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Interest in the book of Revelation in the Western tradition is stronger and earlier than that in the East. The earliest full commentary on the Apocalypse is that of Victorinus of Petovium written in the mid to late third century by the earliest exegete to write in Latin. Victorinus interpreted Revelation in millennialist terms, a mode of interpretation already evident in works by Irenaeus, as well as in modest allegorical terms.
Caesarius of Arles wrote in the early sixth century and offered a thoroughgoing allegorical-ecclesial interpretation of the Apocalypse. Apringius of Beja in Portugal, writing in the mid sixth century, drew on Jerome's edition of Victorinus's commentary yet understood the seven seals christologically as the incarnation, birth, passion, death, resurrection, glory and kingdom.
Bede the Venerable, who died in 735, is the last commentator to be included in this collection. Characteristically, he passes on commentary from earlier exegetes, here including that of Augustine, Gregory the Great, Victorinus, Tyconius and Primasius.
William Weinrich renders a particular service to readers interested in ancient commentary on the Apocalypse by drawing together these significant Latin commentaries. The work of translating these texts was begun in preparing the volume on Revelation in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. We are indebted to William Weinrich for completing this work with his able and fresh translation and notes on these texts.
This commentary is also available as a full set:
Ancient Christian Texts (14 Vols.)