Political Writings

By R. W. Dyson; Thomas Aquinas | Go to book overview

Biographical glossary

Alexander of Macedon: Alexander 'the Great' (356–323 BC); son of King Philip II of Macedon. Between the ages of thirteen and sixteen he was tutored by Aristotle. He succeeded his father after the latter's assassination in 336BC. Enormously ambitious, he was a military commander of genius who inherited an efficient military machine from his father. In the decade between 334 BC and 324 BC he created the Macedonian empire encompassing Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Asia up to western India. He founded over seventy cities and diffused Hellenic culture throughout the known world. After his death, the empire was divided up into the 'Hellenistic' kingdoms by his generals. Ambrose: St Ambrose was born in 339 into an aristocratic family of

Roman Christians and educated at Rome in law and the liberal arts. His forensic abilities earned him advancement to the consular governorship of Liguria and Æmilia with a residence at Milan. Called upon in 374 to mediate between Catholics and Arians in a violent dispute over the vacant see of Milan, Ambrose dealt with the affair so tactfully that, at the age of thirty-five, and much against his wishes, he found himself acclaimed Bishop of Milan by both Catholics and Arians. His first act as bishop was to give his property to the poor; but the most notable event of his episcopate was his infliction of public penance on the Emperor Theodosius. He was a friend and mentor of St Augustine, and the eloquence of his sermons was a factor in Augustine's conversion. He died on 4 April 397.

Anselm: St Anselm of Canterbury; the most distinguished theologian and philosopher of the eleventh century. He was born in 1033 and entered the Benedictine Abbey at Bec in 1060, becoming prior in 1063

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