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Aquileian Creed

AQUILEIAN CREED: The creed of the Church of Aquileia as given by the Aquileian Rufinus (Expositio symboli apostolorum, MPL, xxi.) forms a parallel to the older, shorter Roman baptismal formula with three interesting variants: (1) At the end of the first article it adds to Deo Patre omnipotente the words invisibili et impassibili (probably as explanation against Patripassianism); (2) In the second article, between the words sepultus and tertia die resurrexit it puts a reference to Christ’s descent into Hades (I Pet. iii. 19; Eph. iv. 9) by the words descendit ad inferna—the oldest catholic orthodox confession of this article of faith, since the synod at Sirmium in 358 and Nicæa 359 which mention the same fact were semi-Arian; (3) In article iii. it inserts hujus before carnis resurrectionem, thus emphasizing the identity of the resurrection-body with the earthly body of man. The creed of the ancient churches of Friuli published by B. M. de Rubeis (Dissertatio de liturgicis, Venice, 1754) from a scrutinium catechumenorum 252 Forojuliense of the sixth century (cf. the text in Hahn, 43-44) differs from that of Rufinus, and the three characteristic formulas of the latter mentioned above, are wanting. One of these formulas at least, the descendit ad inferna is also found in the parallel text transmitted by Venantius Fortunatus (Expositio symboli, xi. 1), which must be regarded as an excerpt from the text of Rufinus (Hahn, 45-46). The Explanatio symboli of Bishop Nicetas (or Niceta), which has often been regarded as a parallel text to the Aquileian confession, has nothing to do with it, since the bishop in question had his see not at Romatiana (or Portus Romatianus) near Aquileia, but at Remesiana in Dacia (see Nicetas of Remesiana).

O. Zöckler†.

Bibliography: A. Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbols und Glaubensregeln der alten Kirche, Breslau, 1897; F. Kattenbusch, Das apostolische Symbol, i. 102-132, Leipsic, 1894; Schaff, Creeds, ii. 49-50 (gives sources and the text with notes).

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