Comparative Religious Ethics in the Service of Historical Interpretation: Ambrose's Use of Cicero

Journal of Religious Ethics 9 (1):35 - 47 (1981)
Ambrose's use of Cicero's "De Officiis" as a model for his own "De Officiis Ministrorum" is an elaborate illustration of how a Christian moralist found it both desirable to adopt and necessary to modify major traditions of Stoic ethics. Ambrose found both the organisation and the content of Cicero's treatise highly congenial, differing mainly with respect to retaliation and private property. Ambrose, however, relies upon a distinctively Christian eschatology, and reads into certain important passages Christian meanings alien to their original intent.
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