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In the Syriac tradition, Elijah appears as a giant of biblical prophecy, a man of action and prayer, prophet and father of prophets, esp. in Aphraates and Ephrem. Among the Latins, according to Cyprian Ep. 67, 8 Elijah is a model of the martyrs; a prophet of the last days for Hilary Com. Mt. 26, 6, Augustine Civ. Dei 20, 29 and Gregory the Great Moral. XI, 15, 24; an ascetic of the desert, virgin and poor, for Ambrose, who dedicates a whole treatise to him, De Helia et ieiunio; a model of monastic life for Jerome Ep. 58, 5 and John Cassian Inst. 1, 1; Conl. 14, 4; 18, 6. The Pelagian crisis would emphasize his need of grace, and Isidore of Seville would see in Elijah’s assumption a distant annunciation of Christ’s ascension. Monterey Subway Map Iconography. Many works of Latin and Greek Fathers contain more or less extensive references to Elijah. His ascent into heaven in a fiery chariot is disbelieved only by Origen In Ps. XV, 9, who denies that his body could have been dead. According to Augustine, Elijah and Enoch will die together at the end of the world, fighting against Antichrist Ep. CXCIII, 3, 5; De Gen. ad litt. IX, 5. These same two figures are identified with the figures of the two witnesses of Rev 11 by various authors, including Jerome Comm. in Ev. Mt. III, 57, who considers Elijah the second precursor of Christ, as St. John the Baptist was the first. A similar comparison appears in Gregory of Nyssa De Virg. VI and in St. Augustine Civ. Dei XX, 29. For his many virtues poverty, continence, faithfulness in prayer, penitence, he is pointed to as an example of monastic life by St. Athanasius Vita Ant. and John Cassian Conl. XIV, 4. Ambrose De vid. I, 3 gives him first place among the prophets, and Jerome too celebrates the conduct of his life and his work of exalting the divine glory Contra Ioan. Hieros. II; Comm. in Ez. XI, 35.
The scene of Elijah most widespread in the early Christian figurative repertoire is that of his ascent in a fiery chariot 2 Kings 2:11 which, formally, draws inspiration from scenes of apotheosis and triumph in classical art and which alludes to the baptism of fire. The oldest depictions yet known are probably those on Roman sarcophagi, where Elijah appears even before the time of Constantine Ws 190, 3. In painting, Elijah is recognizable on a damaged lunette in the catacomb of Domitilla 4th c. Wp 230, 2: the prophet, beardless, in tunic and pallium, is on the moving quadriga while Elisha points to him. A lunette of an arcosolium in the catacomb of Via D. Compagni Ferrua, Via Latina, pl. XXIII dates from the second half of the 4th c. In mosaics, Elijah appears at Milan apse of S. Aquilino and Ravenna S. Apollinare in Classe, with the usual compositional schemes. In sculpture, the scene appears on few sarcophagi besides those mentioned above: the Borghese sarcophagus in the Louvre Ws 82, 2, that of St. Ambrose at Milan Ws 189, 2. In a design on the sarcophagus of St. Peter’s in the Vatican Rep. 675, 2, a single scene comprises the whole event, while in a fragment in the Arles Museum Ws 198, 1, it is in two parts: above, Elijah in the chariot hands over the pallium; below, Elisha, bald and bearded, receives it; another character next to Elisha is interpreted as the Jordan. A fragment of baptismal font from the church of Vitalis at Sbeitla, now in the Bardo Museum, Tunis, dates from the 4th c. Elijah also appears probably on the left side of the Brescia Reliquary 350 370, on a fragmentary clay tablet in the Bardo Museum 5th c. and on the wooden door of S. Sabina, Rome ca. 430.