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Arator on the Acts of the ApostlesA Baptismal Commentary$
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Richard Hillier

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198147862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198147862.001.0001

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(p.194) 9 Postscript
Arator on the Acts of the Apostles

Richard Hillier

Oxford University Press

Is it possible that there were specific works of which Arator had first-hand knowledge and upon whose contents he drew during the writing of the Historia Apostolica? There are undoubtedly works which were well known at the time Arator was writing, and it comes as no surprise that these are the works with which Arator would seem to have been most familiar. One work which poses a problem is the Physiologus, where there is also a fable of the eagle's rebirth. The amount of material devoted to baptism in the Historia Apostolica far exceeds the amount contained in the text it purports to explain. And so, just as Arator began his commentary by departing from the text of the Acts of the Apostles and including an account of the saving events which alone made the subsequent acts of baptism and conversion possible, namely the descensus and resurrection of Christ, so in the closing lines of the work he looks beyond the final words of Acts to the ministry and imminent martyrdom of Peter and Paul.

Keywords:   Arator, baptism, eagle, rebirth, Historia Apostolica, Physiologus, Acts of the Apostles, resurrection, Christ

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