Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Apos’tles.

 A poster’io’ri [Latin, from the latter].Apostles, where buried. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The badges or symbols of the fourteen apostles.   1
        Andrew, a cross, because he was crucifled on a cross shaped like the letter x.
        Bartholomew, a knife, because he was flayed with a knife.
        James the Greater, a scallop-shell, a pilgrim’s staff, or a gourd bottle, because he is the patron saint of pilgrims. (See SCALLOP-SHELL.)
        James the Less, a fuller’s pole, because he was killed by a blow on the head with a pole, dealt him by Simeon the fuller.
        John, a cup with a winged serpent flying out of it, in allusion to the tradition about Aristode’mos, priest of Diana, who challenged John to drink a cup of poison. John made the sign of a cross on the cup, Satan like a dragon flew from it, and John then drank the cup, which was quite innocuous.
        Judas Iscariot, a bag, because he had the bag and “hare what was put therein” (John xii. 6).
        Jude, a club, because he was martyred with a club.
        Matthew, a hatchet or halbert, because he was slain at Nad’abar with a halbert.
        Matthias, a battle-axe, because he was first stoned, and then beheaded with a battle-axe.
        Paul, a sword, because his head was cut off with a sword. The convent of La Lisla, in Spain, boasts of possessing the very instrument.
        Peter, a bunch of keys, because Christ gave him the “keys of the kingdom of heaven.” A cock, because he went out and wept bitterly when he heard the cock crow. (Matt. xxvi. 75.)
        Philip, a long staff surmounted with a cross, because he suffered death by being suspended by the neck to a tall pillar.
        Simon, a saw, because he was sawn to death, according to tradition.
        Thomas, a lance, because he was pierced through the body, at Mel’iapour, with a lance.
   (See EVANGELISTS.)   2

 A poster’io’ri [Latin, from the latter].Apostles, where buried. 


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