Ambrose (The Early Church Fathers) 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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The translations included in this book are ON VIRGINS, ON NABOTH, ON THE MYSTERIES, THE PROLOGUE FROM THE COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE, Ambrose's hymns, and the letters concerning the altar of Victory in the Roman Senate. Honestly, these are not necessarily the works I would have picked for a well-rounded introduction, but this isn't a bad list. ON VIRGINS, the hymns, and the letters about the altar are key works that many people will be interested in. ON THE VIRGINS is an important work for understanding early Christian sexual renunciation. The hymns are some of the earliest Christian hymns we have, and Ramsey is to be thanked for including the Latin text here along with his faithful translation. The letters concerning victory give insight into the relationship between Christianity and lingering paganism of the time. I think Ramsey includes ON NABOTH because it points to the Church's tradition of being concerned with social justice. ON THE MYSTERIES gives interesting details on how baptism was performed in Milan, but Ramsey is quick to point out that baptismal practices were not uniform at this time since Ambrose doesn't conform exactly to current Catholic practices. The prologue on Luke's Gospel provides an example of some of his exegetical work.
This volume concludes with a new translation of Paulinus of Milan's LIFE OF SAINT AMBROSE. Some people will wish to have had more works of Ambrose himself included instead of this work, but I was quite glad that Paulinus's interesting work is easily accessible now. Paulinus was a friend of Ambrose, and Augustine asked Paulinus to write this brief biography. Naturally, the work is hagiographical (and a bit fantastical at points), but it provides the framework for understanding Ambrose's life.
Also, if you're interested in learning more about Ambrose, I'd suggest Neil McLynn's Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital (Transformation of the Classical Heritage). McLynn's book is the best book-length biography of Ambrose, but he does admittedly view Ambrose mostly through the lens of his political interactions with the imperial court in Milan.
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