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E05148: Ambrose of Milan, writing in Latin in Milan (northern Italy) in c. 381, in his Letter 5 refers to the construction and dedication of a church to the *Apostles (S00084) in Lodi, near Milan.

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posted on 2018-03-02, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Ambrose of Milan, Letter 5.1

Ortus enim sermo de basilicae, quam condidit Apostolorum nomine dedicatione, dedit huic sermoni viam; siquidem significabat quod sedulo tuae quaereret sanctitatis praesentiam.

‘For the conversation concerning the dedication of the basilica which he [Bassianus, bishop of Lodi] had built in the name of the Apostles gave rise to the following topic: he indicated that he dearly sought your holy company.'

Text: Faller 1968. Translation: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apostles, unnamed or name lost : S00084

Image Caption 1

Burials ad sanctos. Photo credit: M. Moliner, Marseille (M Moliner, 'La basilique funéraire', Gallia, 69(2) 134, fig. 65)

Image Caption 2

The entry pipe and tomb inside the shrine. Photo credit: M. Moliner, Marseille (M Moliner, 'La basilique funéraire', Gallia, 69(2) 134, fig. 68)

Image Caption 3

The plan of the church. Image from M Moliner, 'La basilique funéraire', Gallia, 69(2) 134, fig. 64)

Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Milan Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Ambrose of Milan

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


Letter 5 of the letter collection of Ambrose of Milan. This letter was addressed to a friend and correspondent, Bishop Felix of Como, Italy. Ambrose’s letters have been transmitted in ten books, but scholars disagree over whether this was a decision made by Ambrose or by a later editor. This letter dates from c. 381. The letter is preserved in the Maurist collection as Letter 4. See Patrologia Latina, vol. 16, 855D-867B for a discussion of this alternative order, which is based on the date of composition rather than the order of letters in the manuscript tradition.


Lodi (ancient Laus Pompeia) is some 25 kilometres south-east of Milan.


Edition: Faller, O., Sancti Ambrosii Opera: Epistulae et Acta (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 82.1; Vienna: Hoelder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1968). Further reading: Canellis, A. (ed.), La correspondance d’Ambroise de Milan (Saint-Étienne: Publications de l’Université de Saint-Étienne, 2012). McLynn, N., Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). Nauroy, G., "The Letter Collection of Ambrose of Milan," in: C. Sogno, B. Storin and E. Watts (eds)., Late Antique Letter Collections (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016), 146-156.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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