. ad. Mart. 14 f. 49; Hieron. l.c. ), and probably occupied some office under the Imperial Government (Epiph. Haer. 64, 3: cf. Orig. ib. c. 36). Endowed with an active and critical mind, he at first neglected the simple teaching of the Gospel for the more philosophic systems of heresy (Orig. in Johann. tom. v.). However, when he met Origen he recognized his true teacher, and embraced the orthodox faith (Epiph. l.c. ). From that time to his death Ambrose devoted his whole energy to encouraging his great master in his labours on Holy Scripture, and used his fortune to further them (Eus. H. E. vi. 23).

Ambrose left no writings of his own except some letters, but it is evident that he exercised a powerful influence upon Origen, who called him his "taskmaster," ἐργοδιώκτης ( in Johann. tom. v.), and it may have been through his zeal in "collation" (Orig. Ephesians 1 .) that Origen undertook his critical labours. Through mistaken devotion, Ambrose indiscreetly permitted the publication of some unrevised treatises of Origen which were intended only for his own use (Hieron. Ep. 84, 10).

[B.F.W.]


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Ambrosius of Alexandria'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hwd/a/ambrosius-of-alexandria.html. 1911.

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Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
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