Symmachus, Quintus Aurelius

Symmachus, Quintus Aurelius

(sĭm`əkəs), c.345–c.405, Roman government official and orator. Educated in Gaul, he held several official positions, including the consulship in 391. He is best known for his report to the emperor Valentinian IIValentinian II,
371?–392, Roman emperor of the West (375–92), son of Valentinian I. Upon the death of his father, he was proclaimed emperor with his brother Gratian as coregent. After the death (378) of Valens, Gratian made Theodosius I ruler in the East.
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 in 384 in which he argued for the retention of the old Roman religion in official state functions. His eloquent defense of ancient religious customs in the face of the inroads made by Christianity was successfully opposed by St. AmbroseAmbrose, Saint
, 340?–397, bishop of Milan, Doctor of the Church, b. Trier, of Christian parents. Educated at Rome, he became (c.372) governor of Liguria and Aemilia—with the capital at Milan.
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. His official correspondence was later collected by his son.
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