In more than one work I encountered the following format:

(epist. 50[25],2f)


(epist. 49[59],3)

In referring to letters(?) written by Ambrosios of Milan, "epist." is explained as "Epistulae." which seems obvious.

But what does this indexing scheme refer to?

I would like to read the letter in the first example in either English, German or Latin.

  • The work you've found it in will probably include a full Bibliography entry for the collected works of Ambrose or something like that - knowing what edition that was from might help decode the references.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 0:30
  • 3
    Can you post the work in which the citation was found?
    – user900
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 1:32
  • Unfortunately not a single work in my hands using this numbering scheme, explains it. I found it in use in several books and academic papers. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


After hours of additional search I found part of the answer in a footnote of Thomas O Loughlin's "Celtic Theology", p. 50. It seems to be the case that the number in square brackets usually refers to the ordering according to the "seventeenth-century Maurist edition". Other numbers mentioned are typified as pertaining to the "ET" or / and "FC series."

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