Category:Gens Ambrosia (Nova Roma)

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Gens Ambrosia was one of the original gentes of Nova Roma. Its early members are patrician. When its founder Lucian Ambrosius Neptunius left Nova Roma in April 2751 a.u.c., Merlinia Ambrosia Artoria became materfamilias. Its members share an interest in Roman Britannia.

The name Ambrosius is derived from the Greek name Αμβροσιος (Ambrosios) meaning "immortal." It was a common Roman cognomen. St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan (c340-397) was born at Trier, where his father Aurelius Ambrosius was Praefectus of Gallia Narbonensis.

As a nomen, Ambrosius is documented in the Late Empire. Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius was a Roman grammarian and Neoplatonic philosopher who flourished during the reigns of Honorius and Arcadius (395-423). As usual for this period, his praenomen is not known. He tells us that that Latin was to him a foreign tongue, but no evidence about his origin survives. He is variously thought to have been Greek or African. He might have been the Macrobius who was mentioned in the Codex Theodosianus as a praetorian prefect of Spain in 399-400, proconsul of Africa in 410, and lord chamberlain in 422. His Saturnalia is a dialogue in seven books. It is chiefly a literary evaluation of Vergil. Macrobius also wrote a commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio, which was popular in the Middle Ages and influenced Chaucer. Macrobius was among the first to hold the idea of a spherical earth.

Ambrosius Aurelianus (fl. 440), called the "Last of the Romans", led the Romans in Britain following the withdrawal of the legions in 410. He gave his name to Amesbury in Wiltshire. According to Gildas, Ambrosius was "courageous, faithful, valiant and true; a man of Roman birth who had alone survived the conflict, his parents, who had worn the purple, having perished in the struggle; his descendants, greatly degenerated in these days from the excellence of their grandfather, still provoke their conquerors [the Saxons] to battle, and by the grace of God their prayers for victory are heard."[1]

According to Bede, Ambrosius came to power in 479.[2]

Fragments of his life were preserved in the Historia Britonum.[3]

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-history, he is incorrectly called Aurelius Ambrosius and said, controversially, to have been a son of Constantine III, who was elected Emperor of Britannia, Gaul and Hispania in the reign of [Honorius].[4]

Ambrosius' history became entangled with, and obscured by, the legend of King Arthur, his supposed nephew. 

References

  1. Gildas, De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, circa 540
  2. Bede, Chronica Majora, 725
  3. Nennius, Historia Britonum, circa 833
  4. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae, circa 1136


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