This chapter explores the religious and secular background of Ambrosiaster. Ascertaining the nature of Ambrosiaster' s religious background is tricky, but establishing his likely secular background is easier. Having benefited from an education in the classics and forensic rhetoric, Ambrosiaster appears to have been involved in, or at least in a position to observe, aristocratic and official life in Rome. Although the bulk of evidence places Ambrosiaster's work as written in the city of Rome, historians have suggested that he spent time elsewhere, particularly Egypt, from his references to Egyptian customs. Although he was acquainted with classical texts, it was Christian works which exercised the more obtrusive intellectual and literary influence on his writing.
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