- Among the various new texts found in the Nag Hammadi codices, the text entitled Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles shows, as is well known, very particular features. Narratio fabulosa, or ‘petit roman’, as it has been defined, the text still presents a number of questions today, many of which remained unsolved even in the two most recent critical editions of the text, by V. Ghica and K. Stifel, which appeared respectively in 2017 and 2019. At the center of the narrative there is a mysterious and quite complex character, Lithargoel, who manifests himself to Peter and the apostles in an island-city called Habitation, at first as a pearl seller; then as a physician; finally revealing himself as Jesus himself. The name Lithargoel is explained in the text with a gloss, ‘the light gazelle-stone’, which is enigmatic in turn. In Lithargoel three different figures are clearly superimposed, one of which has an evident angelic connotation: and in fact, an angel called Litarkuel also appears in another Coptic text, the Book of the Investiture of the Archangel Gabriel (8th century ca.). Litarkuel was also an object of worship in Nubia, as angelic physician, between the 9th and 12th centuries; there he appears in paintings, dedicatory inscriptions and as the owner of small local churches. In this study, the most salient characteristics of this little-known angelic figure are discussed, trying to establish both the characteristics and the reasons that ensured Litarkuel/Lithargoel a longevity of worship: of which, it seems, the identification with Jesus in the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles seems to have been, more than the starting point, only a transitory phase.
|Titolo:||L'angelo Litarkuel e Lithargoel negli Atti di Pietro e dei dodici apostoli (NHC VI.1)|
HARTMAN, DOROTA MARIA (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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