This chapter explores Ambrosiaster's attitudes toward natural social hierarchies in creation. These attitudes provide the necessary starting point for any investigation of his ideas about political, institutionalized forms of domination (such as that of the emperor over his subjects) because he used the same language for both sorts of hierarchy, which allowed him to narrow the gap between social and political forms of domination. Ambrosiaster presented man and woman's domination over the animals and man's domination over woman as inherently natural, ordained at the very moment of creation by God. Slavery, however — considered both metaphysically as slavery to sin and literally as institutional slavery — was identified as a postlapsarian system of subjection and therefore unnatural.
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