Androclus and the Lion

Acta Pauli

D. R. MacDonald writes that the story of the baptized lion in the Acts of Paul is a case of a Christian revision of the well-known tale of Androcles and the Lion (The Legend and the Apostle, 21-22):

The Ephesus story is a Christian version of “Androcles [or, more corrrectly, Androclus] and the Lion.”  …The story appears in the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius (5.14; ca. 160 C. E.). Gellius borrowed it from Apion’s Aegyptiaca (first century C. E.), but no doubt the story originated in oral tradition.  At the theater in Corinth, archeologists have discovered at the bottom of a wall enclosing the orchestra a series of painting sof human figures fighting with wild animals, under one of which is an inscription reading:  “The lion recognizes the man under the bull as his savior and licks him.”  Since the orchestra wall dates from early in the first…

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