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Research History Of The Rain Miracle

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Chapter Summary

E. Petersen was the first among the researchers of the column to pay attention to the rain miracle and its ancient sources. He identified five basic features in the Christian tradition, although the elements do not appear together in the sources: 1. The role of the lightning. 2. The prayer of the Christian soldiers of the legio XII fulminata. 3. The honorific title of legio fulminata. 4. Reference to Marcus' letter. 5. A prohibition on persecuting Christians. In Apollinaris, only points 2 and 4 appear; in Tertullian points 2, 3, and 4, while all five points can be found in Eusebius. In Petersen's conception, the soldiers appeared in the Christian tradition due to a misidentification of the barbarians who figure on the scene of the lightning miracle defending the opposite bank; thus, the two scenes were fused into one miracle and became a part of Christian legendry.

Keywords: Apollinaris; Christian tradition; E. Petersen; Eusebius; legio fulminata; lightning miracle; Marcus Aurelius; rain miracle; Tertullian



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