1 For a brief general introduction, see Bostrom, Nick, “A History of Transhumanist Thought,” Journal of Evolution and Technology 14, no. 1 (April 2005): http://www.jetpress.org/volume14/bostrom.html, accessed May 20, 2010; for more detail, see Hayles's, N. Katherine history of cybernetics in How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); see also the foundational essay of Haraway, Donna, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s,” in The Haraway Reader (New York: Routledge, 2004), 7–45. For the general orientation of trans- and posthumanism to the future, see, for example, Kurzweil, Ray, The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence (New York: Penguin, 1999) and Kurzweil, , The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (New York: Viking, 2005).
2 Bynum, Caroline Walker, Metamorphosis and Identity (New York: Zone, 2005), usefully considers transformation of the human in the middle ages through the lens of the monstrous, and joins her discussion of hybridity to the theology of Bernard of Clairvaux; Bynum's, earlier work, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200–1336 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995) draws a much closer connection between traditional theological accounts of humanity and the question of human change. Neither of these works, however, focuses extensively on the expansion of the traditional individual human into multiple human and non-human instantiations. More recently, Krueger, Derek, “The Unbounded Body in the Age of Liturgical Reproduction,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 17, no. 2 (Summer 2009): 267–79, considers the problem of God's expansive body in sixth- and seventh-century accounts of the Eucharist, and the strategies used to discipline this expansion. Krueger's, essay is part of an extremely helpful and provocative collection of papers, “Bodies and Boundaries in Late Antiquity: Essays in Honor of Patricia Cox Miller,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 17, no. 2 (Summer 2009), that explore the relation of bodily imagination and boundary formation in late antiquity.
3 Kantorowicz, , The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957). It is of course important to note that modern cybernetics began to flourish in the 1940s and 1950s (Hayles, How We Became Posthuman, esp. chap. 3, “Contesting for the Body of Information: The Macy Conferences on Cybernetics”).
4 Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies, 87.
5 Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies, 16–19.
6 Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies, 87–97.
7 Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies, esp. 336–83, on “The Crown as Fiction.”
8 Cf. Hutchins, Edwin, Cognition in the Wild (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1995), 363–64, on the question of extending human intellectual labor outside the bounds of the traditional body: “Sometimes my colleagues ask me if I feel safe metaphorically extending the language of what's happening inside people's heads to these [external] worlds. My response is ‘It's not a metaphorical extension at all.’”
9 See, for example, Foucault's, analysis of the way that legal discourse of punishment “describes” the body, in Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Sheridan, Alan (New York: Vintage, 1995), chaps. 1, “The Body of the Condemned,” and 2, “The Spectacle of the Scaffold”; Foucault sets out his project in dialogue with Kantorowicz at 28–29. See also Butler's, Judith analysis of the relationship between the materiality of bodies and the signification of bodies, Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (New York: Routledge, 1993), esp. 4–16 and 27–49; Butler engages with Discipline and Punish overtly at 33–35.
10 On the dating of De mysteriis and De sacramentis, and their attribution, see the introduction to B. Botte's edition, Ambroise de Milan. Des mystères. Des sacrements. Explication du symbole. Sources Chrétiennes 25 (Paris: Cerf, 1961), whose Latin text I have used. For ease of reference, I have given here the English translations of Deferrari, Roy J., Saint Ambrose: Theological and Dogmatic Works, Fathers of the Church 44 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1963); for the funeral orations, I rely on the Latin text of Otto Faller, CSEL 73.7.209–401; here I give, with slight modifications, the English translations of John J. Sullivan and Martin R. P. McGuire, On His Brother Satyrus, and Deferrari, Roy J., On Emperor Valentinian and On Emperor Theodosius, in Funeral Orations by St. Gregory Nazianzen and St. Ambrose, Fathers of the Church 22 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1953). For the Latin text of epp. 75, 75A, 76, and 77, I use the text of Otto Faller and Michaele Zelzer, CSEL 82.3., and give here the translation of Liebeschuetz, J. H. W. G., Ambrose of Milan: Political Letters and Speeches, Translated Texts for Historians 43 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2005).
11 Myst. 3.8, quoting 2 Cor. 4:18. Nauroy, Gérard, importantly, aligns Ambrose's various methods of exegesis with the progress of the catechumen in “Deux lectures de la liturgie du baptême chez Ambroise de Milan. Du témoignage brut à son elaboration littéraire,” in Godo, E., ed., Littérature, rites et liturgies (Paris: Imago, 2002), 13–39, repr. in Nauroy, , Ambroise de Milan. Écriture et esthétique d'une exégèse pastorale (Bern: Peter Lang, 2003), 451–81; more generally on Ambrose's exegesis, see Nauroy, , “L'Écriture dans la pastorale d'Ambroise de Milan. Les sens de l'Écriture, les formes et styles de l'exégèse: mimétisme biblique,” in Bible de tous les temps, vol. 2, Le monde latine antique et la Bible (Paris: Beauchesne, 1985), 371–408, repr. in the same volume at 247–300.
12 What exactly is meant by a verbal “figure” is sometimes ambiguous in ancient theories of grammar and rhetoric: it is common for grammarians to speak of figures as simply the forms of the words themselves, so that a word can have a “simple” or “compound” figure. Quintilian nods in the direction of this definition at Institutio Oratoria 9.1: “In the first [sense, the word “figure”] is applied to any form in which thought is expressed, just as it is to bodies which, whatever their composition, must have some shape.” Inst. Or. 9.1.10, trans. Butler, H. E., Quintilian: Institutio Oratoria, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920). A second sense of “figure,” however, which Quintilian prefers, is the “special sense, in which it is called a schema, [in which] it means a rational change in meaning or language from the ordinary and simple form, that is to say, a change analogous to that involved by sitting, lying down on something or looking back” (Inst. Or. 9.1.11). Both of these senses of “figure” are based on a physical substratum (which Quintilian notably calls a body), and both also rely on an invisible element expressed physically and visibly in words, either simply a thought or, in its more complex form, what Quintilian describes as “a new aspect . . . given by art” (Inst. Or. 9.1.14). A figure, then, is a visible representation of an invisible reality, but it is not limited to a simple one-to-one correspondence between word and meaning, since “art” can add a “new aspect” to the expression of meaning.
13 See the classic discussions of Lubac, Henri de, esp. “‘Typologie’ et ‘allégorisme,’” Recherches de science religieuse 34 (1947): 180–226, and Daniélou, Jean, “La Typologie de la Semaine au IVe siècle,” Recherches de science religieuse 35 (1948): 382–411.
14 Inst. Or. 9.1.14. For discussion of this sense of figure in late ancient exegesis, and the difficulty in distinguishing between strictly “typological” and “allegorical” reading, see Young, Frances, Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), esp. chaps. 8, “Allēgoria and Theōria,” and 9, “The Question of Method”; for figuration more broadly in early Christian exegesis, see Dawson, John David, Christian Figural Reading and the Fashioning of Identity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), esp. chap. 1, “Body against Spirit: Daniel Boyarin”; for a recent reconsideration of “allegory” and “typology,” see the excellent survey of Martens, Peter W., “Revisiting the Allegory/Typology Distinction: The Case of Origen,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 16, no. 3 (Fall 2008): 283–317.
15 On the use of typology, as conventionally understood, in On the Mysteries, see Mazza, Enrico, Mystagogy: A Theology of Liturgy in the Patristic Age, trans. O'Connell, Matthew J. (New York: Pueblo, 1989).
16 Cf. Dawson, Christian Figural Reading, chap. 4, “The Figure in the Fulfillment: Erich Auerbach.”
19 Other examples of mysterium applied to figural reading are at 3.10, 4.19, 4.24, and 6.33.
20 For example, at 4.20, 5.27, 7.40, and 9.56.
21 Dawson, Christian Figural Reading, 92–103, describes this configuration, especially in the work of Erich Auerbach.
23 For example, Miller's, Patricia Cox “Origen and the Witch of Endor: Toward an Iconoclastic Typology,” Anglican Theological Review 66, no. 2 (Spring 1984): 137–47; or the discussion of exegetical “supplements” in Clark, Elizabeth A., Reading Renunciation: Asceticism and Scripture in Early Christianity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), 6–8; see also Kamesar, Adam, Jerome, Greek Scholarship and the Hebrew Bible: A Study of the Quaestiones Hebraicae in Genesim (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 27–28, on Origen's “exegetical maximalism.”
31 This transformation is nonetheless analogous to the transformation of words by the attribution of invisible “meaning,” and here Ambrose's view of the sacrament is perhaps not very far away from the Augustinian view of sacrament as “sign.” Ambrose's “signifieds,” however, are also physically instantiated in the sacraments that point to them.
33 For discussion, see Raymond, Johanny, L'eucharistie, centre de l'histoire du salut chez Saint Ambroise de Milan (Paris: Beauchesne, 1968).
35 Cf. On the Sacrament of the Incarnation of Our Lord 4.23.
41 For a theoretical discussion of the place of such expanded bodies in contemporary feminist thought, with some reference to Christian tradition, see Haraway, Donna, “Ecce Homo, Ain't (Ar'n't) I a Woman, and Inappropriate/d Others: The Human in a Post-Humanist Landscape,” in The Haraway Reader, 47–61. It is interesting to note Ambrose's divergence from Platonic and Stoic ethics here, with their insistence on recovering or following the natural order. See esp. Striker, Gisela, “Origins of the Concept of Natural Law,” in Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics, ed. Striker, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 209–20, and “Following Nature: A Study in Stoic Ethics,” 221–80 in the same volume.
42 For an overview of Latin Christian doctrine on the soul, see Fortin, E. L., Christianisme et culture philosophique au cinquième siècle: la querelle de l'âme humaine en Occident (Paris: Études Augustiniennes, 1959); for late antique philosophical commentary on the soul, see also Blumenthal, H. J., Aristotle and Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity: Interpretations of the De anima (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1996). For a slightly later connection between doctrine of the soul and liturgical practice, see Costas, Nicholas, “An Apology for the Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity: Eustratius Presbyter of Constantinople, On the State of Souls after Death (CPG 7522),” Journal of Early Christian Studies 10, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 267–85.
43 For the development of Augustine's ideas on the soul, see especially O'Connell, Robert J., The Origin of the Soul in St. Augustine's Later Works (New York: Fordham University Press, 1987); and its reconsideration in Rombs, Ronnie J., Saint Augustine and the Fall of the Soul: Beyond O'Connell and His Critics (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2006); both works deal primarily with Augustine's modification of his views on the pre-existence of the soul in a Plotinian sense. Asiedu, F. B. A. compares Augustine and Ambrose on the ascent of the soul in “The Song of Songs and the Ascent of the Soul: Ambrose, Augustine, and the Language of Mysticism,” Vigiliae Christianae 55, no. 3 (August 2001): 299–317.
44 De quantitate animae 3.8–9.
45 De quantitate animae 23.43–44.
46 De quantitate animae 33.70–76.
47 De bono mortis 2.3. See the detailed discussion in Rebillard, Éric, In Hora Mortis: Évolution de la Pastorale Chrétienne de la mort aux IVe et Ve Siècles (Rome: École française de Rome, 1994), 11–28; and the similar discussion of differences between Ambrose and Augustine's views on death in Cavadini, John C., “Ambrose and Augustine De Bono Mortis,” in The Limits of Ancient Christianity: Essays on Late Antique Thought and Culture in Honor of R. A. Markus, ed. Klingshirn, William V. and Vessey, Mark (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999), 232–49. More generally on the evolution of late antique notions of death and the afterlife, see, in the same volume, Peter Brown, “Gloriosus Obitus: The End of the Ancient Other World,” 289–314.
48 For example, De Isaac vel anima 8.78–79; see, similarly, De bono mortis 5.16; cf. Colish, Marcia L., Ambrose's Patriarchs: Ethics for the Common Man (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), 69–92.
49 In making this argument I am attempting to modify Peter Brown's dictum in The Body and Society that “all forms of ‘admixture’ and concretio—all confused jumbling of separate categories—were deeply repugnant to Ambrose.” Brown, , The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 353. While I agree that physical admixture was problematic for Ambrose in the realm of sexual ethics, in the funeral orations, Ambrose saves commingling as a good, through his descriptions of movement between souls and bodies.
50 For excellent descriptions of the political situation at the time of each oration, see McLynn, Neil B., Ambrose of Milan: Church and Court in a Christian Capital (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 68–78 (on Satyrus), 330–41 (on Valentinian II), and 353–60 (on Theodosius). On the echoes of classical and biblical texts in these orations, see Duval, Y.-M., “Formes profanes et formes bibliques dans les oraisons funèbres de saint Ambroise,” in Christianisme et Formes Littéraires de l'antiquité tardive en occident (Geneva: Fondation Hardt, 1977), 235–91.
51 Brown, Peter, The Cult of the Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 90–105.
52 De exc. frat. 1.14; Satyrus himself would later become the object of cult.
55 Of course, it is clear that Ambrose considers emperors different from persons of lower status, and virtuous persons as different from vicious, but there is nothing in his language to indicate that simultaneity of position after death is absolutely dependent on unusual status before it.
58 Burrus, Virginia, ‘Begotten, Not Made’: Conceiving Manhood in Late Antiquity (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000), 167–79.
60 Laelius de amicitia 7.23, text ed. C. F. W. Müller (Leipzig: Teubner, 1884). Cicero makes the connection between friendship and mistaken identity in the case of Orestes and Pylades at 7.24. On Ambrose's use of Ciceronian models of friendship generally, see White, Carolinne, Christian Friendship in the Fourth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), chap. 7, “Ambrose of Milan – Ciceronian or Christian Friendship?”; for a comparison of the use of friendship language in ascetic contexts, see also Clark, Elizabeth A., “Friendship Between the Sexes: Classical Theory and Christian Practice,” chap. 2 in Jerome, Chrysostom, and Friends: Essays and Translations (New York: Edwin Mellen, 1979), 35–106.
61 De exc. frat. 1.18. NB also De exc. frat. 1.72: “You are here, I say, and you are ever presenting yourself at my side. . . . [N]ow the very nights . . . and now sleep itself, long the annoying interrupter of our conversations, have both begun to be sweet, for they restore you to me. . . . For sleep is the likeness and image of death.” One may here recall the real presence of a variety of divine and human figures in dreams, which are typical venues for visitations from persons outside the body in antiquity, as well as, for many ancient theorists, proof that the soul is only loosely connected with the body during sleep. For discussion, see especially Miller, Patricia Cox, Dreams in Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imagination of a Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), chap. 2, “Theories of Dreams.”
64 On the sexualized trope of unity with the divine, see Clark, Elizabeth A., “The Celibate Bridegroom and His Virginal Brides: Metaphor and the Marriage of Jesus in Early Christian Ascetic Exegesis,” Church History 77, no. 1 (March 2008): 1–25.
66 Miller, Patricia Cox, The Corporeal Imagination: Signifying the Holy in Late Ancient Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), esp. chap. 7, “Animated Bodies and Icons”; on the relation of statues to bodies, see also Kristensen, Troels Myrup, “Embodied Images: Christian Response and Destruction in Late Antique Egypt,” Journal of Late Antiquity 2, no. 2 (Fall 2009): 224–50; and on the conventions of statue defacement, see Stewart, Peter, “The Destruction of Statues in Late Antiquity,” in Constructing Identities in Late Antiquity, ed. Miles, Richard (London: Routledge, 1999), 159–89.
70 There is of course also the difficult moment of imperial succession; Kantorowicz outlines the later development of the legal theory of the immortality of the king as head of the political body: King's Two Bodies, chap. 7, “The King Never Dies,” esp. at 317–36.
71 McLynn, Ambrose of Milan, 76–77.
72 See Williams, Daniel H., Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 128–48.
73 White, Christian Friendship, 127.
74 Note R. P. C. Hanson's remark in The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318–381 (1988; repr., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2000), 669, that in De fide “Ambrose has not . . . struggled with the problem of Arianism and thought it through for himself.”
77 I am grateful to the Church History anonymous reviewer for pointing out this possibility.
78 Both these analyses come into play in the seminal work of Campenhausen, Hans von, Ambrosius von Mailand als Kirchenpolitiker (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1929), 189–222; a similarly political, if revisionist, analysis is found in McLynn, Ambrose of Milan, 170–219.
79 The traditional chronology of events has been criticized on a number of grounds: for varying discussions of the problems and their possible solutions, see Nauroy, Gérard, “Le fouet et le miel. Le combat d'Ambroise en 386 contre l'arianisme milanaise,” Recherches augustiniennes 23 (1988): 3–86, repr. in Nauroy, Ambroise de Milan, 33–149; McLynn, Ambrose of Milan, 181–96; Liebeschuetz, Ambrose of Milan, 130–35; Savon, Hervé, Ambroise de Milan (Lonrai: Desclée, 1997), 196–200. For an important alternate topography as well as chronology, see Barnes, T. D., “Ambrose and the Basilicas of Milan in 385 and 386: The primary documents and their implications,” Zeitschrift für antikes Christentum 4, no. 2 (2000): 282–99.
80 For an overview of the “Arian” crisis in Milan in the fourth century, see the excellent account of Williams, Ambrose of Milan, chap. 7, “Readers and Patrons”; and for a reconsideration of issues of religious space in the conflict, see Maier, Harry O., “Private Space as the Social Context of Arianism in Ambrose's Milan,” Journal of Theological Studies 45, no. 1 (April 1994): 72–93.
81 The question of Valentinian II's unbaptized state also comes into play in ep. 75.5, and ep. 75A.37 ends the letter, oddly, with a seemingly unprompted question on rebaptism. Cf. Colish, Marcia, “Why the Portiana?: Reflections on the Milanese Basilica Crisis of 386,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 10, no. 3 (Fall 2002): 361–72, who argues that it is precisely the use of baptisteries that is at issue. The standard history of the construction of basilicas in Milan in the fourth century remains Krautheimer, Richard, Three Christian Capitals: Topography and Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), chap. 3, “Milan.”
82 Cf. the discussion in Bynum, Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, chap. 2, “Resurrection, Relic Cult, and Asceticism: The Debates of 400 and Their Background.”
83 Liebeschuetz, Ambrose of Milan, 124–25.
84 See also McLynn, Neil B., “The Transformation of Imperial Church-Going in the Fourth Century,” in Approaching Late Antiquity, ed. Swain, S. and Edwards, M. (Oxford: Clarendon, 2004), 235–70.
88 For the immediate context of this sermon, see Liebeschuetz, Ambrose of Milan, 125–33.
91 Another of the incidents in the crisis, the dangerous moment at which Ambrose's supporters damage some hangings that are embroidered with imperial emblems (ep. 76.20, 24), indicates the extrabodily presence of the emperor as well; cf. also Varner, Eric, “Execution in Effigy: Severed Heads and Decapitated Statues in Imperial Rome,” in Roman Bodies: Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century, ed. Hopkins, Andrew and Wyke, Maria (London: British School at Rome, 2005), 67–82.
92 Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies, 43–44, notes that the medieval bishop, like the king, is also occasionally said to be a persona mixta, and to have dual status.
94 Myst. 9.59; cf. Kantorowicz, King's Two Bodies, 45–61, on the opposition of nature and grace in one early medieval construction of the king's body and office.
96 Ibid., quoting Phil. 1.23–24.
101 See Brown's classic discussion in Cult of the Saints, chaps. 3, “The Invisible Companion,” and 5, “Praesentia.”
102 For a discussion of literal theater as an extension of human agency, see Tribble, Evelyn B., “Distributing Cognition in the Globe,” Shakespeare Quarterly 56, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 135–55.