western creed based on the Old Roman Symbol but formulated in the
early middle ages.
This terse confession
is briefer than many other Christian symbols. It originated with the so-called
Old Roman Symbol
early used in the baptismal liturgy at Rome. While it is less elaborate
theologically than, for example, the Nicene
Creed, the Apostles' Creed makes distinctive theological assertions
in speaking of Christ's descent into hell and of the communion of saints.
It took its final form in the early middle ages in the Spanish and Gallican
churches. It was used in many places in Europe by the seventh and eighth
centuries and was the most widely accepted creed in Charlemagne's
church. It eventually gained currency throughout the West, especially
as a baptismal creed. The legend that the Apostles' Creed was composed
by the twelve apostles, each contributing a clause, has no basis in fact.