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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world


Ambrose, bishop of Milan, ob. 397

Saint ID


Number in BH

BHL 377-381

Reported Death Not Before


Reported Death Not After


Type of Saint
Related Evidence Records
E00804Letter to Bishop Nicetius of Trier (eastern Gaul) from an Abbot Florianus (Austrasian Letter 5), asking him to pray that the deceased *Ennodius (bishop of Pavia, ob. 521, S00492), *Caesarius (bishop of Arles, ob. 542, S00491), and *Theodatus, Florianus' predecessor as abbot (S00563), will become patrons of the author in heaven, and that through their intercession he will gain the patronage of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490). Also contains an allusion to *Maximinus (bishop of Trier, ob. c. 347, S00465) and *Paulinus (bishop of Trier, ob. 358, S00427). Written in Latin, probably in northern Italy, 548/552.
E00850The Life of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, northern Italy, ob. 397, S00490) by Paulinus of Milan, presents him as a miracle-worker and defender of the Church and orthodoxy against Arians and emperors. Written in Latin, probably in North Africa, c. 422. Overview entry.
E00853The Life of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) by Paulinus of Milan, tells how its hero discovered the relics of the martyrs *Agricola and Vitalis (master and slave, martyrs of Bologna, S00310) in Bologna (northern Italy) where they were buried, transferred them to Florence (central Italy), and deposited them in a new basilica which he built in this city, all c. 394. Written in Latin, probably in North Africa, c. 422.
E00894The Life of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) by Paulinus of Milan recounts how after his death people in Milan (northern Italy) had visions demonstrating his sanctity; his body, being transferred to the place of his burial in the Basilica Ambrosiana, tormented demons, and his funeral was attended by crowds of people, including Jews and pagans, who threw articles of clothing towards it in the hope they would touch his body. Written in Latin, probably in North Africa, c. 422.
E00895The Life of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) by Paulinus of Milan tells how a blind man saw in a vision Ambrose in the company of many martyrs, and was healed when he touched the coffin containing the relics of the three *Anaunian Martyrs (S00605) as they were being transferred to Milan (northern Italy). Written in Latin, probably in North Africa, c. 422.
E00896The Life of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) by Paulinus of Milan, recounts how clerics in Milan (northern Italy) and North Africa, who spoke badly about the late bishop were punished with sudden death. Written in Latin, probably in North Africa, c. 422.
E00905The Life of *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490), by Paulinus of Milan, relates how Ambrose discovered, thanks to a vision, the body of *Nazarius, not far from that of Celsus (later known as companion martyrs of Milan, S00281). Their transfer to a new basilica was accompanied by the confession of a demoniac who said he was tormented by Ambrose, all c. 395 in Milan (northern Italy). Written in Latin in North Africa, c. 422.
E01158Augustine of Hippo, in his treatise On the Care of the Dead, tries to answer the question of how living saints can appear in visions to human beings and how dead saints, being in heaven, can perform miracles on earth; he illustrates his considerations with examples taken from stories concerning *John of Lycopolis, (ascetic of Egypt, ob. c. 395, S00102), *Gervasius and Protasius (martyrs of Milan, S00313), and *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490). Written in Latin in Hippo Regius (central North Africa), 420/422.
E02478Hydatius in his Chronicle mentions under the year 382 that both *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) and *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, S00050) were famous bishops and worked miracles. Written in Latin, probably in Chaves (north-west Iberian Peninsula), c. AD 468-469.
E02804Gregory of Tours, in his Miracles of Martin (1.5), tells how *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) attended in a dream the funeral of *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, ob. 397, S00050) in 397. Gregory also mentions how Martin was welcomed into heaven by *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) and *Michael (the Archangel, S00181). Written in Latin in Tours (north-west Gaul), 573/576.
E03237The Life of *Gaudentius (bishop of Novara, S01531) is written in Latin, presumably in Novara, at an uncertain date, perhaps in the late 7th or early 8th c., but by the 9th c. at the latest. It narrates Gaudentius’ association with *Laurentius (priest and martyr of Novara, S02438), *Martin (ascetic and bishop of Tours, S00050), *Eusebius (bishop of Vercelli, S01219) and *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, S00490); his miracles, appointment as bishop of Novara and incomplete building of a basilica; after his death, the miracles performed by his uncorrupt body on display in the church of the mother of God (Mary, mother of Christ, S00033), then in a tomb in the finished basilica.
E03455The early seventh-century Georgian version of the Lectionary of Jerusalem commemorates on 8 December *Ambrose (probably the bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490).
E03519The anonymous Gallic Chronicle of 452, written in Latin in Gaul in the mid 5th c., records the discovery of the relics of *Gervasius and Protasius (martyrs of Milan, S00313) by *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490), in Milan (northern Italy).
E03952The Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime, compiled in Georgian in the 10th c., based however on 5th-7th c. prototypes from Palestine, commemorates on 8 December probably *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00049), *Nicholas (bishop of Myra under Constantine, S00520) and *Patapios (hermit and monk of Thebes and Constantinople, 4th c., S01809).
E04054Sozomen in his Ecclesiastical History records traditions about miracle-working bishops who lived under Theodosius I (r. 379-395), namely *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490), *Donatos (bishop of Euroia in Epirus Vetus, south Balkans, ob. late 4th c., S01274), *Theotimos (bishop of Tomis on the lower Danube, ob. late 4th c. S01721), *Epiphanios (bishop of Salamis of Cyprus, ob. 403, S00215), *Akakios (bishop of Beroia in Syria, ob. late 4th c., S01723), and the brothers *Zenon and Aias (bishops of Gaza in Palestine, ob. late 4th c., S01722). The author mentions miracles at the tomb shrines of Donatos and Epiphanios. Written in Greek at Constantinople, 439/450.
E04767Paulinus of Nola, in many of his fourteen poems (the Natalicia) written in honour of *Felix (priest and confessor of Nola, S00000), identifies Felix as the special protector (patronus) of Nola (southern Italy); the similar role of other saints, in other regions, is detailed in Natalicium 11. Written in Latin, in Spain and later Nola, between 395 and 408.
E05854The Calendar of Willibrord, in its earliest version, records the feasts of various saints in April. Written in Latin at Echternach, Frisia (north-east Gaul), 703/710.
E06245Venantius Fortunatus, in a poem on virginity (8.3), when describing the court of heaven lists numerous saints with the cities of their resting-place. Written in Latin in Gaul, probably in the early 570s.
E06553Aldhelm, in his prose On Virginity, names *Ambrose (bishop of Milan, ob. 397, S00490) as an exemplary virgin. Written in Latin in southern Britain, for the nuns at the monastery at Barking (south-east Britain), c. 675/686.
E06659Aldhelm's verse On Virginity lists a range of saints as exemplary virgins, with some variations to the list found in the earlier prose version of the same treatise. Written in Latin in southern Britain, for the nuns at the monastery at Barking (south-east Britain), c. 675/710. Overview entry
E08076Five relic labels at the monastery of Saint-Maurice d'Agaune (south-east Gaul), datable by their script to the 7th c., for relics of various Gallic and Italian saints. Written in Latin, either where the relics originated, or at Saint-Maurice d'Agaune.