Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Britt, Karen Christiana


Church architecture--Italy; Ambrose, Saint, Bishop of Milan, d. 397; Italy--History--To 476


This thesis argues that the architecture of the churches of northern Italy that were constructed during the fifth and sixth centuries reflected the influence and vision of Ambrose, bishop of Milan (374-397), whose spiritual authority, theologically and liturgically, militantly extended the ecclesiastical authority of the see of Milan. In particular, this thesis demonstrates that the hegemony of the see of Milan in northern Italy was implemented in the architectural accommodation of the distinctive Ambrosian liturgy of Milan. To develop this argument, this thesis has adopted an integrated approach to the political and ecclesiastical history of northern Italy in the fourth century, divided into seven chapters, concentrating on the Ambrosian liturgy, the Ambrosian foundations and the derivative foundations that expressed the architectural influence of the Milanese see. As much as possible, inferences have been drawn from the writings of St. Ambrose and his contemporaries.