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Anti-paganism influenced by Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose and emperor Theodosius by Van Dyck.

Saint Ambrose influenced the anti-paganism policy of several late Roman emperors including Gratian, Valentinian II and Theodosius I.[1][2][3][4] Under the influence of Saint Ambrose, Theodosius issued, in the year 391, the "Theodosian decrees," a declaration of war on paganism,[2][5] and the Altar of Victory was removed by Gratian. Ambrose prevailed upon Gratian, Valentinian and Theodosius to reject requests to restore the Altar.

  1. ^ Byfield 2003, pp. 92–4: ‘In the west, such [anti-Pagan] tendencies were less pronounced, although they had one especially powerful advocate. No one was more determined to destroy paganism than Ambrose, bishop of Milan, a major influence upon both Gratian and Valentinian II. [...] The man who ruled the ruler — Whether Ambrose, the senator-bureaucrat-turned-bishop, was Theodosius's mentor or his autocrat, the emperor heeded him—as did most of the fourth-century church.’
  2. ^ a b MacMullen 1984, p. 100.
  3. ^ Roldanus 2006, p. 148.
  4. ^ Hellemo 1989, p. 254.
  5. ^ King 1961, p. 78.