Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Acolyte
(1,140 words)

Acolyte (Gk akòlouthos) indicates “he who follows,” and in the Latin sequens is found in the Liber pontificalis. In Latin there are orthographical variations: acolythus, acoluthus, acoluthos, acolytus, acolitus. We find it for the first time in a letter by the bishop of Rome, Cornelius, to Fabius of Antioch (Eus. Hist. eccl. 6.43.11). Cornelius wrote that at Rome there were 42 acolytes, a significant group. The order of acolyte (akolytatus) is a minor ministry, or order, that already had a history. The institution of it took place somewhat earlier, according to the Liber pontificalis, …

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di Berardino, Angelo, “Acolyte”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 17 September 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7993_EECO_SIM_00000040>
First published online: 2018



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