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Full text of "Philosophumena; or, The refutation of all heresies, formerly attributed to Origen, but now to Hippolytus, bishop and martyr, who flourished about 220 A.D. Translated from the text of Cruice"

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TRANSLATIONS OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE! 

General Editors: W. J. SPARROW-SIMPSON, D.D., 
W. K. LOWTHER CLARKE, B.D. 

SERIES I 

GREEK TEXTS 



PHILOSOPHUMENA 

OR THE 

REFUTATION OF ALL HERESIES 




PHILOSOPHUMENA 

OR THE 

REFUTATION OF ALL HERESIES 



FORMERLY ATTRIBUTED TO ORIGEN, BUT 

NOW TO HIPPOLYTUS, BISHOP AND 

MARTYR, WHO FLOURISHED 

ABOUT 220 a.d. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE TEXT OF CRUICE 

BY 

F. LEGGE, F.S.A. 



VOL. I. 




LONDON 
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING 
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE 

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
1921 



Printed in Great Britain by 

Richard Clay & Sons, Limited, 

varis garden, stamford st., s.e. i, 

and bungay, suffolk. 



Y./ 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 1-30 

PUBLICATION AND 



I. THE TEXT, ITS DISCOVERY, 
EDITIONS .... 

2. THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE WORK 

3. THE CREDIBILITY OF HIPPOLYTUS 

4. THE COMPOSITION OF THE WORK 

5. THE STYLE OF THE WORK 

6. THE VALUE OF THE WORK 

BOOK I : THE PHILOSOPHERS 

PROiEMIUM 

THALES 

PYTHAGORAS 

EMPEDOCLES 

HERACLITUS 

ANAXIMANDER 

ANAXIMENES 

ANAXAGORAS 

ARCHELAUS 

PARMENIDES 

LEUCIPPUS 

DEMOCRITUS 

XENOPHANES 

ECPHANTUS 

HIPPO 

SOCRATES . 



I 

5 
8 
11 

23 

28 

^1-64 
32 
35 
36 
40 

41 

42 

43 
44 
46 

47 

4 S 

48^ 

49 

50 

5o 

51 



vi CONTENTS 

PAGE 

BOOK I (continued) : 

PLATO .51 

ARISTOTLE -55 

THE STOICS 57 

EPICURUS 58 

THE ACADEMICS 59 

THE BRACHMANS AMONG THE INDIANS 60 

THE DRUIDS AMONG THE CELTS 6l 

HESIOD 62 

BOOK II ? 65 

BOOK III ? 65 

BOOK IV: THE DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS . 67-117 

1. OF ASTROLOGERS 67 

2. OF MATHEMATICIANS 83 

3. OF DIVINATION BY METOPOSCOPY .... 87 

4. THE MAGICIANS 92 

5. RECAPITULATION IO3 

6. OF DIVINATION BY ASTRONOMY .... I07 

7. OF THE ARITHMETICAL ART * . . . . II4 

BOOK V: THE OPHITE HERESIES . . . 118-180 

1. NAASSENES n8 

2. PERATiE I46 

3. THE SETHIANI l6o 

4. JUSTINUS 169 



PHILOSOPHUMENA 

INTRODUCTION 

i. The Text, its Discovery, Publication and Editions 

The story of the discovery of the book here translated so 
resembles a romance as to appear like a flower in the dry 
and dusty field of patristic lore. A short treatise called 
Phiiosop/iumena, or " Philosophizings, " had long been 
known, four early copies of it being in existence in the 
Papal and other libraries of Rome, Florence and Turin. 
The superscriptions of these texts and a note in the margin 
of one of them caused the treatise to be attributed to Origen, 
and its Editio princeps is that published in 1701 at Leipzig 
by Fabricius with notes by the learned Gronovius. As will 
be seen later, it is by itself of no great importance to 
modern scholars, as it throws no new light on the history 
or nature of Greek philosophy, while it is mainly com- 
piled from some of those epitomes of philosophic opinion 
current in the early centuries of our era, of which the 
works of Diogenes Laertius and Aetius are the best known. 
In the year 1840, however, Mynoides Mynas, a learned 
Greek, was sent by Abel Villemain, then Minister of Public 
Instruction in the Government of Louis Philippe, on a 
voyage of discovery to the monasteries of Mt. Athos, 
whence he returned with, among other things, the MS. of 
the last seven books contained in these volumes. This 
proved on investigation to be Books IV to X inclusive of 
the original work of which the text published by Fabricius 
was Book I, and therefore left only Books II and III to be 
accounted for. The pagination of the MS. shows that the 
two missing books never formed part of it ; but the author's 



2 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

remarks at the end of Books I and IX, and the beginning 
of Books V and X 1 lead one to conclude that if they ever 
existed they must have dealt with the Mysteries and secret 
rites of the Egyptians, or rather of the Alexandrian Greeks, 2 
with the theologies and cosmogonies of the Persians and 
Chaldseans, and with the magical practices and incantations 
of the Babylonians. Deeply interesting as these would 
have been from the archaeological and anthropological 
standpoint, we perhaps need not deplore their loss over- 
much. The few references made to them in the remainder 
of the work go to show that here too the author had no 
very profound acquaintance with, or first-hand knowledge 
of, his subject, and that the scanty information that he had 
succeeded in collecting regarding it was only thrown in by 
him as an additional support for his main thesis. This last, 
which is steadily kept in view throughout the book, is that 
the peculiar tenets and practices of the Gnostics and other 
heretics of his time were not derived from any misinterpre- 
tuion of the Scriptures, but were a sort of amalgam of 
those current among the heathen with the opinions held by 
the philosophers 8 as to the origin of all things. 

The same reproach of scanty information cannot be 
brought against the books discovered by Mynas. Book 
IYffour pages at the beginning of which have perished, deals 
with the arts of divination as practised by the arithmo- 
mancers, astrologers, magicians and other charlatans who 
infested Rome in the first three centuries of our era; and 
the author's account, which the corruption of the text 
makes rather difficult to follow, yet gives us a new and 
unexpected insight into the impostures and juggleries by 
which they managed to bewilder their dupes. Books V to 
IX deal in detail with the opinions of the heretics them- 
selves, and differ from the accounts of earlier heresiologists 
by quoting at some length from the once extensive Gnostic 

1 pp. 63, 117, 119; Vol. II, 148, 150 infra. 

2 Hippolytus, like all Greek writers of his age, must have been 
entirely ignorant of the Egyptian religion of Pharaonic times, which 
was then extinct. The only " Egyptian " Mysteries of which he could 
have known anything were those of the Alexandrian Triad, Osiris, 
Isis, and Horus, for which see the translator's Forerunners and Rivals 
of Christianity, Cambridge, 1915, I, c. 2. 

3 The pre-Christian origins of Gnosticism and its relations with 
Christianity are fully dealt with in the work quoted in the last note. 



INTRODUCTION 3 

literature, of which well-nigh the whole has been lost to us. 1 
Thus, our author gives us excerpts from a work called the 
Great Announcement, attributed by him to Simon Magus, 
from another called Proastii used by the sect of the Peratae, 
from the Paraphrase of Seth in favour with the Sethiani, 
from the Baruch of one Justinus, a heresiarch hitherto 
unknown to us, and from a work by an anonymous writer 
belonging to the Naassenes or Ophites, which is mainly a 
Gnostic explanation of the hymns used in the worship of 
Cybele. 2 Besides these, there are long extracts from Basil- 
id ian and Valentinian works which may be by the founders 
of those sects, and which certainly give us a more extended 
insight into their doctrines than we before possessed ; while 
Book X contains what purports to be a summary of the 
whole work. 

This, however, does not exhaust the new information put 
at our disposal by Mynas' discovery. In the course of an 
account of the heresy of Noetus, who refused to admit any 
difference between the First and Second Persons of the 
Trinity, our author suddenly develops a violent attack on 
one Callistus, a high officer of the Church, whom he 
describes as a runaway slave who had made away with his 
master's money, had stolen that deposited with him by 
widows and others belonging to the Church, and had been 
condemned to the mines by the Prefect of the City, to be 
released only by the grace of Commodus' concubine, 
Marcia. 3 He further accuses Callistus of leaning towards 
the heresy of Noetus, and of encouraging laxity of manners 
in the Church by permitting the marriage and re-marriage 
of bishops and priests, and concubinage among the un- 
married women. The heaviness of this charge lies in the 
fact that this Callistus can hardly be any other than the 
Saint and Martyr of that name, who succeeded Zephyrinus 

1 Save for a few sentences quoted in patristic writings, the only \ 1? 
extant Gnostic works are the Coptic collection in the British Museum .-*"* 
and the Bodleian at Oxford, known as the Pistis Sophia and the Bruce \\/ 
Papyrus respectively. There are said to be some other fragments of 
Coptic MSS. of Gnostic origin in Berlin which have not yet been 
published. 

2 An account by the present writer of this worship in Roman times is! q. 
given in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for October 1917,1 *" 
PP- 6 95 K I S 

3 II, pp. 125 ff. infra, 



4 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

in the Chair of St. Peter about the year 218, and whose 
name is familiar to all visitors to modern Rome from the 
cemetery which still bears it, and over which the work 
before us says he had been set by his predecessor. 1 The 
explanation of these charges will be discussed when we 
consider the authorship of the book, but for the present it 
may be noticed that they throw an entirely unexpected 
light upon the inner history of the Primitive Church. 

These facts, however, were not immediately patent. The 
MS., written as appears from the colophon by one 
Michael in an extremely crabbed hand of the fourteenth 
century, is full of erasures and interlineations, and has 
several serious lacunae. 2 Hence it would probably 
have remained unnoticed in the Bibliotheque Royale of 
Paris to which it was consigned, had it not there met the 
eye of Be'nigne Emmanuel Miller, a French scholar and 
archaeologist who had devoted his life to the study and 
decipherment of ancient Greek MSS. By his care and the 
generosity of the University Press, the MS. was transcribed 
and published in 1851 at Oxford, but without either Intro- 
duction or explanatory notes, although the suggested 
emendations in the text were all carefully noted at the 
foot of every page. 3 These omissions were repaired by the 
German scholars F. G. Schneidewin and Ludwig Duncker, 
who in 1856-1859 published at Gottingen an amended 
text with full critical and explanatory notes, and a Latin 
version. 4 The completion of this publication was delayed 
by the death of Schneidewin, which occurred before he had 
time to go further than Book VII, and was followed by 
the appearance at Paris in i860 of a similar text and 
translation by the Abbe Cruice, then Rector of a college at 
Rome, who had given, as he tells us in his Prolegomena, 
many years to the study of the work. 5 As his edition 
embodies all the best features of that of Duncker and 
Schneidewin, together with the fruits of much good and 

1 II, p. 124 infra. 

2 The facsimile of a page of the MS. is given in Bishop Wordsworth's 
Hippolytus and the Church of Rome, London, 1880. 

3 B. E. Miller, Origenis Philosophumena sive Omnium Haresium 
Rcfutatio, Oxford, 1 851. 

4 L. Duncker and F. G. Schneidewin, Philosophumena, etc. 
Gottingen, 1856-1859. 

5 P. M. Cruice, Philosophumena, etc, Paris, i860. 



INTRODUCTION . 5 

careful work of his own, and a Latin version incomparably 
superior in clearness and terseness to the German editors', 
it is the one mainly used in the following pages. An 
English translation by the Rev. J. H. Macmahon, the 
translator for Bonn's series of a great part of the works of 
Aristotle, also appeared in 1868 in Messrs. Clark's Ante- 
Nicene Library. Little fault can be found with it on the 
score of verbal accuracy ; but fifty years ago the relics of 
Gnosticism had not received the attention that has since 
been bestowed upon them, and the translator, perhaps in 
consequence, did little to help the general reader to an 
understanding of the author's meaning. 

2. The Authorship of the Work 

Even before Mynas' discovery, doubts had been cast on 
the attribution of the Philosophumena to Origen. The fact 
that the author in his Proicmium speaks of himself as a 
successor of the Apostles, a sharer in the grace of high 
priesthood, and a guardian of the Church, 1 had already led 
several learned writers in the eighteenth century to point 
out that Origen, who was never even a bishop, could not 
possibly be the author, and Epiphanius, Didymus of Alex- 
andria, and Aetius were among the names to which it was 
assigned. Immediately upon the publication of Miller's 
text, this controversy was revived, and naturally became 
coloured by the religious and political opinions of its 
protagonists. Jacobi in a German theological journal was 
the first to declare that it must have been written by 
Hippolytus, a contemporary of Callistus, 2 and this proved 
to be like the letting out of waters. The dogma of Papal 
Infallibility was already in the air, and the opportunity was 
at once seized by the Baron von Bunsen, then Prussian 
Ambassador at the Court of St. James', to do what he could 
to defeat its promulgation. In his Hippolytus and his Age \ 
(1852), he asserted his belief in Jacobi's theory, and drew 
from the abuse of Callistus in Book IX of the newly dis- 
covered text, the conclusion that even in the third century 
the Primacy of the Bishops of Rome was effectively denied. 

1 P- 34 infra. 

2 Deutsche Zeitschrift fiir Christliche Wissenschaft umi Christliches 
leben, 1852. 



6 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

The celebrated Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, 
followed with a scholarly study in which, while rejecting 
von Bunsen's conclusion, he admitted his main premises ; 
and Dr. Dollinger, who was later to prove the chief 
opponent of Papal claims, appeared a little later with a 
work on the same side. Against these were to be found 
none who ventured to defend the supposed authorship of 
Origen, but many who did not believe that the work was 
rightly attributed to Hippolytus. Among the Germans, 
Fessler and Baur pronounced for Caius, a presbyter to 
whom Photius in the ninth century gave the curious title 
of " Bishop of Gentiles, " as author ; of the Italians, de 
Rossi assigned it to Tertullian and Armellini to Novatian ; 
of the French, the Abbe Jallabert in a doctoral thesis voted 
for Tertullian ; while Cruice, who was afterwards to translate 
the work, thought its author must be either Caius or Ter- 
tullian. 1 Fortunately there is now no reason to re-open the 
controversy, which one may conclude has come to an end 
by the death of Lipsius, the last serious opponent of the 
Hippolytan authorship. Mgr. Duchesne, who may in such 
a matter be supposed to speak with the voice of the majority 
of the learned of his own communion, in his Histoire 
Ancienne de PJ^g/ise 2 accepts the view that Hippolytus was 
the author of the Philosophnme?ia, and thinks that he became 
reconciled to the Church under the persecution of Maximin. 3 
We may, therefore, take it that Hippolytus' authorship is 
now admitted on all sides. 

A few words must be said as to what is known of this 

Hippolytus. A Saint and Martyr of that name appears 

* in the Roman Calendar, and a seated statue of him was 

\!\ discovered in Rome in the sixteenth century inscribed on 

t/ \ the back of the chair with a list of works, one of which 

1 References to nearly all the contributions to this controversy are 
correctly given in the Prolegomena to Cruice's edition, pp. x fif. An 
English translation of Dr. Dollinger's Hippolytus unci Kallistus 
was published by Plummer, Edinburgh, 1876, and brings the contro- 
versy up to date. Cf. also the Bibliography in Salmon's article 
" Hippolytus Romanus " in Smith and Wace's Dictionary of Christian 
Biography (hereafter quoted as D.C.B.). 

2 See the English translation : Early History of the Christian 
Church, London, 1 909, I, pp. 227 ff. 

3 This is confirmed by Dom. Chapman in the Catholic Encyclopedia, 
s. vv. "Hippolytus,''" " Callistus." 



INTRODUCTION 7 

is claimed in our text as written by its author. 1 He is 
first mentioned by Eusebius, who describes him as the 
" Bishop of another Church " than that of Bostra, of which 
he has been speaking ; 2 then by Theodoret, who calls him 
the "holy Hippolytus, bishop and martyr"; 3 and finally 
by Prudentius, who says that lie became a Novatianist, but 
on his way to martyrdom returned to the bosom of the 
Church and entreated his followers to do the same. 4 We 
have many writings, mostly fragmentary, attributed to him, 
including among others one on the Paschal cycle which 
is referred to on the statue just mentioned, a tract against 
Noetus used later by Epiphanius, and others on Anti- 
christ, Daniel, and the Apocalypse, all of which show 
a markedly chiliastic tendency. In the MSS. in which 
some of these occur, he is spoken of as " Bishop of Rome," 
and this seems to have been his usual title among Greek 
writers, although he is in other places called " Archbishop," 
and by other titles. From these and other facts, Dollinger 
comes to the conclusion that he was really nn anti-pope 
or schismatic bishop who set himself up against the authority 
of Callistus, and this, too, is accepted by Mgr. Duchesne, 
who agrees with 1 )ollinger that the schism created by him 
lasted through the primacies of Callistus' successors, 
Urbanus and Pontianus, and only ceased when this last 
was exiled together with Hippolytus to the mines of: 
Sardinia. 5 Though the evidence on which this is based 
is not very strong, it is a very reasonable account of the 
whole matter ; and it becomes more probable if we choose \ 
to believe for which, however, there is no distinct evidence ] ,p 
that Hippolytus was the head of the Greek-speaking 
community of Christians at Rome, while his enemy Callistus 
presided over the more numerous Latins. In that case, * 
the schism would be more likely to be forgotten in time 
of persecution, and would have less chance of survival than 
the more serious ones of a later age; while it would 
satisfactorily account for the conduct of the Imperial 

1 The statue and its inscription are also reproduced by Bishop Words- 
worth in the work above quoted. 

1 Hist. Eccks., VI, c. 20. 3 Haer. Fab., Ill, I. 

4 Perisleph II. For the chronological difficulty that this involves 
see Salmon, D.C.B., s.v. " Hippolytus Romanus." 

5 Duchesne, op. cit., p. 233. 



8 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

authorities in sending the heads of both communities into 
penal servitude at the same time. By doing so, Maximin 
or his pagan advisers doubtless considered they were 
dealing the yet adolescent Church a double blow. 

3. The Credibility of Hippolytus 

Assuming, then, that our author was Hippolytus, schis- 
matic Bishop of Rome from about 218 to 235, we must next 
see what faith is to be attached to his statements. This 
question was first raised by the late Dr. George Salmon, 
Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, who was throughout 
his life a zealous student of Gnosticism and of the history 
of the Church during the early centuries. While working 
through our text he was so struck by the repetition in the 
account of four different sects of the simile about the magnet 
drawing iron to itself and the amber the straws, as to 
excogitate a theory that Hippolytus must have been imposed 
upon by a forger who had sold him a number of documents 
purporting to be the secret books of the heretics, but in 
reality written by the forger himself. 1 This theory was 
afterwards adopted by the late Heinrich Stahelin, who 
published a treatise in which he attempted to show in the 
laborious German way, by a comparison of nearly all the 
different passages in it which present any similarity of 
diction, that the whole document was suspect. 2 The differ- 
ent passages on which he relies will be dealt with in the 
notes as they occur, and it may be sufficient to mention 
here the opinion of M. Eugene de Faye, the latest writer 
on the point, that the theory of Salmon and Stahelin goes 
a long way beyond the facts. 3 As M. de Faye points out, 
the different documents quoted in the work differ so greatly 
from one another both in style and contents, that to have 
invented or concocted them would have required a forger 
of almost superhuman skill and learning. To which it may 
be added that the mere repetition of the phrases that 
Stahelin has collated with such diligence would be the very 

1 "The Cross-references in the Philosophumena," Hermathena, 
Dublin, No. XI, 1885, pp. 389 ff. 

2 " Die Gnostischen Quellen Hippolyts" in Gebhardt and Har- 
nack's Texte und Untersuc hut/gen, VI, (1890). 

3 Introduction d P Etude du Gnosticisme, Paris, 1 903, p. 68 ; 
Gnostiques et Gnosticisme, Paris, 1913, p. 167. 



INTRODUCTION 9 

thing that the least skilful forger would most studiously 
avoid, and that it could hardly fail to put the most credu- 
lous purchaser on his guard. It is also the case that some 
at least of the phrases of whose repetition Salmon and 
Stahelin complain can be shown to have come, not from 
the Gnostic author quoted, but from Hippolytus himself, 
and that others are to be found in the Gnostic works which 
have come down to us in Coptic dress. 1 These Coptic 
documents, as the present writer has shown elsewhere, 2 are 
so intimately linked together that all must be taken to have 
issued from the same school. They could not have been 
known to Hippolytus or he would certainly have quoted 
them in the work before us ; nor to the supposed forger, 
or he would have made greater use of them. We must, 
therefore, suppose that, in the passages which they and 
our text have in common, both they and it are drawing from 
a common source which can hardly be anything else than 
the genuine writings of earlier heretics. We must, therefore, 
agree with M. de Faye that the Salmon-Stahelin theory of 
forgery must be rejected. 

If, however, we turn from this to such statements of 
Hippolytus as we can check from other sources, we find 
many reasons for doubting not indeed the good faith of 
him or his informants, but the accuracy of one or other 
of them. Thus, in his account of the tenets of the philoso- 
phers, he repeatedly alters or misunderstands his authorities, 
as when he says that Thales supposed water to be the end 
as it had been the beginning of the Universe, 3 or that 
"Zaratas," as he calls Zoroaster, said that light was the 
father and darkness the mother of beings, 4 which statements 
are directly at variance with what we know otherwise of the 
opinions of these teachers. So, too, in Book I, he makes 
Empedocles say that all things consist of fire, and will be 
resolved into fire, while in Book VII, he says that Empe- 
docles declared the elements of the cosmos to be six in 

1 The theory that all existing things come from an "indivisible 
point " which our text gives as that of Simon Magus and of Basilides 
reappears in the Brace Papyrus. Basilides' remark about only I in 
iooo and 2 in 10,000 being fit for the higher mysteries is repeated 
verbatim in the Pistis Sophia, p. 354, Copt. Cf. Forerunners, II, 172, 
292, n. 1. 

2 Scottish Review, Vol. XXIT, No. 43 (July 1893). 

3 V- 35 infra. * p. 39 infra. 



io PHILOSOPHUMENA 

number, whereof fire, one of the two instruments which alter 
and arrange it, is only one. 1 Again, in Book IX, he says 
that he has already expounded the opinions of Heraclitus, 
and then sets to work to describe as his a perfectly different 
set of tenets from that which he has assigned to him in 
Book I ; while in Book X he ascribes to Heraclitus yet 
another opinion. 2 Or we may take as an example the 
system of arithmomancy or divination by the " Pythagorean 
number" whereby, he says, its professors claim to predict 
the winner of a contest by juggling with the numerical 
values of the letters in the competitors' names, and then 
gives instances, some of which do and others do not work 
out according to tlie rule he lays down. So, too, in his 
unacknowledged quotations from Sextus Empiricus, he so 
garbles his text as to make it unintelligible to us were we 
not able to restore it from Sextus' own words. So, again, 
in his account of the sleight-of-hand and other stage tricks, 
whereby he says, no doubt with truth, the magicians used 
to deceive those who consulted them, his account is so 
carelessly written or copied that it is only by means of 
much reading between the lines that it can be understood, 
and even then it recounts many more marvels than it 
explains. 3 Some of this inaccuracy may possibly be due 
to mistakes in copying and re-copying by scribes who did 
not understand what they were writing ; but when all is said 
there is left a sum of blunders which can only be attributed 
to great carelessness on the part of the author. Yet, as 
if to show that he could take pains if he liked, the quota- 
tions from Scripture are on the whole correctly transcribed 
and show very few variations from the received versions. 
Consequently when such variations do occur (they are 
noted later whenever met with), we must suppose them to 
be not the work of Hippolytus, but of the heretics from 
whom he quotes, who must, therefore, have taken liberties 
with the New Testament similar to those of Marcion. 

1 p. 41 ; IT, p. 83 infra. 2 II, pp. 1 19, 151 infra. 

3 For the arithmomancy see p. 83 ff. infra; the borrowings from 
Sextus begin on p. 70, the tricks of the magicians on p. 92. For 
other mistakes, see the quotation about the Furies in II, p. 23, which he 
ascribes to Pythagoras, but which is certainly from Heraclitus (as 
Plutarch tells us), and the Categories of Aristotle which a few pages 
earlier are also assigned to Pythagoras. His treatment of Josephus will 
be dealt with in its place. 



INTRODUCTION n 

Where, also, he copies Irenreus with or without acknowledg- 
ment, his copy is extremely faithful, and agrees with the 
Latin version of the model more closely than the Greek 
of Epiphanius. It would seem, therefore, that our author's 
statements, although in no sense unworthy of belief, yet 
require in many cases strict examination before they can 
be unhesitatingly accepted. 1 

4. The Composition of the Work 

In these circumstances, and in view of the manifest dis- 
crepancies between statements in the earlier part of the text 
and what purports to be their repetition in the later, the 
question has naturally arisen as to whether the document 
before us was written for publication in its present form. 
It is never referred to or quoted by name by any later 
author, and although the argument from silence has 
generally proved a broken reed in such cases, there are here 
some circumstances which seem to give it unusual strength. 
It was certainly no reluctance to call in evidence the work 
of a schismatic or heretical writer which led to the work 
being ignored, for Epiphanius, a century and a half later, 
classes Hippolytus with Irenreus and Clement of Alexandria 
as one from whose writings he has obtained information, 2 
and Theodoret, while making use still later of certain 
passages which coincide with great closeness with some in 
Book X of our text, 3 admits, as has been said, Hippolytus' 
claim to both episcopacy and martyrdom. But the passages 
in Theodoret which seem to show borrowing from Hippo- 
lytus, although possibly, are not necessarily from the work 
before us. The author of this tells us in Book I that he 
has " aforetime " 4 expounded the tenets of the heretics 
"within measure," and without revealing all their mysteries, 
and it might, therefore, be from some such earlier work 
that both Epiphanius and Theodoret have borrowed. Some 
writers, including Salmon, 5 have thought that this earlier 
work of our author is to be found in the anonymous tractate 
Adversus Omnes Hcereses usually appended to Tertullian's 

1 This is especially the case with the story of Callntus, as to which 
see II, pp. 124 ff. infra. 

2 Haer. xxxi., p. 205, Oehler. 3 Haeret. fab. I, 17-24. 

4 71-aAcu. 6 In D.C.B., art. cit. supra. 

VOL. I. B 



12 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

works. 1 Yet this tractate, which is extremely short, con- 
tains nothing that can be twisted into the words common 
to our text and to Theodoret, and we might, therefore, assert 
with confidence that it was from our text that Theodoret 
copied them but for the fact that he nowhere indicates their 
origin. This might be only another case of the unacknow- 
ledged borrowing much in fashion in his time, were it not 
that Theodoret has already spoken of Hippolytus in the 
eulogistic terms quoted above, and would therefore, one 
would think, have been glad to give as his informant such 
respectable authority. As he did not do so, we may per- 
haps accept the conclusion drawn by Cruice with much 
skill in a study published shortly after the appearance of 
Miller's text, 2 and say with him that Theodoret did not 
know that the passages in question were to be found in 
any work of Hippolytus. In this case, as the statements 
in Book IX forbid us to suppose that our text was published 
anonymously or pseudonymously, the natural inference is 
that both Hippolytus and Theodoret drew from a common 
source. 

What this source was likely to have been there can be 
little doubt. Our author speaks more than once of " the 
blessed elder Irenaeus," who has, he says, refuted the heretic 
Marcus with much vigour, and he implies that the energy 
and power displayed by Irenaeus in such matters have 
shortened his own work with regard to the Valentinian 
school generally. 3 Photius, also, writing as has been said 
in the ninth century, mentions a work of Hippolytus against 
heresies admittedly owing much to Irenaeus'" instruction. 
The passage runs thus : 

"A booklet of Hippolytus has been read. Now 
Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus. But it (i.e. 
the booklet) was the compilation against 32 heresies 
making (the) Dositheans the beginning (of them) and 
comprising (those) up to Noetus and the Noetians. 
And he says that these heresies were subjected to 

1 See Oehler's edition of Tertullian's works, IT, 75 1 fT. The parallel 
passages are set out in convenient form in Bishop Wordsworth's book 
before quoted. 

* litudes sur de nouveaux documents historiques empruntis a Pouvrage 
recemmet deconvert des Philosophumena, Paris, 1853. 

3 If, PP- 43, 47 infra. 



INTRODUCTION 13 

refutations by Irenceus in conversation 1 (or in lectures). 
Of which refutations making also a synopsis, he says 
he compiled this book. The phrasing however is 
clear, reverent and unaffected, although he does not 
observe the Attic style. But he says some other things 
lacking in accuracy, and that the Epistle to the Hebrews 
was not by the Apostle Paul." 

These words have been held by Salmon and others to 
describe the tractate Adversus Omnes Hcereses. Yet this 
tractate contains not thirty-two heresies, but twenty-seven, 
and begins with Simon Magus to end with the Praxeas against 
whom Tertullian wrote. It also notices another heretic named 
Blastus, who, like Praxeas, is mentioned neither by Irenoeus 
nor by our author, nor does it say anything about Noetus 
or the Apostle Paul. It does indeed mention at the outset 
" Dositheus the Samaritan," but only to say that the author 
proposes to keep silence concerning both him and the Jews, 
and "to turn to those who have wished to make heresy 
from the Gospel," the very first of whom, he says, is Simon 
Magus. 2 As for refutations, the tractate contains nothing 
lesembling one, which has forced the supporters of the 
theory to assume that they were omitted for brevity's sake. 
Nor does it in the least agree with our text in its description 
of the tenets and practices of heresies which the two docu- 
ments treat of in common, such as Simon, Basilides, the 
Sethiani and others, and the differences are too great to be 
accounted for by supposing that the author of the later text 
was merely incorporating in it newer information. 3 

On the other hand, Photius' description agrees fairly well 
with our text, which contains thirty-one heresies all told, or 
thirty-two if we include, as the author asks us to do, that im- 
puted by him to Callistus. Of these, that of Noetus is the 

1 S/j.i\ovvTos Elprfuatov. For the whole quotation, see Photius, 
Bibliotheca, 121 (Bekker's ed.). 

2 Tertullian (Oehler's ed.), II, 751. St. Jerome in quoling this 
passage says the heretics have mangled the Gospel. 

3 Thus the tractate makes Simon Magus call his Helena Sophia, and 
says that Basilides named his Supreme God Abraxas. It knows nothing 
of the God-who-isnot and the three Sonhoods of our text : and it gives 
an entirely different account of the Sethians, whom it calls Sethita?, and 
says that they identified Christ with Seth. In this heresy, too, it intro- 
duces Sophia, and makes her the author of the Flood. 



14 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

twenty-eighth, and is followed by those of the Elchesaites, 
Essenes, Pharisees and Sadducees only. These four last are 
all much earlier in date than any mentioned in the rest of the 
work, and three of them appeared to the author of the tractate 
last quoted as not heresies at all, while the fourth is not de- 
scribed by him, and there is no reason immediately apparent 
why in any case they should be put after and not before the 
post-Christian ones. The early part of the summary of Jewish 
beliefs in Book X is torn away, and may have contained a 
notice of Dositheus, whose name occurs in Eusebius and 
other writers, 1 as a predecessor of Simon Magus and one 
who did not believe in the inspiration of the Jewish 
Prophets. The natural place in chronological order for 
these Jewish and Samaritan sects would, therefore, be at the 
head rather than at the tail of the list, and if we may venture 
to put them there and to restore to the catalogue the name 
of Dositheus, we should have our thirty-two heresies, 
beginning with Dositheus and ending with Noetus. We 
will return later to the reason why Photius should call 
our text a Biblidarion or " booklet." 

Are there now any reasons for thinking that our text is 
founded on such a synopsis of lectures as Photius says 
Hippolytus made ? A fairly cogent one is the inconvenient 
and awkward division of the books, which often seem as if 
they had been arranged to occupy equal periods of time in 
delivery. Another is the unnecessary and tedious intro- 
ductions and recapitulations with which the descriptions 
of particular philosophies, charlatanic practices, and here- 
sies begin and end, and which seem as if they were only 
put in for the sake of arresting or holding the attention of 
an audience addressed verbally. Thus, in the account of 
Simon Magus' heresy, our author begins with a long-winded 
story of a Libyan who taught parrots to proclaim his own 
divinity, the only bearing of which upon the story of Simon 
is that Hippolytus asserts, like Justin Martyr, that Simon 
wished his followers to take him for the Supreme Being. 2 
So, too, he begins the succeeding book with the age-worn 
tale of Ulysses and the Sirens 3 by way of introduction to 
the tenets of Basilides, with which it has no connection 

1 Euseb., Hist. Eccles. IV, c. 22. He is quoting Hegesippus. See 
also Origen contra Celsum, VI, c. 11. 

2 II, p. 3 injra. 3 II, pp. 61 ff. infra. 



INTRODUCTION 15 

whatever. This was evidently intended to attract the 
attention of an audience so as to induce them to give more j 
heed to the somewhat intricate details which follow. In 
other cases, he puts at the beginning or end of a book 
a more or less detailed summary of those which preceded 
it, lest, as he states in one instance, his hearers should have 
forgotten what he has before said. 1 These are the usual 
artifices of a lecturer, but a more salient example is perhaps 
those ends of chapters giving indications of what is to follow 
immediately, which can hardly be anything else than 
announcements in advance of the subject of the next 
lecture. Thus, at the end of Book I, he promises to 
explain the mystic rites 2 a promise which is for us unful- 
filled in the absence of Books II and III ; at the end of 
Book IV, he tells us that he will deal with the disciples of 
Simon and Valentinus 3 ; at that of Book VII, that he will 
do the same with the Docetaj 4 ; and at that of Book VIII 
that he will "pass on" to the heresy of Noetus. 5 In none 
of these cases does he more than mention the first of the 
heresies to be treated of in the succeeding book, which the 
reader could find out for himself by turning over the page, 
or rather by casting his eye a little further down the roll. 

Again, there are repetitions in our text excusable in a 
lecturer who does not, if he is wise, expect his hearers to 
have at their fingers' ends all that he has said in former 
lectures, and who may even find that he can best root 
things in their memory by saying them over and over 
again ; but quite unpardonable in a writer who can refer 
his readers more profitably to his former statements. Yet, 
we find our author in Book I giving us the supposed teach- 
ing of Pythagoras as to the monad being a male member, 
the dyad a female and so on up to the decad, which is 
supposed to be perfect. 6 This is gone through all over 
again in Book IV with reference to the art of arithmetic 7 
and again in Book VI where it is made a sort of shoeing- 
horn to the Valentinian heresy. 8 The same may be 

1 pp. 103, 119; II, pp. 1, 57, 148, 149 infra. 2 p. 66 infra. 

3 p. 117 infra. 4 II, p. 97 infra. 5 II, p. 1 16 infra. 

6 p. 37 infra. 7 p. 115 infra. 

8 II, p. 20. In II, p. 49, it is mentioned in connection with the 
heresy of Marcus, and on p. 104 the same theory is attributed to the 
" Egyptians." 



16 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

said of the " Categories n or accidents of substance which 
Hippolytus in one place attributes to Pythagoras, but which 
are identical with those set out by Aristotle in the Organon. 
He gives them rightly to Aristotle in Book I, but makes 
them the invention of the Pythagoreans in Book VI only to 
return them to Aristotle in Book VII. 1 Here again is a 
mistake such as a lecturer might make by a slip of the 
tongue, but not a writer with any pretensions to care or 
seriousness. 

Beyond this, there is some little direct evidence of a 
lecture origin for our text. In his comments on the system 
of Justinus, which he connects with the Ophites, our author 
says: "Though I have met with many heresies, O beloved, 
I have met with none viler in evil than this." The word 
" beloved " is here in the plural, and would be the phrase 
used by a Greek-speaking person in a lecture to a class or 
group of disciples or catechumens. 2 I do not think there 
is any instance of its use in a book. In another place he 
says that his " discourse " has proved useful, not only for 
refuting heretics, but for combating the prevalent belief in 
astrology ; 3 and although the word might be employed by 
other authors with regard to writings, yet it is not likely to 
have been used in that sense by Hippolytus, who every- 
where possible refers to his former " books." There is, 
therefore, a good deal of reason for supposing that some 
part of this work first saw the light as spoken and not as 
written words. 

What this part is may be difficult to define with great 
exactness j but there are abundant signs that the work as 
we have it was not written all at one time. In Book I, the 
author expresses his intention of assigning every heresy 
to the speculations of some particular philosopher or 
philosophic school. 4 So far from doing so, however, he 
only compares Valentinus with Pythagoras and Plato, 
Basilides with Aristotle, Cerdo and Marcion with Em- 
pedocles, Hermogenes with Socrates, and Noetus with 
Heraclitus, leaving all the Ophite teachers, Satornilus, 

1 p. 66 ; II, pp. 21, 64 infra. 

2 a707T7jTo(, p. 113 and p. 180 infra. It also occurs on p. 125 of 
Vol. II in the same connection. 

3 \6yos, pp. 107 and 120 infra. He uses the word in the same sense 
on p. 113. * p. 35 infra, 



INTRODUCTION 17 

Carpocrates, Cerinthus and other founders of schools 
without a single philosopher attached to them. At the end 
of Book IV, moreover, he draws attention more than once 
to certain supposed resemblances in the views linked with 
the name of Pythagoras, to those underlying the nomen- 
clature of the Simonian and Valentinian heresies, and 
concludes with the words that he must proceed to the 
doctrines of these last. 1 Before he does so, however, 
Book V is interposed and is entirely taken up with the 
Ophites, or worshippers of the Serpent, to whom he does 
not attempt to assign a philosophic origin. In Book yi 
he carries out his promise in Book IV by going at lengtH 
into the doctrines of Simon, Valentinus and the followers 
of this last, and in Book VII he takes us in like manner 
through those of Basilides, Menander, Marcion and his 
successors, Carpocrates, Cerinthus and many others of the 
less-known heresiarchs. Book VIII deals in the same way 
with a sect that he calls the Docetae, Monoimus the 
Arabian, Tatian, Hermogenes and some others. In the 
case of the Ophite teachers, Simon, and Basilides, he gives 
us, as has been said, extracts from documents which are 
entirely new to us, and were certainly not used by Irenceus, 
while he adds to the list of heresies described by his 
predecessor, the sects of the Docetae, Monoimus and the 
Quartodecimans. In all the other heresies so far, he 
follows Irenaeus' account almost word for word, and with 
such closeness as enables us to restore in great part the 
missing Greek text of that Father. With Book IX, how- 
ever, there comes a change. Mindful of the intention 
expressed in Book I, he here begins with a summary of the 
teaching of Heraclitus the Obscure, which no one has yet 
professed to understand, and then sets to work to deduce 
from it the heresy of Noetus. This gives him the op- 
portunity for the virulent attack on his rival Callistus, to 
whom he ascribes a modification of Noetus' heresy, and he 
next, as has been said, plunges into a description of the 
sect of the Elchesaites, then only lately come to Rome, and 
quotes from Josephus without acknowledgment and with 
some garbling the account by this last of the division of the 
Jews into the three sects of Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. 
Noetus' heresy was what was known as Patripassian, from its 



1 8 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

involving the admission that th e Fath er suffered upon the 
Cross, and although he manages to see Gnostic elements in 
that of the Elchesaites, there can be little doubt that these 
last-named ''heretics/' whose main tenet was the prescrip- 
tion of frequent baptism for all sins and diseases, were 
connected with the pre-Christian sect of Hemerobaptists, 
Mogtasilah or "Washers" who are at once pre-Christian, 
and still to be found near the Tigris between Baghdad and 
Basra. Why he should have added to these the doctrines 
of the Jews is uncertain, as the obvious place for this would 
have been, as has been said, at the beginning of the 
volume : 1 but a possible explanation is that he was here 
resuming a course of instruction by lectures that he had 
before abandoned, and was therefore in some sort obliged to 
spin it out to a certain length. 

Book X seems at first sight likely to solve many of the 
questions which every reader who has got so far is 
compelled to ask. It begins, in accordance with the habit 
just noted, with the statement that the author has now 
worked through "the Labyrinth of Heresies" and that the 
teachings of truth are to be found neither in the philo- 
sophies of the Greeks, the secret mysteries of the Egyptians, 
the formulas of the Chaldaeans or astrologers, nor the ravings 
of Babylonian magic. 2 This links it with fair closeness to 
the reference in Book IV to the ideas of the Persians, 
Babylonians, Egyptians and Chaldneans, only the first-named 
nation being here omitted from the text. It then goes on 
to say that " having brought together the opinions 3 of all 
the wise men among the Greeks in four books and those of 
the heresiarchs in five," he will make a summary of them. It 
will be noted that this is in complete contradiction to the 
supposition that the missing Books II and III contained 
the doctrines of the Babylonians, as he now says that they 
comprised those of the Greeks only. The summary which 

1 Pseudo-Hieronymus, Isidorus Hispalensis, and Honorius Augusto- 
dunensis, like Epiphanius, begin their catalogues of heresies with the 
Jewish and Samaritan sects. Philastrius leads off with the Ophites 
and Sethians whom he declares to be pre-Christian, and then goes on 
to Dositheus, and the Jewish "heresies" before coming to Simon 
Magus. Pseudo-Augustine and Prtedestinatus begin with Simon 
Magus and include no pre-Christian sects. See Oehler, Corpus 
Hareseologicus, Berlin, 1866, t. i. 

2 II, p. 150 infra. 3 Zoyara, p. cit. 



INTRODUCTION 19 

follows might have been expected to make this confusion 
clear, but unfortunately it does nothing of the kind. It 
does indeed give so good an abstract of what has been said 
in Books V to IX inclusive regarding the chief heresiarchs, 
that in one or two places it enables us to correct doubtful 
phrases and to fill in gaps left in earlier books. There is 
omitted from the summary, however, all mention of the 
heresies of Marcus, Satornilus, Menander, Carpocrates, the 
Nicolaitans, Docetre, Quartodecimans, Encratites and the 
Jewish sects, and the list of omissions will probably be 
thought too long to be accounted for on the ground of 
mere carelessness. But when the summarizer deals with 
the earlier books, the discrepancy between the summary 
and the documents summarized is much more startling. 
Among the philosophers, he omits to summarize the 
opinions of Pythagoras, Empedocles, Ecphantus, Hippo, 
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Academics, Brach- 
mans, or Druids, while he does mention those of 
Hippasus, Ocellus Lucanus, Heraclides of Pontus and 
Asclepiades, who were not named in any of the texts of 
Book I which have come down to us. As for the tenets 
and practices of the Persians, Egyptians and others, 
supposed on the strength of the statement at the beginning 
of Book V to have been narrated in Books II and III, 
nothing further is here said concerning them, and, by the 
little table of contents with which Book X like the others is 
prefaced, it will appear that nothing was intended to be 
said. For this last omission it might be possible to assign 
plausible reasons if it stood alone ; but when it is coupled 
with the variations between summary and original as 
regards Book I, the only inference that meets all the facts 
is that the summarizer did not have the first four books 
under his eyes. 

This has led some critics to conclude that the summary 
is by another hand. There is nothing in the literary 
manners of the age to compel us to reject this supposition, 
and similar cases have been quoted. The evidence of style 
is, however, against it, and it is unlikely that if the 
summarizer were any other person than Hippolytus, he 
would have taken up Hippolytus' personal quarrel against 
Callistus. Yet in the text of Book X before us the charge of 
heresy against Callistus is repeated, although perhaps with less 



2o PHILOSOPHUMENA 

asperity than in Book IX, the accusations against his 
morals being omitted. Nor is it easy to dissociate from 
Hippolytus the really eloquent appeal to men of all nations 
to escape the terrors of Tartarus and gain an immortality of 
bliss by becoming converted to the Doctrine of Truth with 
which the Book ends, after an excursion into Hebrew 
Chronology, a subject which always had great fascination 
for Hippolytus. Although the matter is not beyond doubt, 
it would appear, therefore, that the summary, like the rest 
of the book, is by Hippolytus' own hand. 

In these circumstances there is but one theory that in the 
opinion of the present writer will reconcile all the conflicting 
facts. This is that the, foundation of our text is the synopsis 
that Hippolytus made, as Photius tells us, after receiving 
instruction from Irenaeus ; that those notes were, as Hippoly- 
tus himself says, " set forth " by him possibly in the form of 
lectures, equally possibly in writing, but in any case a long 
time before our text was compiled ; and that when his 
rivalry with Callistus became acute, he thought of republish- 
ing these discourses and bringing them up to date by adding 
to them the Noetian and other non-Gnostic heresies which 
were then making headway among the Christian community, 
together with the facts about the divinatory and magical 
tricks which had come to his knowledge during his long 
stay in Rome. We may next conjecture that, after the 
greater part of his book was written, chance threw in his 
way the documents belonging to the Naassene and other 
Ophite sects, which went back to the earliest days of 
Christianity and were probably in Hippolytus' time on the 
verge of extinction. 1 He had before determined to omit 
these sects as of slight importance, 2 but now perceiving the 
interest of the new documents, he hastily incorporated them 
in his book immediately after his account of the magicians, 
so that they might appear as what he with some truth said 
they were, to wit, the fount and source of all later Gnosticism. 
To do this, he had to displace the account of the Jewish 
and Samaritan sects with which all the heresiologists of the 
time thought it necessary to begin their histories. He 

1 So Origen, Cont. Ce/s., VI, 24, speaks of "the very insignificant 
sect called Ophites." 

2 II, p. 116 infra, where he says that he did not think them worth 
refuting. 






INTRODUCTION 21 

probably felt the less reluctance in doing so, because the 
usual mention of these sects as "heresies" in some sort 
contradicted his pet theory, which was that the Gnostic 
tenets were not a mere perversion of Christian teaching, but 
were derived from philosophic theories of the creation of 
things, and from the mystic rites. 

Next let us suppose that at the close of his life, when he 
was perhaps hiding from Maximin's inquisitors, or even 
when he was at the Sardinian mines, he thought of pre- 
serving his work for posterity by re-writing it such copies 
as he had left behind him in Rome having been doubtless 
seized by the Imperial authorities. 1 Not having the material 
that he had before used then at his disposal, he had to 
make the best summary that he could from memory, and 
in the course of this found that the contents of the Books 
I, II, and III the material for which he had drawn in the 
first instance from Irenaeus had more or less escaped him. 
He was probably able to recall some part of Book I by the 
help of heathen works like those of Diogenes Laertius, 
Aetius, or perhaps that Alcinous whose summary of Plato's 
doctrines seem to have been formerly used by him. 2 The 
Ophite and other Gnostic heresies he remembers sufficiently 
to make his summary of their doctrines more easy, although 
he omits from the list heresiarchs like Marcus, Satornilus 
and Menander, about whom he had never had any exclusive 
information, and he now puts Justinus after instead of before 
Basilides. Finally, he remembered the Jewish sects which 
he had once intended to include, and being perhaps able 
to command, even in the mines, the work of a Romanized 
but unconverted Jew like Josephus, took from it such facts 
as seemed useful for his purpose as an introduction to the 
chronological speculation which had once formed his 
favourite study. With this summary as his guide he 
continued, it may be, to warn the companions in adversity 
to whom he tells us he had " become an adviser," against 
the perils of heresy, and to appeal to his unconverted 
listeners with what his former translator calls not unfitly " a 
noble specimen of patristic eloquence." That he died in 
the mines is most probable, not only from his advanced age 

1 For the search made both by pagan and Christian inquisitors for 
their opponents' books, see Forerunners, II, 12, 
a See n. on p. 51 infra. 



22 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

at the time of exile and the consequent unlikelihood that 
he would be able to withstand the pestilential climate, but 
also from the record of his body having been "deposited" 
in the Catacombs on the same day with that of his fellow- 
Pope and martyr Pontianus. 1 Yet the persecution of 
Maximin, though sharp, was short, and on the death of 
the tyrant after a reign of barely three years, there is no 
reason why the transcript of Book X should not have 
reached Rome, where there is some reason to think it was 
known from its opening words as " the Labyrinth." Later 
it was probably appended to Books IV to IX of Hippolytus' 
better known work, and the whole copied for the use of 
those officials who had to enquire into heresy. To them, 
Books II and III would be useless, and they probably 
thought it inexpedient to perpetuate any greater knowledge 
than was necessary for their better suppression, of the 
unclean mysteries of either pagan or Gnostic. As for 
Book I, besides being harmless, it had possibly by that time 
become too firmly connected with the name of Origen for 
its attribution to this other sufferer in the Maxirriinian 
persecution to be disturbed in later times. 

It only remains to see how this theory fits in with the 
remarks of Photius given above. It is fairly evident that 
Photius is speaking from recollection only, and that the 
words do not suggest that he had Hippolytus' actual work 
before him when writing, while he throughout speaks of it 
in the past tense as one might speak of a document which 
has long since perished, although some memory of its 
contents have been preserved. If this were so, we might 
be prepared to take Photius' description as not necessarily 
accurate in every detail j yet, as we have it, it is almost a 
perfect description of our text. The 32 heresies, as we 
have shown above, appear in our text as in Photius' docu- 
ment. Our text contains not only the large excerpts from 
Irenaeus which we might expect from Photius' account of 
its inception, but also the " refutations " which do not appear 
in the Adversus Omnes Hareses. It extends " up to," as 
Photius says, Noetus and the Noetians, and although it 
does not contain any mention of Dositheus or the 
Dositheans, this may have been given in the part which has 

1 Cf. Salmon in D.C.B. } s.v. "Hippolytus Romanus," 



INTRODUCTION 23 

been cut out of Book X. 1 If that were the case, or if 
Photius has made any mistake in the matter, as one might 
easily do when we consider that all the early heresiologies 
begin with Jewish and Samaritan sects, the only real 
discrepancy between our text and Photius' description of 
Hippolytus' work is in the matter of length. But it is by 
no means certain that Photius ever saw the whole work put 
together, and it is plain that he had never seen or had 
forgotten the first four books dealing with the philosophers, 
the mysteries and the charlatans. Without these, and 
without the summary, Books V to IX do not work out to 
more than 70,000 words in all, and this might well seem 
a mere " booklet " to a man then engaged in the compilation 
of his huge Bibliotheca. Whether, then, Hippolytus did or 
did not reduce to writing the exposition of heresies which 
he made in his youth, it seems probable that all certain trace 
of this exposition is lost. It is certainly not to be recognized 
in pseudo-Tertullian's Adversus Omnes Htereses, and the 
work of Hippolytus recorded by Photius was probably a 
copy of our text in a more or less complete form. 

5. The Style of the Work 

Photius' remark that Hippolytus did not keep to the 
Attic style is an understatement of the case with regard to 
our text. Jacobi, its first critic, was so struck by the 
number of " Latinisms " that he found in it as to conjecture 
that it is nothing but a Greek translation of a Latin original. 2 
This is so unlikely as to be well-nigh impossible if Hippo- 
lytus were indeed the author; and no motive for such 
translation can be imagined unless it were made at a fairly 
late period. In that case, we should expect to find it full 
of words and expressions used only in Byzantine times 
when the Greek language had become debased by Slav and 
Oriental admixtures. This, however, is not the case with 
our text, and only one distinctly Byzantine phrase has 

1 Hippolytus' denial of the Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the 
Ilehrews probably appeared in some work other than our text. Or it 
may have been cut out by the scribe as offensive to orthodoxy. 

2 A flagrant case is to be found in p. 81 Cr. where n (P) has, accord- 
ing to Schneidevvin, been written for R, a mistake that could only 
be made by one used to Roman letters. Cf. Serpens and serviens, 
p. 487 Cr. 



24 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

rewarded a careful search. 1 On the other hand neologisms 
are not rare, especially in Book X, 2 and everything goes 
to show the truth of Cruice's remark that the author was 
evidently not a trained writer. This is by no means incon- 
sistent with the theory that the whole work is by Hippolytus, 
and is the more probable if we conclude that it was origin- 
ally spoken instead of written. 

This is confirmed when we look into the construction of 
the author's sentences. They are drawn out by a succession 
of relative clauses to an extent very rare among even late 
Greek writers, more than one sentence covering 20 or 30 
lines of the printed page without a full stop, while the 
usual rules as to the place and order of the words are often 
neglected. Another peculiarity of style is the constant 
piling up of several similes or tropes where only one would 
suffice, which is very distinctly marked in the passages 
whenever the author is speaking for long in his own person 
and without quoting the words of another. In all these 
we seem to be listening to the words of a fluent but rather 
laborious orator. Thus in Book I he compares the joy 
that he expects to find in his work to that of an athlete 
gaining the crown, of a merchant selling his goods after a 
long voyage, of a husbandsman with his hardly won crops, 
and of a despised prophet seeing his predictions fulfilled. 3 
So in Book V, after mentioning a book by Orpheus called 
Bacchica otherwise unknown, he goes on to speak of " the 
mystic rite of Celeus and Triptolemus and Demeter and 
Core and Dionysus in Eleusis,'' 4 when any practised writer 
would have said the Eleusinian mysteries simply. A similar 
piling up of imagery is found in Book VIII, where he 
speaks of the seed of the fig-tree as " a refuge for the 
terror-stricken, a shelter for the naked, a veil for modesty, 
and the sought-for produce to which the Lord came in 
search of fruit three times and found none." 5 But it is 
naturally in the phrases of the pastoral address with which 
Book X ends that the most salient examples occur. Thus, 

1 afore for acp'ou, p. 453 Cr. 

2 e.g. cpvj-ioyoviKi) (p. 9 Cr. ) noniaral (p. 86), lxG^^6\\a (p. 103), 
apxavBpuiros (p. 153)1 airpovoriros (p. 176), K\e\piAoyos (p. 370), irpcoro- 
yevercipa (p. 489), kuti5iottoiov/j. vos (p. 500), aSicTTaicTos (p. 51 1 ), rapra- 
pov X os (p. 523). 

3 P- 35 infra. 4 p. 166 infra. 5 II, p. 99 infra. 



INTRODUCTION 25 

the unconverted are told that by being instructed in the 
knowledge of the true God, they will escape the imminent 
menace of the judgment fire, and the unillumined vision of 
gloomy Tartarus, and the burning of the everlasting shore 
of the Gehenna of fire, and the eye of the Tartaruchian 
angels in eternal punishment, and the worm that ever coils 
as if for food round the body whence it was bred, 1 or, as he 
might have said in one word, the horrors of hell. 

Less distinctive than this, although equally noticeable, is 
the play of words which is here frequently .employed. 
This is not unknown among other ecclesiastical writers of 
the time, and seems to have struck Charles Kingsley when, 
fresh from a perusal of St. Augustine, he describes him as 
" by a sheer mistranslation " twisting one of the Psalms to 
mean what it never meant in the writer's mind, and what 
it never could mean, and then punning on the Latin 
version. 2 Hippolytus when writing in his own person 
makes but moderate use of this figure. Sometimes he does 
so legitimately enough, as when he speaks of the Gnostics 
initiating a convert into their systems and delivering to 
him " the perfection of wickedness " the word used for 
perfection having the mystic or technical meaning of initi- 
ation as well as the more ordinary one of completion 3 ; or 
when he says that the measurements of stellar distances by 
Ptolemy have led to the construction of measureless 
11 heresies." 4 At others he consciously puns on the double 
meaning of a word, as when he says that those who venture 
upon orgies are not far from the wrath (opyrj) of God. 5 
Sometimes, again, he is led away by a merely accidental 
similarity of sounds as when he tries to connect the name of 
the Docetae, which he knows is taken from SokciV, " to seem," 
with " the beam ( Sokos ) in the eye " of the Sermon on the 
Mount. 6 He makes a second and more obvious pun on 
the same word later when he says that the Docetae do more 
than seem to be mad ; but he is most shameless when he 
derives " prophet " from 7rpo<cuWi/ instead of 7rpo<>7/u 7 a 
perversion which one can hardly imagine entering into the 
head of any one with the most modest acquaintance with 
Greek grammar. 

1 II, pp. 177 ff. 2 See Augustine's sermon in Hypatia. 

3 p. 33 infra. 4 p. 83 infra. 5 II, p. 2 infra. 

6 II, p. 99 infra. 7 II, p. 175 infra. 



26 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

But these puns, bad as they are, are venial compared 
with some of the authors from whom he quotes. None 
can equal in this respect the efforts of the Naassene author, 
whose plays upon words and audacious derivations might 
put to the blush those in the Cratylus. Adamas and Adam, 
Corybas and Kopvcprj (the head), Geryon and Trjpvovrjv 
("flowing from earth "), Mesopotamia and "a river from the 
middle," Papas and 7rae, nave ("Cease ! cease ! "), AiVoXo? 
("goat herd") and del 7ro\C>v ("ever turning") naas 
("serpent") and vaos ("temple "), Euphrates and ev<peuVei 
(" he rejoices ") are but a few of the terrible puns he 
perpetrates. 1 The Peratic author is more sober in this 
respect, and yet he, of perhaps Hippolytus for him, derives 
the name of the sect from -nzpav ("to pass beyond"), 2 
although Theodoret with more plausibility would take it 
from the nationality of its teacher Euphrates the Peratic or 
Mede ; and the chapter on the Sethians does not contain a 
single pun. Yet that on Justinus makes up for this by 
deriving the name of the god Priapus from irpioiroiiu, a word 
made up for the occasion. 3 "The great Gnostics of 
Hadrian's time," viz. : Basilides, Marcion and Valentinus, 
seem to have had souls above such puerilities ; but the 
Docetic author resumes the habit with a specially daring 
parallel between Baros ("a bush") and fidros (Hera's robe 
or " mist ") 4 and Monoimus the Arab follows suit with a 
sort of jingle between the Decalogue and the St/can-A^yo? or 
ten plagues of Egypt, which would hardly have occurred to 
any one without the Semitic taste for assonance. 5 Of the 
less-quoted writers there is no occasion to speak, because 
there are either no extracts from their works given in our 
text or they are too short for us to judge from them 
whether they, too, were given to punning. 

Apart from such comparatively small matters, however, 
the difference in style between the several Gnostic writers 
here quoted is well marked. Nothing can be more singular 
at first sight than the way in which the Naassene author 
expresses himself. It seems to the reader on the first 
perusal of his lucubrations as if the writer had made up his 
mind to follow no train of thought beyond the limits of a 
single sentence. Beginning with the idea of the First Man, 

1 See pp. 122, 133, 134, 135, 137, 142, 143 infra. 

2 p. 154 infra. 3 p. 178 infra. 4 II, p. 102. 5 II, p. 109. 



INTRODUCTION 27 

which we find running like a thread through so many 
Eastern creeds, from that of the Cabalists among the Jews 
to the Manichseans who perhaps took it directly from its 
primitive source in Babylon, 1 he immediately turns from 
this to declare the tripartite division of the universe and 
everything it contains, including the souls and natures of 
men, and to inculcate the strictest asceticism. Yet all this 
is written round, so to speak, a hymn to Attis which he 
declares relates to the Mysteries of the Mother with several 
allusions to the most secret rites of the Eleusinian Demeter 
and, as it would appear, of those of the Greek Isis. The 
Peratic author, on the other hand, also teaches a tripartite 
division of things and souls, but draws his proofs not from 
the same mystic sources as the Naassene but from what 
Hippolytus declares to be the system of the astrologers. 
This system, which is not even hinted at in any avowedly 
astrological work, is that the stars are the cause of* all that 
happens here below, and that we can only escape from 
their sway into one of the two worlds lying above ours by 
the help of Christ, here called the Perfect Serpent, existing 
as an intermediary between the Father of All and Matter. 
Yet this doctrine, which we can also read without much 
forcing of the text into the rhapsody of the Naassene, is 
stated with all the precision and sobriety of a scientific 
proposition, and is as entirely free from the fervour and 
breathlessness of the last-named writer as it is from his 
perpetual allusions to the Greek and especially to the 
Alexandrian and Anatolian mythology. 2 Both these again 
are perfectly different in style from the " Sethian " author 
from whom Hippolytus gives us long extracts, and who 
seems to have trusted mainly to an imagery which is entirely 
opposed to all Western conventions of modesty. 3 Yet all 
three aver the strongest belief in the Divinity and Divine 
Mission of Jesus, whom they identify with the Good Serpent, 
which was according to many modern authors the chief 
material object of adoration in every heathen temple in 

1 See Forerunners ', I, lxi ff. 

2 This applies to the chief Peratic author quoted. The long cata- 
logue connecting personages in the Greek mythology with particular 
stars is, as is said later, by another hand, and is introduced by a 
bombastic utterance like that attributed to Simon Magus. 

3 Hippolytus attributes it to the Orphics ; but see de Faye for 
another explanation. 

VOL. I. C 



28 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Asia Minor. 1 They are, therefore, rightly numbered by 
Hippolytus among the Ophite heresies, and seem to be 
founded upon traditions current throughout Western Asia 
which even now are not perhaps quite extinct. Yet each 
of the three authors quoted in our text writes in a perfectly 
different style from his two fellow heresiarchs, and this 
alone is sufficient to remove all doubt as to the genuineness 
of the document. 

These three Ophite chapters are taken first because in 
our text they begin the heresiology strictly so called. 2 As 
has been said, the present writer believes them to be an 
interpolation made at the last moment by the author, and 
by no means the most valuable, though they are perhaps 
the most curious part of the book. They resemble much, 
however, in thought the quotations in our text attributed 
to Simon Magus, and although the ideas apparent in them 
differ in material points, yet there seems to be between the 
two sets of documents a kind of family likeness in the 
occasional use of bombastic language and unclean imagery. 
But when we turn from these to the extracts from the works 
attributed to Valentinus and Basilides which Hippolytus 
gives us, a change is immediately apparent. Here we have 
dignity of language corresponding to dignity of thought, and 
in the case of Valentinus especially the diction is quite equal 
to the passages from the discourses of that most eloquent 
heretic quoted by Clement of Alexandria. We feel on reading 
them that we have indeed travelled from the Orontes to 
the Tiber, and the difference in style should by itself 
convince the most sceptical critic at once of the good 
faith of our careless author and of the authenticity of the 
sources from which he has collected his information. 

6. The Value of the Work 

What interest has a work such as this of Hippolytus for 
us at the present day? In the first place it preserves for 
us many precious relics of a literature which before its dis- 
covery seemed lost for ever. The pagan hymn to Attis 

i Forerunners, II, 49. 

2 Justinus is left out of the account because he does not seem to have 
been an Ophite at all. The Serpent in his system is entirely evil, and 
therefore not an object of worship, and his sect is probably much later 
than the other three in the same book. 



INTRODUCTION 29 

and the Gnostic one on the Divine Mission of Jesus, both 
appearing in Book V, are finds of the highest value for the 
study of the religious beliefs of the early centuries of our 
Era, and with these go many fragments of hardly less im- 
portance, including the Pindaric ode in the same book. 
Not less useful or less unexpected are the revelations in the 
same book of the true meaning of the syncretistic worship 
of Attis and Cybele, and the disclosure here made of the 
supreme mystery of the Eleusinian rites, which we now 
know for the first time culminated in the representation of 
a divine marriage and of the subsequent birth of an infant 
god, coupled with the symbolical display of an " ear of corn 
reaped in silence." For the study of classical antiquity as 
well as for the science of religions such facts are of the 
highest value. 

But all this will for most of us yield in interest to the 
picture which our text gives us of the struggles of Christi- 
anity against its external and internal foes during the first 
three centuries. So far from this period having been one 
of quiet growth and development for the infant Church, we 
see her in Hippolytus' pages exposed not only to fierce if 
sporadic persecution from pagan emperors, but also to the 
steady and persistent rivalry of scores of competing schools 
led by some of the greatest minds of the age, and all com- 
bining some of the main tenets of Christianity with the 
relics of heathenism. We now know, too, that she was not 
always able to present an unbroken front to these violent 
or insidious assailants. In the highest seats of the Church, 
as we now learn for the first time, there were divisions on 
matters of faith which anticipated in some measure those 
which nearly rent her in twain after the promulgation of 
the Creed of Nicaea. Such a schism as that between the 
churches of Hippolytus and Callistus must have given 
many an opportunity to those foes who were in some sort 
of her own household ; while round the contest, like the 
irregular auxiliaries of a regular army, swarmed a crowd of 
wonder-workers, diviners, and other exploiters of the public 
credulity, of whose doings we have before gained some 
insight from writers like Lucian and Apuleius, but whose 
methods and practices are for the first time fully described 
by Hippolytus. 

The conversion of the whole Empire under Constantine 



30 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

broke once for all the power of these enemies of the Church. 
Schisms were still to occur, but grievous as they were, they 
happily proved impotent to destroy the essential unity of 
Christendom. The heathen faiths and the Gnostic sects 
derived from them were soon to wither like plants that had 
no root, and both they and the charlatans whose doings 
our author details were relentlessly hunted down by the 
State which had once given them shelter : while if the means 
used for this purpose were not such as the purer Christian 
ethics would now approve, we must remember that these 
means would probably have proved ineffective had not 
Christian teaching already destroyed the hold of these 
older beliefs on the seething populations of the Empire. 
That the adolescent Church should thus have been enabled 
to triumph over all her enemies may seem to many a 
better proof of her divine guidance than the miraculous 
powers once attributed to her. We may not all of us be 
able to believe that a rainstorm put out the fire on which 
Thekla was to be burned alive, or that the crocodiles in the 
tank in the arena into which she was cast were struck by 
lightning and floated to the surface dead. 1 Still less can 
we credit that the portraits of St. Theodore and other 
military saints left their place in the palace of the Queen of 
Persia and walked about in human form. 2 Such stories 
are for the most of us either pious fables composed for 
edification or half-forgotten records of natural events seen 
through the mist of exaggeration and misrepresentation 
common in the Oriental mind. But that the Church which 
began like a grain of mustard seed should in so short a time 
come to overshadow the whole civilized world may well 
seem when we consider the difficulties in her way a greater 
miracle than any of those recorded in the Apocryphal 
Gospels and Acts ; and the full extent of these difficulties 
we should not have known save for Mynas' discovery of our 
text. 

1 Acts of Paul and Thekla, passim. 

a E. A. T. Wallis Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts in Dialect of 
Upper Egypt, London, 19 1 5, pp. 579 ff. 



BOOK I 1 

THE PHILOSOPHERS 

These are the contents 2 of the First Part 3 of the Refu- P- i, 
tation of all Heresies ; Craice. 

What were the tenets of the natural philosophers and who 
these were ; and what those of the ethicists and who these 
were; and what those of the dialecticians and who the 
dialecticians were. 

1 As has been said in the Introduction (p. I supra) four early 
codices of the First Book exist, the texts being known from the 
libraries where they are to be found as the Medicean, the Turin, the 
Ottobonian and the Barberine respectively. That published by 
Miller was a copy of the Medicean codex already put into print by 
Fabricius, but was carefully worked over by Roeper, Scott and others 
who like Gronovius, Wolf and Delarue, collated it with the other 
three codices. The different readings are, I think, all noted by Cruice 
in his edition of i860, but are not of great importance, and I have only 
noticed them here when they make any serious change in the meaning 
of the passage. Hermann Diels has again revised the text in his 
Doxographi Grctci, Berlin, 1879, with a result that Salmon {D.C.B. 
s.v. "Hippolytus Romanus") declares to be "thoroughly satisfac- 
tory," and the reading of this part of our text may now, perhaps, be 
regarded as settled. Only the opening and concluding paragraphs are 
of much value for our present purpose, the account of philosophic 
opinions which lies between being, as has been already said, a 
compilation of compilations, and not distinguished by any special 
insight into the ideas of the authors summarized, with the works of most 
of whom Hippolytus had probably but slight acquaintance. An excep- 
tion should perhaps be made in the case of Aristotle, as it is probable that 
Hippolytus, like other students of his time, was trained in Aristotle's 
dialectic and analytic system for the purpose of disputation. But this 
will be better discussed in connection with Book VII. 

rdSe evecTTiv v rf} irpuiTT} rod Kara iraawv alp4aewv i\4yxov. This 
formula is repeated at the head of Books V-X with the alteration of 
the number only. 

3 The word missing after irpxTT] was probably /j.epib'i, the only likely 
word which would agree with the feminine adjective. It would be 
appropriate enough if the theory of the -division of the work into 
spoken lectures be correct. The French and German editors alike 
translate in libro primo. 

31 



32 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Now the natural philosophers mentioned are Thales, 
Pythagoras, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Anaximander, 
Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Archelaus, Parmenides, 
Leucippus, Democritus, Xenophanes, Ecphantus, and 
p. 2 . Hippo. The ethicists are Socrates, pupil of Archelaus 
the physicist and Plato, pupil of Socrates. These mingled 
together the three kinds of philosophy. The dialecticians 
are Aristotle, pupil of Plato and the founder of dialectics, 
and the Stoics Chrysippus and Zeno. 

Epicurus, however, maintained an opinion almost exactly 
contrary to all these. So did Pyrrho the Academic x who 
asserts the incomprehensibility of all things. There are 
also the Brachmans 2 among the Indians, the Druids 
among the Celts, and Hesiod. 



(PRCLEMIUM) 

No fable made famous by the Greeks is to be neglected. 
For even those opinions of theirs which lack consistency 
are believed through the extravagant madness of the 
heretics, who, from hiding in silence their own unspeakable 
mysteries, are supposed by many to worship God. Whose 
opinions also we aforetime set forth within measure, not 
displaying them in detail but refuting them in the rough, 3 
as we did not hold it fit to bring their unspeakable deeds 
to light. This we did that, as we set forth their tenets 
by hints only, they, becoming ashamed lest by telling 
outright their secrets we should prove them to be godless, 
might abate somewhat from their unreasoned purpose and 
unlawful enterprise. 4 But since I see that they have not 
been put to shame by our clemency, and have not con- 
sidered God's long-suffering under their blasphemies, I am 

1 There seems no reason for numbering Pyrrho of Elis among 
the members of the Academy, Old or New. Diogenes Laertius, from 
whose account of his doctrines Hippolytus seems to have derived the 
dogma of incomprehensibility which he here attributes to Pyrrho, makes 
him the founder of the Sceptics. He was a contemporary of Alexander 
the Great, and probably died before Arcesilaus founded the New 
Academy in 280 B.C. 

2 Mr. Macmahon here reads "Brahmins." Their habits appear 
more like those of Yogis or Sanya<ns. 

3 aSpofiepws : in contradistinction to Kara Xenrhv just above. 

4 aXoyiarov yj>w/j.r)s Ka\ adefiirov i-mx^^P'ho'^^s. The Turin MS. 
transposes the adjectives. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 33 

forced, in order that they may either be shamed into 
repentance, or remaining as they are may be rightly judged, 
to proceed to show their ineffable mysteries which they 
impart to those candidates for initiation who are thoroughly 
trustworthy. Yet they do not previously avow them, unless 
they have enslaved such a one by keeping him long 
in suspense and preparing him by blasphemy against 
the true God, 1 and they see him longing for the jugglery of 
the disclosure. And then, when they have proved him 
to be bound fast by iniquity, 2 they initiate him and impart 
to him the perfection of evil things, 3 first binding him 
by oath neither to tell nor to impart them to any one unless 
he too has been enslaved in the same way. Yet from him 
to whom they have been only communicated, no oath is 
longer necessary. For whoso has submitted to learn and to p. 4. 
receive their final mysteries will by the act itself and by his 
own conscience be bound not to utter them to others. For 
were he to declare to any man such an offence, he would 
neither be reckoned longer among men, nor thought 
worthy any more to behold the light. Which things also are 
such an offence that even the dumb animals do not attempt 
them, as we shall say in its place. 4 But since the 
argument compels us to enter into tlje case very deeply, 
we do not think fit to hold our peace, but setting forth 
in detail the. opinions of all, we shall keep silence on none. 
And it seems good to us to spare no labour even if thereby 
the tale be lengthened. For we shall leave behind us 
no small help to the life of men against further error, when 
all see clearly the hidden and unspeakable orgies of which 

1 irpbs rdv uutccs @ebv. The phrase is used frequently hereafter, 
particularly in Book X. 

2 Cf. the "bond of iniquity" in St. Peter's speech to Simon Magus, 
Acts viii. 23. 

3 rb rf\eiov twv Kanuv. reXeiov being a mystic word for final 
or complete initiation. 

4 a /cat Ta a\oya k. t. A.. Schneidewin and Cruice both read tl ko.1, 
Roeper et simply, others el on. The first seems the best reading ; but 
none of the suggestions is quite satisfactory. The promise to say what 
it was that even the dumb animals would not have done is unfulfilled. 
It cannot have involved any theological question, but probably refers 
to the obscene sacrament of the Pistis Sophia, the Bruce Papyrus and 
Huysmans' La-Bas. Yet Hippolytus does not again refer to it, and 
of all the heretics in our text, the Simonians are the only ones accused 
of celebrating it, even by Epiphanius. 



34 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

the heretics are the stewards and which they impart only to 
the initiated. But none other will refute these things than 
the Holy Spirit handed down in the Church which the 
Apostles having first received did distribute to those who 
rightly believed. Whose successors we chance to be and 
partakers of the same grace of high priesthood 1 and of 
p. 5. teaching and accounted guardians of the Church. Where- 
fore we close not our eyes nor abstain from straight speech ; 
but neither do we tire in working with our whole soul and 
body worthily to return worthy service to the beneficent 
God. Nor do we make full return save that we slacken not 
in that which is entrusted to us ; but we fill full the measures 
of our opportunity and without envy communicate to all 
whatsoever the Holy Spirit shall provide. Thus we not 
only bring into the open by refutation the affairs of the 
enemy ; 2 but also whatever the truth has received by the 
Father's grace and ministered to men. These things 
we preach 3 as one who is not ashamed, both interpreting 
them by discourse and making them to bear witness by 
writings. 

In order then, as we have said by anticipation, that 
we may show these men to be godless alike in purpose, 
character and deed, and from what source their schemes 
have come and because they have in their attempts taken 
nothing from the Holy Scriptures, nor is it from guarding 
the succession of any saint that they have been hurried into 
p. 6. these things, but their theories 4 take their origin from the 
wisdom of the Greeks, from philosophizing opinions, 5 from 
would-be mysteries and from wandering astrologers it 
seems then proper that we first set forth the tenets of the 
philosophers of the Greeks and point out to our readers 6 
which of them are the oldest and most reverent towards 

1 'Apxteparela- A neologism. This is the passage relied upon to 
show that our author was a bishop. 

2 aWorpta = foreign. Cruice has aliena. But it is here evidently 
contrasted with the " things of the truth " in the next sentence. 

3 KypvaaojAsv. 

4 ra do^aC6fieva, lit., u matters of opinion." 

8 lit Soy/j.a.TU}v (pt\o<ro(povfx4v(i}v. The context shows, that here, and 
probably elsewhere in the book, the phrase is used contemptuously. 

6 tois ivTvyx&vovaiv. As in Polybius, the word can be translated in 
this sense throughout. Yet as meaning " those who fall in with this " it 
is as applicable to spoken as to written words. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 35 

the Divinity. 1 Then, that we should match 2 each heresy 
with a particular opinion so as to show how the protagonist 
of the heresy, meeting with these schemes, gained advantage 
by seizing their principles and being driven on from 
them to worse things constructed his own system. 3 Now the 
undertaking is full of toil and requires much research. 
But we shall not be found wanting. For at the last it will 
give us much joy, as with the athlete who has won the 
crown with much labour, or the merchant who has gained 
profit after great tossing of the sea, or the husbandman who 
gets the benefit of his crops from the sweat of his brow, 
or the prophet who after reproaches and insults sees his 
predictions come to pass. 4 We will therefore begin by 
declaring which of the Greeks first made demonstration 
of natural philosophy. For of them especially have the 
protagonists of the heretics become the plagiarists, as we 
shall afterwards show by setting them side by side. And p. 
when we have restored to each of these pioneers his own, 
we shall put the heresiarchs beside them naked and 
unseemly. 5 

1 . Thales. 

It is said that Thales the Milesian, one of the seven sages, 
was the first to take in hand natural philosophy. 6 He said 
that the beginning and end of the universe was water ; 7 for 
that from its solidification and redissolution all things have 
been constructed and that all are borne about by it. And 
that from it also come earthquakes and the turnings about 

1 rb Oelov. Both here and in Book X our author shows a preference 
for this phrase instead of the more usual 6 eos. 

2 (Tvfx&dWu}. 

3 86y/xa. 

4 to. kaAr)0evTa airo,8aivovra. Note the piling up of similes natural 
in a spoken peroration. 

5 yvfxvovs kcu aaxVfJ-ovas, nudos et turpes, Cr. Stripped of originality 
seems to be the threat intended. 

6 <pi\o<ro<piav <pv(TiK7)v. What we should now call Physics, 

7 rb Trap is the phrase here and elsewhere used for the universe or 
"whole" of Nature, and includes Chaos or unformed Matter. The 
k6(T[xos or ordered world is only part of the universe. Diog. 
Laert, I, vit. Thales, c. 6, says merely that Thales thought water 
to be the apxh or beginning of all things. As this is confirmed 
by all other Greek writers who have quoted him, we may take the 
further statement here attributed to him as the mistake of Hippolytus 
or of the compiler he is copying. 



36 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

of the stars and the motions of the winds. 1 And that all 
things are formed and flow in accordance with the nature of 
the first cause of generation ; but that the Divinity is that 
which has neither beginning nor end. 2 Thales, having 
devoted himself to the system of the stars and to an 
enquiry into them, became for the Greeks the first who was 
responsible for this branch of learning. And he, gazing 
upon the heavens and saying that he was apprehending 
p. 8. with care the things above, fell into a well ; whereupon a 
certain servant maid of the name of Thratta 3 laughed at him 
and said : "While intent on beholding things in heaven, he 
does not see what is at his feet." And he lived about the 
time of Croesus. 

2. Pythagoras. 

And not far from this time there flourished another 
philosophy founded by Pythagoras, who some say was a 
Samian. They call it the Italic because Pythagoras, fleeing 
from Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, took up his abode in 
a city of Italy and there spent his life. Whose successors 
in the school did not differ much from him in judgment. 
And he, after having enquired into physics, combined with 
it astronomy, geometry and music. 4 And thus he showed 
that unity is God, 5 and after curiously studying the nature of 
number, he said that the cosmos makes melody and was 
put together by harmony, and he first reduced the move- 
ment of the seven stars 6 to rhythm and melody. Wonder- 
ing, however, at the arrangement of the universals, 7 he 

1 alpwv in text. Roeper suggests &<TTpwu, "stars." 

2 So Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, V, c. 14, and Diog. 
Laert., I. vit. cit., c. 9. 

3 Diog. Laert., I, vit. cit., c. 8, makes his derider an old woman. 
Qparra is not a proper name, but means a Thracian woman, as Hippo- 
lytus should have known. 

4 Roeper adds ko\ apid/xeroc^p, apparently in view of the speculations 
about the monad. 

6 Aristotle in his Metaphysica, Bk. I, c. 5, attributes the first use of 
this dogma to Xenophanes. 

6 By these are meant the planets, including therein the Sun and 
Moon. Cf. Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Astrologos, p. 343 (Cod.) 
passim. 

7 ra o\a = entities which must needs differ from one another in 
kind. The phrase is thus used by Plato, Aristotle and all the neo- 
Platonic writers. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 37 

expected his disciples to keep silence as to the first things p. 9- 
learned by them, as if they were mystae of the universe 
coming into the cosmos. Thereafter when it seemed that 
they had partaken sufficiently of the schooling of the dis- 
courses, and could themselves philosophize about stars and 
Nature, he, having judged them purified, bade them speak. 
He divided the disciples into two classes, and called these 
Esoterics and those Exoterics. To the first-named he en- 
trusted the more complete teaching, to the others the more 
restricted. He applied himself 1 to magic 2 also, as they 
say, and himself invented a philosophy of the origin of 
Nature, 3 based upon certain numbers and measures, saying 
that the origin of the arithmetical philosophy comprised this 
method by synthesis. The first number became a principle 
which is one, illimitable, incomprehensible, and contains 
within itself all the numbers that can come to infinity by 
multiplication. 4 But the first unit was by hypothesis the 
origin of numbers, the which is a male monad begetting 
like a father all the other numbers. In the second place is 
the dyad, a female number, and the same is called even by 
the arithmeticians. In the third place is the triad, a male p. 10. 
number, and it has been called odd by the arithmeticians' 
decree. After all these is the tetrad, a female number, 
and this is also called even, because it is female. There- 
fore all the numbers derived from the genus 5 (now the 
illimitable genus is "number") are four, from which was 
constructed, according to them, the perfect number, the 
decad. For the 1, 2, 3, 4 become 10 if for each number 
its appropriate name be substantially kept. 6 This decad 

1 icp-q^/aro, attigit, Cr. Frequent in Pindar. 

2 So Timon in the Silli, as quoted by Diog. Laert., VIII, vii. 
Pyth., c. 20. 

3 (pvaioyoviK^v. The Barberine MS. has (pvatoyvw/xouiK^v, evidently 
inserted by some scribe who connected it with the absurd system of 
metoposcopy described in Book IV. 

4 Kara rb -TrArjdos, wniltitudine, Cr. 

5 For definitions and examples of this term see Aristot., Metaphys., 
IV. c. 28. 

6 I cannot trace Hippolytus' authority for attributing these neo- 
Pythagorean puerilities to Pythagoras himself. Diog. Laert., Aristotle 
and the rest represent him as saying only that the monad was the 
beginning of everything, and that from this and the undefined dyad 
numbers proceed. The general reader may be recommended to Mr. 
Alfred Williams Benn's statement in The Philosophy of Greece (Lond., 



38 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Pythagoras said was a sacred Tetractys, a source of ever- 
lasting Nature containing roots within itself, and that from 
the same number all the numbers have their beginning. 
For the n and the 12 and the rest share the beginning of 
their being from the 10. The four divisions of the same 
decad, the perfect number, are called number, monad, 1 
square 2 and cube. The conjunctions and minglings of 
p. 11. which make for the birth of increase and complete naturally 
the fruitful number. For when the square is multiplied 3 
by itself, it becomes a square squared ; when into the cube, 
the square cubed ; when the cube is multiplied by the cube, 
it becomes a cube cubed. So that all the numbers from 
which comes the birth of things which are, are seven ; to 
wit : number, monad, square, cube, square of square, cube 
of square and cube of cube. 

He declared also that the soul is immortal and that 
there is a change from one body to another. 4 Wherefore 
he said that he himself had been before Trojan times 
Aethalides, 5 and that in the Trojan era he was Euphorbus, 
and after that Hermotimus the Samian, after which Pyrrho 
of Delos, and fifthly Pythagoras. But Diodorus the Eretrian 
and Aristoxenus the writer on music 6 say that Pythagoras 

1898), pp. 78 ff. that "the Greeks did not think of numbers as pure 
abstractions, but in the most literal sense as figures, that is to say, 
limited portions of space." 

1 Macmahon thinks "number" and "monad" should here be 
transposed, as Pythagoras considered according to him the monad as 
" the highest generalization of number and a conception in abstraction." 
Yet the monad was not the highest abstraction of current (Greek) 
philosophy. See Edwin Hatch, Itiftuence of Greek Ideas upon the 
Christian Church (Hibbert Lectures), Lond., 1890, p. 255. 

2 dvva/xis is here used like our own mathematical expression 
"power." Why Hippolytus should associate it especially with the 
power of 2 does not appear. By Greek mathematicians it seems rather 
to be applied to the square root. 

3 Kvki<r6fi, involvit, Cr. It cannot here mean "cubed." Another' 
mistake occurs in the same sentence, where it is said that the square 
multiplied by the cube is a cube. The sentence is fortunately repeated 
with the needful correction in Book IV, p. 116 infra. Macmahon gives 
the proper notation as (a 2 ) 2 = a 4 , (a 2 ) 3 = a 6 , (a 3 ) 3 =a*. 

4 fieTevaw/xaTaj-is. The phrase which is here correctly used through- 
out, but which has somehow slipped into English as metempsychosis. 

6 So Diog. Laert., VIII, vit. Pyth., c. 4. 

6 Diodorus of Eretria is not otherwise known. Aristoxenus is 
mentioned by Cicero, Qucest. Tuscu/an, I, 18, as a writer on music. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 39 

went to visit Zaratas * the Chaldaean : and Zaratas explained 
to him that there are from the beginning two causes of 
things that are, a father and mother : and that the father is 
light and the mother, darkness : and the divisions of the 
light are hot, dry, light (in weight) and swift ; but those of 
the darkness cold, moist, heavy and slow. From these the 
whole cosmos was constructed, to wit : from a female and p. 12. 
a male : and that the nature of the cosmos 2 is according to 
musical harmony, wherefore the sun makes his journey 
rhythmically. And about the things which come into being 
from the earth and cosmos, they say Zaratas spoke thus : 
there are two demons, 3 a heavenly one and an earthly. Of 
these the earthly one sent on high a thing born from the earth 
which is water j but that the heavenly fire partook of the 
air, hot and cold. Wherefore, he says, none of these things 
destroys or pollutes the soul, for the same are the substance 
of all. And it is said that Pythagoras ordered that beans 
should not be eaten, because Zaratas said that at the be- 
ginning and formation of all things when the earth was still 
being constructed and put together, the bean was produced. 
And he says that a proof of this is, that if one chews a bean 
to pulp and puts it in the sun for some time (for this plays 
a direct part in the matter), it will give out the smell of 
human seed. And he says that another proof is even 
clearer. If when the bean is in flower, we take the bean 
and its blossom, put it into ajar, anoint this, bury it in earth, p. 13. 
and in a few days dig it up, we shall see it at first having the 
form of a woman's pudenda and afterwards on close examin- 
ation a child's head growing with it. 

Pythagoras perished at Crotona in Italy having been 
burned along with his disciples. And he had this custom 
that when any one came to him as a disciple, he had to sell 

1 That is, of course, Zoroaster. The account here given of his 
doctrines does not agree with what we know of them from other 
sources. The minimum date for his activity (700 B.c). makes it 
impossible for him to have been a contemporary of Pythagoras. See 
the translator's Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, I, p. 126; 
II, p. 232. 

2 Reading with Roeper r^v K6a-fiov <pvaiu ko.1. Cruice has rbv 
KdtTfxov (pucriv Kara, "that the cosmos is a nature according to," etc. 

3 Sai^oves, spirits or daemons in the Greek sense, not necessarily evil. 
But Aetius, de Placit. rhilosoph. ap. Diels Doxogr. 306, makes 
Pythagoras use the word as equivalent to rb k<xk6v. Cf. pp. 52, 92 infra. 



40 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

his possessions and deposit the money under seal with 
Pythagoras, and remain silent sometimes for three and some- 
times for five years while he was learning. But on being 
again set free, he mixed with the others and remained a 
disciple and took his meals along with them. But if he 
did not, he took back what belonged to him and was cast 
out. Now the Esoterics were called Pythagoreans and the 
others Pythagorists. And of his disciples who escaped the 
burning were Lysis and Archippus and Zamolxis, Pytha- 
goras' house-slave, who is said to have taught the Druids 
among the Celts to cultivate the Pythagorean philosophy. 
And they say that Pythagoras learned numbers and measures 
from the Egyptians, and being struck with the plausible, 
imposing and with difficulty disclosed wisdom of the priests, 
p. 14. he imitated them also in enjoining silence and, lodging his 
disciples in cells, made them lead a solitary life. 1 

3. About Empedodes. 

But Empedocles, born after these men, also said many 
things about the nature of demons, and how they being 
very many go about managing things upon the earth. He 
said that the beginning of the universe was Strife and 
Friendship and that the intellectual fire of the monad is 
God, and that all things were constructed from fire and 
will be resolved into fire. 2 In which opinion the Stoics 
also nearly agree, since they expect an ecpyrosis. But 
most of all he accepted the change into different bodies, 
saying : 

"For truly a boy I became, and a maiden, 
And bush, and bird of prey, and fish, 
A wanderer from the salt sea." 3 

1 Hippolytus like nearly every other writer of his time here confuses 
the Egyptians with the Alexandrian Greeks. It was these last and not 
the subjects of the Pharaohs who were given to mathematics and 
geometry, of which sciences they laid the foundations on which we have 
since built. Certain devotees of the Alexandrian god Serapis also shut 
themselves up in cells of the Serapeum, which they could hardly have 
done in any temple in Pharaonic times. See Forerunners, I, 79 
Hippolytus gives a much more elaborate and detailed account of 
Pythagorean teaching in Book VI, II, pp. 20 ff. infra. 

2 Diog. Laert., VIII, vit. Heradit., c. 6, attributes this opinion to 
Heraclitus. 

3 This verse appears in Diog. Laert., VIII, vit. Empedocles, c. 6. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 41 

He declared that all souls transmigrated into all living p. 15. 
things. 1 For Pythagoras the teacher of these men said he 
himself had been Euphorbus who fought at Ilion, and 
claimed to recognize the shield. 2 This of Empedocles. 

4. About Heraditus. 

But Heraclitus of Ephesus, a physicist, bewailed all 
things, accusing the ignorance of all life and of all men, 
and pitying the life of mortals. For he claimed that 
he knew all things and other men nothing. 3 And he also 
made statements nearly in accord with Empedocles, as he 
said that Discord and Friendship were the beginning of all 
things, and that the intellectual fire was God and that all 
things were borne in upon one another and did not stand 
still. And like Empedocles he said that every place of 
ours was filled with evil things, and that these come as far 
as the moon extending from the place surrounding the 
earth, but go no further, since the whole place above the 
moon is very pure. 4 Thus, too, it seemed to Heraclitus. 

And after these came other physicists whose opinions we p- 16. 
do not think it needful to declare as they are in no way 
incongruous with those aforesaid. But since the school 
was by no means small, and many physicists afterwards 
sprang from these, all discoursing in different fashion on the 
nature of the universe, it seems also fit to us, now that we 
have set forth the philosophy derived from Pythagoras, to 
return in order of succession to the opinions of those who 
adhered to Thales, and after recounting the same to come 
to the ethical and logical philosophies, whereof Socrates 
founded the ethical and Aristotle the dialectic. 

1 So Diog. Laert., ubi. cit. 

2 This sentence seems to have got out of place. It should probably 
follow that on Lysis and Archippus, etc., on the last page. The story of 
the shield is told by Diog. Laert., VIII, vit. Pyth., c. 4, and by Ovid, 
Mriamorph., XV, 162 ff. For more about Empedocles see Book VII, 
II, pp. 82 ff. infra. 

3 Diog. Laert., VIII, vit.Heraclit., from whom Hippolytus is probably 
quoting, says that in his boyhood, Heraclitus used to say, he knew 
nothing, in his manhood everything. Has Hippolytus garbled this ? 

4 There is nothing of this in what Hippolytus, Diogenes Laertir.s or 
any other author extant gives as Empedocles' opinions, ra. ko.k.6. seems 
to be equivalent to 8a.ifj.oves, as suggested in n. on p. 39 supra. Hippo- 
lytus returns to Heraclitus' opinions in Book IX, II, pp. 119 ff, infra. 



42 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

5. About Anaximander. 

Now Anaximander was a hearer of Thales. He was 
Anaximander of Miletus, son of Praxiades. 1 He said that 
the beginning of the things that are was a certain nature of 
the Boundless from which came into being the heavens and 
the ordered worlds 2 t within them. And that this principle 
is eternal and grows not old and encompasses all the 
ordered worlds. And he says time is limited by birth, 

p. 17- substance, 3 and death. He said that the Boundless is a 
principle and element of the things that are and was the 
first to call it by the name of principle. But that there is 
an eternal movement towards Him wherein it happens that 
the heavens are born.' And that the earth is a heavenly 
body 4 supported by nothing, but remaining in its place by 
reason of its equal distance from everything. And that its 
form is a watery cylinder 5 like a stone pillar ; and that we 
tread on one of its surfaces, but that there is another 
opposite to it. And that the stars are a circle of fire distinct 
from the fire in the cosmos, but surrounded by air. And 
that certain fiery exhalations exist in those places where the 
stars appear, and by the obstruction of these exhalations 
come the eclipses. And that the moon appears sometimes 
waxing and sometimes waning through the obstruction or 
closing of her paths. And that the circle of the sun is 27 
times greater than that of the moon and that the sun is in 
the highest place in the heavens and the circles of the fixed 

p. 18. stars in the lowest. And that the animals came into being 
in moisture evaporated by the sun. And that mankind was 
at the beginning very like another animal, to wit, a fish. 
And that winds come from the separation and condensation 
of the subtler atoms of the air 6 and rain from the earth 
giving back under the sun's heat what it gets from the clouds, 7 

1 So Diog. Laert., II, vit. Anaximander, c. I, verbatim. 

2 k6<t/j.oi. He therefore believed in a plurality of worlds. 

3 ovaia. It may here mean essence or being. A good discussion of 
the changes in the meaning of the word and its successors, vwoaTaais 
and TTpoawrrou, is to be found in Hatch, op. cit., pp. 275-278. 

4 fxerecapov, a phenomenon in the heavens, but also something hung 
up or suspended. 

5 GTpoyyvXov, used by Thcophrastus for logs of timber. 

6 Lit., "from the separation of the finest atoms of the nir and from 
their movement when crowded together." 

7 So Roeper. Cruice agrees. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 43 

and lightnings from the severance of the clouds by the winds 
falling upon them. He was born in the 3rd year of the 
42nd Olympiad. 1 

6. About Anaximenes. 

Anaximenes, who was also a Milesian, the son of Eurys- 
tratus, said that the beginning was a boundless air from 
which what was, is, and shall be and gods and divine things 
came into being, while the rest came from their descend- 
ants. But that the condition of the air is such that when 
it is all over alike 2 it is invisible to the eye, but it is made 
perceptible by cold and heat, by damp and by motion. 
And that it is ever-moving, for whatever is changeable 3 
changes not unless it be moved. For it appears different 
when condensed and rarefied. For when it diffuses into 
greater rarity fire is produced ; but when again halfway 
condensed into air, a cloud is formed from the air's p. 19. 
compression ; and when still further condensed, water, and 
when condensed to the full, earth; and when to the very 
highest degree, stones. And that consequently the great 
rulers of formation are contraries, to wit, heat and cold. 
And that the earth is a flat surface borne up on the air in 
the same way as the sun and moon and the other stars. 4 
For all fiery things are carried through the air laterally. 5 
And that the stars are produced from the earth by reason of 
the mist which rises from it and which when rarefied 
becomes fire, and from this ascending fire 6 the stars are 
constructed. And that there are earth-like natures in the 
stars' place carried about with them. But he says that the 

1 A. W. Benn, op.cit., p. 51, gives a readable account of Anaximander's 
speculations in physics. Diels, op. cit., pp. 132, 133 shows in an 
excellently clear conspectus of parallel passages the different authors 
from whom Hippolytus took the statements in our text regarding the 
Ionians. The majority are to be found in Simplicius' commentaries on 
Aristotle, Simplicius' source being, according to Diels, the fragments of 
Theophrastus' book on physics. Next in order come Plutarch's 
Stromaia and Aetius' De Placitis Philosophorum, many passages being 
common to both. 

2 bfxaXwTaros, aeqtiabilis, Cr., "homogeneous." 

3 Lit., " whatever changes." 

4 Planets. See n. on p. 36 supra. 

5 Sib. ttAcLtos. Cruice translates ob latitudinem, Macmahon 
" through expanse of space." 

1 ^6T (i>pi(6/j.evov. See n. on p. 42 supra. 

VOL. I. D 



44 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

stars do not move under the earth, as others assume, but 
round the earth : asa cap is turned on one's head, and that 
the sun is hidden, not because it is under the earth, but 
because it is hidden by the earth's higher parts, and by 
reason of its greater distance from us. And because of 
their great distance, the stars give out no heat. And that 
p. 20. winds are produced when the air after condensation 
escapes rarefied ; but that when it collects and is thus 
condensed 2 to the full, it becomes clouds and thus changes 
into water. Also that hail is produced when the water 
brought down from the clouds is frozen ; and snow when 
the same clouds are wetter when freezing. And lightning 
come when the clouds are forced apart by the strength of 
the winds j for when thus driven apart, there is a brilliant and 
fiery flash. Also that a rainbow is produced by the solar 
rays falling upon solidified air, and an earthquake from the 
earth's increasing in size by heating and cooling. This 
then Anaximenes. He flourished about the 1st year of the 
58th Olympiad. 3 

7. About Anaxagoras. 

After him was Anaxagoras of Clazomene, son of Hegesi- 
bulus. He said that the beginning of the universe was mind 
and matter, mind being the creator and matter that which 
came unto being. 4 For that when all things were together, 
mind came and arranged them. He says, however, that the 
material principles are boundless, even the smallest of 
them. And that all things partake of movement, being 
p. 21. moved by mind, and that like things come together. And 
that the things in heaven were set in order by their circular 
motion. 5 That therefore what was dense and moist and dark 
and cold and everything heavy came together in the middle, 

1 So Diog. Laert., II, vit. Anaxim., c. 1. This is the feature of Anaxi- 
menes' teaching which seems to have most impressed the Greeks. 

2 TraxvOevra. 

3 Diog. Laert., ubi cit., puts Anaximander in the 58th Olympiad 
(548 B.C.) and Anaximenes in the 63rd. This is more probable than the 
dates in our text. For Anaximenes' sources, mostly Aetius and Theo- 
phrastus, see Diels' conspectus mentioned in n. on p. 43 supra. 

4 tV Se v\r]v yivofiV7]v, fieri materiam, Cr. 

5 rrjs iyKVKXtov KivhaecDS. Macmahon says "orbicular," but it 
means if anything centripetal and centrifugal, as appears in next 
sentence. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 45 

and from the compacting of this the earth was established ; x 
but that the opposites, to wit, the hot, the brilliant and the 
light were drawn off to the distant aether. Also that the earth 
is flat in shape and remains suspended 2 through its great 
size, and from there being no void and because the air 
which is strongest bears (up) the upheld earth. And that the 
sea exists from the moisture on the earth and the waters in 
it evaporating and then condensing in a hollow place ; 3 and 
that the sea is supposed to have come into being by this 
and from the rivers flowing into it. And the rivers, too, are 
established by the rains and the waters within the earth ; for 
the earth is hollow and holds water in its cavities. But 
that the Nile increases in summer when the snows from the 
northern parts are carried down into it. And that the sun 
and moon and all the stars are burning stones and are 
carried about by the rotation of the aether. And that below p. 22. 
the stars are the sun and moon and certain bodies not seen 
by us whirled round together. And that the heat of the 
stars is not felt by us because of their great distance from 
the earth ; but yet their heat is not like that of the sun from 
their occupying a colder region. Also that the moon is 
below the sun and nearer to us ; and that the size of the sun 
is greater than that of the Peloponnesus. And that the moon 
has no light of her own, but only one from the sun. And 
that the revolution of the stars takes place under the earth. 
Also that the moon is eclipsed when the earth stands in her 
way, and sometimes the stars which are below the moon, 4 
and the sun when the moon stands in his way during new 
moons. And that both the sun and moon make turnings 
(solstices) when driven back by the air ; but that the moon 
turns often through not being able to master the cold. He 
was the first to determine the facts about eclipses and 
renewals of light. 5 And he said that the moon was like the 

1 vtto(tt?)vcu. Hippolytus seems most frequently to use the word in 
this sense. 

2 fxtTtwpov. See n. on p. 42 supra. 

3 rd re eV avrrj vSara i^arixiaQivra . . . viroaravra ovtus yeyovevat. 
I propose to fill the lacuna with /ecu irvKPwdevra eV icolAcp. For a 
description of this cavity see the Phcedo of Plato, c. 138. I do not 
understand Roeper's suggested emendation as given by Cruice. 

4 There must be some mistake here. lie has just said that the sun 
and moon are below the stars. 

6 (pooTio-fiol, illuminationes, Cr. So Macmahon. It clearly means 
here "shinings forth again," or "lightings up." 



46 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

earth and had within it plains and ravines. And that the 
Milky Way was the reflection of the light of the stars which 
are not lighted up by the sun. And that the shooting stars 
P- 23. are as it were sparks which glance off from the movement 
of the pole. And that winds are produced by the rarefaction 
of the air by the sun and by their drying up as they get 
towards the pole and are borne away from it. And that 
thunderstorms are produced by heat falling upon the clouds. 
And that earthquakes come from the upper air falling 
upon that under the earth ; for when this last is moved, 
the earth upheld by it is shaken. And that animals at the 
beginning were produced from water, but thereafter from 
one another, and that males are born when the seed secreted 
from the right parts of the body adheres to the right parts of 
the womb and females when the opposite occurs. He 
flourished in the 1st year of the 88th Olympiad, about which 
time they say Plato was born. 1 They say also that Anaxa- 
goras came to have a knowledge of the future. 

8. About Archelaus. 
Archelaus was of Athenian race and the son of Apollo- 
dorus. He like Anaxagoras asserted the mixed nature 
of matter and agreed with him as to the beginning of 
things. But he said that a certain mixture 2 was directly 
inherent in mind, and that the source of movement is the 
separation from one another of heat and cold and that the 
p. 24. heat is moved and the cold remains undisturbed. Also 
that water when heated flows to the middle of the universe 
wherein heated air and earth are produced, of which one is 
borne aloft while the other remains below. And that the 
earth remains fixed and exists because of this and abides in 
the middle of the universe, of which, so to speak, it forms 
no part and which is delivered from the conflagration. 3 The 
first result of which burning is the nature of the stars, the 

1 Diog. Laert. quotes from Apollodorus' Chronica that Anaxa- 
goras died in the 1st year of the 78th Olympiad, or ten years before 
Plato's birth. For Hippolytus' sources for his teaching, mainly Diog. 
Laert. , Aetius and Theophrastus, see Diels, ubi cit. 

2 /jujfxa, not ^I|ts. But of what could the creative mind be com- 
pounded before anything else had come into being? 

3 4k rrjs Trvpwa-eus. Does he mean the heated air, and why should 
the earth form no part of the universe ? Something is probably omitted 
here. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 47 

greatest whereof is the sun and the second the moon while 
of the others some are greater and some smaller. And he 
says that the heaven is arched over us x and has made the 
air transparent and the earth dry. For that at first it was a 
pool ; since it was lofty at the horizon, but hollow in the 
middle. And he brings forward as a proof of this hollowness, 
that the sun does not rise and set at the same time for all 
parts as must happen if the earth were level. And as to 
animals, he says that the earth first became heated in the 
lower part when the hot and cold mingled and man 2 and 
the other animals appeared. And all things were unlike 
one another and had the same diet, being nourished on p. 25. 
mud. And this endured for a little, but at last generation 
from one another arose, and man became distinct from the 
other animals and set up chiefs, laws, arts, cities and the rest. 
And he says that mind is inborn in all animals alike. For 
that every body is supplied with 3 mind, some more slowly 
and some quicker than the others. 

Natural philosophy lasted then from Thales up to Arche- 
laus. Of this last Socrates was a hearer. But there are also 
many others putting forward different tenets concerning the 
Divine and the nature of the universe, whose opinions if we 
wished to set them all out would take a great mass of books. 
But it would be best, after having recalled by name those 
of them who are, so to speak, the chorus-leaders of all 
who philosophized in later times and who have furnished 
starting-points for systems, to hasten on to what follows. 4 

9. About Parmenides. 

For truly Parmenides also supposed the universe to p. 2 6. 
be eternal and ungenerated and spherical in form. 5 Nor did 

1 'EirLKAidrjj/ai, de super incumbere, Cr., "inclined at an angle,'' 
Macmahon. Evidently Archelaus imagined a concave heaven fitting 
over the earth like a dish cover or an upturned boat or coracle. This 
was the Babylonian theory. Cf. Maspero, Hist. anc nne de f Orient 
dassique, Paris, 1895, I> P- 543> ant l illustration. Many of the Ionian 
ideas about physics doubtless come from the same source. 

2 Reading, as Cruice suggests, koX avdpuirovs for nal uvo^oia. So 
Diog. Laert., II, vit. Archel., c. 17. 

3 xp^ (Ta<T ^ al f uttj Cr., "employed," Macmahon. 

4 A fair specimen of Hippolytus' verbose and inflated style. 

5 No other philosopher has yet been quoted as saying that the earth 
was spherical. 



48 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

he avoid the common opinion making fire and earth the 
principles of the universe, the earth as matter, but the fire 
as cause and creator. [He said that the ordered world 
would be destroyed, but in what way, he did not say.] 1 
But he said that the universe was eternal and ungenerated 
and spherical in form and all over alike, bearing no impress 
and immoveable and with definite limits. 

10. About Leucippus. 

But Leucippus, a companion of Zeno, did not keep to the 
same opinion (as Parmenides), but says that all things are 
boundless and ever- moving and that birth and change are 
unceasing. And he says that fulness and the void are 
elements. And he says also that the ordered worlds came 
into being thus : when many bodies were crowded together 
p. 27. and flowed from the ambient 2 into a great void, on 
coming into contact with one another, those of like fashion 
and similar form coalesced, and from their intertwining yet 
others were generated and increased and diminished by 
a certain necessity. But what that necessity may be he did 
not define. 

n. About Democritus. 

But Democritus was an acquaintance of Leucippus. 
This was Democritus of Abdera, son of Damasippus, 3 who 
met with many Gymnosophists among the Indians and with 
priests and astrologers 4 in Egypt and with Magi in Babylon. 
But he speaks like Leucippus about elements, to wit, fulness 
and void, saying that the full is that which is but the 
void that which is not, and he said this because things are 
ever moving in the void. He said also that the ordered 
worlds are boundless and differ in size, and that in some 
there is neither sun nor moon, but that in others both are 

1 This sentence is said to have been interpolated. 

2 4k rod irepiexovTos, " from the surrounding (aether)." An expression 
much used by writers on astrology and generally translated "ambient." 

3 Diog. Laert., IX, vit. Dem., c. 1, says either Damasippus or Hegesis- 
tratus or Athenocritus. 

4 It is doubtful whether astrology was known in Egypt before the 
Alexandrian age. Diog. Laert., vit. cit., quotes from Amisthenes that 
Democritus studied mathematics there, and astrology was looked on by 
the Romans as a branch of mathematics. Cf. Sextus Empiricus, ubi 
cit., supra. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 49 

greater than with us, and in yet others more in number. 
And that the intervals between the ordered worlds are p. 28 
unequal, here more and there less, and that some increase, 
others flourish and others decay, and here they come into 
being and there they are eclipsed. 1 But that they are 
destroyed by colliding with one another. And that some 
ordered worlds are bare of animals and plants and of all water. 
And that in our cosmos the earth came into being first of the 
stars and that the moon is the lowest of the stars, and then 
comes the sun and then the fixed stars : but that the planets 
are not all at the same height. And he laughed at every- 
thing, as if all things among men deserved laughter. 

12. About Xenophanes. 

But Xenophanes of Colophon was the son of Ortho- 
menes. 2 He survived until the time of Cyrus. He first 
declared the incomprehensibility of all things, 3 saying thus : 

Although anyone should speak most definitely 
He nevertheless does not know, and it is a guess 4 which occurs 
about all things. 

But he says that nothing is generated, or perishes or is p. 29. 
moved, and that the universe which is one is beyond change. 
But he says that God is eternal, and one and alike on every 
side, and finite and spherical in form, and conscious 5 in all 
His parts. And that the sun is born every day from the 
gathering together of small particles of fire and that the earth 
is boundless and surrounded neither by air nor by heaven. 
And that there are boundless (innumerable) suns and 
moons and that all things are from the earth. He said that 
the sea is salt because of the many compounds which 

1 koX ttj fxev yeveaOai, ttj 5e fc&fffrrc*?* 

2 So Apollodorus. Diog. Laert., IX, vit. Xenofhan., c. 1, says 
of Dexius. 

3 Diog. Laert., ubi cit., says Sotion of Alexandria is the authority 
for this, but that he was mistaken. Hippolytus says later in Book I 
(p. 59 infra) that Pyrrho was the first to assert the incomprehensibility' 
of everything. If, as Sotion asserted, Xenophanes was a contemporary 
of Anaximander, he must have died two centuries before Pyrrho 
was born. 

4 Sokos 5'eTrl iraai tctvcto*, scd in omnibus opinio est, Cr. Yet Mkos 
is surely a " guess." 

5 CuV0T]Tt/C(fa. 



5 o PHILOSOPHUMENA 

together flow into it. But Metrodorus said it was thanks to 
its trickling through the earth that the sea becomes salt. 
And Xenophanes opines that there was once a mixture 
of earth with the sea, and that in time it was freed from 
moisture, asserting in proof of this that shells are found in the 
centre of the land and on mountains, and that in the stone- 
quarries of Syracuse were found the impress of a fish and of 
seals, and in Paros the cast of an anchor below the surface 
of the rock 1 and in Malta layers of all sea-things. And he 
says that these came when all things were of old time buried 
in mud, and that the impress of them dried in the mud ; but 
p. 30. that all men were destroyed when the earth being cast into 
the sea became mud, 'and that it again began to bring forth 
and that this catastrophe happened to all the ordered worlds. 2 

13. About Ecphantus. 

A certain Ecphantus, a Syracusan, said that a true 
knowledge of the things that are could not be got. But he 
defines, as he thinks, that the first bodies are indivisible and 
that there are three differences 3 between them, to wit, size, 
shape and power. And the number of them is limited and 
not boundless ; but that these bodies are moved neither by 
weight nor by impact, but by a divine power which he calls 
p. 31. Nous and Psyche. Now the pattern of this is the cosmos, 
wherefore it has become spherical in form by Divine power. 
And that the earth in the midst of the cosmos is moved 
round its own centre from west to east. 4 

14. About Hippo. 

But Hippo of Rhegium 5 said that the principles were 
cold, like water, and heat, like fire. And that the fire came 
from the water, and, overcoming the power of its parent, 
constructed the cosmos. But he said that the soul was 
sometimes brain and sometimes water ; for the seed also 

1 eV t< (3d6ei rod \ldov, "deep down in the stone." Perhaps the 
earliest mention of fossils. 

2 Is this a survival of the Babylonian legends of the Flood ? 

3 irapaWayyas, differentias , Cr. Perhaps " alternations." 

4 The whole of this section on Ecphantus is corrupt. He is not 
alluded to again in the book. 

5 Hippo is mentioned by Iamblichus in his life of Pythagoras. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 51 

seems to us to be from moisture and from it he says the 
soul is born. 

These things, then, we seem to have sufficiently set forth. 
Wherefore, as we have now separately run through the 
opinions of the physicists, it seems fitting that we return to 
Socrates and Plato, who most especially preferred (the 
study of) ethics. 

15. About Socrates. 

Now Socrates became a hearer of Archelaus the physi- 
cist, and giving great honour to the maxim "Know thyself" 
and having established a large school, held Plato to be the 
most competent of all his disciples. He left no writings 
behind him ; but Plato being impressed with all his p# 
wisdom x established the teaching combining physics, ethics 
and dialectics. But what Plato laid down is this : 

16. About Plato. 

Plato makes the principles of the universe to be God, 
matter and (the) model. He says that God is the maker and 
orderer of this universe and its Providence. 2 That matter 
is that which underlies all things, which matter he calls a 
recipient and a nurse. 3 From which, after it had been set 
in order, came the four elements of which the cosmos is 
constructed, to wit, fire, air, earth and water, 4 whence in 
turn all the other so-called compound things, viz., animals 
and plants have been constructed. But the model is the 
thought of God which Plato also calls ideas, to which 
giving heed as to an image in the soul, 5 God fashioned 6 all 

1 a-jro/na^d/xepos, " been sealed with," or tl copied." Cf. Diog. Laert., 
II, vit. Socrates, c. 12. 

2 irpovbov^vov avrov. The ro'Se rb irav of the line above shows that 
Plato did not mean that the forethought extended to other worlds than 
this. 

3 This expression, like many others in this epitome of Plato's 
doctrines, is found in the Ets to. tov U\drwpos Elaaywyr) of Alcinous, 
who flourished in Roman times. The best edition still seems to be 
Bishop Poll's, Oxford, 1667. Alcinous' work was, as will appear, the 
main source from which Hippolytus drew his account of Plato's doctrines. 

4 "Alcinous, op. ci'L, c. 12. 

5 Ibid., cc. 9, 12. 

6 iSrifxiovpyei. Not created ex nihilo, but made out of existing 
material as an architect makes a house. 



52 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

p. 33. things. He said that God was without body or form and 
could only be comprehended by wise men ; but that matter 
is potentially body, but not yet actively. For that being 
itself without form or quality, it receives forms and qualities 
to become body. 1 That matter, therefore, is a principle 
and the same is coeval with God, and the cosmos is un- 
begotten. For, he says, it constructed itself out of itself. 2 
And in all ways it is like the unbegotten and is imperishable. 
But in so far as body 3 is assumed to be composed of many 
qualities and ideas, it is so far begotten and perishable. 
But some Platonists mixed together the two opinions 
making up some such parable as this : to wit, that, as a 
wagon can remain undestroyed for ever if repaired part by 
part, as even though the parts perish every time, the wagon 
remains complete ; so, the cosmos, although it perish part 
by part, is yet reconstructed and compensated for the parts 
taken away, and remains eternal. 

Some again say that Plato declared God to be one, 
unbegotten and imperishable, as he says in the Laivs : 

P- 34- " God, therefore, as the old story goes, holds the beginning 
and end and middle of all things that are." 4 Thus he 
shows Him to be one through His containing all things. 
But others say that Plato thought that there are many gods 
without limitation 5 when he said, "God of gods, of whom 
I am the fashioner and father." 6 And yet others that he 
thinks them subject to limitation when he says: "Great 
Zeus, indeed, driving his winged chariot in heaven ; " 7 and 
when he gives the pedigree 8 of the children of Uranos and 
Ge. Others again that he maintained the gods to be 
originated and that because they were originated they ought 
to perish utterly, but that by the will of God they remain 
imperishable as he says in the passage before quoted, " God 
of gods, of whom I am the fashioner and father, and who 
are formed by my will indissoluble." So that if He wished 
them to be dissolved, dissolved they would easily be. But 
he accepts the nature of demons, and says some are good, 
and some bad. 

1 Alcinous, op. cit., cc. 8, 10 

2 e| avTov (rweo-Tdvai avrov. So Cruice. Macmahon reads with 
Roe per avrr\s for avrov, " the world was made out of it" (?'. e. matter). 

3 The body of the cosmos is evidently meant. Cf. Alcinous, c. 12. 

4 de Legg, IV, 7. 5 aopiaroos. 6 Timccus, c. 16. 
7 Phcedrus, c. 166. 8 yevzaAoyfi. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 53 

And some say that he declared the soul to be un- 
originated and imperishable x when he says : " All soul is 
immortal for that which is ever moving is immortal," and 
when he shows that it is self-moving and the beginning of 
movement. But others say that he makes it originated but 
imperishable 2 through God's will ; and yet others composite 
and originated and perishable. For he also supposes that 
there is a mixing-bowl for it, 3 and that it has a splendid p. 35. 
body, but that everything originated must of necessity 
perish. But those who say that the soul is immortal are 
partly corroborated by those words wherein he says that 
there are judgments after death, and courts of justice in the 
house of Hades, and that the good meet with a good reward 
and that the wicked are subjected to punishments. 4 Some 
therefore say that he also admits a change of bodies and 
the transfer of different pre-determined souls into other 
bodies according to the merit of each ; and that after certain 
definite peregrinations they are again sent into this ordered 
world to give themselves another trial of their own choice. 
Others, however, say not, but that they obtain a place 
according to each one's deserts. And they call to witness 
that he says some souls are with Zeus, but that others of 
good men are going round with other gods, and that others 
abide in everlasting punishments, (that is), so many as in this 
life have wrought evil and unjust deeds. 5 

And they say that he declared some conditions to be 
without intermediates, some with intermediates and some p. 36. 
to be intermediates. Waking and sleep are without inter- 
mediates and so are all states like these. But there are 
those with intermediates like good and bad ; and inter- 
mediates like grey which is between black and white or 
some other colour. 6 And they say that he declares the 

1 Alcinous, c. 25. 2 P/ucdrus, cc. 51, 52. 

3 For this see the Ttmieus, c. 17. 

4 This sentence is corrupt throughout, and there are at least three 
readings which can be given to it. I have taken that which makes the 
smallest alteration in Cruice's text. 

5 Phitdo, c. 43. 

6 I do not think this can be found in any writings of Plato that have 
come down to us. Hippolytus probably took it from Aristotle, to 
whom he also attributes it ; but I cannot find it in this writer either. 
A passage in Arist., Nicomachean Ethics , Book II, c. 6, is the nearest 
to it. 



54 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

things concerning the soul to be alone supremely good, but 
those of the body or external to it to be no longer 
supremely good, but only said to be so. And that these 
last are very often named intermediates also j for they can 
be used both well and ill. He says therefore that the 
virtues are extremes as to honour, but means as to sub- 
stance. 1 For there is nothing more honourable than 
virtue ; but that which goes beyond or falls short of these 
virtues ends in vice. For instance, he says that these are 
the four virtues, to wit, Prudence, Temperance, Justice, and 
Fortitude, and that there follow on each of these two vices 
of excess and deficiency respectively. Thus on Prudence 
follow thoughtlessness by deficiency and cunning by 
excess ; on Temperance, intemperance by deficiency and 
sluggishness by excess; on Justice, over-modesty by 
deficiency and greediness by excess ; and on Fortitude, 
p. 37. cowardice by deficiency and foolhardiness by excess. 2 
And these virtues when inborn in a man operate for his 
perfection and give him happiness. But he says that 
happiness is likeness to God as far as possible. And that 
any one is like God when he becomes holy and just with 
intention. For this he supposes to be the aim of the 
highest wisdom and virtue. 3 But he says that the virtues 
follow one another in turn and are of one kind, and never 
oppose one another ; but that the vices are many-shaped 
and sometimes follow and sometimes oppose one another. 4 
He says, again, that there is destiny, not indeed that all 
things are according to destiny, but that we have some 
choice, as he says in these words : " The blame is on the 
chooser: God is blameless," and again, "This is a law of 
Adrasteia." And if he thus affirms the part of destiny, he 
knew also that something was in our choice. 5 But he says 
that transgressions are involuntary. For to the most beauti- 
ful thing in us, which is the soul, none would admit 

1 So Alcinous, c. 29. The other statements in this sentence seem to 
be Aristotle's rather than Plato's, Cf. Diog. Laert., V, vit. Arist., c. 13, 
where he describes the good things of the soul, the body and of 
external things respectively. 

2 Alcinous, cc. 28, 29. 3 Ibid., c. 27. 4 Ibid., c. 29. 

5 Ibid., c. 26. The passage about the choice [of virtue] is in the 
Republic, X, 617 C. Hippolytus had evidently not read the original, 
which says that according as a man does or does not choose virtue, so 
he will have more or less of it, 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 55 

something evil, that is, injustice ; but that by ignorance and 
mistaking the good, thinking to do something fine, they 
arrive at the evil. 1 And his explanation on this is most p. 38. 
clear in the Republic, where he says : " And again do you 
dare to say that vice is disgraceful and hateful to God? 
How then does any one choose such an evil ? He does it, 
you would say, who is overcome by the pleasures (of sense). 
Therefore this also is an involuntary action, if to overcome 
be a voluntary one. So that from all reasoning, reason proves 
injustice to be involuntary." But some one objects to him 
about this : " Why then are men punished if they transgress 
involuntarily?" He answers: "So that they may be the 
more speedily freed from vice by undergoing correction." 2 
For that to undergo correction is not bad but good, if there- 
by comes purification from vices, and that the rest of mankind 
hearing of it will not transgress, but will be on their guard 
against such error. 3 He says, however, that the nature of 
evil comes not by God nor has it any special nature of its 
own ; but it comes into being by contrariety and by 
following upon the good, either as excess or deficiency as 
we have before said about the virtues. 4 Now Plato, as 
we have said above, bringing together the three divisions p. 39- 
of general philosophy, thus philosophized. 

17. About Aristotle. 

Aristotle, who was a hearer of this last, turned philosophy 
into a science and reasoned more strictly, affirming that 
the elements of all things are substance and accident. 5 He 
said that there is one substance underlying all things, but 

1 Alcinous, c. 30. 

2 This passage is not in the Republic, but in the Clitopho, as to 
Plato's authorship of which there are doubts. Cruice quotes the Greek 
text from Roeper in a note on p. 38 of his text. 

3 Alcinous, c. 30. 4 Ibid., c. 29. 

5 " Substance" (ovaia) and "accident " (crvixfSelST}K6s) are defined by 
Aristotle in the Metaphysica, Bk. IV, cc. 8, 9 respectively. The defi- 
nitions in no way bear the interpretation that Hippolytus here puts on 
them. In the Categories, which, whether by Aristotle or not, are not 
referred to by him in any of his extant works, it is said (c. 4) that " of 
things in complex enunciated, each signifies either Substance or 
Quantity, or Quality or Relation, or Where or When, or Position, or 
Possession, or Action, or Passion." It is from this that Hippolytus 
probably took the statement in our text. The illustrations are in 
part found in Metaphysica, c. 4. 



56 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

nine accidents, which are Quantity, Quality, Relation, the 
Where, the When, Possession, Position, Action and Passion. 
And that therefore Substance was such as God, man and 
every one of the things which can fall under the like defi- 
nition : but that as regards the accidents, Quality is seen 
in expressions like white or black ; Quantity in " 2 cubits or 
3 cubits long or broad " ; Relation in " father " or " son " ; the 
Where in such as "Athens" or "Megara"; the When in 
such as " in the Xth Olympiad " ; for Possession in such 
as " to have acquired wealth " ; Action in such as " to write 
and generally to do anything " ; and Passion in such as " to 
be struck." He also assumes that some things have means 
and that others have npt, as we have said also about Plato. 

p. 40. And he is in accord with Plato about most things save in 
the opinion about the soul. For Plato thinks it immortal ; 
but Aristotle that it remains behind after this life and that 
it is lost in the fifth Body which is assumed to exist along 
with the other four, to wit, fire, earth, water and air, but 
is more subtle than they and like a spirit. 1 Again whereas 
Plato said that the only good things were those which 
concerned the soul and that these sufficed for happiness, 
Aristotle brings in a triad of benefits and says that the sage 
is not perfect unless there are at his command the good 
things of the body and those external to it. Which 
things are Beauty, Strength, Keenness of Sense and Com- 
pleteness; while the externals are Wealth, High Birth, 
Glory, Power, Peace, and Friendship ; but that the inner 
things about the soul are, as Plato thought : Prudence, 
Temperance, Justice and Fortitude. 2 Also Aristotle says 
that evil things exist, and come by contrariety to the good, 
and are below the place about the moon, but not above it. 

Again, he says that the soul of the whole ordered world is 
eternal, but that the soul of man vanishes as we have said 

p. 41. above. Now, he philosophized while delivering discourses 
in the Lyceum ; but Zeno in the Painted Porch. And 
Zeno's followers got their name from the place, i. e. they 
were called Stoics from the Stoa; but those of Aristotle 
from their mode of study. For their enquiries were con- 

1 The famous " Quintessence." So Aetius, De Plac. Phil., Bk. I, 
c. 1, 38. But see Diog. Laert. in next note. 

2 This is practically verbatim from Diog. Laert., V, vit. ArisL, 
c 13. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 57 

ducted while walking about in the Lyceum, wherefore they 
were called Peripatetics. This then Aristotle. 1 

18. About the Stoics. 

The Stoics themselves also added to philosophy by the 
increased use of syllogisms, 2 and included it nearly all in 
definitions, Chrysippus and Zeno being here agreed in 
opinion. Who also supposed that God was the beginning 
of all things, and was the purest body, and that His 
providence extends through all things. 3 They say posi- 
tively, however, that existence is everywhere according to 
destiny using some such simile as this : viz. that, as a dog tied 
to a cart, if he wishes to follow it, is both drawn along by 
it and follows of his own accord, doing at the same time 
what he wills and what he must by a compulsion like that p. 42. 
of destiny. 4 But if he does not wish to follow he is wholly 
compelled. And they say that it is the same indeed with 
men. For even if they do not wish to follow, they will be 
wholly compelled to come to what has been foredoomed. 
And they say that the soul remains after death, and that 

1 Hippolytus gives as is usual with him a more detailed account of 
Aristotle's doctrines on these points later. (See Book VII, II, pp. 62 ff. 
infra.) He there admits that he cannot say exactly what was 
Aristotle's doctrine about the soul. He also refers to hooks of Aristotle 
on Providence and the like which, teste Cruice, no longer exist. Cf. 
Macmahon's note on same page (p. 272 of Clark's edition). 

2 iwl rb (ToK\oyi<niKwTepov t)jv <pi\o(To(piav TjH^ffav. Syltogisticcc 
artis expolitione philosophiam locufletarunt. 

3 Prof. Arnold in his lucid book on Roman Stoicism (Cambridge, 
191 1, p. 219, n. 4) quotes this as a genuine Stoic doctrine. But 
Diog. Laert., VII, vit. Zeno, c. 68, represents Zeno, Cleanthes, Chry- 
sippus, Archedemus and Posidonius as agreeing that principles and 
elements differ from one another in being respectively indestructible 
and destroyed, and because elements are bodies while principles have 
none. For the Stoic idea of God, see op. cit., c. 70. So Cicero, De 
Natnra Deorum, Bk. I, cc. 8, 18, makes Zeno say that the cosmos is 
God, but in the Academics, II, 41 that Aether is the Supreme God, 
with which doctrine, he says, nearly all Stoics agree. Perhaps Hip- 
polytus is here quoting Clement of Alexandria, Sfromateis, VI, 71, who 
says that the Stoics dare to make the God of all things "a corporeal 
spirit." For the Stoic doctrine of Providence, see Diog. Laert., vit. 
Zeno, c. 70. 

4 tcoiqjv kolI rb avTej*ov(riov fiera ttjs aidyKTjs olov ttjs i/j.apfj.4vris. 
Tb QLvre^ovcriov is the recognized expression for free will. Note the 
difference between avaytci), "compulsion," and elfiap/devr], "destiny." 
For the Stoic doctrine of Fate, see Diog. Laert., vit. cit., c. 74. 



58 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

it is a body x and is born from the cooling of the air of 
the ambient, whence it is called Psyche. 2 But they admit 
that there is a change of bodies for souls which have been 
marked out for it. 3 And they expect that there will be 
a conflagration and purification of this cosmos, some saying 
that it will be total but others partial, and that it will be 
purified part by part. And they call this approximate 
destruction and the birth of another cosmos therefrom, 
catharsis* And they suppose that all things are bodies, 
and that one body passes through another ; but that there 
is a resurrection 5 and that all things are filled full and that 
there is no void. Thus also the Stoics. 

19. Aboiit Epicurus. 

p. 43. But Epicurus held an opinion almost the opposite of all 
others. He supposed that the beginnings of the universals 
were atoms and a void ; that the void was as it were the 
place of the things that will be ; but that the atoms were 
matter, from which all things are. And that from the 
concourse of the atoms both God and all the elements 
came into being and that in them were all animals and 
other things, so that nothing is produced or constructed 
unless it be from the atoms. And he said that the atoms 
were the most subtle of things, and that in them there 
could be no point, nor mark nor any division whatever ; 
wherefore he called them atoms. 6 And although he admits 
God to be eternal and imperishable, he says that he cares 
for no one and that in short there is no providence nor 
destiny, but all things come into being automatically. For 

1 Diog. Laert., ubi cit., c. 84. 

2 From ipvis, " cooling " a bad pun. 

15 It is extremely doubtful whether the metempsychosis ever formed 
part of Stoic doctrine. 

4 Zeno and Cleanthes both accepted the ecpyrosis. See Diog. 
Laert., ubi cit., c. 70. The same author says that Panretius said that 
the cosmos was imperishable. 

5 (rcDyua Sia adofiaTos /xev x^P 6 ^, corpusque per corpus viigrare, Cr. 
Macmahon inserts a "not" in the sentence, but without authority. 
The Stoic resurrection assumed that in the new world created out of 
the ashes of the old, individuals would take the same place as in this 
last. See Arnold, op. cit. y p. 193 for authorities. 

6 aro/xoi, " that cannot be cut." The rest of this sentence is taken 
from Diog. Laert., X, vit. Epicur., c. 24, and is quoted there from 
Epicurus' treatise on Nature. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 59 

(jod is seated in the metacosmic spaces, as he calls them. 
For he held that there was a certain dwelling-place of God 
outside the cosmos called the metacosmia, and that He 
took His pleasure and rested in supreme delight j and that p. 44 
He neither had anything to do Himself nor provided for 
others. In consequence of which Epicurus made a theory 
about wise men, saying that the end of all wisdom is 
pleasure. But different people take the name of pleasure 
differently. For some understood by it the desires, but 
others the pleasure that comes by virtue. But he held 
that the souls of men were destroyed with their bodies 
as they are born with them. For that these souls are 
blood, which having come forth or being changed, the 
whole man is destroyed. Whence it follows that there 
are no judgments nor courts of justice in the House of 
Hades, so that whatever any one may do in this life and 
escapes notice, he is in no way called to account for it. 1 
Thus then Epicurus. 

20. About (the) Academics. 

But another sect of philosophers was called Academic, 
from their holding their discussions in the Academy, whose p. 45. 
founder was Pyrrho, after whom they were called Pyrrho- 
nian philosophers. He first introduced the dogma of the 
incomprehensibility of all things, so that he might argue 
on either side of the question, but assert nothing dogmati- 
cally. For he said that there is nothing grasped by the 
mind or perceived by the senses which is true, but that 
it only appears to men to be so. And that all substance 
is flowing and changing and never remains in the same 
state. Now some of the Academics say that we ought not 
to make dogmatic assertions about the principle of any- 
thing, but simply argue about it and let it be ; while others 
favoured more the " no preference " 2 adage, saying that 
fire was not fire rather than anything else. For they did 
not assert what it is, but only what sort of a thing it is. 3 

1 With the exception of the Deity's seat in the intercosmic spaces 
and the idea that the souls of men consist of blood - , all the above 
opinions of Epicurus are to be found in Diog. Laert., X, vit. Epic. 

2 ov /xaWov, " not rather." 

3 See n. on p. 49 supra. The doctrines here given are those of the 
Sceptics, and are to be found in Diog. Laert., IX, vit. Pyrrho^ 

VOL. I. E 



6o PHILOSOPHUMENA 

21. About (the) Brachmans among the Indians. 

The Indians have also a sect of philosophizes in the 
Brachmans x who propose to themselves an independent life 
and abstain from all things which have had life and from 

p. 46. meats prepared by fire. They are content with fruits 2 but 
do not gather even these, but live on those fallen on the 
earth and drink the water of the river Tagabena. 3 But 
they spend their lives naked, saying that the body has 
been made by God as a garment to the soul. They say 
that God is light ; not such light as one sees, nor like the 
sun and fire, but that it is to them the Divine Word, not 
that which is articulated, but that which comes from know- 
ledge, whereby the hidden mysteries of nature are seen 
by the wise. But this light which they say is (the) Word, 
the God, they declare that they themselves as Brachmans 
alone know, because they alone put away vain thinking 
which is the last tunic of the soul. They scorn death ; but 
are ever naming God in their own tongue, as we have said 
above, and send up hymns to Him. But neither are there 
women among them, nor do they beget children. 4 Those, 
however, who have desired a life like theirs, after they 

p. 47- have crossed over to the opposite bank of the river, 5 remain 
there always and never return but they also are called 
Brachmans. Yet they do not pass their life in the same 
way ; for there are women in the country, from whom those 
dwelling there are begotten and beget. But they say that 
this Word, which they style God, is corporeal, girt with the 

c. 79 ff. and in Sextus Empiricus, Hyp. Pyr>ho, J, 209 ft. Diog. Laert. 
quotes from Ascanius of Abdera that Pyrrho introduced the dogma 
of incomprehensibility, and Hippolytus seems to have copied this with- 
out noticing that he has said the same thing about Xenophanes. 

1 Diog. Laert., I, Prooem., c. I, mentions both Gymnosophists and 
Druids, but if he ever gave any account of their teaching it must be 
in the part of the book which is lost. Clem. Alex., Stro??iateis, I, c. 15, 
describes the two classes of Gymnosophists as Sarmanse and Brachmans. 
The Sarmanse or Samancei (Shamans ?) seem the nearer of the two to 
the Brachmans of our text. 

2 aicpoSpvoi, hard-shelled fruit such as acorns or chestnuts. 

3 Roeper suggests the Ganges. 

4 Megasthenes, for whom see Strabo V, 712, differs from Hippolytus 
in making the abstinence of the Gymnosophists endure for thirty-seven 
years only. 

6 Nothing has yet been said about any bank. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 61 

body outside Himself, as if one should wear a garment of 
sheepskins ; but that the body which is worn, when taken 
off, appears visible to the eye. 1 But the Brachmans declare 
that there is war in the body worn by them [and they 
consider their body full of warring elements] against which 
body as if arrayed against foes, they fight as we have before 
made plain. And they say that all men are captives to 
their own congenital enemies, to wit, the belly and genitals, 
greediness, wrath, joy, grief, desire and the like. But 
that he alone goes to God who has triumphed 2 over 
these. Wherefore the Brachmans make Dandamis, to 
whom Alexander of Macedon paid a visit, divine 3 as 
one who had won the war in the body. But they accuse 
Calanus of having impiously fallen away from their philo- 
sophy. But the Brachmans putting away the body, like 
fish who have leaped from the water into pure air, behold p. 48. 
the Sun. 4 

2 2 . About the Druids among the Celts. 

The Druids among the Celts enquired with the greatest 
minuteness into the Pythagorean philosophy, Zamolxis, 
Pythagoras' slave, a Thracian by race, being for them the 
author of this discipline. He after Pythagoras' death 
travelled into their country and became as far as they 
were concerned the founder of this philosophy. 5 The 

1 The whole of this sentence is corrupt. Macmahon following 
Roeper would read: "This discourse whom they name God they 
affirm to be incorporeal, but enveloped in a body outside himself, 
just as if one carried a covering of sheepskin to have it seen ; but 
having stripped off the body in which he is enveloped, he no longer 
appears visibly to the naked eye." 

2 iyeipas rp6iraiov, lit., " raised a trophy." 

3 deo\oyov(Ti. Eusebius, Pmp. Ev., uses the word in this sense. 
For the Dandamis and Calanus stories, see Arrian, Anabasis, Bk. 
VII, cc. 2, 3. 

4 This is quite unintelligible as it stands. It probably means that 
the Brachmans worship the light of which the Sun is the garment, 
and that they think they are united with it when temporarily freed 
from the body. Is he confusing them on the one hand with the Yogis, 
whose burial trick is referred to later in connection with Simon Magus, 
and on the other with some Zoroastrian or fire-worshipping sect of 
Central Asia? 

5 ts . . . ejcet xwpT)(Tas dtrios tovtols ravTrjs ttjs cpiKocro(pias e'-ye- 
vcto. Does the e'/ce? mean Galatia, whose inhabitants were Celts by 
origin? Hippolytus has probably copied the sentence without under- 
standing it. 



62 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Celts glorify the Druids as prophets and as knowing the 
future because they foretell to them some things by 
the ciphers and numbers of the Pythagoric art. On the 
principles of which same art we shall not be silent, since 
some men have ventured to introduce heresies constructed 
from them. Druids, however, also make use of magic arts. 

p. 49. 23. About Hesiod ?- 

But Hesiod the poet says that he ; too, heard thus 
from the Muses about Nature. The Muses, however, are 
the daughters of Zeus! For Zeus having from excess of 
desire companied with Mnemosyne for nine days and nights 
consecutively, she conceived these nine in her single womb, 
receiving one every night. Now Hesiod invokes the nine 
Muses from Pieria, that is from Olympus, and prays them 
to teach him : 2 

How first the gods and earth became ; 
The rivers and th' immeasureable sea 
High-raging in its foam : the glittering stars ; 
The wide-impending heaven ; . . . 
Say how their treasures, 3 how their honours each 
Allotted shared ; how first they held abode 
On many-caved Olympus : this declare 
p. 50. Ye Muses ! dwellers of the heavenly mount 

From the beginning ; say who first arose ? 

" First Chaos was, next ample-bosomed Earth, 
The seat eternal and immoveable 
Of deathless gods, who still the Olympian height 
Snow-topt inhabit. Third in hollow depth 
Of the vast ground, expanded wide above '* 

The gloomy Tartarus. Love then arose 
Most beauteous of immortals : he at once 
Of every god and every mortal man 
Unnerves the limbs ; dissolves the wiser breast 
By reason steel'd, and quells the very soul. 

" From Chaos, Erebus and sable Night . . . 

1 Hesiod is treated by Aristotle, Metaphysica, Bk. II, c. 15, as one 
who philosophizes, which perhaps accounts for the introduction of his 
name here. 

2 Sidaxdwat, ut se edocerent, Cr. So Macmahon. The context, 
however, plainly requires that it is Hesiod and not the Muse who is to- 
be taught. The rendering of poetry into prose is seldom satisfactory, 
so I have ventured to give here the version of Elton, which is as close to- 
the original as it is poetic in form. 

3 ws <TTe<pavov daaaavTo. 



THE PHILOSOPHERS 63 

From Night arose the Sunshine and the Day * 
Whom she with dark embrace of Erebus 
Commingling bore. 

"Her first-born Earth produced 
Of like immensity, 2 the starry Heaven : 
That he might sheltering compass her around 
On every side, and be for evermore 
To the blest gods a mansion unremoved. 

"Next the high hills arose, the pleasant haunts 
Of goddess-nymphs, who dwell among the glens 
Of mountains. With no aid of tender love 

Gave she to birth the sterile Sea, high-swol'n p. 51. 

In raging foam ; and Heaven-embraced, anon 
She teemed with Ocean, rolling in deep whirls 
His vast abyss of waters 

"Crceus then, 
Coeus, Hyperion and Iapetus, 
Themis and Thea rose ; Mnemosyne 
And Rhea ; Phoebe diademed with gold, 
And love-inspiring Tethys ; and of these, 
Youngest in birth, the wily Kronos came. 
The sternest of her sons ; and he abhorred 
The sire that gave him life 

" Then brought she forth 
The Cyclops haughty of spirit." 

And he enumerates all the other Giants descended from 
Kronos. But last he tells how Zeus was born from Rhea. 

All these men, then, declared, as we have set forth, their 
opinions about the nature and birth of the universe. But 
they all, departing from the Divine for lower things, busied 
themselves about the substance of the things that are. So 
that when struck with the grandeurs of creation and think- 
ing that these were the Divine, each of them preferred 
before the rest a different part of what was created. But 
they discovered not the God and fashioner of them. 

The opinions therefore of those among the Greeks who 
have undertaken to philosophize, I think I have suffici- p. 52. 
ently set forth. Starting from which opinions the heretics 
have made the attempts we shall shortly narrate. It seems 
fitting, however, that we, first making public the mystic 
rites, 3 should also declare whatever things certain men 

1 Aldrjp re Kal 'H/xep-q. One would prefer to keep the word "Aether," 
which is hardly " sunshine." 

- l<xov eauTfj. 

3 ret jjLvariKa. The expression generally used for Mysteries such 
as those of Eleusis. Either he employs it here to include the tricks 



64 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

have superfluously fancied about stars or magnitudes ; for 
truly those who have taken their starting-points from these 
notions are deemed by the many to speak prodigies. 
Thereafter, we shall make plain consecutively the vain 
opinions 1 invented by them. 2 

of the magicians described in Book IV, or he did not mean to describe 
these last when the sentence was written, but to go instead straight 
from the astrologers to the heresies. The last alternative seems the 
more probable. 

1 aSpavri, infirm as, Cr. 

2 The main question which arises on this First Book of our text is, 
What were the sources from which Hippolytus drew the opinions he 
here summarizes? Diel$, who has taken much pains over the matter, 
thinks that his chief source was the epitome that Sotion of Alexandria 
made from Heraclides. As we have seen, however, Diogenes Laertius 
is responsible for a fair number of Hippolytus' statements, especially 
concerning the opinions of those to whom he gives little space. Certain 
phrases seem taken directly from Theophrastus or from whatever 
author it was that Simplicius used in his commentaries on Aristotle, 
and the likeness between Alcinous' summary of Plato's doctrines and 
those of our author is too close to be accidental. It therefore seems 
most probable that Hippolytus did not confine himself to any one 
source, but borrowed from several. This would, after all, be the 
natural course for a lecturer as distinguished from a writer to adopt, 
and goes some way therefore towards confirming the theory as to the 
origin of the book stated in the Introduction. 



END OF BOOK I 



BOOKS II AND III 

(These are entirely missing, no trace of them having 
been found attached to any of the four codices of Book I or 
to the present text of Books IV to X. We know that such 
books must have once existed, as at the end of Book IV 
(p. 117 infra) the author tells us that all the famous opinions 
of earthly philosophy have been included by him in the 
preceding four books, of which as has been said only Books 
I and IV have come down to us. 

Our only ground for conjecture as to the contents of 
Books II and III is to be found in Hippolytus' statement at 
the end of Book I, that he will first make public the mystic 
rites l and then the fancies of certain philosophers as to 
stars and magnitudes. As the promise in the last words of 
the sentence seems to be fulfilled in Book IV, where he 
gives not only the method of the astrologers of his time, 
but also the calculations of the Greek astronomers as to 
the relative distances of the heavenly bodies, it may be 
presumed that this was preceded and not followed by a 
description of the Mysteries more elaborate and fuller than 
the casual allusions to them which appear in Book V. So, 
too, in Chap. 5 of the same Book IV, which he himself 
describes in the heading as a "Recapitulation" of what has 
gone before, he refers to certain dogmas of the Persians and 
the Babylonians as to the nature of God, which have certainly 
not been mentioned in any other part of the book which 
has come down to us. So, again, at the beginning of 
Book X, which purports to be a summary of the whole 
work, he tells us that having now gone through the 
"labyrinth of heresies," it will be shown that the Truth is 
not derived from " the wisdom (philosophy) of the Greeks, 
the secret mysteries of the Egyptians, 2 the fallacies of the 

1 TO. /XVCTTlKa.. 

2 AlyvTTTiwv Soyfiara . . . ws apprjTa 5t5a^0ets, 

65 



66 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

astrologers, or the demon-inspired ravings of the Babylon- 
ians." The Greek philosophy and astrological fallacies are 
dealt with at sufficient length in Books I and IV respectively, 
but nothing of importance is said in these or elsewhere in 
the work as to the mysteries of the " Egyptians," by whom 
he probably means the worshippers of the Alexandrian 
divinities, and nothing at all as to Babylonian demonolatry 
or magic. It is quite true that he follows this up immedi- 
ately by the statement that he has included the tenets of all 
the wise men among the Greeks in four books, and the 
doctrines of the heretics in five ; but it has been explained 
in the Introduction (pp. 18 ff. supra) that there are reasons 
why the summarizer's recollection of the earlier books may 
not be verbally accurate, nor does he say that the description 
of the philosophic and heretical teachings exhausted the 
contents of the first four books. On the whole, therefore, 
Cruice appears to be justified in his conclusion that the 
missing books contained an account of the "Egyptian" 
Mysteries and of "the sacred sciences of the Babylonians.") 1 

1 M. Adhemar d'Ales in his work La Thiologie de St. Hippolyte, 
Paris, 1906, argues that the existing text of Book IV contains large 
fragments of the missing Books II and III. His argument is chiefly 
founded on the supposed excessive length of Book IV, although as a fact 
Book V is in Cruice's pagination some 20 pages longer than this and Book 
VI, 10. Apart from this, it seems very doubtful if any author would 
describe the anthmomantic and arithmetical nonsense in Book IV as 
either ixvcttlko. or doy/xara &ppr\ra, and it is certain that he cannot be 
alluding, when he speaks of the BalSv\wvioov aKoyiarcp fxavia 5t iv (epyi) as 
SaL/nouwv KaraTrXayels, to the jugglery in the same book, which he there 
attributes not to the agency of demons but to the tricks of charlatans. 



BOOK IV 

DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 

(The first pages of this book have been torn away from 
the MS., and we are therefore deprived of the small Table 
of Contents which the author has prefixed to the other seven. 
From the headings of the various chapters it may be 
reproduced in substance thus : 

1. The "Chaldreans" or Astrologers, and the celestial 
measurements of the Greek astronomers. 

2. The Mathematicians or those who profess to divine 
by the numerical equivalents of the letters in proper 
names. 

3. The Metoposcopists or those who connect the form of 
the body and the disposition of the mind with the Zodiacal 
sign rising at birth. 

4. The Magicians and the tricks by which they read 
sealed letters, perform divinations, produce apparitions of 
gods and demons, and work other wonders. 

5. Recapitulation of the ideas of Greek and Barbarian 
on the nature of God, and the views of the " Egyptians " or 
neo-Pythagoreans as to the mysteries of number. 

6. The star-diviners or those who find religious meaning 
in the grouping of the constellations as described by Aratus. 

7. The Pythagorean doctrine of number and its relation 
to the heresies of Simon Magus and Valentinus.) 

[1. About Astrologers y\ p. 5 

. . . (And they (i.e. the Chaldaeans) declare there are 

1 This is the beginning of the Mt. Athos MS., the first pages having 
disappeared. With regard to the first chapter trspl aarpoXoyav, 
Cruice, following therein Miller, points out that nearly the whole of it 
has been taken from Book V with the same title of Sextus Empiricus' 
work, Ylphs Madrj/xaTiKovs, and also that the copying is so faulty that to 

67 



68 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

"terms'' 1 of the stars in each zodiacal sign extending 
frorh one given part) 2 to [another given part in which some 
particular star has most power. About which there is no 
mere chance difference] among them [as appears from their 



make sense it is necessary to restore the text in many places from that 
of Sextus. Sextus' book begins, as did doubtless that of Hippolytus, 
with a description of the divisions of the zodiac, the cardinal points 
(Ascendant, Mid-heaven, Descendant, and Anti-Meridian), the cadent 
and succeedent houses, the use of the clepsydra or water-clock, the 
planets and their "dignities," " exaltations" and "falls," and finally, 
their "terms," with a description of which our text begins. It is, 
perhaps, a pity that Miller did not restore the whole of the missing 
part from Sextus Empiricus ; but the last-named author is not very 
clear, and the reader who wishes to go further into the matter and to 
acquire some knowledge of astrological jargon is recommended to 
consult also James Wilson's Complete Dictionary of Astrology, reprinted 
at Boston, U.S.A., in 1885, or, if he prefers a more learned work, 
M. Bouche-Leclercq's U Astrologie Grecque, Paris, 1899. But it may 
be said here that the astrologers of the early centuries made their pre- 
dictions from a " theme," or geniture, which was in effect a map of the 
heavens at the moment of birth, and showed the ecliptic or sun's path 
through the zodiacal signs divided into twelve "houses," to each of 
which a certain significance was attached. The foundation of this was 
the horoscope or sign rising above the horizon at the birth, from which 
they were able to calculate the other three cardinal points given above, 
the cadent houses being those four which go just before the cardinal 
points and the four succeedents those which follow after them. The 
places of the planets, including in that term the sun and moon, in 
the ecliptic were then calculated and their symbols placed in the houses 
indicated. From this figure the judgment or prediction was made, but 
a great mass of absurd and contradictory tradition existed as to the 
influence of the planets on the life, fortune, and disposition of the 
native, which was supposed to depend largely on their places in the 
theme both in relation to the earth and to each other. 

1 Bouche-Leclercq, op. cz't., p. 206, rightly defines these terms as 
fractions of signs separated by internal boundaries and distributed in 
each sign among the five planets. Cf. J. Firmicus Maternus, Mathescos, 
II, 6, and Cicero, De Divinatione, 40. Wilson, op. cit., s.h.v., says 
they are certain degrees in a sign, supposed to possess the power of 
altering the nature of a planet to that of the planet in the term of which 
it is posited. All the authors quoted say that the astrologers could 
not agree upon the extent or position of the various " terms," and that 
in particular the "Chaldoeans" and the "Egyptians" were hopelessly 
at variance upon the point. 

2 In the translation I have distinguished Miller's additions to the 
text from Sextus Empiricus' by enclosing them in square brackets, 
reserving the round brackets for my own additions from the same 
source, which I have purposely made as few as possible. So with 
other alterations. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 69 

tables]. But they say that the stars are guarded 1 [when 
they are midway between two other stars] in zodiacal 
succession. For instance, if [a certain star should occupy 
the first part] of a zodiacal sign and another [the last parts, 
and a third those of the middle, the one in the middle is 
said to be guarded] by those occupying the parts at the 
extremities. [And they say that the stars behold one another 
and are in accord with one another] when they appear 
triangularly or quadrangularly. Now those form a triangular 
figure 2 and behold one another which have an interval of p. 54. 
three zodiacal signs between them and a square those which 
have one of two signs. . . . 

( 3 Such then seems to be the character of the Chaldsean 
method. And in that which has been handed down it 
remains easy to understand and follow the contradictions 
noted. And some indeed try to teach a rougher way as if 
earthly things have no sympathy 4 at all with the heavenly 
ones. For thus they say, that the ambient 5 is not united 
as is the human body, so that according to the condition) 
of the head the lower parts [suffer with it and the head with 
the lower] parts, and earthly things should suffer along with 
those above the moon. But there is a certain difference and 
want of sympathy between them as they have not one and 
[the] same unity. 

2. Making use of these statements, Euphrates the Peratic 
and Akembes the Carystian 6 and the rest of the band of 
these people, miscalling the word of Truth, declare that 
there is a war of aeons and a falling-away of good powers to 

1 8opv<f>opela6ai, lit., "have spear-bearers." "Stars" in Sextus 
Empiricus nearly always means planet?. 

2 This is the famous "trine" figure or aspect of modern astrologers. 
Its influence is supposed to be good ; that of the square next described, 
the reverse. 

3 Hippolytus here omits a long disquisition by Sextus on the position 
of the planets and the Chaldrean system. Where the text resumes the 
quotation it is in such a way as to alter the sense completely ; wherefore 
I have restored the sentence preceding from Sextus. 

4 ao/jL-rrda-xei, " suffer with." 

5 rb irepiexov. The term used by astrologers to denote the whole 
X'ther surrounding the stars or, in other words, the whole disposition 
of the heavens. " Ambient " is its equivalent in modern astrology. 

6 This is an anticipation of the Peratic heresy to which a chapter in 
Book V (pp. 146 fif. infra) is devoted. 'A/ce^^s is there spelt KeA#^s, but 
'A/ce^/Srys is restored in Book X and is copied by Theodoret. " Peratic " 
is thought by Salmon (D.C.B., s.h.v.) to mean " Mede." 



7 o PHILOSOPHUMENA 

the bad, calling them Toparchs and Proastii 1 and many 
other names. All which heresy undertaken by them, I 
shall set forth and refute when we come to the discussion 
concerning them. But now, lest any one should deem trust- 
worthy and unfailing the rules laid down 2 by the Chaldasans 

p. 55 for the astrological art, we shall not shrink from briefly 
setting forth their refutation and pointing out that their art 
is vain and rather deceives and destroys the soul which may 
hope for vain things than helps it. In which matters we do 
not hold out any expertness in the art, but only that drawn 
from knowledge of the practical words. 3 Those who, having 
been trained in this science, become pupils of the Chaldaeans 
and who having changed the names only, have imparted 
mysteries as if they were strange and wonderful to men, have 
constructed a heresy out of this. But since they consider the 
astrologers' art a mighty one and making use of the witness 
of the Chaldaeans wish to get their own systems believed 
because of them, we shall now prove that the astrological 
art as it appears to-day is unfounded, and then that the 
Peratic heresy is to be put aside as a branch growing from a 
root which does not hold. 4 

3 5 Now the beginning and as it were the basis of the 
affair is the establishment of the horoscope. From this the 
rest of the cardinal points, and the cadents and succeedents 
and the trines and the squares 6 and the configuration of the 
stars in them are known, from all which things the pre- 

p 56. dictions are made. Wherefore if the horoscope be taken 
away, of necessity neither the midheaven nor the descendant 
nor the anti-meridian is known. But the whole Chaldaic 
system vanishes if these are not disclosed. [And how the 
zodiacal sign ascending is to be discovered is taught in 
divers ways. For in order that this may be apprehended, 

1 "Toparch" means simply " ruler of a place." Proastius {irpoacxTios) 
generally the dweller in a suburb. Here it probably means the powers 
in some part of the heavens which is near to a place or constellation 
without actually forming part of it. 

2 vevofiKTixiva. Cf. vei>o/j.i(T/j.4vws, "in the established manner," 
Callistratus, Ecphr., 897. 

3 rws irpanTiKwv \6ywv, or, perhaps," of the systems used." 

4 dava-rarov, lit., 'not holding together," punningly used as epithet 
for both the art and the heresy. 

5 What follows to the concluding paragraph of Chap. 7 is taken 
nearly verbatim from Sextus Empiricus. 

6 For these terms see n. on p. 67 supra. 






DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 71 

it is necessary first of all that the birth of 4he child falling 
under consideration be carefully taken, and secondly that 
the signalling of the time 1 be unerring, and thirdly that the 
rising in the heaven of the ascending sign be observed with 
the greatest care. For at the birth 2 the rising of the sign 
ascending in the heaven must be closely watched, since the 
Chaldaeans determining that which ascends, on its rising 
make that disposition of the stars which they call the 
Theme, 3 from which they declare their predictions. But 
neither is it possible to take the birth of those falling under 
consideration, as I shall show, nor is the time established 
unerringly, nor is the ascending sign ascertained with care. p. 57. 
How baseless the system of the Chaldaeans is, we will now 
say. It is necessary before determining the birth of those 
falling under consideration, to inquire whether they take it 
from the deposition of the seed and its conception or from 
the bringing forth. And if we should attempt to take it 
from the conception, the accurate account of this is hard to 
grasp, the time being short and naturally so. For we cannot 
say whether conception takes place simultaneously with the 
transfer of the seed or not. For this may happen as quick as 
thought, as the tallow put into heated pots sticks fast at once, 
or it may take place after some time. 4 For there being a 
distance from the mouth of the womb to the other extremity, 
where conceptions are said by doctors to take place, it is 
natural that nature depositing the seed should take some time 
to accomplish this distance. Therefore the Chaldaeans being 
ignorant of the exact length of time will never discover 
exactly the time of conception, the seed being sometimes 
shot straight forward and falling in those places of the p. 5S. 
womb fitted by nature for conception, and sometimes falling 
broadcast to be only brought into place by the power of the 
womb itself. And it cannot be known when the first of 
these things happens and when the second, nor how much 

1 wpocn<6iriov seems here put for wpotTKoire'iov = horologium, or clock. 

2 d7roTe|is, "the bringing-forth " is the word used by Sextus throughout. 
As Sextus was a medical man it is probably the technical term corres- 
ponding to our "parturition." Miller reads anoraks which does not 
seem appropriate. 

3 SidOefxa. See n. on p. 67 supra. 

4 I have here followed Sextus' division of the sentence. Cruice 
translates (Treap, farina aqua sabacfa, for which I can see no justification. 
Macmahon here follows him. 



72 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

time is spent in one sort of conception and how much in 
the other. But if we are ignorant of these things, the 
accurate discovery of the nature of the conception vanishes. 1 
Nor if, as some physiologists say, seed being first seethed 
and altered in the womb then goes forward to its gaping 
vessels as the seeds of the earth go to the earth ; why 
then, those who do not know the length of time taken by 
this change will not know either the moment of conception. 
And again, as women differ from one another in energy and 
other causes of action in other parts of the body, so do they 
differ in the energy of the womb, some conceiving quicker 
and others slower. And this is not unexpected, since if 
we compare them, they are seen now to be good conceivers 
and now not at all so'. This being so, it is impossible to 
say with exactness when the seed deposited is secured, so 
that from this time the Chaldeans may establish the 
horoscope 2 of the birth, 
p. 59. 4. For this reason it is impossible to establish the horo- 
scope from the conception ; nor can it be done from the 
bringing forth. For in the first place, it is very hard to 
say when the bringing forth is : whether it is when the 
child begins to incline towards the fresh air or when it 
projects a little, or when it is brought down altogether to 
the ground. But in none of these cases is it possible to 
define the time of birth accurately. 3 For from presence of 
mind and suitableness of body, and through preference of 
places and the expertness of the midwife and endless other 
causes, the time is not always the same when, the mem- 
branes being ruptured, the infant inclines forward, or when 
p. 60. it projects a little, or when it falls to the ground. But it is 
different with different women. Which, again, the Chald- 
eans being unable to measure definitely and accurately, 
they are prevented from determining as they should the 
hour of the bringing forth. 

That the Chaldeans, therefore, while asserting that they 
know the sign ascending at the time of birth, do not know 
it, is plain from the facts. And that there is no means 
either of unerringly observing the time, 4 is easy to be 

1 Restoring from Sextus oXx^Tai for iiprai. 

2 wpo<TK6irov, "the ascending sign." So Sextus. 

3 Restoring from Sextus i<p' eKaarov for v endo-rcp; rbv atcpifirj for rb 
&Kptj8es and omitting KaraAafieaOai. 

4 See n. on p. 74 infra. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 73 

judged. For when they say that the person sitting by the 
woman in labour at the bringing forth signifies the same to 
the Chaldsean who is looking upon the stars from a high 
place by means of the gong, 1 and that this last gazing upon 
the heaven notes down the sign then rising, we shall show 
that as the bringing forth happens at no defined time, 2 it is 
not possible either to signify the same by the gong. For 
even if it be granted that the actual bringing forth can be 
ascertained, yet the time cannot be signified accurately. 
For the sound of the gong, being capable of divisions by 
perception into much and more time," it happens that it is 
carried (late) to the high place. And the proof of this is p. 61. 
what is noticed when trees are felled a long way off. 4 For 
the sound of the stroke is heard a pretty long time after 
the fall of the axe, so as to reach the listener later. And 
from this cause it is impossible for the Chaldeans to 
obtain accurately the time of the rising sign and that which 
is in truth on the ascendant. 5 And indeed not only does 
more time pass after the birth before he who sits beside the 
woman in labour, strikes the gong, and again after the stroke 
before it is heard by him upon the high place, but also 
before he can look about and see in which sign is the moon 
and in which is each of the other stars. It seems inevitable 
then that there must be a great change in the disposition 
of the stars, 6 [from the movement of the Pole being whirled 
along with indescribable swiftness] before the hour of him 
who has been born as it is seen in heaven can be observed 
carefully. 7 

5. Thus the art according to the Chaldajans has been p. 62. 
shown to be baseless. But if any one should fancy that by 

1 Sextus has described earlier (p. 342, Fabricius) the whole process 
of warning the astrologer of the moment of birth by striking a metal 
disc, which I have called " gong." 

2 aOfJlCTTOU Tvyxavov(TT)s. 

3 eV TvAeiovt XP^ V V fi & crvx^V nphs al(rQr)<xiv Zvvafievov jxtpi^arBai, 
viajori et longiori temporis spatio ad aurium sensum dividalur, Cr.j 
"with proportionate delay," Macmahon. I do not understand how 
cither his or Cruice's construction is arrived at. 

4 Sextus has "on the hills." 

5 wpoffKoirovvTos might mean " which marks the hour." 

6 (paivGrat . . . aWoiSrepou . . . 8idde/j.a. 

7 qitam diligentcr observari possit in coelo nativilas, Cr., (before) " the 
nativity can be carefully observed in the sky." 



74 PHlLOSOPHUMENA 

enquiries, the geniture * of the enquirer is to be learned, we 
may know that not in this way either can it be arrived at 
with certainty. For if such great care in the practice of the 
art is necessary, and yet as we have shown they do not 
arrive at accuracy, how can an unskilled person take 
accurately the time of birth, so that the Chaldaean on learn- 
ing it may set up the horoscope truthfully? 2 But neither 
by inspection of the horizon will the star ascending appear 
the same everywhere, but sometimes the cadent sign will 
be considered the ascendant and sometimes the succeedent, 
according as the coming in view of the places is higher or 
lower. So that in this respect the prediction will not appear 
accurate, many people being born all over the world at the 
same hour, while every observer will see the stars differently. 
But vain also is the customary taking of the time by 
water-jars. 3 For the pierced jar will not give the same 
flow when full as when nearly empty, while according to 
63. the theory of these people the Pole itself is borne along in 
one impulse with equal speed. But if they answer to this 
that they do not take the time accurately but as it chances 
in common use, 4 they will be refuted merely by the starry 
influences themselves. 5 For those who have been born at 
the same time have not lived the same life ; but some for 
example have reigned as kings while others have grown old 
in chains. None at any rate of the many throughout the 
inhabited world at the same time as Alexander of Macedon 
were like unto him, and none to Plato the philosopher. 
So that if the Chaldaean observes carefully the time in 
common use, he will not be able to say 6 if he who is born 
at that time will be fortunate. For many at any rate born 

1 y&eais. The word in Greek astrological works has the same mean- 
ing as " geniture " or " nativity" in modern astrological jargon. Iden- 
tical with " theme." 

2 The whole of this sentence is corrupt, and the scrihe was probably 
taking down something from Sextus which was read to him without his 
understanding it. I have given what seems to be the sense of the 
passage. 

3 vSpiai, Sextus (p. 342, Fabr.), has described the clepsydra or 
water-clock and its defects as a measurer of time. 

4 eV 7rAaT6t. 

5 ra anorexia par a. A technical expression for the results or influence 
on sublunary things of the position of the heavenly bodies. Cf. Bouche- 
Leclercq, op. cit., p. 328, n. T. 

6 Sextus adds irayiois, " positively." 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 75 

at that time, will be unfortunate, so that the likeness 
between the genitures is vain. 

Having therefore refuted in so many different ways the 
vain speculation of the Chaldaeans, we shall not omit this, 
that their prognostications lead to impossibility. For if he 
who is born under the point of Sagittarius' arrow must be 
slain, as the astrologers 1 say, how was it that so many 
barbarians who fought against the Greeks at Marathon or p. 64 
Salamis were killed at the same time? For there was not 
at any rate the same horoscope for all. And again, if he 
who is born under the urn of Aquarius will be shipwrecked, 
how was it that some of the Greeks returning from Troy 
were sunk together in the furrows of the Eubcean sea ? 
For it is incredible that all these differing much from one 
another in age should all have been born under Aquarius' 
urn. For it cannot be said often that because of one who 
was destined to perish by sea, all those in the ship should 
be destroyed along with him. For why should the destiny 
of this one prevail over that of all, and yet that not all should 
be saved because of one who was destined to die on land? 

6. But since also they make a theory about the influence 
of the zodiacal signs to which they say the things brought 
forth are likened, we shall not omit this. For example, 
they say that he who is born under Leo will be courageous, 2 
and he who is born under Virgo straight-haired, pale-com- 
plexioned, childless and bashful. But these things and p . 65 
those like them deserve laughter rather than serious con- 
sideration. 3 For according to them an Ethiopian can be 
born under Virgo, and if so they allow he will be white, 
straight-haired and the rest. But I imagine that the 
ancients gave the names of the lower animals to the stars 
rather because of arbitrariness 4 than from natural likeness 
of shape. For what likeness to a bear have the seven stars 
which stand separate from one another? Or to the head 
of a dragon those five of which Aratus says : 

1 oi ixaQr)ixaTiKoi. The only passage in our text where Hippolytus 
uses the word in this sense. He seems to have taken it from Sextus' 
title Kara rbv /madr^fxaTiicbv \6you. 

2 A play of words upon Aeu and av$pe7os. 

3 (nrorSf/s. Hippolytus inserts an unnecessary ov before the word. 
See Sextus, p. 355. 

iKeiwcrews 
VOL. I. 



76 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Two hold the temples, two the eyes, and one beneath 
Marks the chin point of the monster dread. 

(Aratus, Phaivomena, vv. 56, 57.) 

7. That these things are not worthy of so much labour 
is thus proved to the right-thinkers aforesaid, and to those 
who give no heed to the inflated talk of the Chaldeans, 
who with assurance of indemnity make kings to disappear 

p. 66. and incite private persons to dare great deeds. 1 But if he 
who has given way to evil fails, he who has been deceived 
does not become a teacher to all whose minds the Chald- 
seans wish to lead endlessly astray by their failures. For 
they constrain the minds of their pupils when they say that 
the same configuration of the stars cannot occur otherwise 
than by the return of the Great Year in 7777 years. 2 How 
then can human observation agree 3 in so many ages upon 
one geniture? And this not once but many times, since 
the destruction of the cosmos as some say will interrupt 
the observation, or its gradual transformation will cause to 
disappear entirely the continuity of historical tradition. 4 ] 
The Chaldaic art must be refuted by more arguments, 
although we have been recalling it to memory on account 
of other matters and not for its own sake. But since we 
have before said that we will omit none of the opinions 
current among the Gentiles, 5 by reason of the many- voiced 
craft of the heresies, let us see what they say also who have 

p. 67. dared to speculate about magnitudes. Who, recognizing 
the variety of the work of most of them, when another has 
been utterly deceived in a different manner and has been 
yet held in high esteem, have dared to say something yet 
more grandiose than he, so that they may be yet more 
glorified by those who have already glorified their petty 
frauds. These men postulate circles and triangular and 
square measures doubly and triply. 6 There is much 

1 Does this refer to Otho's encouragement by the astrologer Ptolemy 
to rebel against Galba? See Tacitus, Hist., I, 22. The sentence does 
not appear in Sextus. 

2 Sextus says 9977 years. 

3 (]>6d<ri avvSpaiuelu, "arrive at concurrence with." Sextus answers 
the question in the negative. 

4 Here the quotations from Sextus end. \ 

5 Trap' fdpeai ' ' among the nations. " A curious expression \n the mouth 
of a Greek, although natural to a Jew. 

6 Is this an allusion to trigonometry ? The rest of the sentence, as 






DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS fl 

theory about this, but it is not necessary for what lies 
before us. 

8. 1 reckon it enough therefore to declare the marvels 
described by them. Wherefore I shall employ their 
epitomes, 1 as they call them, and then turn to other things. 
They say this : 2 he who fashioned the universe, gave rule 
to the revolution of the Same and Like, for that alone he left 
undivided ; but the inner motion he divided 6 times and 
made 7 unequal circles divided by intervals in ratios of 2 
and 3, 3 of each, and bade the circles revolve in directions 
opposite to one another 3 of them to revolve at equal 
pace, and 4 with a velocity unlike that of the 3, but in 
due proportion. 3 And he says that rule was given to the p. 
orbit of the 7, not only because it embraces the orbit of 
the Other, i. e., the Wanderers ; but because it has so much 
rule, i. e. y so much power, that it carries along with it the 
Wanderers to the opposite positions, bearing them from 
West to East and from East to West by its own strength. 
And he says that the same orbit was allowed to be one 
and undivided, first because the orbits of all the fixed stars 
are equal in time and not divided into greater and lesser 
times. 4 And next because they all have the same appear- 
ance, 5 which is that of the outermost orbit, while the 
Wanderers are divided into more and different kinds of 
movements and into unequal distances from the Earth. 
And he says that the Other orbit has been cut in 6 places 
into 7 circles according to ratio. 6 For as many cuts as 

will presently be seen, refers to Plato's Ti7ticcus. Cf. also Timccus 
the Locrian, c. 5. 

1 Aib rots iiriTOjiois xP r l (T i-l J - V05 - -^ n indication that Ilippolytus' 
knowledge of Plato was not first-hand. 

2 The passage which follows is from the Timaus, XII, where 
Plato describes how the \ World-maker set in motion two concentric 
circles revolving different ways, the external called the Same and Like, 
and the internal the Other, or Different. 

3 This seems to be generally accepted as Plato's meaning. Jowett 
says the three are the orbits of the Sun, Venus and Mercury, the four 
those of the Moon, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. The Wanderers are of 
course the planets. 

4 i. e., swifter and slower. 5 iiriQavcla. 

G Perhaps the following extract from the pseudo-Timceus the Locrian, 
now generally accepted as a summary of the second century, may make 
this clearer. After explaining that the cosmos and its parts are divided 
into "the Same " and " the Different," he says : " The first of these 



6S. 



7 milosophUmena 

there are of each, so many segments are there plus a monad. 
For example if one cut be made, 1 there are 2 segments ; 
if 2 cuts, 3 segments ; and so, if a thing be cut 6 times there 

p. 69. will be 7 segments. And he says that the intervals between 
them are arranged alternately in ratios of 2 and 3, 3 of 
each, which he has proved with regard to the constitution 
of the soul also, as to the 7 numbers. For 3 among them, 
viz., 2, 4, 8, are doubles from the monad onwards and 3 of 
them, viz., 3, 9, 27 [triples] 2 . . . But the diameter of the 
Earth is 80,008 stadia and its perimeter 2 50, 543. 3 And 
the distance from the Earth's surface to the circle of the 
Moon, Aristarchus of Samos writes as ... 4 stadia but 
Apollonius as 5,000,000 and Archimedes as 5,544,130. 
And Archimedes says that from the Moon's circle to that 
of the Sun is 50,262,065 stadia; from this to the circle 
of Aphrodite 20,272,065; and from this to the circle of 
Hermes 50,817,165; and from the same to the circle of 

p. 7- the Fiery One 5 40,541,108; and from this to the circle of 
Zeus 20,275,065 ; but from this to the circle of Kronos, 
40,372,065; and from this to the Zodiac and the last 
periphery 20,082,005 stadia. 

9. The differences from one another of the circles and 
the spheres in height are also given by Archimedes. He 
takes the perimeter of the Zodiac at 447,310,000 stadia, so 
that a straight line from the centre of the Earth to its 
extreme surface is the sixth part of the said number, and 
from the surface of the Earth on which we walk to the 
Zodiac is exactly one-sixth of the said number less 40,000 



leads from without all that are within them, along the general move- 
ment from East to West. But the latter, belonging to the Different, 
lead from within the parts that are carried along from West to East, 
nnd are self-moved, and they are whirled round and along, as it may 
happen, by the movement of the Same which possesses in the Cosmos 
a superior power. Now the movement of the Different, being divided 
according to a harmonical proportion, takes the form of 7 circles," and 
he then goes on to describe the orbits of the planets. 

1 Lit., "if one section be severed." 

2 Cf. Plato, Tinuzus, c. 12. 

3 A palpable mistake. As Cruice points out, if the Earth's diameter 
is as said in the text, its perimeter must be 251,768 stadia, which is 
not far from the 252,000 stadia assigned to it by Eratosthenes. 

4 Lacuna? in both these sentences. 

5 The common Greek name for the planet Ares or Mars V 6 ) 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 79 

stadia which is the distance from the centre of the Earth to 
its surface. And from the circle of Kronos to the Earth, he 
says, the interval is 2,226,912,711 stadia; and from the 
circle of the Fiery One to the Earth, 132,418,581 ; and from p. 71. 
the Sun to the Earth, 121,604,454; from the Shining One 
to the Earth, 526,882,259; and from Aphrodite to the 
Earth, 50,815, 160. 1 

10. And about the Moon we have before spoken. The 
distances and depths 2 of the spheres are thus given by 
Archimedes, but Hipparchus speaks differently about them, 
and Apollonius the mathematician differently again. But 
it is enough for us in following the Platonic theory to think 
of the intervals between the Wanderers as in ratios of 
2 and 3. For thus is kept alive the theory of the harmonious 
construction of the universe in accordant ratios 3 by the 
same distances. But the numbers set out by Archimedes and 
the ratios quoted by the others concerning the distances, if 
they are not in accordant ratios, that is in those called by 
Plato twofold and threefold, but are found to be outside p. 72. 
the chords, 4 would not keep alive the theory of the harmo- 
nious construction of the universe. For it is neither probable 
nor possible that their distances should have no ratio to one 
another, that is, should be outside the chords and enhar- 
monic scales. Except perhaps the Moon alone, from her 
waning and the shadows of the Earth, as to which planet 
alone you may trust Archimedes, that is to say for the 
distance of the Moon from the Earth. And it will be easy 
for those who accept this calculation to ascertain the 
number and the other distances according to the Platonic 
method by doubling and tripling as Plato demands. 5 If 

1 All these numbers are hopelessly corrupt in the text and the scribe 
varies the notation repeatedly. I have given the figures as finally 
settled by Cruice and his predecessors. The Shining One is the planet 
Hermes or Mercury (^). 

/3a077, " depths " ; rather height if we consider the orbits of the 
planets as concentric and fitting into one another like jugglers' caps or 
the skins of an onion. 

:! eV \6yois a-ufKpwvois. Cruice would read tSuois for \6yois on the 
strength of what Pliny, Hist. Nat., II, 20, says about Pythagoras having 
taught that the intervals between the planets' orbits were musical tones. 
He seems to mean the gamut or chromatic scale as contrasted with the 
enharmonic. 

4 See last note. 

5 See note on p. 81 infra as to what this doubling and tripling means. 



80 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

then, according to Archimedes, the Moon is distant from the 
Earth 5,544,130 stadia, it will be easy by increasing these 
numbers in ratios of 2 and 3 to find her distance from the 
rest by taking one fraction of the number of stadia by which 
the Moon is distant from the Earth. 

But since the rest of the numbers stated by Archimedes 
about the distance of the Wanderers are not in accordant 
ratios, it is easy to know how they stand in regard to one 

p. 73. another and in what ratios they have been observed to be. 
But that the same are not in harmony and accord 1 when 
they are parts of the cosmos established by harmony is 
impossible. So then, as the first number (of stadia) by 
which the Moon is distant from the Earth is 5,544,130, the 
second number by which the Sun is distant from the Moon 
being 50,262,065, it is in ratio more than ninefold ; and the 
number of the interval above this being 20,272,065 is in 
ratio less than one-half. And the number of the interval 
above this being 50,815,108 is in ratio more than twofold. 
And the number of the interval above this being 40,541,108 
is in ratio more than one and a quarter. 2 And the number 
of the interval above this being 20,275,065 is in ratio more 
than half. And the number of the highest interval above 
this being 40,372,065 is in ratio less than twofold. 3 

n. These same ratios indeed the more than ninefold, 

p. 74. less than half, more than twofold, less than one and a quarter, 
more than half, less than half and less than twofold are 
outside all harmonies and from them no enharmonic nor 
accordant system can come to pass. But the whole cosmos 
and its parts throughout are put together in an enharmonic 
and accordant manner. But the enharmonic and accordant 



(TO/ACpOOVia. 



1 

2 iiriTcrdpTCf, superquarta, Cr. , I + \ ; see Liddell and Scott, quot- 
ing Nicomachus Gerasenus Arithmeticus. 

3 It is not easy to see from this confused statement whether it is the 
system of Plato or Archimedes at which Hippolytus is aiming. The 
one, however, that it most resembles is that of the neo-Pythagoreans, of 
which the following table is given in M. Bieourdan's excellent work on 
L Astronomie : Evolution des /dee's et des Me'tkodes, Paris 191 1, p. 49 : 
Planets ....$$ $ f O S V- k Fixed stars 
intones. . . . 1 | J ll 1 $ i | 

in thousands oH , , , Qn w ~ ., 

stadia j I26 6 3 6 3 l8 9 I26 6 3 

Absolute dis-^j 

tances in thou- V o 126 189 253 44 1 567 630 6^3 756 

sands of stadia j 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 81 

ratios are kept alive as we have said before by the twofold 
and threefold intervals. If then we deem Archimedes 
worthy of faith on the distance given above, i.e., that from 
the Moon to the Earth, it is easy to find the rest by increas- 
ing it in the ratios of 2 and 3. Let the distance from the 
Earth to the Moon be, according to Archimedes, 5,544,130 
stadia. The double of this will be the number of stadia by 
which the Sun is distant from the Moon, viz., 11,088,260. 
But from the Earth the Sun is distant 16,632,390 stadia and 
Aphrodite indeed from the Sun 16,632,390 stadia, but 
from the Earth 33,264,780. Ares indeed is distant from 
Aphrodite 22,176,520 stadia but from the Earth 105,338,470. 
But Zeus is distant from Ares 44,353,040 stadia, but from 
the Earth 149,691,510. Kronos is distant from Zeus p. 75 
40,691,510 stadia, but from the Earth 293,383,o2o. 1 

1 The object of all these figures is apparently to piove that those of 
Archimedes are wrong and that the Platonic theory said, one does not 
know with what truth, to have been inherited from Pythagoras, viz., 
that the intervals between the orbits of the different bodies of the cosmos 
are arranged like the notes on a musical scale is to be preferred. 
This was perhaps to be expected from a Churchman as favouring the 
doctrine of creation by design. It is difficult at first sight to see how 
the figures in the text bear out Hippolytus' contention, inasmuch as the 
distances here given of the seven planets (including therein the Sun and 
Moon) from the Earth proceed in an irregular kind of arithmetical pro- 
gression ranging from one to fifty-four, the distance from the Earth to the 
Moon which Hippolytus accepts from Archimedes as correct being taken 
as unity. Thus, let us call this unit of distance x, and we have the table 
which follows : 

Table I {of distances) 

Distance of Earth ( ) from ]) = 5,544, 130 stadia or x 



5, 




55 


,, = 16,632,390 


3* 


5 




,, 


5, 9 = 33.264,7^0 


,, 6x 







5 5 


$ = 55.441, 3 


,, IO.# 


5 > 
55 




55 
5 5 


<? = 105,338,470 
y. = 149,691,510 
,, h =299,383,020 


19^ 
27 x 
54-* 


But let us 


tat 


;e the figures given in the text for the intervals between 


the Earth and 


the seven " planets" arranged in 


the same order, and 


again taking 


the Earth 


to Moon distance as unity, 


we have : 








Table II {of intervals) 




Intervi 


il between 


6 and )) = 5,554, 130 stadia or x 


I 5 




55 


]) ,, = 11,088,260 


2X 


55 
55 
: 5 




55 

5 5 

: 5 


$ = 16,632,390 

9 $ = 22,176,520 
$ $ = 49,897,170 


3* 

4X(2 2 ) 

9x(3 2 ) 


5' 




5 


6 n = 44,353,040 


8^r(2 3 ) 


55 




}J 


V- h = 1495691,510 


,, 27*(3 3 ) 



82 . PHILOSOPHUMENA 

12. Who will not wonder at so much activity of mind 
produced by so great labour ? It seems that this Ptolemy x 
who busies himself with these matters is not without his use 
to me. This only grieves me that as one but lately born he 
was not serviceable to the sons of the giants, 2 who, being 
ignorant of these measurements, thought they were near 
high heaven and began to make a useless tower. Had he 
been at hand to explain these measurements to them they 
would not have ventured on the foolishness. But if any one 
thinks he can disbelieve this let him take the measurements 
and be convinced ; for one cannot have for the unbelieving 
a more manifold proof than this. O puffing-up of vainly- 
toiling soul and unbelieving belief, when Ptolemy is con- 
sidered wise in everything by those trained in the like 
wisdom ! 3 



This agrees almost entirely with the theory which M. Bigourdan in 
the work mentioned in the last note has worked out as the Platonic theory 
of the distances of the different planets from the Earth, "the supposed 
centre of their movements" (p. 228). Thus: 

Planets D ? $ 6 % h 

Distances 1 2 3 4 8 9 27 
which distances are, in his own words, " les termes enchevetres de deux 
progressions geometriques ayant respectivement pour raison 2 et 3, 
savoir I, 2, 4, 8 I, 3, 9, 27 ; on voit que l'unite est, commechez Pytha- 
gore, la distance de la Terre a la Lune." This conclusion is amply borne 
out by Hippolytus' figures, which, as given in Table II above, show 
a regular progression from 2 and 3 to 2 s and 3 2 , then to 2 3 and 3*, 
which explains what our author means by increasing the Earth to the 
Moon distance, Kara to SLirhdaiov nal rpiirXaaiov. The only discrepancy 
between this and M. Bigourdan's table is that he has transposed the 
distances between $ and $ \i respectively ; but as I do not know 
the details of the calculation on which he bases his figures, I am unable 
to say whether the mistake is his or Hippolytus'. 

1 Are we to conclude from this that these last calculations are those 
of Claudius Ptolemy, the author of the Almagest ? He has certainly 
not been mentioned before, but his fame was so great that Hippolytus 
may have been certain that the allusion would be understood by his 
audience. Ptolemy lived, perhaps, into the last quarter of the second 
century. 

2 Genesis vi. 4. The subject seems to have had irresistible fascina- 
tion for Christian converts of Asiatic blood, whether orthodox or heretic. 
Manes also wrote a book upon the Giants, cf. Kessler, Mani, Berlin, 
1899, pp. 191 ff. 

3 Hippolytus seems to have been entirely ignorant that the calcula- 
tions he derides were anything but mere guess-work. They were not 
only singularly accurate considering the imperfection of the observations 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 83 

13. Certain men in part intent on these things as judging 
them mighty and worthy of argument have constructed p. 76. 
measureless x and boundless heresies Among whom is one 
Colarbasus, 2 who undertakes to set forth religion by 
measures and numbers. And there are others whom we 
shall likewise point out when we begin to speak of those 
who give heed to Pythagorean reckoning as if it were power- 
ful and neglect the true philosophy for numbers and 
elements, thus making vain divinations. Collecting whose 
words, certain men have led astray the uneducated, pre- 
tending to know the future and when they chance to divine 
one thing aright are not ashamed of their many failures, 
but make a boast of their one success. Nor shall I pass 
over their unwise wisdom, but when I have set forth their 
attempts to establish a religion from these sources, I shall 
refute them as being disciples of a school inconsistent and 
full of trickery. 

2. Of Mathematicians? 

Those then who fancy that they can divine by means of p. 77. 
ciphers 4 and numbers, elements 5 and names, make the 
foundation of their attempted system to be this. They 
pretend that every number has a root : in the thousands 
as many units as there are thousands. For example, the 

at the disposal of their author, but have also been of the greatest use lo 
science as laying the foundation of all future astronomy. 

1 afiiTpovs. Another pun on their measurements. 

2 Nothing definite is known of this Colarbasus or his supposed astro- 
logical heresy. The accounts given of him by Irenams and Epiphanius 
describe him as holding tenets identical with those of Marcus. Hort, 
following Baur, believes that he never existed, and that his name is 
simply a Greek corruption of Qol ajda, " the Voice of the Four." See 
D.C.B., s.h.v. 

3 -Kepi ixaO-q^aTiKtov. The article is omitted ; but he must mean 
the students and not the study. This is curious, because Mathcmaticus 
in the Rome of Hippolytus must have meant astrologer and nothing 
else, and what follows has nothing to do with astrology. Rather is it 
what was called in the Renaissance Arithmomancy. Cruice refers 
us to Athanasius Kircher's Arithmologia on the subject. Cornelius 
Agrippa, De sanitate et incertitudine Scienlarttm, writes of it as 
"The Pythagorean lot," and it is described in Caspar Peucer's 
De praeipiiis Divinationum generibus, 1604. 

4 tyrjcpoi, lit., pebbles, i.e. counters. 

5 (TToix^a : letters as the component parts or elements of words. 



84 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

root of 6000 is 6 units, of 7000, 7 units, of 8000, 8 units, 
and with the rest in the same way. In the hundreds as 
many hundreds as there are, so the same number of units is 
the root of them. For example, in 700 there are 7 hundreds : 
7 units is their root. In 600 there are 6 hundreds : 6 units is 
their root. In the same way in the decads : of 80 the root 
is 8 units, of 40, 4 units, of 10, 1 unit. In the units, the units 
themselves are the root ; for instance, the unit of the 9 is 9, of 
the 8, 8, of the 7, 7. Thus then*must we do with the com- 
ponent parts [of names]. For each element is arranged 
according to some number. For example, the Nu consists 
of 50 units ; but of 50 units the root is 5, and of the letter 

p. 78. Nu the root is 5. Let it be granted that from the name we 
may take certain 1 of it's roots. For example, from the name 
Agamemnon there comes from the Alpha one unit, from the 
Gamma 3 units, from the other Alpha 1 unit, from the Mu 4 
units, from the Epsilon 5 units, from the Mu 4 units, from 
the Nu 5 units, from the Omega 8 units, from the Nu 5 units, 
which together in one row will be 1,3,1,4,5,4,5,8,5. These 
added together make 36 units. Again they take the roots 
of these and they become 3 for the 30, but 6 itself for the 
6. Then the 3 and the 6 added together make 9, but the 
root of 9 is 9. Therefore the name Agamemnon ends in 
the root 9. 

Let the same be done with another name, viz., Hector. 
The name Hector contains five elements, Epsilon, Kappa, 
Tau, Omega and Rho. 2 The roots of these are 5, 2,3,8, 1 ; 
these added together make 19 units. Again, the root of the 
10 is 1, of the 9, 9, which added together make 10. The 
root of the 10 is one unit. Therefore the name of Hector 
when counted up 3 has made as its root one unit. 

p. 79. But it is easier to work this way. Divide by 9 the roots 
ascertained from the elements, as we have just found 19 
units from the name Hector, and read the remaining root. 
For example, if I divide the 19 by 9, there remains a unit, 
for twice 9 is 18, and the remainder is a unit. For if I 
subtract 18 from the 19, the remainder is a unit. Again, of 



1 Reading with the text nvas for Cruice' 



s riva. 



2 In the text the Kappa and Tau are written at full length 
numbers in the usual Greek notation, a proof that the scribe 
writing from dictation and not copying MS, 

3 tyrjcpiffdhv. 



the other 
was here 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 85 

the name Patroclus 1 these numbers 8, 1, 3 1, 7, 2, 3, 7, 2 
are the roots ; added together they make 34 units. The 
remainder of these units is 7, viz., 3 from the 30 and 4 
from the 4. Therefore 7 units are the root of the name 
Patroclus. Those then who reckon by the rule of 9 take 
the 9th part of the number collected from the roots and 
describe the remainder as the sum of the roots ; but those 
who reckon by the rule of 7 take the 7th part. For example, 
in the name Patroclus the aggregate of the roots is 34 units. 
This divided into sevens makes 4 sevens, which are 28 ; the 
remainder is 6 units. He says that by the rule of 7, 6 is p. 80. 
the root of the name Patroclus. 2 If, however, it be 43, 
the 7th part, he says, is 42, for 7 times 6 is 42, and the 
remainder is 1. Therefore the root from the 43 by the 
rule of 7 becomes a unit. But we must take notice of 
what happens if the given number when divided has no 
remainder, 3 as for example, if from one name, after adding 
together the roots, I find, e.g., 36 units. But 36 divided by 
9 is exactly 4 enneads (for 9 times 4 is 36 and nothing 
over). Thus, he says the 9 itself is plainly the root. If 
again we divide the number 45 we find 9 and no remainder 
(for 9 times 5 is 45 and nothing over), in such cases we say 
the root is 9. And in the same way with the rule of 7 : if, 
e.g.t we divide 28 by 7 we shall have nothing over (for 7 
times 4 is 28 and nothing left), [and] they say the root is 7. 
Yet when he reckons up the names and finds the same 
letter twice, he counts it only once. For example, the name 
Patroclus has the Alpha twice and the Omicron twice/ p. Si. 
therefore he counts the Alpha only once and the 
Omicron only once. According to this, then, the roots 
will be 8, 3, 1, 7, 2, 3, 2, and added together make 2 7, 5 and 
the root of the name by the rule of 9 will be the 9 itself and 
by that of 7, 6. 

In the same way Sarpedon, when counted, makes by the 

1 The name is spelt TldrpoicXos. 

J So that the "root " may be either 7 or 6 according as you use the 
" rule of 9 " or of 7. A i-eductio ad absiirdum. 

3 iau airapricrr], " is even or complete." 

4 I omit the Rho, which in the Codex precedes the Alpha. Cruice 
suggests it is put for IT. 

5 They do not, but make 26. Cruice adds an Alpha between the 
8 and the 3 ; but in any case the rule just enunciated is brpken by the 
reckoning in of two 2's, 



86 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

rule of 9, 2 units ; but Patroclus makes 9 : Patroclus 
conquers. For when one number is odd and the other even, 
the odd conquers if it be the greater. But again if there 
were an 8, which is even, and a 5, which is odd, the 8 
conquers, for it is greater. But if there are two numbers, 
for example, both even or both odd, the lesser conquers. 
But how does Sarpedon by the rule of 9 make 2 units ? 
The element Omega is omitted ; for when there are in a 
name the elements Omega and Eta, they omit the Omega 

p. 82 and use one element. For they say that they both have the 
same power, but are not to be counted twice, as has been 
said above. Again, Ajax (Atas) 1 makes 4 units, and Hector 
by the rule of 9 only one. But the 4 is even while the unit 
is odd. And since we have said that in such cases the 
greater conquers, Ajax is the victor. Take again Alex- 
andres 2 and Menelaus. Alexandros has an individual 3 
name [Paris]. The name Paris makes by the rule of 9, 4 ; 
Menelaus by the same rule 9, and the 9 conquers the 4. 
For it has been said that when one is odd and the other 
even, the greater conquers, but when both are even or both 
odd, the lesser. Take again Amycus and Polydeuces. 
Amycus makes by the rule of 9, 2 units, and Polydeuces 7 : 
Polydeuces conquers. Ajax and Odysseus contended 
together in the funereal games. Ajax makes by the rule of 
9, 4 units, and Odysseus by the same rule 8. 4 Is there not 
(here) then some epithet of Odysseus and not his individual 
name, for he conquered ? According to the numbers Ajax 
conquers, but tradition says Odysseus. Or take again 
Achilles and Hector. Achilles by the rule of 9 makes 4 ; 

p. 83. Hector 1 ; Achilles conquers. Take again Achilles and 
Asteropa^us. Achilles makes 4, Asteropseus 3 ; 5 Achilles 

1 Afas. A = i, 1=10= I, a=i (omitted), s=200=2. 1 + 1 + 2=4. 

2 The Homeric name for Paris. 

3 Kvpiov oi'ofia as opposed to fAsrcupophv vvojxa, a name transferred 
from one to another, or family name. 

4 Not 8 but 4. = 70 = 7, 5 = 4, v = 400 = 4,o-= 200 = 2, e = 5 
(with duplicate omitted) = 22, which divided by 9 leaves 4, or by 7, 
only 1. The next sentence and a similar remark at the last sentence but 
one pf the chapter are probably by a commentator or scribe and have 
slipped into the text by accident. Oddly enough, nothing is said as to 
what happens if the "roots " are equal, as they seem to be in this case. 

5 Another mistake. A = I, a 200 = 2, r = 300 = 3, e = 5, 
p 3= 100 = 1, o = 70 = 7, 7r = 80 = 8, 1 = 10 = 1 (with duplicates, 
pmitted) = 28, which divided by 9 leaves 1, or by 7, o = 7. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 87 

conquers. Take again Euphorbus and Menelaus. Menelaus 
has 9 units, Euphorbus 8 ; Menelaus conquers. 

But some say that by the rule of 7, they use only the 
vowels, and others that they put the vowels, semi-vowels 
and consonants by themselves, and interpret each column 
separately. But yet others do not use the usual numbers, 
but different ones. Thus, for example, they will not have 
Pi to have as a root 8 units, but 5 and the element Xi as a 
root 4 units ; and turning about every way, they discover 
nothing sane. When, however, certain competitors contend 
a second time, 1 they take away the first element, and when 
a third, the two first elements of each, and counting up the 
rest, they interpret them. 

2. I should think that the design of the arithmeticians p. 84 
has been plainly set forth, who deem that by numbers and 
names they can judge life. And I notice that, as they 
have time to spare and have been trained in counting, they 
have wished by means of the art handed down to them by 
children to proclaim themselves well-approved diviners, 
and, measuring the letters topsy-turvy, have strayed into 
nonsense. For when they fail to hit the mark, they say in 
propounding the difficulty that the name in question is not 
a family name but an epithet ; as also they plead as a subter- 
fuge in the case of Ajax and Odysseus. Who that founds 
his tenets on this wonderful philosophy and wishes to be 
called heresiarch, will not be glorified ? 

3. Of Divination by Metoposcopy? 

1. But since there is another and more profound art 
among the all-wise investigators of the Greeks, whose dis- 
ciples the heretics profess themselves because of the use they 
make of their opinions for their own designs, as we shall 
show before long, 'we shall not keep silence about this. 

1 orai/ fievroi SevrepSv Tiues aywvltwvTau. Quum zero quidam 
ilcrum decertant de Humeri's, Cr. But the allusion is almost certainly to 
two charioteers or combatants meeting in successive contests. Half the 
divination and magic of the early centuries refers to the affairs of 
the circus, and the text has nothing about de nuvieris. 

1 Lit., inspection of the forehead (or face), or what Lavater called 
physiognomy. The word was known to Ben Jonson, who uses it in his 
Alchymist. "By a rule, Captain. In metoposcopy, which I do work 
by. A certain star in the forehead which you see not," etc. 



88 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

This is the divination or rather madness by metoposcopy. 

p. 85. There are those who refer to the stars the forms of the 
types and patterns x and natures of men, summing them 
up by their births under certain stars. This is what they 
say : Those born under Aries will be like this, to wit, 
long-headed, red-haired, with eyebrows joined together, 
narrow forehead, sea-green eyes, hanging cheeks, long nose, 
expanded nostrils, thin lips, pointed chin, and wide mouth. 
They will partake, he says, of such a disposition as this : 
forethinking, versatile, cowardly, provident, easy-going, 
gentle, inquisitive, concealing their desires, equipped for 
everything, ruling more by judgment than by strength, 
laughing at the present, skilled writers, faithful, lovers of 
strife, provoking to controversy, given to desire, lovers of 
boys, understanding, turning from their own homes, dis- 

p. S6. pleased with everything, litigious, madmen in their cups, 
contemptuous, casting away somewhat every year, useful in 
friendship by their goodness. Most often they die in a 
foreign land. 2 

2. Those born under Taurus will be of this type : round- 
headed, coarse-haired, with broad forehead, oblong eyes 
and great eyebrows if dark ; if fair, thin veins, sanguine 
complexion, large and heavy eyelids, great ears, round 
mouth, thick nose, widely-open nostrils, thick lips. They 
are strong in their upper limbs, but are sluggish from the 
hips downwards from their birth. The same are of a dis- 
position pleasing, understanding, naturally clever, religious, 
just, rustical, agreeable, laborious 3 after twelve years old, 
easily irritated, leisurely. Their appetite is small, they are 
quickly satisfied, wishing for many things, provident, thrifty 
towards themselves, liberal towards others ; as a class they 
are sorrowful, useless in friendship, useful because of their 
minds, enduring ills. 

p. 87. 3. The type of these under Gemini : red-faced, not too 

1 tSeor. 

2 I have not thought it worth while to set down the various readings 
suggested by the different editors and translators for these "forms 
and qualities." The whole of this chapter is taken from Ptolemy's 
Tetrabiblos, and was corrupted by every copyist. The common type 
suggested with eyebrows meeting over the nose is plainly Alexandrian, 
as we know from the portraits on mummy-cases in Ptolemaic times. 

3 Koiriaral. The dictionaries give "grave-digger," which makes no 
sense. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 89 

tall in stature, even-limbed, eyes black and beady, 1 cheeks 
drawn downwards, coarse mouth, eyebrows joined together. 
They rule all that they have, are rich at the last, niggardly, 
thrifty of their own, profuse in the affairs of Venus, reason- 
able, musical, cheats. The same are said (by other writers) 
to be of this disposition : learned, understanding, inquisitive, 
self-assertive, given to desire, thrifty with their own, liberal, 
gentle, prudent, crafty, wishing for many things, calculators, 
litigious, untimely, not lucky. They are beloved by women, 
are traders, but not very useful in friendship. 

4. The type of those under Cancer : not great in stature, p. 88. 
blue-black hair, reddish complexion, small mouth, round 
head, narrow forehead, greenish eyes, sufficiently beautiful, 
limbs slightly irregular. Their disposition : evil, crafty, 
skilled in plots, insatiable, thrifty, ungraced, servile, un- 
helpful, forgetful. They neither give back what is another's 

nor demand back their own ; useful in friendship. 

5. The type of those under Leo : round head, reddish 
hair, large wrinkled forehead, thick ears, stiff-necked, pnrtly 
bald, fiery complexion, green-gray eyes, large jaws, coarse 
mouth, heavy upper limbs, great breast, lower parts small. 
Their disposition is : self-assertive, immoderate, self-pleasers, 
wrathful, courageous, scornful, arrogant, never deliberating, 
no talkers, indolent, addicted to custom, given up to the 
things of Venus, fornicators, shameless, wanting in faith, 
importunate for favour, audacious, niggardly, rapacious, 
celebrated, helpful to the community, useless in friendship. 

6. The type of those under Virgo : with fair countenance, p. 89. 
eyes not great but charming, with dark eyebrows close 
together, vivacious and swimming. 2 But they are slight in 
body, fair to see, with hair beautifully thick, large forehead, 
prominent nose. Their disposition is : quick at learning, 
moderate, thoughtful, playful, erudite, slow of speech, plan- 
ning many things, importunate for favour, observing all 
things and naturally good disciples. They master what 
they learn, are moderate, contemptuous, lovers of boys, 
addicted to custom, of great soul, scornful, careless of affairs, 
giving heed to teaching, better in others' affairs than in their 
own ; useful for friendship. 

1 d<(>9a\iu.oTs fieXacriv ws TjAet^^eVots, "eyes black as if oiled." Not a 
bad description of the eyes of a certain type of Levantine. 
8 The text has KoAvjxfiuHTiv, which must refer to the eyes. 



90 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

7. The type of those under Libra : with thin bristling 
hair, reddish and not very long, narrow wrinkled forehead, 
beautiful eyebrows close together, fair eyes with black 
pupils, broad but small ears, bent head, wide mouth. 
Their disposition is : understanding, honouring the gods, 
talkative to one another, traders, laborious, not keeping 

p. 9- what they get, cheats, not loving to take pains in business, 1 
truthful, free of tongue, doers of good, unlearned, cheats, 
addicted to custom, careless, unsafe to treat unjustly. 2 
They are scornful, derisive, sharp, illustrious, eavesdroppers, 
and nothing succeeds with them. Useful for friendship. 

8. The type of those under Scorpio : with maidenly 
countenance, well shaped and pale, 3 dark hair, well-formed 
eyes, forehead not wide and pointed nose, ears small and 
close (to the head), wrinkled forehead, scanty eyebrows, 
drawn-in cheeks. Their disposition is : crafty, sedulous, 
cheats, imparting their own plans to none, double-souled, 
ill-doers, contemptuous, given to fornication, gentle, quick 
at learning. Useless for friendship. 

9. The type of those under Sagittarius : great in stature, 
square forehead, medium eyebrows joined together, hair 

p. 91. abundant, bristling and reddish. Their disposition is : 
gracious as those who have been well brought up, simple, 
doers of good, lovers of boys, addicted to custom, laborious, 
loving and beloved, cheerful in their cups, clean, pas- 
sionate, careless, wicked, useless for friendship, scornful, 
great-souled, insolent, somewhat servile, 4 useful to the 
community. 

10. The type of those under Capricorn : with reddish 
body, bristling, greyish hair, 5 round mouth, eyes like an 
eagle, eyebrows close together, smooth forehead, inclined 
to baldness, the lower parts of the body the stronger. 
Their disposition is : lovers of wisdom, scornful and laugh- 
ing at the present, passionate, forgiving, beautiful, doers of 
good, lovers of musical practice, angry in their cups, jocose, 
addicted to custom, talkers, lovers of boys, cheerful, friendly, 
beloved, provokers of strife, useful to the community. 

1 Yet he twice calls them \pevcrTai, or " cheats." 

2 Miller thinks this last characteristic interpolated. 

3 Reading Aeu/c&J for o.Avk$, "salt," which seems impossible. 

4 Reading viroSovAtoi for virodovAoi. 

5 Is any one born with grey hair ? 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS $f 

ii. The type of those under Aquarius : square in stature, 
small mouth, narrow small, fierce eyes.. (Their disposition) 
is : commanding, ungracious, sharp, seeking the easy path, 
useful for friendship and to the community. Yet they live p. 92. 
on chance affairs and lose their means of gain. Their 
disposition is : x reserved, modest, addicted to custom, 
fornicators, niggards, painstaking in business, turbulent, 
clean, well-disposed, beautiful, with great eyebrows. Often 
they are in small circumstances and work at (several) 
different trades. If they do good to any, no one gives them 
thanks. 

12. The type of those under Pisces : medium stature, 
with narrow foreheads like fishes, thick hair. They often 
become grey quickly. Their disposition is : great-souled, 
simple, passionate, thrifty, talkative. They will be sleepy 
at an early age, they want to do business by themselves, 
illustrious, venturesome, envious, litigious, changing their 
place of abode, beloved, fond of dancing. 2 Useful for 
friendship. 

13. Since we have set forth their wonderful wisdom, and 
have not concealed their much-laboured art of divination 
by intelligence, 3 neither shall we be silent on the folly into 
which their mistakes in these matters lead them. For how p 9 -\ 
feeble are they in finding a parallel between the names of 

the stars and the forms and dispositions of men ? For we 
know that those who at the outset chanced upon the stars, 
naming them according to their own fancy, called them by 
names for the purpose of easily and clearly recognizing 
them. For what likeness is there in these names to the 
appearance of the Zodiacal signs, or what similar nature 
of working and activity, so that any one born under 
Leo should be thought courageous, 4 or he who is born 

1 ol avrol (pvcrecos. A similar phrase has just occurred under the 
same sign : a proof of the utter corruption of the text. 

- opxy\<TTai in codex. Probably a mistake for ets Koivuviav evxpyorot, 
" useful to the community." 

3 St' e-mvoias ; probably a sarcasm. 

4 It is hardly necessary to point out the futility of this astrology, its 
base being the theory that the earth is the centre of the universe. 
Nearly all the characteristics given above have, however, less to do 
with the stars than with those supposed to distinguish the different 
animals named. This is really sympathetic magic, or what was later 
called "the signatures of things." 

VOL. I. O 



92 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

under Virgo moderate, or under Cancer bad, and those 
under l . . . 

4. The Magicia?is? 

(The gap here caused by the mutilation of the MS. was 
probably filled by a description of the mode of divination 
by enquiry of a spirit or daemon which was generally made 
in writing, as Lucian describes in his account of the im- 
posture of Alexander of Abonoteichos. The MS. proceeds.) 
. . . And he (i.e., the magician) taking some paper, orders 
the enquirer to write down what it is he wishes to enquire 
of the daemons. 3 Then he having folded up the paper and 
given it to the boy, 4 sends it away to be burned so that the 
smoke carrying the letters may go hence to the daemons. 
But while the boy is doing what he is commanded, he first 
tears off equal parts of the paper, and on some other parts 
p. 94- of it, he pretends that the daemons write in Hebrew letters. 
Then having offered up the Egyptian magicians' incense 
called Cyphi, 5 he scatters these pieces of paper over the 
offering. But what the enquirer may have chanced to write 
having been put on the coals is burned. Then, seeming to 
be inspired by a god, the magician rushes into the inner 
chamber 6 with a loud and discordant cry unintelligible to 
all. ' But he bids all present to enter and cry aloud, 
invoking Phren 7 or some other daemon. When the 

1 A lacuna in the text here extending to the opening words of the 
next chapter. 

2 Richard Ganschinietz, in a study on Hippolytus' Kapital gegen die 
Magier appearing in Gebhardi's and Harnack's Texte und Untersuch- 
ungen, dritte Reihe Bd. 9, Leipzig, 1913, says it is not doubtful that 
Hippolytus took this chapter from Celsus' book Kara iiayoov, which he 
discovers in Origen's work against the last-named author. He assumes 
that Lucian of Samosata in his 'AXe^avSpos -// yevd6/j.ai>Tis borrowed 
from the same source. 

3 twv Sai/xovccv, a demonibus, Cr. But the word Sal/xuv is hardly ever 
used in classic or N.T. Greek for a devil or evil spirit, generally called 
daifxSviov. Aai/Aoov here and elsewhere in this chapter plainly means a 
god of lesser rank or spirit. Cf. Plutarch de Is. et Os., cc. 25-30. 

4 t< 7tcu51, the magician's assistant necessary in all operations re- 
quiring confederacy or hypnotism. 

6 For the composition of this see Plutarch, op. cit., c. 81. 

6 6 fxvx^s. Often used for the women's chamber or gynaeceum. 

7 Clearly the Egyptian sun-god Ra or Re, the Phi in front being the 
Coptic definite article. It is a curious instance of the undying nature 
of any superstition that in the magical ceremonies of the extant Parisian 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 93 

spectators have entered and are standing by, he flings the 
boy on a couch and reads to him many things, sometimes 
in the Greek tongue, sometimes in the Hebrew, which are 
the incantations usual among magicians. And having made 
libation, he begins the sacrifice. And he having put cop- 
peras 1 in the libation bowl 2 and when the drug is dis- 
solved sprinkling with it the paper which had forsooth been 
discharged of writing, he compels the hidden and concealed 
letters again to come to light, whereby he learns what the 
enquirer has written. 

And if one writes with copperas and fumigates it with a p. 95- 
powdered gall-nut, the hidden letters will become clear. 
Also if one writes (with milk) and the paper is burned and 
the ash sprinkled on the letters written with the milk, they 
will be manifest. 3 And urine and garum 4 also and juice of 
the spurge and of the fig will have the same effect. 

But when he has thus learned the enquiry, he thinks 
beforehand in what fashion he need reply. Then he bids 
the spectators come inside bearing laurel-branches and 
shaking them 5 and crying aloud invocations to the daemon 
Phren. For truly it is fitting that he should be invoked by 
them and worthy that they should demand from daemons 
what they do not wish to provide on their own account, 
seeing that they have lost their brains. 6 But the confusion 
of the noise and the riot prevents them following what the 
magician is thought to do in secret. What this is, it is time 
to say. 

sect of Vintrasists, Ammon-Ra, the Theban form of this god, is invoked 
apparently with some idea that he is a devil. See Jules Bois' Le 
Satanisme et la Magie, Paris, 1895. 

1 x a *> K <*- v 0V i sulphate of iron, which, mixed with tincture or de- 
coction of nut-galls, makes writing ink. Our own word copperas is an 
exact translation. 

2 <pia\i). A broad flat pan used for sacrificial purposes. 

3 There is some muddle here, probably due to Ilippolytus not having 
any practical acquaintance with the tricks described. The smoke of 
nut-galls would hardly make the writing visible. On the other hand, 
letters written in milk will turn brown if exposed to the fire without 
the application of any ash. 

4 A sauce made of brine and small fish. 

5 See the roughly-drawn vignettes usual in magic papyri, .o. Parthey, 
7.wei griechische Zauberpapyri, Berlin, 1866, p. 155 ; Karl Wessely, 
Griechische Zauberpapyri von Paris und London, Vienna, 1 888, p. 118. 

6 ras <pp4vas. One of Ilippolytus' puns. 



94 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Now it is very dark at this point. For he says that it is 
impossible for mortal nature to behold the things of the 
gods, for it is enough to talk with them. But having made 
the boy lie down on his face, with two of those little 
writing tablets on which are written in Hebrew letters 

p. 96. forsooth 1 such things as names of daemons, on each side of 
him, he says (the god) will convey the rest into the boy's 
ears. But this is necessary to him, in order that he may 
apply to the boy's ears a certain implement whereby he can 
signify to him all that he wishes. And first he rings 2 (a 
gong) so that the boy may be frightened, and secondly he 
makes a humming noise, and then thirdly he speaks through 
the implement what he wishes the boy to say, and watches 
carefully the effect of the act. Thereafter he makes the 
spectators keep silence, but bids the boy repeat what he has 
heard from the daemons. But the implement which is 
applied to the ears is a natural one, to wit, the wind-pipe of 
the long-necked cranes or storks or swans. If none of 
these is at hand, the art has other means at its disposal. 

p. 97. For certain brass pipes, fitting one into the other and ending 
in a point are well suited to the purpose through which 
anything the magician wishes' may be spoken into the ears. 
And these things the boy hearing utters when bidden in a 
fearful way, as if they were spoken by daemons. And if 
one wraps a wet hide round a rod and having dried it and 
bringing the edges together fastens them closely, and then 
taking out the rod, makes the hide into the form of a pipe, 
it has the same effect. And if none of these things is at 
hand, he takes a book and, drawing out from the inside as 
much as he requires, pulls it out lengthways and acts in the 
same way. 3 

But if he knows beforehand that any one present will ask 
a question, he is better prepared for everything. And if he 
has learned the question beforehand he writes it out with 
the drug (aforesaid) and as being prepared is thought more 
adept for having skilfully written what was about to be 

1 Hebrew was used in these ceremonies, because they were largely in 
the hands of the Jews. See Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity, 
II, pp. 33, 34, for references. 

2 7?x 6 '- Particularly appropriate to the striking of a metal disc. 

3 The book of course was a long roll of parchment, the inner coils 
of which could be drawn out as described. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 95 

asked. But if he does not know, he guesses at it, and 
exhibits some roundabout phrase of double and various 
meaning, so that the answer of the oracle being meaningless 
will do for many things at the beginning, but at the end of 
the events will be thought a prediction of what has happened. 
Then having filled a bowl with water, he puts at the bottom p. 98. 
of it the paper with apparently nothing written on it, but at 
the same time putting in the copperas. For thus there 
floats to the surface the paper bearing the answer which he 
has written. To the boy also there often come fearful 
fancies ; for truly the magician strikes blows in abundance 
to terrify him. For, again casting incense into the fire, he 
acts in this fashion. Having covered a lump of the so- 
called quarried salts 1 with Tyrrhenian wax and cutting in 
halves the lump of incense, he puts between them a lump 
of the salt and again sticking them together throws them on 
the burning coals and so leaves them. But when the 
incense is burnt, the salts leaping up produce an illusion as 
if some strange and wonderful thing were happening. But 
indigo black 2 put in the incense produces a blood-red 
flame as we have before said. 3 And he makes a liquid 
like blood by mixing wax with rouge and as I have said, 
putting the wax in the incense. And he makes the coals to 
move by putting under them stypteria 4 cut in pieces, and 
when it melts and swells up like bubbles, the coals are 
moved. 

2. And they exhibit eggs different (from natural ones) in p. 99. 
this way. Having bored a hole in the apex at each end 

and having extracted the white, and again plunged the egg in 
boiling water, put in either red earth from Sinope 5 or 
writing ink. But stop up the holes with pounded eggshell 
made into a paste with the juice of a fig. 

3. This is the way they make sheep cut off their own 

1 opvKTuv aXuv. Cruice translates fossil salts. Does he mean rock- 
salt ? 

2 rb IvBiKbv n4\ai>. Either indigo dye or pepper. Cayenne pepper 
put in the flame might have a startling effect on the audience. 

3 Where? 

4 Said to be an astringent earth made from rock-alum, and con- 
taining both alum and vitriol. Known to Hippocrates. 

5 Red lead or vermilion ? The idea seems to be to frighten the dupe 
by the supposed prodigy of a hen laying eggs which have red or black 
inside them instead of white. . 



96 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

heads. Secretly anointing the sheep's throat with a caustic 
drug, he fixes near the beast a sword and leaves it there. 
But the sheep, being anxious to scratch himself, leans (heavily) 
on the knife, rubs himself along it, kills himself and must 
needs almost cut off his head. And the drug is bryony and 
marsh salt and squills in equal parts mixed together. So 
that he may not be seen to have the drug with him, he 
carries a horn box made double, the visible part of which 
holds frankincense and the invisible the drug. And he also 
puts quicksilver into the ears of the animal that is to die. 
But this is a death-dealing drug. 

4. But if one stops up the ears of goats with salve, they 
say they will shortly (lie because prevented from breathing. 

p. 100. For they say that this is with them the way in which the 
intaken air is breathed forth. And they say that a ram dies 
if one should bend him backwards against the sun. 1 But 
they make a house catch fire by anointing it with the ichor 
of a certain animal called dactylus ; 2 and this is very useful 
because of sea-water. And there is a sea-foam heated in an 
earthen jar with sweet substances, which if you apply to it a 
lighted lamp catches fire and is inflamed, but does not burn 
at all if poured on the head. But if you sprinkle it with 
melted gum, it catches fire much better ; and it does better 
still if you also add sulphur to it. 

5. Thunder is produced in very many ways. For very 
many large stones rolled from a height over wooden planks 
and falling upon sheets of brass make a noise very like 
thunder. And they coil a slender cord round the thin 

p. 101. board on which the wool-carders press cloth, and then spin 
the board by whisking away the string when the whirring of 
it makes the sound of thunder. These tricks they play 
thus ; but there are others which I shall set forth which 
those who play them also consider great. Putting a cauldron 
full of pitch upon burning coals, when it boils they plunge 
their hands in it and are not burned ; and further they tread 
with naked feet upon coals of fire and are not burned. And 
also putting a pyramid of stone upon the altar, they make 

1 Pliny, Nat. Hist., VIII, c. 75, says the sheep is compelled when 
it feeds to turn away from the sun by reason of the weakness of its 
head. This is probably the story which Hippolytus or the author has 
exaggerated. Something is omitted from the text. 

2 Seal or porpoise oil ? 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 97 

it burn and from its mouth it pours forth much smoke and 
fire. Then laying a linen cloth upon a pan of water and 
casting upon it many burning coals, the linen remains un- 
burnt. And having made darkness in the house, the magician 
claims to make gods or daemons enter in, and if one some- 
how asks that Esculapius shall be displayed he makes 
invocation, saying thus : 

" Apollo's son, once dead and again undying ! 
I call on thee to come as a helper to my libations. 

Who erst the myriad tribes of fleeting dead p. 102. 

In the ever-mournful caves of wide Tartarus 
Swimming the stream hard to cross and the rising tide, 
Fatal to all mortal men alike, 

Or wailing by the shore and bemoaning inexorable things 
These thyself did rescue from gloomy Persephoneia. 
Whether thou dost haunt the seat of holy Thrace 
Or lovely Pergamum or beyond these Ionian Epidaurus 
Hither, O blessed one, the prince of magicians calls thee to be present 
here." x 

6. But when he has made an end of this mockery a fiery 
Esculapius appears on the floor. Then having put in the 
midst a bowl of water, 2 he invokes all the gods and they 
are at hand. For if the spectator lean over and gaze into 
the bowl, he will see all the gods and Artemis leading on 
her baying hounds. But we shall not hesitate to tell the p. 103. 
story of these things and how they undertake them. For 
the magician plunges his hands in the cauldron of pitch 
which appears to be boiling ; but he throws into it vinegar 
and soda 3 and moist pitch and heats the cauldron gently. 
And the vinegar having mingled with the soda, on getting 
a little hot, moves the pitch so as to bring bubbles to the 
surface and gives the appearance of boiling only. But the 
magician has washed his hands many times in sea-water, 
thanks to which it does not burn him much if it be really 
boiling. And if he has after washing them anointed his 

1 Hymns like these are to be found in the two collections of magic 
papyri quoted in n. on p. 93 supra. 

2 He tells us how this trick is performed on p. 100 infra. Lecanomancy 
or divination by the bowl was generally performed by means of a 
hypnotized boy, as described in Lane's Modem Egyptians. This, 
however, is a more elaborate process dependent on fraud. 

3 Reading udrpou for virpov. It was common in Egypt, and saltpetre 
would not have the same effect, which seems to depend on the expulsion 
of carbonic acid. 



98 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

hands with myrtle-juice and soda and myrrh 1 mixed with 
vinegar he is not burned (at all). But the feet are not 
burned if he anoints them with icthyokolla and salamander. 2 
And this is the true cause of the pyramid flaming like a 
torch, although it is of stone. A paste of Cretan earth 3 is 
moulded into the shape of a pyramid, but the colour is like 
a milk-white stone, in this fashion. He has soaked the 
piece of earth in much oil, has put it on the coals, and when 
heated, has again soaked it and heated it a second and third 
time and many a time afterwards, whereby he so prepares 
p. 104 j t t | iat j t w ju burn even if plunged in water ; for it holds 
much oil within itself. But the altar catches fire when the 
magician is making libation, because it contains freshly- 
burned lime instead of ashes and finely-powdered frankin- 
cense and much . . . and of ... of anointed torches and 
self-flowing and hollow nutshells having fire within them. 4 
But he also sends forth smoke from his mouth after a brief 
delay by putting fire into a nutshell and wrapping it in tow and 
blowing it in his mouth. 5 The linen cloth laid on the bowl 
of water whereon he puts the coals is not burned, because of 
the sea-water underneath, and its being itself steeped in sea- 
water and then anointed with white of egg and a solution of 
alum. And if also one mixes with this the juice of ever- 
greens and vinegar and a long time beforehand anoint it 
copiously with these, after being dipped in the drug it 
remains altogether incombustible. 6 

1 /jLvpaivri. Cruice suggests /j.d\8r], a mixture of wax and pitch, which 
hardly seems indicated. Storax is the ointment recommended by. 
eighteenth-century conjurers. Water is all that is needful. 

2 ixdvoKSWa. Presumably fish-glue. Macmahon suggests isinglass. 
The salamander, the use of which is to be sought in sympathetic magic, 
was no doubt calcined and used in powder. (TKoXoireuSpLou, "milli- 
pede" and crno\6Trevl>piov, "hart's tongue fern" are the alternative 
readings suggested. Fern-oil is said to be good for burns. 

3 Probably chalk or gypsum. 

4 ajxoppvTuv KrjKiSwv re kcvwv. KiJkis here evidently means any sort 
of nut-shell. But how can it be "self-flowing"? Miller's suggested 
<popvrhv makes no better sense. 

5 The lion-headed figure of the Mithraic worship is shown thus 
setting light to an altar in Cumont's Textes et Monuments de Mithra, II, 
p. 196, fig. 22. A similar figure with an opening at the back of the 
head to admit the " wind-pipe" described in the text shows how this 
was effected. See the same author's Les Mysteres de Mithra, Brussels, 
1913, p. 235, figs. 26, 27. 

6 The solution of alum would be effective without any other 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 99 

7. Since then we have briefly set forth what can be done 
with the teachings which they suppose to be secret, we have 
displayed their easy system according to Gnosis. 1 Nor do p- 105. 
we wish to keep silence as to this necessary point, that is, 
how they unseal letters and again restore them with the 
same seals (apparently intact). Melting pitch, resin, sulphur 
and also bitumen in equal parts, and moulding it into the 
form of a seal impression, they keep it by them. But when 
the opportunity for unsealing a letter 2 arrives, they moisten 
the tongue with oil, lick the seal, and warming the drug 
before a slow fire press the seal upon it and leave it there 
until it is altogether set, when they use it after the manner 
of a signet. But they say also that wax with pine resin has 
the same effect and so also 2 parts of mastic with 1 of 
bitumen. And sulphur alone does fairly well and powdered 
gypsum diluted with water and gum. 3 This certainly does 
most beautifully for sealing molten, lead. And the effect of 
Tyrrhenian wax and shavings of resin and pitch, bitumen, p. 106. 
mastic and powdered marble in equal parts all melted 
together, is better than that of the other (compounds) of 
which I have spoken, but that of the gypsum is no worse. 
Thus then they undertake to break the seals when seeking 
to learn what is written within them. These contrivances I 
shrank from setting out in the book, 4 seeing that some ill- 
doer taking hints from them 5 might attempt (to practise) 
them. But now the care of many young men capable of 
salvation has persuaded me to teach and declare them for 
the sake of protection (against them). For as one person 
will use them for the teaching of evil, so another by learning 
them will be protected (against them) and the very magicians, 
corruptors of life as they are, will be ashamed to practise 
the art. But learning that the same (tricks) have been 
taught beforehand, they will perhaps be hindered in their 
perverse foolishness. In order, however, that the seal may 
not be broken in this way, let any one seal with swine's fat 
and mix hairs with the wax. 6 

1 That is, not by guesswork. Another pun. 

2 The letter was of course in the form of a writing-tablet bound about 
with silk or cord, to which the seal was attached. 

3 This would make something like plaster of Paris. 

4 This book or the former one. Lucian describes the same process 
in his Alexander, which he dedicates to Celsus ; v. n. on p. 92 supra. 

5 acpop/xas \af}u>v, "taking them as starting-points." 

6 Ciuice suggests that this sentence has either got out of place 



ioo PHILOSOPHUMENA 

8. Nor shall I be silent about their lecanomancy 1 which 
is an imposture. For having prepared some closed chamber 
p. 107. and having painted its ceiling with cyanus, they put into it 
for the purpose certain utensils of cyanus 2 and fix them 
upright. But in the midst a bowl filled with water is 
set on the earth, which with the reflection of the cyanus 
falling upon it shows like the sky. But there is a certain 
hidden opening in the floor over which is set the bowl, the 
bottom of which is glass, but is itself made of stone. But 
there is underneath a secret chamber in which those in the 
farce 3 assembling present the dressed-up forms of the gods 
and daemons which the magician wishes to display. Behold- 
ing whom from above the deceived person is confounded 
by the magicians' trickery and for the rest believes every- 
thing which (the officiator) tells him. And (this last) makes 
(the figure of) the daemon burn by drawing on the wall the 
figure he wishes, and then secretly anointing it with a drug 
compounded in this way . . . 4 with Laconian and Zacyn- 
thian bitumen. Then as if inspired by Phcebus, he brings 
the lamp near the wall, and the drug having caught light is 
on fire. 

But he manages that a fiery Hecate should appear to be 
flying through the air thus : Having hidden an accomplice 
in what place he wills, and taking the dupes on one side, 
he prevails on them by saying that he will show them the 
p. 108. fiery daemon riding through the air. To whom he announces 
that when they see the flame in the air, they must quickly 
save their eyes by falling down and hiding their faces until 
he shall call them. And having thus instructed them, on a 
moonless night, he declaims these verses : 

Infernal and earthly and heavenly Bombo, 5 come. 

Goddess of waysides, of cross-roads, lightbearer, nightwalker, 

or is an addition by an annotator. Probably an after-thought of 
Hippolytus'. 

1 See n. on p. 97 sut>ra. 

2 Kvavos. A dark-blue substance which some think steel, others 
lapis^lazuli. 

3 o-v/jLircuKrai, ''playfellows." Here, as elsewhere in. the text, 
accomplices or confederates. 

4 Several words missing here, perhaps by intention. It would be 
interesting to know if the " drug" was any preparation of phosphorus. 

5 Should be Baubo,. a synonym of Hecate in the hymn to that 
goddess published by Miller, Melanges de Litt. Grecque, Paris, 1868, 
pp. 442 ff. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 101 

Hater of the light, lover and companion of the night, 
Who rejoicest in the baying of hounds and in purple blood ; 
Who dost stalk among corpses and the tombs of the dead 
Thirsty for blood, who bringest fear to mortals 
Gorgo and Mormo and Mene and many-formed one. 
Come thou propitious to our libations I 1 

9. While he speaks thus, fire is seen borne through the 
air, and the spectators terrified by the strangeness of the 
sight, cover their eyes and cast themselves in silence on the 
earth. But the greatness of the art contains this device. 

The accomplice, hidden as I have said, when he hears the p. 109. 
incantation drawing to a close, holding a hawk or kite 
wrapped about with tow, sets fire to it and lets it go. And 
the bird scared by the flame is carried into the height 
and makes very speedy flight. Seeing which, the fools hide 
themselves as if they had beheld something divine. But 
the winged one whirled about by the fire, is borne whither 
it may chance and burns down now houses and now farm- 
buildings. Such is the prescience of the magicians. 

10. But they show the moon and stars appearing on the 
ceiling in this way. Having previously arranged in the 
centre part of the ceiling a mirror, and having placed a 
bowl filled with water in a corresponding position in the 
middle of the earthen floor, but a lamp showing dimly 2 
has been placed between them and above the bowl, he 
thus produces the appearance of the moon from the 
reflection by means of the mirror. But often the magician 
hangs aloft 3 near the ceiling a drum on end, the same 
being kept covered by the accomplice by some cloth so 
that it may not show before its time j and a lamp having 
been put behind it, when he makes the agreed signal to the 
accomplice, the last-named takes away so much of the 
covering as will give a counterfeit of the moon in her form p. no. 
at that time. 4 But he anoints the transparent parts of the 
drum with cinnabar and gum . . . 5 And having cut 

1 Most of the epithets and names here used are to be found in the 
hymn quoted in the last note. The goddess is there identified not only 
with Artemis and Persephone, but with the Sumerian Eris-ki-gal. lady 
of hell. 

2 A sort of magic lantern ? kclto-ktpov, which I have translated 
mirror, /night be a lens. One is said to have been found in Assyria. 

3 ir6ppw6ev. Better, perhaps, iropporeOev. 

4 Full moon, or half, or quarter, as the case may be. 

' 5 Schneidewin seems to be right in suggesting a lacuna here. 



io2 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

off the neck and bottom of a glass flask, he puts a lamp 
within and places around it somewhat of the things neces- 
sary for the figures shining through, which one of the accom- 
plices has concealed on high. After receiving the signal, 
this last lets* fall the contrivances from the receptacle hung 
aloft, so that the moon appears to have been sent down 
from heaven. And the like effect is produced by means of 
jars in glass-like forms. 1 And it is by means of the jar 
that the trick is played within doors. For an altar having 
been set up, the jar containing a lighted lamp stands behind 
it ; but there being many more lamps (about), this nowise 
appears. When therefore the enchanter invokes the moon, 
he orders all the lamps to be put out, but one is left dim 
and then the light from the jar is reflected on to the ceiling 
and gives the illusion of the moon to the spectators, the 
p. in. mouth of the jar being kept covered for the time 
which seems to be required that the image of the 
crescent moon may be shown on the ceiling. 

ii. But the scales of fishes or of the " hippurus " 2 make 
stars seem to be when they are moistened with water and 
gum and stuck upon the ceiling here and there. 

12. And they create the illusion of an earthquake, so 
that everything appears to be moving, ichneumon's dung 
being burned upon coal with magnetic iron ore 3 . . . 

13. But they display a liver appearing to bear an 
inscription. On his left hand (the magician) writes what he 
wishes, adapting it to the enquiry, and the letters are written 
with nut-galls and strong vinegar. Then taking up the liver, 
which rests in his left hand, he makes some delay, and it 
receives the impression and is thought to have been 
inscribed. 

14. And having placed a skull on the earth, they make 
it speak in this fashion. It is made out of the omentum of 

p. 112. an ox, 4 moulded with Tyrrhenian wax and gypsum and 
when it is made and covered with the membrane, it shows 

1 eV vaXcoSecri tvitois. Schneidewin suggests ronois unreasonably. 
Many alabaster jars are nearly transparent. 

2 Cf. Aristotle, De Hist. Animal, V, 10, 2. Said to be Coryphcena 
hippurus. 

3 The hiatus leaves us in doubt how this operated. Perhaps it 
liberated free ammonia. 

4 Reading iiriirXoov fioetov instead of, with Cruice, iir'nrXzov fSuXov, 
" filled with clay." 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 103 

the semblance of a skull. The which seems to speak by 
the use of the implement and in the way we have before 
explained in the case of the boys. Having prepared the 
windpipe of a crane or some such long-necked bird and 
putting it secretly into the skull, the accomplice speaks 
what (the magician) wishes. And when he wants it to 
vanish, he appears to offer incense and putting round it 
a quantity of coals the wax receiving the heat of which 
melts, and thus the skull is thought to have become 
invisible. 1 

15. These and ten thousand such are the works of the 
magicians, which, by the suitableness of the verses and 
of the belief-inspiring acts 'performed, beguile the fancy of 
the thoughtless. The heresiarchs struck with the arts of 
these (magicians) imitate them, handing down some of 
their doctrines in secrecy and darkness, but paraphrasing 
others as if they were their own. Thanks to this, as we 
wish to remind the public, we have been the more anxious 
to leave behind us no place for those who wish to go 
astray. But we have been led away not without reason 
into certain secrets of the magicians which were not 
altogether necessary for the subject, 2 but which were p. 113 
thought useful as a safeguard against the rascally and 
inconsistent art of the magicians. Since, now, as far as 
one can guess, a we have set forth the opinions of all, 
having bestowed much care on making it clear that the 
things which the heresiarchs have introduced into religion 
as new are vain and spurious, and probably are not even 
among themselves thought worthy of discussion, it seems 
proper to us to recall briefly and summarily what has been 
before said. 

5. Recapitulation. 

1. Among all the philosophers and theologists 4 who are 
enquiring into the matter throughout the inhabited world, 

1 agaves, " unapparent. " 

8 a.Tn)vexQtu*.ev. An admission that this chapter was an after- 
thought. 

3 a>s ei/fairai, icrri, ut patet, Cr. 

4 8eo\6yoi. It does not mean "theologians" in our sense, but 
narrator of stories about the gods. Orpheus is always considered 
a 0eo\6yos. 



io 4 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

there is no agreement concerning God, as to what He is or 
whence (He came). 1 For some say that He is fire, some 
spirit, some water, others earth. But every one of these 
elements contains something inferior and some of them are 
defeated by the others. But this has happened to the 
world's sages, which indeed is plain to those who think, 

p. 1 14. that in view of the greatness of creation, they are puzzled 
as to the substance of the things which are, deeming them 
too great for it to be possible for them to have received 
birth from another. Nor yet do they represent the universe 
itself taken collectively 2 to be God. But in speculation 
about God every one thought of something which he 
preferred among visible things as the Cause. And thus 
gazing upon the things produced by God and on those 
which are least in comparison with His exceeding greatness, 
but not being capable of extending their mind to the real 
God, they declared these things to be divine. 

The Persians, however, deeming that they were further 
within the truth (than the rest) said that God was a shining 
light comprised in air. But the Babylonians said that dark- 
ness was God, which appears to be the sequence of the 
other opinion ; for day follows night and night day. 3 

2. But the Egyptians, deeming themselves older than all, 
have subjected the power of God to ciphers, 4 and calculating 
the intervals of the fates by Divine inspiration 5 said that God 

p. 115. was a monad both indivisible and itself begetting itself, and 
that from this (monad) all things were made. For it, they 
say, being unbegotten, begets the numbers after it ; for 
example, the monad added to itself begets the dyad, and 
added in the like way the triad and tetrad up to the decad, 
which is the beginning and the end of the numbers. So 

1 7ro5o7roy. Not, as Cruice translates, quale, which would be better 
expressed by the irolov of Aristotle. 

2 rb crvfiirav avrb. 

3 It is fairly certain that Hippolytus in this "Recapitulation" must 
here be summarizing the missing Books II and III. He has said 
nothing in any part of the work that has come down to us about the 
Persian theology, and in Book I he calls Zaratas or Zoroaster a 
Chaldaean and not a Persian. 

4 ^>-i](pois virefiaXov kcu are supplied by Schneidewin in the place of 
three words rubbed out. 

5 Reading with Schneidewin jxoipwv for /j.vpwv and eTwrvolas for 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 105 

that the monad becomes the first and tenth through the 
decad being of equal power and being reckoned as a monad, 
and the same being decupled becomes a hecatontad and 
again is a monad, and the hecatontad when decupled will 
make a chiliad, and it again will be a monad. And thus 
also the chiliads if decupled will complete the myriad and 
likewise will be a monad. But the numbers akin to the 
monad by indivisible comparison are ascertained to be 
3> 5? 7> 9- 1 There is, however, also a more natural affinity of 
another number with the monad which is that by the opera- 
tion of the spiral of 6 circles 2 of the dyad according to the 
even placing and separation of the numbers. But the kin- p. 116. 
dred number is of the 4 and 8. And these receiving added 
virtue from numbers of the monad, advanced up to the four 
elements, I mean spirit and fire, water and earth. And 
having created from these the masculo-feminine cosmos, 3 
he prepared and arranged two elements in the upper hemi- 
sphere, (to wit) spirit and fire, and he called this the 
beneficent hemisphere of the monad and the ascending and 
the masculine. For the monad, being subtle, flies to the 
most subtle and purest part of the aether. The two other 
elements being denser, he assigns to the dyad (to wit) earth 
and water, and he calls this the descending hemisphere and 
feminine and maleficent. And again the two upper elements 
when compounded with themselves have in themselves the 
male and the female for the fruitfulness and increase of 
the universals. And the fire is masculine, but the spirit 
feminine : and again the water is masculine and the earth 
feminine. 4 And thus from the beginning the fire lived with 

1 By indivisible comparison (avyKpiats) he seems to imply that these 
numbers cannot be divided except by I. Hence Cruice would omit 9 
as being divisible by 3. Perhaps he means " like indivisibility." 

2 Cruice suggests that this was an astronomical instrument and 
quotes CI. Ptolemy, Harmon, I, 2, in support. 

3 Why should the cosmos be masculo-feminine ? The Valentinians 
said the same thing about their Sophia, who was, as I have said 
elsewhere {Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Oct. 1917), a 
personification of the Earth. The idea seems to go hack to Sumerian 
times. Cf. Forerun iters, II, 45, n. I, and Mr. S. Langclon, Tammuz 
and 1 slit ar, Oxford, 1914, pp. 7, 43 and 115. 

4 The worshippers of the Greek Isis declared Isis to be the earth and 
Osiris water. See Forerunners, I, 73, for references. If Ilippolytus 
is here recapitulating Books II and III, it is probable that the lacuna 
was occupied with some reference to the Alexandrian deities and their 



106 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

the spirit and the water with the earth. For as the power 
of the spirit is the fire, so also (the power) of the earth is 
the water. . . . 

p. 117. And the same elements counted and resolved by sub- 
traction of the enneads, 1 properly end some in the male 
number, others in the female. But again the ennead is 
subtracted for this cause, because the 360 degrees of the 
whole circle consist of enneads, and hence the 4 quarters 
of the cosmos are (each) circumscribed by 90 complete 
degrees. But the light is associated with the monad and 
the darkness with the dyad, and naturally life with the light 
and death with the dyad, and justice with life and injustice 
with death. Whence everything engendered among the 
male numbers is benefic, and (everything engendered) 
among the female numbers is malefic. For example, they 
reckon that the monad so that we may begin from this 
becomes 361, which ends in a monad, the ennead (s) being 
subtracted. Reckon in the same way : the dyad becomes 
605 ; subtract the enneads, it ends in a dyad and each is 
(thus) carried back to its own. 2 

3. With the monad, then, as it is benefic, there are 

p. 118. associated names which end in the uneven number, 3 and 
they say that they are ascending and male and benefic when 
observed ; but that those which end in an even number are 
considered descending and female and malefic. For they 
say that nature consists of opposites, to wit, good and bad, 
as right and left, light and darkness, night and day, life and 
death. And they say this besides : that they have calculated 
the name of God and that it results in a pentad [or in an 
ennead], 4 which is uneven and which written down and 
wrapped about the sick works cures. And thus a certain 
plant (whose name) ends in this number when tied on in 
the same way is effective by the like reckoning of the 



connection with the arithmetical speculations of the Neo- Pythagoreans. 
Could this be substantiated, we should not need to look further for the 
origin of the Simonian and Valentihian heresies. 

1 ipr)(pi(6/j.eva /cat ava\vo/j.eva, sitpputata et diversa, Cr. The process 
seems to be that called earlier (p. 85 supra) the rule of 9. 

2 361 -f 9 = 40 + I ; 605 -r 9 = 67 + 2. 

3 airepi^vyov, lit., "unyoked." 

4 tls iwdSa here appears in the text apparently as an alternative 
reading. Cruice suggests u with an ennead deducted." 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 107 

number. But a doctor also cures the sick by a like calcu- 
lation. But if the calculation be contrary, he does not make 
cures easily. Those who give heed to these numbers count 
all numbers like it which have the same meaning, some 
according to the vowels alone, others according to the total p. 11;. 
of the numbers. 1 Such is the wisdom of the Egyptians, 
whereby, while glorifying the Divine, they think they under- 
stand it. 

6. Of the Divination by Astronomy? 

We seem then to have set forth these things also sufficiently. 
But since I consider that not one tenet of this earthy and 
grovelling wisdom has been passed over, I perceive that 
our care with regard to the same things has not been useless. 
For we see that our discourse has been of great use not only 
for the refutation of heresies, but also against those who 
magnify these things. 3 Those who happen to notice the mani- 
fold care taken by us will both wonder at our zeal and will 
neither despise our painstaking nor denounce Christians as 
fools when they see what themselves have foolishly believed. 
And besides this, the discourse will timely instruct those 
lovers of learning who give heed to the truth, making them 
more wise to easily overthrow those who have dared to 
mislead them for they will have learned not only the prin- 
ciples of the heresies, but also the so-called opinions of the 
sages. Not being unacquainted with which, they will not p. 120. 
be confused by them as are the unlearned, nor misled by 
some who exercise a certain power, but will keep a watch 
upon those who go astray. 

2. Having therefore sufficiently set forth (our) opinions, 
it remains for us to proceed to the subject aforesaid, when, 

1 Meaning that some reckon the numerical value of all the letters in 
a name, others that of the vowels only. 

1 What follows has nothing to do with divination, but treats of the 
celestial map as a symbolical representation of the Christian scheme of 
salvation. Ilippolytus condemns the notion as a "heresy," but if so, 
its place ought to be in Book V. It is doubtful from what author or 
teacher he derived his account of it ; but all the quotations from 
Aratus' Phenomena which he gives are to be found in Cicero, De 
Natara Deorum, 41, where they make, as they do not here, a 
connected story. 

:{ One of the passages favouring the conjecture that the book was 
originally in the form of lectures. 

VOL. I. H 



io8 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

after we have proved what we arranged concerning the 
heresies, and have forced the heresiarchs to restore to every- 
one his own, we shall exhibit (these heresiarchs) stripped 
(of all originality) and by denouncing the folly of their 
dupes we shall persuade them to return again to the precious 
haven of the truth. But in order that what has been said 
may appear more clearly to the readers, 1 it seems to us well 
to state the conclusions of Aratus as to the disposition of 
the stars in the heaven. For there are some who by liken- 
ing them to the words of the Scriptures turn them into 
allegories and seek to divert the minds of those who listen 
to them by leading them with persuasive words whither 
they wish, and pointing out to them strange marvels like 
those of the transfers to the stars 2 alleged by them. They 
who while gazing upon the outlandish wonder are caught by 
their admiration for trifles are like the bird called the owl, 3 
whose example it will be well to narrate in view of what 
follows. Now this animal presents no very different appear- 
ance from that of the eagle whether in size or shape ; but it is 
caught in this way. The bird-catcher, when he sees a flock 
alighting anywhere, claps his hands, pretends to dance, and 
thus gradually draws near to the birds ; but they, struck 
by the unwonted sight, become blind to everything else. 
Others of the party, however, who are ready on the ground 
coming behind the birds easily capture them while they are 
staring at the dancer. Wherefore I ask that no one who 
is struck by the wonders of whose who interpret the heaven 
shall be taken in like the owl. For the dancing and non- 
sense of such (interpreters) is trickery and not truth. Now 
Aratus speaks thus : 

" Many and like are they, going hither and thither, 

Daily they wheel in heaven always and ever [that is, all the stars] 
Yet none changes his abode 4 ever so little : but with perfect exactness 

1 ol iurvyxdvovTs, legentibus, Cr. It may just as easily mean 
"those who come across this." 

2 " Catasterisms " was the technical term for these transfers, of which 
the Conia Berenices is the best-known example. Cf. Bouche-Leclercq, 
op. cit., p. 23. 

3 The long-eared owl [strix otus). According to /Elian it had a 
reputation for stupidity, and was therefore a type of the easy dupe, 
Athenaius, Deipnosophistiv, IX, 44, 45, tells a similar story to that in 
the text about the bustard. 

4 Reading fxeTavdao-erai for fieraviaaeTai or ficraveio-irai. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 109 

Ever the Pole is fixed, and holds the earth in the midst of all 
As equipoise of all, and around it leads Heaven itself.' - ' 

(Aratas, FJua:., vv. 45, 46.) 

3. He says that the stars in heaven are irokias, that is, p. 122 
turning, 1 because of their going about ceaselessly from East 
to West and from West to East in a spherical figure. But 
he says there is coiled round the Bears themselves, like the 
stream of some river, a great marvel of a terrible dragon, 
and this it is, he says, that the Devil in the (Book of) Job 
says to God : " I have been walking to and fro under heaven 
and going round about," 2 that is, turning hither and thither 
and inspecting what is happening. For they consider that 
the Dragon is set below the Arctic Pole, from this highest 
pole gazing upon all things and beholding all things, so that 
none of those that are done shall escape him. For though 
all the stars in the heaven can set, this Pole alone never 
sets, but rising high above the horizon inspects all things 
and beholds all things, and nothing of what is done, he says, 
can escape him. 

" Where (most) 
Settings and risings mingle wilh one another." 

(Aratus, Plum., v. 61.) 

he says, indeed, that his head is set. For over against the p. 123. 
rising and setting of the two hemispheres lies the head of 
Draco, so that, he says, nothing escapes him immediately 
either of things in the West or of things in the East, but the 
Beast knows all things at once. And there over against 
the very head of Draco is the form of a man made visible by 
reason of the stars, which Aratus calls " a wearied image," 
and like one in toil ; but he names it the " Kneeler." 3 
Now Aratus says that he does not know what this toil is 
and this marvel which turns in heaven. But the heretics, 
wishing to found their own tenets on the story of the stars, 
and giving their minds very carefully to these things, say 

1 a-TpeiTTovs, vohentes, Cr. An attempt to pun on iroAos, the Pole. 

2 Job i. 7. The Book of Job according to some writers comes from 
an Essene school, which may give us some clue to the origin of these 
ideas. The Enochian literature to which the same tendency is assigned 
is full of speculations about the heavenly bodies. See Forerunners, 
I, p. 159, for references. 

3 6 'ey yovaatv. Aratus calls this constellation 6 iv y6vaffi Kadv/xevos, 
Cicero Engonasis, Ovid Gemmixas, Vitruvius, Manilius and J. Firmicus 
Maternus, Ingeniailus. 



no PHILOSOPHUMENA 

that the Kneeler is Adam, as Moses said, according to the 
decree of God guarding the head of the Dragon and the 
Dragon (guarding) his heel. 1 For thus says Aratus : 

" Holding the sole of the right foot of winding Draco." 

{PJncu., vv. 63-65.) 

4. But he says there are placed on either side of him (I 
mean the Kneeler) Lyra and Corona ; but that he bends 
the knee and stretches forth both hands as if making con- 
p. 124. fession of sin. 2 And that the lyre is a musical instrument 
fashioned by the Logos in extreme infancy. But that 
Hermes is called among the Greeks Logos. And Aratus 
says about the fashioning of the lyre : 

" which, while he was yet in his cradle 
Hermes bored and said it was to be called lyre." 

{P/ucn., v. 268.) 

It is seven-stringed, and indicates by its seven strings the 
entire harmony and constitution with which the cosmos is 
suitably provided. For in six days the earth came into being 
and there was rest on the seventh. If, then, he says, 3 Adam 
making confession and guarding the head of the Beast accord- 
ing to God's decree, will imitate the lyre, that is, will follow 
the word of God, which is to obey the Law, he will attain the 
Crown lying beside it. But if he takes no heed, he will be 
carried dqwnwards along with the Beast below him, and 
will have his lot, he says, with the Beast. But the Kneeler 
seems to stretch forth his hands on either side and here to 
p 125 g ras P tne I-V r e and there the Crown [and this is to make con- 
fession], 4 as is to be seen from the very posture. But the 

1 A perversion of the " it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise 
his heel," of Genesis iii. 15. 

2 From his attitude the Kneeler resembles the figure of Atlas sup- 
porting the world, who as Omophorus plays a great part in Manichrean 
mythology. Cumont derives this from a Babylonian original, for which 
and his connection with Mithraic cosmogony see his Rechei ches sur le 
ManichiisirUy Brussels, 1908, I, p. 70, figs. 1 and 2. The constellation 
is now known as Hercules. 

3 Hippolytus here evidently quotes not from Aratus, but from some 
unnamed Gnostic or heretic writer, whom Cruice thinks must have 
been a Jew. Yet he was plainly a Christian, as appears from _ his 
remarks about the " Second Creation." An Ebionite writer might 
have preserved many Essene superstitions. 

4 Cruice, following Roeper, says these words have slipped in from an 
earlier page. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS in 

Crown is plotted against and at the same time drawn away 
by another Beast, Draco the Less, who is the offspring of 
the one which is guarded by the foot of the Kneeler. But 
(another) man stands firmly grasping with both hands 
the Serpent, and draws him backwards from the Crown, 
and does not permit the Beast to forcibly seize it. Him 
Aratus calls Serpent-holder, 1 because he restrains the rage 
of the Serpent striving to come at the Crown. But 
he, he says, who in the shape of man forbids the Beast 
to come at the Crown is Logos, who has mercy upon 
him who is plotted against by Draco and his offspring at 
once. 

And these Bears, he says, are two hebdomads, being made 
up of seven stars each, and are images of the two creations. 
For the First Creation, he says, is that according to Adam 
in his labours who is seen as the Kneeler. But the Second 
Creation is that according to Christ whereby we are born 
again. He is the Serpent-holder fighting the Beast and p. i 2 ( 
preventing him from coming at the Crown prepared for 
man. But Helica 2 is the Great Bear, he says, the symbol 
of the great creation, whereby Greeks sail, that is by which 
they are taught, and borne onwards by the waves of life 
they follow it, such a creation being a certain revolution 3 
or schooling or wisdom, leading back again those who follow 
such (to the point whence they started). For the name 
Helica seems to be a certain turning and circling back to 
the same positon. But there is also another Lesser Bear, 
as it were an image of the Second Creation created by God. 
For few, he says, are they who travel by this narrow way. 
For they say that Cynosura is narrow, by which, Aratus says, 
the Sidonians navigate. 4 But Aratus in turn says the 
Sidonians are Phoenicians on account of the wisdom of the 
Phoenicians being wonderful. But they say that the Greeks 
are Phoenicians who removed from the Red Sea to the land 

1 cxpiovxos. The " Ophiuchus huge" of Milton or Anguitenens. 

2 'EAi/ctj. So Aratus and Apollonius Rhodius. Said to be so called 
from its perpetually revolving. Cruice remarks on this sentence that it 
does not seem to have been written by a Greek, and quotes Epiphanius 
as to the addiction of the Pharisees to astrology. But see last note but one. 

3 kKiKi]. A pun quite in Hippolytus' manner. 

4 irpbs i)v . . . vavriWovrai. Cruice and Macmahon alike translate 
this " towards which," but Aratus clearly means " steer by " both here 
and earlier. 



ii2 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

p. 127.- where they now dwell. For thus it seemed to Herodotus. 1 
But this Bear he says is Cynosura, the Second Creation, the 
small, the narrow way and not Helica. For she leads not 
backwards, but guides those who follow her forwards to the 
straight way, being the (tail) of the dog. For the 'Logos is 
the Dog (Cyon) who at the same time guards and protects 
the sheep against the plans of the wolves, and also chases 
the wild beasts from creation and slays them, and who 
begets all things. For Cyon, they say, indeed means the 
begetter. 2 Hence, they say, Aratus, speaking of the rising 
of Canis, says thus : 

"But when the Dog 'rises, no longer do the crops play false." 

(Phccn. v. 332.) 

This is what he means : Plants that have been planted 
in the earth up to the rising of the Dog-star take no root, 
but yet grow leaves and appear to beholders as if they will 
bear fruit and are alive, but have no life from the root in 
them. But when the rising of the Dog-star occurs, the 
living plants are distinguished by Canis from the dead, for 
p. 128. he withers entirely those which have not taken root. This 
Cyon, he says then, being a certain Divine Logos has been 
established judge of quick and dead, and as Cyon is seen 
to be the star of the plants, so the Logos, he says, is for the 
heavenly plants, that is for men. For some such cause as 
this, then, the Second Creation Cynosura stands in heaven 
as the image of the rational 3 creature. But between the 
two creations Draco is extended below, hindering the things 
of the great creation from coming to the lesser, and watching 
those things which are fixed in the great creation like the 
Kneeler lest they see how and in what way every one is 
fixed in the little creation. But Draco is himself watched 
as to the head, he says, by Ophiuchus. The same, he says, 
is fixed as an image in heaven, being a certain philosophy 
for those who can see. 

But if this is not clear, through another image, he says, 

1 Herodotus I, 1. He does not say, however, that the Greeks were 
Phoenicians. 

2 Rather the conceiver, from uvea, to conceive. ywva.<a is used of the 
mother by Aristotle, De Gen. Animal. , 3, 5, 6. 

3 \oyiKr}s. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 113 

creation teaches us to philosophize, about which Aratus 
speaks thus : 

"Nor of Ionian 1 Cepheus are we the miserable race." 

(P/icen. v. 353. ) 

But near Draco, he says, are Cepheus and Cassiopeia and p. 129. 
Andromeda and Perseus, great letters of 2 the creation to 
those who can see. For he says that Cepheus is Adam, 
Cassiopeia Eve, Andromeda the soul of both, Perseus the 
winged offspring of Zeus and Cetus the plotting Beast. 
Not to any other of these comes Perseus the slayer of the 
Beast, but to Andromeda alone. From which Beast, he 
says, the Logos Perseus, taking her to himself, delivers 
Andromeda who had been given in chains to the Beast. 
But Perseus is the winged axis which extends to both poles 
through the middle of the earth and makes the cosmos 
revolve. But the spirit which is in the Cosmos is Cycnus, 3 
the bird which is near the Bears, a musical animal, symbol of 
the Divine Spirit, because only when it is near the limits of 
life, its nature is to sing, and, as one escaping with good hope 
from this evil creation it sends up songs of praise to God. 
But crabs and bulls and lions and rams and goats and kids 
and all the other animals who are named in heaven on p. 130. 
account of the stars are, he says, images and paradigms 
whence the changeable nature receives the patterns 4 and 
becomes full of such animals. 5 

Making use of these discourses, they think to deceive as 
many as give heed to the astrologers, seeking therefrom to 
set up a religion which appears very different from their 
assumptions. 6 Wherefore, O beloved, 7 let us shun the 
trifle-admiring way of the owl. For these things and those 

1 Reading Ia<ra5os for Cruice's IacriSoo. The text is said to have els 
aiSao. 

2 ypdfxfiara, elementa, Cr. But I think the allusion is to the story 
they contain for those who can read them. 

3 The Swan. 4 ras \8eas 

5 If Hippolytus' words are here correctly transcribed, the "heretic " 
quoted seems to have two inconsistent ideas about the stars. One is 
that the constellations are types or allegories of what takes place in man's 
soul ; the other, that they are the patterns after which the creatures of 
this world were made. This last is Mithraic rather than Christian. 

6 rrjs tovtujv i>-no\r)\l/o)s, ab horum cogitationibiis, Cr. 

7 aycnr^Toi. The word generally used in a sermon. 



1 14 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

like them are dancing and not truth. For the stars do not 
reveal these things ; but men on their own account and for 
the better distinguishing of certain stars (from the rest) gave 
them names so that they might be a mark to them. For 
what likeness have the stars strewn about the heaven to a 
bear, or a lion, or kids, or a water-carrier, or Cepheus, or 
Andromeda, or to the Shades named in Hades for many 
of these persons and the names of the stars alike came into 
existence long after the stars themselves so that the 
P 131. heretics being struck with the wonder should thus labour 
by such discourses to establish their own doctrines ? x 

7. Of -the Arithmetical Art. 2 

Seeing, however, that nearly all heresy has discovered by 
the art of arithmetic measures of hebdomads and certain 
projections of /Eons, each tearing the art to pieces in 
different ways and only changing the names, but of these 
(men) Pythagoras came to be teacher who first transmitted 
to the Greeks such numbers from Egypt it seems good 
not to pass over this, but after briefly pointing it out to 
proceed to the demonstration of the objects of our enquiries. 
These men were arithmeticians and geometricians to whom 
especially it seems Pythagoras first supplied the principles 
(of their arts). And they took the first beginnings (of 
things), discovered apparently by reason alone, from the 

1 This also reads like a peroration. 

2 In this chapter Hippolytus for the first time sets himself seriously 
to prove the thesis which he has before asserted, i. e., that all the Gnostic 
systems are derived from the teachings of the Greek philosophers. His 
mode of doing so is to compare the elaborate systems of Aeons or 
emanations of deity imagined by heresiarchs like Simon Magus and 
Valentinus to the views attributed by him to Pythagoras which make all 
nature to spring from one indivisible point. Whether Pythagoras ever 
held such views may be doubted and we have no means of checking 
Hippolytus' always loose statements on this point ; but something like 
them appears in the Iheaeletus of Plato where arithmetic and geometry 
seem to be connected by talk about oblong as well as square numbers 
and the construction of solids from them. If we imagine with the 
Greeks (see n. on p. 37 supra) that numbers are not abstract things, 
but actual portions of space, there is indeed a strong likeness between 
the ideas of the later Platonists as to the construction of the world by 
means of numbers and those attributed to the Gnostic teachers as to its 
emanation from God. Whether these last really held the views thus 
attributed to them is another matter. Cf. Forerunners, II, pp. 99.. 100. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 115 

numbers which can always proceed to infinity by multipli- 
cation and the figures (produced by it). For the beginning 
of geometry, as may be seen, is an indivisible point ; but 
from that point the generation of the infinite figures from 
the point 1 is discovered by the art. For the point when p. 13^ 
extended 2 in length becomes after extension a line having 
a point as its limit : 3 and a line when extended in breadth 
produces a superficies and the limits of the superficies are 
lines : and a superficies extended in depth becomes a (solid) 
body : 4 and when this solid is in existence, the nature of 
the great body is thus wholly founded from the smallest 
point. And this is what Simon says thus : " The little 
will be great, being as it were a point ; but the great will be 
boundless," 5 in imitation of that geometrical point. But 
the beginning of arithmetic, which includes by combination 
philosophy, is 6 a number which is boundless and incompre- 
hensible, containing within itself all the numbers capable of 
coming to infinity by multitude. But the beginning of the 
numbers becomes by hypostasis the first monad, which is a 
male unit begetting as does a father all the other numbers. 
Second comes the dyad, a female number, and the same is 
called even by the arithmeticians. Third comes the triad, 
a male number ; this also has been ordained to be called 
odd by the arithmeticians. After all these comes the tetrad, 
a female number, and this same is also called even, because p. 133. 
it is female. Therefore all the numbers taken from the 
genus are four but the boundless genus is number where- 
from is constructed their perfect number, the decad. For 

1 airb rod cr7]/j.eiov seems to be repeated needlessly. 

2 pvtv, " flowing out." 

3 irepos (xovo-a a-n/ui.e'iou. Surely it has two limits a point at each end. 

4 aw/j-a. In the next sentence he uses the proper word arepeov. 

5 This is, I suppose, quoted from the 'Airotydais peyaAii attributed to 
Simon, as he speaks afterwards (II, p. 9 infra) of the small becoming 
great, " as it is written in the Apophasis, if it . . . come into being 
from the indivisible point. But the great will be in the boundless 
aeon," etc. 

What follows from this point down to the end of the paragraph is 
an almost verbatim transcript of the passage in Book I (pp. 37 ff. supra), 
where it is given as the teaching of Pythagoras. The only substantial 
differences are : that hypostasis is written for hypothesis in the second 
sentence of the passage ; the Tetractys is no longer said to be the 
"source" of eternal nature ; and the 1 1, 12, etc., are now said to take, 
and not "share" their beginning from tfce 10, 



n6 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

i, 2, 3, 4 become io, as has before been shown, if the 
name which is proper to each of the numbers be substanti- 
ally kept. This is the sacred Tetractys according to Pytha- 
goras which contains within itself the roots of eternal nature, 
that is, all the other numbers. For the n, 12 and the rest 
take the principle of birth from the 10. Of this decad, the 
perfect number, the four parts are called : number, monad, 
square and cube. The conjunctions and minglings of which 
are for the birth of increase, they completing naturally the 
fruitful number. For when this square is multiplied into 
itself, it becomes a square squared ; but when a square into 
a cube, it becomes a square cubed j but when a cube into 
a cube, it becomes a cube cubed. So that all the numbers 
are seven, in order that the birth of the existing numbers 

p. 134. may come from a hebdomad, which is number, monad, 
square, cube, square of a square, cube of a square, cube of 
a cube. 

Of this hebdomad Simon and Valentinus, having altered 
the names, recount prodigies, hastening to base upon it their 
own systems. 1 For Simon calls (it) thus : Mind, Thought, 
Name, Voice, Reasoning, Desire and He who has Stood, 
Stands and will Stand : and Valentinus : Mind, Truth, 
Word, Life, Man, Church and the Father who is counted 
with them. According to these (ideas) of those trained 
in the arithmetic philosophy, which they admired as 
something unknowable by the crowd, and in pursuance of 
them, they constructed the heresies excogitated by them. 

Now there are some also who try to construct hebdomads 
from the healing art, being struck by the dissection of the 
brain, saying that the substance, power of paternity, and 
divinity of the universe can be learned from its constitution. 

p. 135. For the brain, being the ruling part of the whole body rests 
calm and unmoved, containing within itself the breath. 2 
Now such a story is not incredible, but a long way from their 
attempted theory. For the brain when dissected has within 
it what is called the chamber, on each side of which are the 
membranes which they call wings, gently moved by the 

1 vTTodeaiv eavTOis eurevOev ax^^cravTes, suis dogmatibus fwidamen- 
hem posuerunt, Cr. 

2 to irvedfia. Cruice translates this by spiritum, and is followed by 
Macmahon. I think, however, he means the breath, it being the idea 
of the ancients that the arteries were air-vessels. 



DIVINERS AND MAGICIANS 117 

breath, and again driving the breath into the cerebellum. 1 
And the breath, passing through a certain reed-like vein, 
travels to the pineal gland. 2 Near this lies the mouth of 
the cerebellum which receives the breath passing through 
and gives it up to the so-called spinal marrow. 3 From this 
the whole body gets a share of pneumatic (force), all the 
arteries being dependent like branches on this vein, the 
extremity of which finishes in the genital veins. Whence 
also the seeds proceeding from the brain through the loins 
are secreted. But the shape of the cerebellum is like the 
head of a dragon ; concerning which there is much talk 
among those of the Gnosis falsely so called, as we have 
shown. But there are other six pairs (of vessels) growing 
from the brain, which making their way round the head and 
finishing within it, connect the bodies together. But the 
seventh (goes) from the cerebellum to the lower parts of the p. 136. 
rest of the body, as we have said. 

And about this there is much talk since Simon and 
Valentinus have found in it hints which they have taken, 
although they do not admit it, being first cheats and then 
heretics. Since then it seems that we have sufficiently set 
out these things, and that all the apparent dogmas of earthly 
philosophy have been included in (these) four books, 4 it 
seems fitting to proceed to their disciples or rather to their 
plagiarists. 

The Fourth Book of Philosophumena 5 

1 irapeyKe<pa\is. 2 Koovdpiov. 3 vwriouov (xoeXov. 

1 It is at any rate plain from this that the missing Books II and III 
at one time existed. 

5 These words appear in the MS. at the foot of this Book. 



BOOK V 

THE OPHITE HERESIES 

p. 137. 1. These are the contents of the 5th (book) of the 
Refutation of all Heresies. 

2. What the Naassenes say who call themselves Gnostics, 
and that they profess those opinions which the philosophers 
of the Greeks and the transmitters of the Mysteries first laid 
down, starting wherefrom they have constructed heresies. 

3. And what things the Peratae imagine, and that their 
doctrine is not framed from the Holy Scriptures but from 
the astrological (art). 

4. What is the system according to the Sithians, and that 
they have patched together their doctrine by plagiarizing 
from those wise men according to the Greeks, (to wit) 
Musaeus and Linus and Orpheus. 

5. What Justinus imagined and that his doctrine is not 
framed from the Holy Scriptures, but from the marvellous 
tales of Herodotus the historiographer. 

1. Naassenes. 1 

p. 138. 6. I consider that the tenets concerning the Divine and the 
fashioning of the cosmos (held by) all those who are 

1 In this chapter, Hippolytus treats of what is probably a late form 
of the Ophite heresy, certainly one of the first to enter intorivalry with 
the Catholic Church. For its doctrines and practices, the reader must 
be referred to the chapter on the Ophites in the translator's Fore- 
runners and Rivals of Christianity, vol. II ; but it may be said here that 
it seems to have sprung from a combination of the corrupt Judaism then 
practised in Asia Minor with the Pagan myths or legends prevalent all 
over Western Asia, which may someday be traced back to the Sumerians 
and the earliest civilization of which we have any record. Yet the 
Ophites admitted the truth of the Gospel narrative, and asserted the 
existence of a Supreme Being endowed with the attributes of both 
sexes and manifesting Himself to man by means of a Deity called His 
son, who was nevertheless identified with both the masculine and 
feminine aspects of his Father. This triad, which the Ophites called, 

118 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 119 

deemed philosophers by Greeks and Barbarians have been 
very painfully set forth in the four books before this. Whose 

the First Man, the Second Man, and the First Woman or Holy Spirit, 1 \n 
they represented as creating the planetary worlds as well as the " world j 
of form," by the intermediary of an inferior power called Sophia or 
Wisdom and her son Jaldabaoth, who is expressly stated to be the God ' 
of the Jews. 

All this we knew before the discovery of our text from the statements 
ofheresiologistslike St. Irenreus and Epiphanius ; but Hippolytus goes 
further than any other author by connecting these Ophite theories with | L 
the worship of the Mother of the Gods or Cybele, the form under which 
the triune deity of Western Asia was best known in Europe. The un- 
named Naassene or Ophite author from whom he quotes without inter- 
mission throughout the chapter, seems to have got hold of a hymn to Attis 
used in the festivals of Cybele, in which Attis is, after the synergistic fash- 
ion of post- Alexandrian paganism, identified with the Syrian Adonis, the 
Egyptian Osiris, the Greek Dionysos and Hermes, and the Samothrac- 
ian or Cabiric gods Adamna and Corybas ; and the chapter is in 
substance a commentary on this hymn, the order of the lines of which 
it follows closely. This commentary tries to explain or "interpret" 
the different myths there referred to by passages from the Old and New 
Testaments and from the Greek poets dragged in against their manifest 
sense and in the wildest fashion. Most of these supposed allusions, 
indeed, can only be justified by the most outrageous play upon words, 
and it may be truly said that not a single one of them when naturally 
construed bears the slightest reference to the matter in hand. Yet 
they serve not only to elucidate the Ophite beliefs, but give, as it were 
accidentally, much information as to the scenes enacted in the Elcusin- 
ian and other heathen mysteries which was before lacking. The author 
also quotes two hymns used apparently in the Ophite worship which are 
not only the sole relics of a once extensive literature, but are a great 
deal better evidence as to Gnostic tenets than his own loose and equivo- 
cal statements. 

As the legend of Attis and Cybele may not be familiar to all, it may 
be well to give a brief abstract of it as found in Pausanias, Diodorus 
Siculus, Ovid, and the Christian writer Arnobius. Cybele, called also 
Agdistis, Rhea, Ge, or the Great Mother, was said to have been born from 
a rock accidentally fecundated by Zeus. On her first appearance she was 
hermaphrodite, but on the gods depriving her of her virility it passed 
into an almond-tree. The fruit of this was plucked by the virgin 
daughter of the river Sangarios, who, placing it in her bosom, became 
by it the mother of Attis, fairest of mankind. Attis at his birth was 
exposed on the river-bank, but was rescued, brought up as a goatherd, 
and was later chosen as a husband by the king's daughter. At the marri- 
age feast, Cybele, fired bv jealousy, broke into the palace and, according 
to one version of the story, emasculated Attis who died of the hurt. Then 
Cybele repented and prayed to Zeus to restore him to life, which prayer 
was granted by making him a god. The ceremonies of the Megalesia 
celebrating the Death and Resurrection of Attis as held in Rome 
during the late Republic and early Empire, and their likeness to the 



120 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

curious arts I have not neglected, so that I have under- 
taken for the readers no chance labour, exhorting many to 
love of learning and certainty of knowledge about the truth. 
Now therefore there remains to hasten on to the refutation 
of the heresies, with which intent 1 also we have set forth 
the things aforesaid. From which philosophers the 
heresiarchs have taken hints in common 2 and patching 
like cobblers the mistakes of the ancients on to their 
own thoughts, have offered them as new to those they 
can deceive, as we shall prove in (the books) which follow. 
For the rest, it is time to approach the subjects laid down 
before, but to begin with those who have dared to sing the 
praises of the Serpent, nvho is in fact the cause of the error, 
through certain systems invented by his action. Therefore 

j\ 139. the priests and chiefs of the doctrine were the first who 
were called Naassenes, being thus named in the Hebrew 
tongue : for the Serpent is called Naas. 3 Afterwards they 
called themselves Gnostics alleging that they alone knew the 
depths. 4 Separating themselves from which persons, many 
men have made the heresy, which is really one, a much 
divided affair, describing the same things according to vary- 
ing opinions, as this discourse will argue as it proceeds. 

These men worship as the beginning of all things, 
according to their own statement, a Man and a Son of Man. 
But this Man is masculo-feminine 5 and is called by them 
Adamas; 6 and hymns to him are many and various. And 

p. 14c. the hymns, to cut it short, are repeated by them somehow 
like this : 

" From thee a father, and through thee a mother, the 
two deathless names, parents of Aeons, O thou citizen of 
heaven, Man of great name ! " 7 

Easter rites of the Christian Church are desciibed in the Journal of the 
Royal Asiatic Society for October 191 7. 

1 ( ov) x<*p iv , "thanks to which." 

2 jueTe'xto tcls acpopfias, a phrase frequent in Plato. 

:i C'rU 4 Cf. Rev. ii. 24. 5 apatvoOyXvs. 

6 Cruice thinks the name derived from the Adam Cad m on of the Jewish 
Cabala. But Adamas "the unsubdued" is an epithet of Hades who 
was equated with Dionysos, the analogue of Attis. Cf. Irenaeus, I, 1. 

7 Salmon and Stahelein in maintaining their theory that Hippolytus' 
documents were contemporary forgeiies make the point that something 
like this hymn is repeated later in the account of Monoimus the 
Arabian's heresy. The likeness is not very close. Cf. II, p. 107 infra. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 121 

But they divide him like Geryon into three parts. For 
there is of him, they say, the intellectual (part), the psychic 
and the earthly ; and they consider that the knowledge of 
him is the beginning of the capacity to know God, speaking 
thus: ''The beginning of perfection is the knowledge of 
man, but the knowledge of God is completed perfection." 
But all these things, he says, the intellectual, and the 
psychic and the earthly, proceeded and came down together 
into one man, Jesus who was born of Mary ; * and there 
spoke together, he says, in the same way, these three men 
each of them from his own substance to his own. " For 
there are three kinds of universals 2 according to them (to 
wit) the angelic, 3 the psychic and the earthly ; and three 
churches, the angelic, the psychic and the earthly ; but their 
names are : Chosen, Called, Captive. 4 

7. These are the heads of the very many discourses which p. 141. 
they say James the brother of the Lord handed down to 
Mariamne. 8 So then, that the impious may no longer 
speak falsely either of Mariamne, or of James, or of his 
Saviour, we will come to the Mysteries, whence comes their 
fable, both the Barbarian and the Greek, and we shall see 
how these men collecting together the hidden and ineffable 
mysteries of the nations 6 and speaking falsely of Christ, 
lead astray those who have not seen the Gentiles' secret rites. 
For since the Man Adamas is their foundation, and they 
say there has been written of him "Who shall declare his 
generation?" 7 learn ye how, taking from the nations in turn p. 142. 
the undiscoverable and distinguished 8 generation of the 
Man, they apply this to Christ. 

1 Origen {cont. Celsnm, VI, 30) says the Ophites used to curse the 
nnrae of Christ. Hence Origen cannot be the author of the 
Philosophumena. \ 

2 to o\a. I am doubtful whether he is here using the word in its 
.philosophic or Aristotelian sense as "entities necessarily differing from 
one another in kind," or as " things of the universe." On the whole 
the former construction seems here to be right. 

:; ' ' That which has been sent " ? 

4 Doubtless as being still confined in matter. 

5 Both Origen and Celsus knew of this Mariamne, after whom a sect 
is said to have been named. See Orig. cont. Cels., VI, 30. 

8 t<Jv sdvwv. The usual expression for Gentiles or Ooyim. 

7 Isa. liii. 8. 

8 Sidcpopou. Miller reads a8td(f>opoi> : "undistinguished." 



122 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

"For earth, say the Greeks, was the first to give 
forth man, thus bearing a goodly gift. For she wished 
to be the mother not of plants without feeling and wild 
beasts without sense, but of a gentle and God-loving 
animal. But hard it is, he says, to discover whether 
Alalcomeneus of the Boeotians came forth upon the 
p. 143. Cephisian shore as the first of men, or whether (the 

first men) were the Id?ean Curetes, a divine race, or 
the Phrygian Corybantes whom the Sun saw first 
shooting up like trees, or whether Arcadia brought 
forth Pelasgus earlier than the Moon, or Eleusis 
Diaulus dweller in the Rarian field, or Lemnos gave 
birth to Cabirus,- fair child of ineffable orgies, or Pallene 
to Alcyon, eldest of the Giants. But the Libyans say 
Iarbas the first-born crept forth from the parched field 
to pluck Zeus' sweet acorn. So also, he says that the 
Nile of the Egyptians, making fat the mud which unto 
this day begets life, gave forth living bodies made flesh 
with moist heat." 1 

But the Assyrians say that fish-eating 2 Oannes (the first 
man) was born among them and the Chaldaeans (say the 
same thing about) Adam ; and they assert that he was the 
man whom the earth brought forth alone, and that he lay 
breathless, motionless (and) unmoved like unto a statue 
being the image of him on high who is praised in song as 
the man Adamas ; but that he was produced by many 
p. 144. powers about whom in turn there is much talk. 3 

In order then that the Great Man 4 on high, from whom, 

1 This hymn is in metre and is said to be from a lost Pindaric ode. 
It lias been restored by Bergk, the restoration being given in the notes 
to Cruice's text, p. 142, and it was translated into English verse by the 
late Professor Conington. Cf. Forerunners, II, p. 54, n. 6. 

2 IxOvocpdyov. Doubtless a mistake for lxvo<p6pov. The Oannes of 
Berossus' story wore a fish on his back. 

3 Adam the protoplast according to the Ophites {Ireneeus, I, xviii, p. 
197, Harvey) and Epiphanius {Hcrr. xxxvii, c. 4, p. 501, Oehler) was made 
by Jaldabaoth and his six sons. The same story was current among the 
followers of Saturninus {Irenccns, I, xviii, p. 197, Harvey) and other 
Gnostic sects, who agree with the text as to his helplessness when first 
created, and its cause. 

4 So in the Bruce Papyrus, " Jen," which name I have suggested is 
an abbreviation of Jehovah, is called "the great Man, King of the great 
Aeon of light." See Forerunners t II, 193. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 123 

as they say, "every fatherhood 1 named on earth and in the 
heavens ' ; is framed, might be completely held fast, there 
was given to him also a soul, so that through the soul he 
might suffer, and that the enslaved "image of the great and 
most beautiful and Perfect Man " for thus they call him 
might be punished. 2 Wherefore again they ask what is the 
soul and of what kind is its nature that coming to the man 
and moving 3 him it should enslave and punish the image of 
the Perfect Man. But they ask this, not from the Scriptures, 
but from the mystic rites. And they say that the soul is 
very hard to find and to comprehend, since it does not stay 
in the same shape or form, nor is it always in one and the 
same state, so that one might describe it by a type or 
comprehend it in substance. 4 But these various changes 
of the soul they hold to be set down in the Gospel inscribed 
to the Egyptians. 

They doubt then, as do all other men of the nations, 
whether the soul is from the pre-existent, or from the self- 
begotten, or from the poured-forth Chaos. 5 And first p. 145. 
they betake themselves to the mysteries of the Assyrians 6 
to understand the triple division of the Man; for the 
Assyrians were the first to think the soul tripartite and yet 
one. For every nature, they say, longs for the soul, but 
each in a different way. For soul is the cause of all things 
that are, and all things which are nourished and increase, 
he says, require soul. For nothing like nurture or increase, 
he says, can occur unless soul be present. And even the 

1 Eph. iii. 15. Cf. ihe address of Jesus to His Father in the last 
document of the Pi s'.is Sophia, Forerunners, II, p. 180, n. 4. 

2 Why is he to be punished ? In the Manicfuxan story (for which 
sec Forerunners, II, pp. 292 ff.) the First Man is taken prisoner by 
the powers of darkness. Both this and that in the text are doubtless 
survivals of some legend current throughout Western Asia at a very 
early date. Cf. Bousset's Hauplprobleme der Gnosis, Leipzig, 1907, 
c. 4, Der Urmensch. 

3 So the cryptogram in the Pistis Sophia professes to give "the 
word by which the Perfect Man is moved." Forerunners, II, 188, n. 2. 

4 ov<ria : perhaps "essence" or "being." It is the word for which 
hypostasis was later substituted according to Hatch. See his Hibbert 
Lectures, pp. 269 ff. 

5 So Miller, Cruice, and Schneidewin. I should be inclined to 
read (pdos, " light," as in the Naassene hymn at the end of this chapter. ' 
No Gnostic sect can have taught that the soul came from Chaos. 

6 This, as always at this period, means "Syrians." See Maury, 
Rev. ArcheoL, Iviii, p. 242. 

VOL. I. I 



I2 4 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

stones, he says, are animated, 1 for they have the power of 
increase, and no increase can come without nourishment. 
For by addition increase the things which increase and the 
addition is the nourishment of that which is nourished. 2 
Therefore every nature he says, of things in heaven, and on 
earth, and below the earth, longs for a soul. But the Assy- 
rians call such a thing 3 Adonis or Endymion or (Attis) ; and 
when it is invoked as Adonis Aphrodite loves and longs after 
the soul of such name. And Aphrodite is generation 4 accord- 
ing to them. But when Persephone or Core loves Adonis 5 
there is a certain mortal soul separated from Aphrodite 
p. 146. (that is from generation). 6 And if Selene should come 
to desire of Endyrnion 7 and to love of his beauty, the 
nature of the sublime ones, he says, also requires soul. 
But if, he says, the Mother of the Gods castrate Attis, 8 
and she holds this loved one, the blessed nature of the 
hypercosmic and eternal ones on high recalls to her, he 
says, the masculine power of the soul. 9 For, says he, the 
Man is masculo-feminine. According to this argument of 
theirs, then, the so-called 10 intercourse of woman with man 
is by (the teaching of) their school shown to be an utterly 
wicked and defiling thing. For Attis is castrated, he says, 
that is, he has changed over from the earthly parts of the 
lower creation to the eternal substance on high, where, he 
says, there is neither male nor female, 11 but a new creature, 12 

1 fyrpvxoi. lie is punning on the likeness between this and \pvxv, 
"soul." 

2 And between "nourished" and "reared." 

3 rb toiovtov. Not (pvtris or ^/vx'h. At this point the author begins 
his commentary on the Hymn of ihe Mysteries of Cybele, for which see 
p. 141 infra. 

4 y4ve<Tts, perhaps "birth." 

6 An allusion to the myth which makes Aphrodite and Persephone 
share the company of Adonis between them. 

6 These words are added in the margin. 

7 A prominent feature in the imposture of Alexander of Abonoteichus. 
See Lucian's Pseudomantis, passim. 

8 In the better-known story Attis castrates himself; but this version 
explains the allusion in the hymn on p. 141 infra. 

9 i. e. restores to her the virility of which they had deprived her when 
she was hermaphrodite. Seen, on p. 119 supra. 

10 \c\tyij,4v7). Miller and Schneidewin read SeSaiy/ncuT], "open," or 
" displayed." 

11 Gal. iii. 28. So Clemens Romanus, Ep. ii. 12 ; Clem. Alex. 
Strom. i III, 13. Cf. Fistis Sophia, p. 378 (Copt). 

12 2 Cor. v. 17 ; Gal. vi. 15. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 125 

a new Man, who is masculo-feminine. What they mean by 
" on high " I will show in its appropriate place when I 
come to it. But they say it bears witness to what they say 
that Rhea is not simply one (goddess) but, so to speak, the 
whole creature. 1 And this they say is made quite clear by p. 147. 
the saying : " For the invisible things of Him from the 
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood 
by the things that are made by Him, in truth, His eternal 
power and godhead, so that they are without excuse. 
Since when they knew Him as God, they glorified Him 
not as God, neither were thankful, but foolishness deceived 
their hearts. For thinking themselves wise, they became 
fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into 
the likenesses of an image of corruptible man and of birds 
and of fourfooted and creeping things. Wherefore God 
gave them up to passions of dishonour. For even their 
women changed their natural use to that which is against 
nature." 2 And what the natural use is according to them, 
we shall see later. " Likewise, also the males leaving the 
natural use of the female burned in their lust one toward 
another males among males working unseemliness." 3 But 
unseemliness is according to them the first and blessed and 
unformed substance which is the cause of all the forms of 
things which are formed. "And receiving in themselves the p. 148. 
recompense of their error which is meet." 4 For in these 
words, which Paul has spoken, they say is comprised their 
whole secret and the ineffable mystery of the blessed 
pleasure. For the promise of baptism 5 is not anything else 
according to them than the leading to unfading pleasure 
him who is baptized according to them in living water and 
anointed with silent 6 ointment. 

1 i. e. masculo-feminine. That Rhea, Cybele an 1 Ge are but 
different names of the earth-goddess, see Maury, Kel de la Grece 
Antique, I, 78 ff. For their androgyne character, scqJ.R.A.S. for Oct. 
1917. 

2 Rom i. 20 ft. The text omits several sentences to be found in the 
A.V. 

3 Ibid., v. 27. 4 Ibia., v. 28. 

5 iirayyzXla tov \ovrpov, pollicetur Us qui lavanltir, Cr. But "the 
font " is the regular patrislic expression for the rite. 

6 The text has &\Ay, "other," which makes no sense. Cruice, 
following Schneidewin, alters it to a\d\cp on the strength of p. 144 infra, 
and renders it ineffabilis ; but dAciAos cannot mean anything but 
"dumb" or "silent." That baptism in the early heretical sects was 



126 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

And they say that not only do the mysteries of the 
Assyrians bear witness to their saying, but also those of the 
Phrygians concerning the blessed nature, hitherto hidden 
and yet at the same time displayed, of those who were and 
are and shall be, which, he says, is the kingdom of the 
heavens sought for w r ithin man. 1 Concerning which 
nature they have explicitly made tradition in the Gospel 
inscribed according to Thomas, 2 saying thus:' "Whoso 
seeks me shall find me in children from seven years (up- 
wards). For there in the fourteenth year I who am hidden 

p. 149. am made manifest." This, however, is the saying not of 
Christ but of Hippocrates, who says : "At seven years old, 
a boy is half a father." Whence they who place the 
primordial nature of the universals in the primordial seed 
having heard the Hippocratian (adage) that a boy of seven 
years old is half a father, say that in fourteen years according 
to Thomas it will be manifest. This is their ineffable and 
mystical saying. 3 

They say then that the Egyptians, who are admitted to be 
the most ancient of all men after the Phrygians and the 
first at once to impart to all men the initiations and secret 
rites 4 of the gods, and to have proclaimed forms and 
activities, have the holy and august and for those who are 
not initiated unutterable mysteries of Isis. And these are 
nothing else than the -pudendum of Osiris which was snatched 
away and sought for by her of the seven stoles and black 

p. 150. garments. 5 But they say Osiris is water. And the seven- 
stoled nature which has about it and is equipped with 
seven ethereal stoles for thus they allegorically call the 
wandering stars is like mutable generation 6 and shows 

followed by a "chrism" or anointing, see Forerunners, II, 129, n. 2 ; 
ibid., 192. 

1 Luke xvii. 21. 

2 This does not appear in the severely expurgated fragments of the 
Gospel of Thomas which have come down to us. Epiphanius {Hcer. 
xxxvii.) includes this gospel in a list of works especially favoured by the 
Ophites. 

3 \6yos, Cr. disciplina, Macmahon, "Logos." But see Arnold, 
Roman Stoicism, p. 161. 

4 opyia. In Hippolytus it always has this meaning. 

5 Isis. See Forerunners, I, p. 34. 

6 7] neraPXriT)] yheois. The expression is repeated in the account of 
Simon Magus' heresy (II, p. 13 infra) and refers to the transmigration 
of souls. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 127 

that the creation is transformed by the Ineffable and Un- 
portrayable * and Incomprehensible and Formless One. 
And this is what is said in the Scripture : "The just shall 
fall seven times and rise again." 2 For these falls, he says, 
are the turnings about of the stars when moved by him 
who moves all things. They say, then, about the substance 
of the seed which is the cause of all things that are, that it 
belongs to none of these but begets and creates all things 
that are, speaking thus : " I become what I wish, and I am 
what I am ; wherefore I say that it is the immoveable that 
moves all things. For it remains what it is, creating all 
things and nothing comes into being from begotten things." 3 
lie says that this alone is good and that it is of this that the 
Saviour spoke when he said : " Why callest thou me good ? 
There is one good, my Father who is in the heavens, Who 
makes the sun to rise upon the just and the unjust, and 
rains upon the holy and the sinners." 4 And who are the p. 151. 
holy upon whom He rains and who the sinful we shall see 
with other things later on. And this is the great secret and 
the unknowable mystery concealed and revealed by the 
Egyptians. For Osiris, he says, is in the temple in front 
of Isis, whose pudendum stands exposed looking upwards 
from below, and wearing as a crown all its fruits of begotten 
things. 5 And they say not only does such a thing stand in 
the most holy temples, but is made known to all like a light 
not set under a bushel but placed on a candlestick making 
its announcement on the housetops in all the streets and p. 152. 
highways and near all dwellings being set before them as 
some limit and term. 6 For they call this the bringer of 
luck, not knowing what they say. 

And this mystery the Greeks who have taken it over from 
the Egyptians keep unto this day. For we see, he says, 
the (images) of Hermes in such a form honoured among 

1 aue^iKovia-Tos, "He of whom no image can be made." 

2 I'rov. xxiv. 16. 

3 Some qualification like " originally " or " at the beginning " seems 
wanting. Cf. Arnold, op. cit.> n. on p. 58 supra. 

4 Matt. v. 45. 

5 He has apparently mistaken Min of Coptos or Nesi-Amsu for 
Osiris who is, I think, never represented thus. At Denderah, he is 
supine. 

6 The "terms" of Hermes which Alcibiades and his friends 
mutilated. 



128 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

them. And they say that they especially honour Cyllenius 
the Eloquent. For Hermes is the Word who, being the 
interpreter and fashioner x of what has been, is, and will be, 
stands honoured among them carved into some such form 
which is the pudendum of a man straining from the things 
below to those on high. And that this 1 that is, such a 
Hermes is, he says, a leader of souls and a sender forth of 
them, and a cause of souls, did not escape the poets of the 
nations who speak thus : 

" Cyllenian Hermes called forth the souls 
Of the suitors." 

(Homer, Odyssey, XXIV, I.) 

p. 153 Not of the suitors of Penelope, he says, O unhappy ones, but 
of those awakened from sleep and recalled to consciousness 

"From such honour and from such enduring bliss." 

(Empedocles, 355, Stiirz.) 

that is, from the blessed Man on high or from the arch-man 
Adamas, as they think, they have been brought down here 
into the form of clay that they may be made slaves to the 
fashioner of this creation, Jaldabaoth, a fiery god, a fourtli 
number. 2 For thus they call the demiurge and father of the 
world of form. 

11 But he hoi ils in his hands the rod 
Fair and golden, wherewith he lulls to sleep the eyes of men, 
Whomso he will, while others he awakens from sleep." 

{Odyssey, XXIV, 3 ft.) 

This, he says, is he who has authority over life and death 
of whom he says it is written : "Thou shalt rule them with 
a rod of iron." 3 But the poet wishing to adorn the incom- 
p. 154. prehensible (part) 4 of the blessed nature of the Word, 
makes his rod not iron but golden. And he charms to 
sleep the eyes of the dead, he says, and again awakens those 

1 Bnfiiovpy6s. Here as always the "architect," or he who creates 
not.r nihilo, but from existing material. 

2 For this name which is said by all the early heresiologists to mean 
"the God of the Jews," see Forerunners, II, 46, n. 3. He is called a 
" fiery God" apparently from Dent. iv. 24, and a fourtli number, either 
because in the Ophite theogoftvy he comes next after the Supreme Triad 
of Father, Son, and Mother or, more probably, from his name covering 
the Tetragrammaton, or name of God in four letters. 3 Ps. ii. 9. 

4 Cr. supplies " virtutem " ; but the adjective is in the neuter. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 129 

sleepers who are stirred out of sleep and become suitors. 
Of these, he says, the Scripture spoke : " Awake thou that 
sleepest, and arise and Christ shall shine upon thee." 1 
This is the Christ, he says, who in all begotten things is the 
Son of Man, impressed (with the image) by the Logos of 
whom no image can be made. 2 This, he says, is the great 
and unspeakable mystery of the Eleusinians " Hye Cye" 3 
seeing that all things are set under him, and this is the 
saying : " Their sound went forth into all the earth," 4 just as 

11 Hermes waved the rod and they followed gibbering." 

(Homer, Odyssey, XXIV, 5-7.) 

still meaning the souls as the poet shows, saying figuratively : 

"And even as bats flit gibbering in the secret recesses 
Of a wondrous cave when one has fallen down out of the rock 
From the cluster. . . . " 

{Ibid, XXIV, $seg.) 

Out of the rock, he says, is said of Adamas. This, he says, p. 155. 
is Adamas, " the corner-stone which has become the head of 
the corner." 5 For in the head is the impressed brain of 
the substance from which every fatherhood is impressed. 6 
"Which Adamas," he says, "I place at the foundation of 
Zion." 7 Allegorically, he says, he means the image of the 
Man. But that Adamas is placed within the teeth, as 
Homer says, "the hedge of teeth," 8 that is, the wall and 
stockade within which is the inner man, who has fallen 
from Adamas the arch-man 9 on high who is (the rock) "cut 
without cutting hands" 10 and brought down into the image 

1 Eph. v. 14. 

2 Kex a P aKTr IP l(r l x * V0S "irk T v ax a P aKTr lpi <TT0V h-Ayov. These expres- 
sions repeated up to the end of the chapter are most difficult to render 
in English. The allusion is clearly to a coin stamped with the image of 
a king. Afterwards I translate axo-paKT-qpiaros by " unportrayable, for 
brevity's sake. 

3 The famous words which tradition assigns to the Eleusinian 
Mysteries. One version is " Rain ! conceive ! " and probably refers to 
the fecundation or tillage of the earth. Cf. Plutarch, de Is. et Os., 
c. xxxiv. 

4 Rom. x. 18. 6 Ps. cxviii, 22. Cf. Isa. xxviii. 16. 
6 See n. on p. 123 supra. 7 Isa. xxviii. 16. 

8 Something U here omitted before 6d6vTes. Cf. Iliad, IV, 350. 

9 apxavOpoinros, a curious expression meaning evidently First Man. 
It appears nowhere but in this chapter of the Philosophumena. 

^ Dan. ii. 45, "cut from the mountain without hands." 



1 3 o PHIL0S0PHUMEN A 

of oblivion, 1 the earthly and clayey. And he says that the 
souls follow him, the Word, gibbering. 

Even so the souls gibbered as they fared together, 
But he went before, 

that is, he led them, 

''Gracious Hermes led them adown the dark ways." 

{Odyssey, XXIV, 9 ft) 

p. 156. that is, he says, into eternal countries remote from all evil. 
For whence, says he, did they come ? 

" By Ocean's flood they came and the Leucadian cliff 
And by the Still's gates and the land of dreams." 

( Odyssey \ ubi tit. ) 

This he says is Ocean, "source of gods and source of 
men" 2 ever ebbing and flowing now forth and now back. 
But when he says Ocean flows forth there is birth of men, 
but when back to the wall and stockade and the Leucadian 
rock there is birth of gods. This he says is that which is 
written: "I have said ye are all gods and sons of the 
Highest ; if you hasten to flee from Egypt and win across the 
Red Sea into the desert," that is from the mixture below to 
the Jerusalem above who is the Mother of (all) living. " But 
if ye return again to Egypt," that is to the mixture below, 
p 157- "ye shall die as men." 3 For deathly, says he, is all birth 
below, but deathless that which is born above ; for it is 
born of water alone and the spirit, spiritual not fleshly. This, 
he says, is that which is written : " That which is born of 
the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is 
spirit." 4 This is, according to them, the spiritual birth. 
This, he says, is the great Jordan which flowing forth pre- 
vented the sons of Israel from coming out of the land of 
Egypt or rather, from the mixture below ; for Egypt is the 
body according to them until Joshua 5 turned it and made 
it flow back towards its source. 

1 The Power called Adonaeus or Adon-ai by the Ophites is also 
addressed as A^0tj, " oblivion," in the "defence" made to him by the 
ascending soul. See Origen, cont Cels. VI, c. 30 ff. or Forerunners, II, 72. 

2 A compound of //tad, XIV, 201 and 246. 

3 Ps. lxxxii. 6 ; Luke vi. 35 ; John x. 34 ; Gal. iv. 26, 

4 John ii', 6, 5 Joshua iii, 16, 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 131 

8. Following up these and such-like (words) the most 
wonderful Gnostics having invented a new art of grammar 1 
imagine that their own prophet Homer unspeakably 2 fore- 
showed 3 these things and they mock at those who not 
being initiated in the Holy Scriptures are led together into 
such designs. But they say : whoso says all things were 
framed from one, errs ; but whoso says from three speaks 
the truth and gives an exposition of (the things of) the 
universe. For one, he says, is the blessed nature of the 
Blessed Man above, Adamas, and one is the mortal (nature) 
below, and one is the kingless race begotten on high, where, p. 158. 
he says, is Mariam the sought-for one, and Jothor the great 
wise one, and Sephora the seer, 4 and Moses whose genera- 
tion was not in Egypt for there were children born to him 
in Midian and this, he says, was not forgotten by the 
poets : 

" In three lots were all things divided and each drew a domain of 
his own." {Iliad, XV, 169.) 

For sublime things, he says, must needs be spoken, but 
they are spoken everywhere, lest " hearing they should not 
hear and seeing they should see not." 5 For if, he says, the 
sublime things were not spoken, the cosmos could not have 
been framed. These are the three ponderous words : 
Caulacau, Saulasau, Zeesar. 6 Caulacau the one on high, 
Adamas, Saulasau, the mortal nature below, Zeesar the p- 159- 
Jordan which flows back on its source. This is, he says, 
the masculo-feminine Man who is in all things, whom the 
ignorant call the triple-bodied Geryon as if Geryon were 
"flowing from Earth " 7 and the Greeks usually "the 

1 So the Cabbalists call one of their word-juggling processes gematria, 
which is said to be a corruption of ypa^fj-ania. 

2 app_7]Tws, i.e., "by implication,'' or "not in words." 

3 Play upon irpocpaivu and irpo(priT7]s. 

1 Mariam was Moses' aunt, Sephora his wife, and Jothor Sephora's 
father, according to some fragments of Ezekiel quoted by Eusebius. 
So Cruice. 

"' Matt. xiii. 13. 

6 Isa. xxviii. 10. In A.V., " Precept upon precept ; line upon line ; 
here a little, there a little." Irenoeus (I, xix, 3, I, p. 201, Harvey) says, 
Caulacau is the name in which the Saviour descended according to 
Basil ides, and the word seems to have been used in this sense by other 
Gnostic sects. See Forerunners, II, 94, n. 3. 

7 in y?is piovra ! 



132 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

heavenly horn of Men " x because he has mingled and com- 
pounded all things with all. "For all things, he says, were 
made through him and apart from him not one thing was 
made. That which was in him is life." 2 This, he says is 
the life, the unspeakable family of perfect men which 
was not known to the former generation. But the "noth- 
ing " which came into being apart from him is the world 
of form ; for it came without him by the 3rd and 4th. 3 
This, he says, is the cup Condy in which the king drinking, 
divineth. This, he says, is that which was hidden among 
the fair grains of Benjamin. And the Greeks also say the 
same with raving lips : 

" Bring water, bring wine, O boy 
Intoxicate me, plunge me into sleep. 
The cup tells me 
P- 160. What I must become.'" 4 

{Anacreon, XXVI, 25, 26.) 

It was enough, he says, that only this should be known to 
men that Anacreon's cup spoke mutely an unspeakable 
mystery. For mute, he says, was Anacreon's cup which 
says Anacrcon, tells him with mute speech what he must 
become, that is spiritual not fleshly, if he hears the hidden 
mystery in silence. And this is the water in those fair 
nuptials which Jesus changed by making wine. This, he 
says, is the mighty and true beginning of the signs which 
Jesus did in Cana in Galilee and made known the kingdom 
of the heavens. This, he says, is the kingdom of the heavens 
within us, as a treasure as the leaven hidden within three 
measures of meal. 5 
p. 161. This is, he says, the great and unspeakable mystery of 
the Samothracians which is allowed to be known to us alone 
who are perfect. For the Samothracians explicitly hand 
down in the mysteries celebrated by them that Adam is the 
Arch-man. And in the temple of the Samothracians stand 
two statues of naked men having both hands stretched 

1 A direct quotation from the Hymn of the Great Mysteries given 
later, p. 141 injra. Also a pun between nepapw/jit and tcepas. 

2 John 1. 34. 3' f- 

3 Sophia, the third person of the Ophite Triad and Jaldabaoth her son. 

4 Something omitted after "cup." 

n rpia adra. A Jewish measure equivalent to i| tnodius. Cf 
Matt. xiii. 33. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 133 

forth to heaven and their pudenda turned upwards like 
that of Hermes on (Mt.) Cyllene. But the aforesaid 
statues are the images of the Arch-man and of the re-born 
spiritual one in all things of one substance l with that man. 
This, he says, is what was spoken by the Saviour : " Unless 
ye drink my blood and eat my flesh, ye shall not enter . 
into the kingdom of the heavens ; but even though, He says, 
ye drink the cup which I drink when I go forth you will 
not be able to enter there." 2 For He knew, he says, from 
which nature each of His disciples was, and that each of 
them was compelled to come to his own special nature. 
For from the twelve tribes, he says, He chose twelve 
disciples, 3 and by them He spake to every tribe. Whence, p. 162 
he says, all could not have heard the preachings of the 
twelve disciples, nor, had they heard them could they have 
been received. For the things which are not according to 4 
nature are with them natural. 

This, he says, the Thracians who dwell about Mt. 
Haemus and like them the Phrygians call Corybas, 5 because 
although he takes the beginning of his descent from the 
head on high and from the Unportrayable one and 
passes through all the sources of underlying things, we 
know not how and in what fashion he comes. This, he 
says, is the saying : " We have heard his voice, but we 
have not seen his shape." For, he says, the voice of him 
who is set apart and has been impressed with the ima<j;e 7 is 
heard, but no one has seen what is the shape which has 
come down from on high from the Unportrayable One. 
But it is in the earthly form and no one is aware of it. This, 
he says, is the God who dwells in the flood according to 
the Psalter and "who speaks aloud and cries from many . 
waters." 8 " Many waters," he says, is the ^manifold 
generation of mortal men, wherefrom he shouts and cries 
aloud to the Unportrayable Man : " Deliver my only p. 163. 

1 The famous 6/j.oovcrios. 

- A compound of John vi. 53 and Mk. x. 38. 

A Madras, " disciples," not apostles. 

4 The Kara may mean either ' against " or " according to " nature. 

5 For this Coryhas and his murder by Ins two brothers see Clem. 
Alex., Protrept., II. A pun here follows between Corybas and Kopv<pri, 
" head." 

6 John v. 3. 7 KexapaKTripur/jLevos. 
8 Ps. xxix. 3, 10. 



i 3 4 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

begotten from the lions ! " l In answer to this, he says, is 
the saying : " Thou art my son, O Israel. Fear not. If 
thou passest through the rivers they shall not overwhelm 
thee; if through the fire, it shall not bum thee." 2 By 
rivers is meant, he says, the moist essence of generation, 
and by fire the rage and desire for generation. " Thou art 
mine. Be not afraid." And again he speaks: "If a 
mother forget her children and pities them not nor gives 
them suck, yet will I not forget thee." 3 Adamas, he says, 
speaks to his own men : " But although a woman shall forget 
these things, yet will I not forget you. I have graven you 
on my hands." 4 But concerning his ascension, that is, 
the being born again^ that he may be born spiritual, not 
fleshly, he says, the Scripture speaks : " Lift up the gates, 
ye rulers, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the 

p. 164. King of Glory shall enter in." 5 That is the wonder of 
wonders. " For who," he says, " is this King of Glory ? A 
worm and not a man, a reproach of man and an object of 
contempt for the people. This is the King of Glory, he who 
is mighty in battle." 6 But he means the war which is 
in the body, because the (outward) form is made from 
warring elements, he says, as it is written : " Remember 
the war which is in the body." 7 The same entrance and 
the same gate, he says, Jacob saw w r hen journeying to 
Mesopotamia for Mesopotamia, he says, is the flow of the 
great Ocean flowing forth from the middle part 8 of the 
Perfect Man and he wondered at the heavenly gate, 
saying : " How terrible is this place ! It is none other 
than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven." 9 
Wherefore, he says, the saying of Jesus : " I am the true 
gate." 10 Now He who says this is, he says, the Perfect 

p. 165. Man who, has been impressed above (with the image) of 
the Unportrayable one. Therefore he says, the perfect 

1 Ps. xxii. 20, A. V., " My darling from the power of the dog." 

2 Isa. xci. 8 ; xliii. 1, 2. 

3 Ibid., xlix. 15 ; slightly altered. 

4 Ibid., xlix. 16. 

5 Ps. xxiv. 7. A.V. omits "rulers" or archons. 

6 Ps. xxiv. 8 ; xxii. 6. 

7 Job xl. 2. 

8 A pun like that on Geryon or Corybas. 

9 Gen. xxviii. 17. 

10 John x. 7, 9, "I am the door." 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 135 

man will not be saved unless born again by entering in 
through this gate. 

But this same one, he says, the Phrygians * call also 
Papas, because he set at rest that which had been moved 
irregularly and discordantly before his coming. For the 
name of Papa, he says, is (taken from) all things in heaven, 
on earth, and below the earth, saying : " Make to cease ! 
make to cease ! 2 the discord of the cosmos and make peace 
for those that are afar off," 3 that is, for the material and 
earthly, and also " for those that are anigh," that is, for the 
spiritual and understanding perfect men. But the Phrygians 
say that the same one is also a "corpse," having been buried 
in the body as in a monument or tomb. 4 This, he says, is 
the saying : " Ye are whited sepulchres filled within with 
dead men's bones," 5 that is, there is not within you the 
living Man. And again, he says, "the dead shall leap forth 
from their graves,''" 6 that is, the spiritual man, not the 
fleshly, shall be born again from the bodies of the earthly. 
This, he says, is the resurrection which comes through the 
gate of the heavens, through which if they do not enter, all p. 166. 
remain dead. And the same Phrygians, he says again, say 
that this same one is by reason of the change a god. For 
he becomes God when he arises from the dead and enters 
into heaven through the same gate. This gate, he says, 
Paul the Apostle knew, having set it ajar in mystery and 
declaring that he " was caught up by an angel and came 
unto a second and third heaven into Paradise itself and 
beheld what he beheld, and heard ineffable words which it 
is not lawful for man to utter." 7 These are, he says, the 
mysteries called ineffable by all " which (we also speak) not 
in the words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught 
by the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual ; but 
the natural 8 man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
God, for they are foolishness unto him " ; 9 and these, he 

1 i. e. the worshippers of Cybele. For Attis' name of Pappas, see 
Graillot, Le Culte de Cybele, p. 15. It seems to mean " leather." 

2 wave, -rrave ! ! ! 3 Eph. ii. 1 7. 

4 This was an Orphic doctrine. See Forerunners, I, 127, n. I for 
authorities. 

5 Matt xxiii. 27. 6 1 Cor. xv. 52. 

7 2 Cor. xii. 3, 4. A.V. omits "second heaven" and the sights seen. 

8 \pvxiKbs 5e avQpccTTos. The " natural man" of the A.V. 
8 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14, 



136 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

says, are the ineffable mysteries of the Spirit which we alone 
behold. Concerning them, he says, the Saviour spake : 
" No man shall come unto me unless my heavenly Father 
draw some one (unto me)." 1 For very hard it is, he says, 
to receive and take this great and ineffable mystery. And 

p. 167. again, he says, the Saviour spake : " Not every one who 
sayeth unto me, Lord ! Lord ! shall enter into the kingdom 
of the heavens, but he who doeth the will of my Father who 
is in the heavens." 2 Of which (will) he says, they must 
be doers and not hearers only to enter into the kingdom 
of the heavens. And again, says he, He spake: "The 
publicans and the harlots go before you into the kingdom 
of the heavens." 3 For the publicans, he says, are those 
who receive the taxes of market- wares, and we are the tax- 
gatherers "upon whom the ends of the aeons have come 
down." 4 For the "ends," he says, are the seeds sown in 
the cosmos by the Unportrayable One, 5 whereby the whole 
cosmos is completed ; 6 for by them also it began to be. 
And this, he says, is the saying : " The sower went forth to 
sow, and some (seed) fell on the wayside and was trodden 
under foot, and some upon stony (parts) and sprang up ; and, 
because it had no root, he says, it withered and died. But some 
fell, he says, upon the fair and goodly earth and brought 
forth some a hundredfold, and some sixty and some thirty. 

p. 168. He that hath ears to hear, let him bear." 7 This is, he says, 
that no one becomes a hearer of these mysteries save only 
the perfect Gnostics. This, he says, is the fair and goodly 
earth of which Moses spake : " I will bring you to a fair 
and goodly land, to a land flowing with milk and honey." 8 
This, he says, is the honey and the milk, tasting which the 
perfect become kingless and partakers of the fulness. 9 The 
same, he says, is the Pleroma, whereby all things that are 

1 John vi. 44, "draw him unto me." 2 Matt. vii. 21, 

3 Matt. xxi. 31, "Kingdom of God." 

4 1 Cor. x. 11. A pun on tcAt?, " taxes," and T6A77, " ends." 

5 Cf. the Stoic doctrine of \6yoi atrep/aaTiKot, Arnold, l\oman 
Stoicism, p. 161. 

6 Lit., " brought to an end." 

7 A condensation of Matt. xiii. 3-9. 

8 Deut. xxxi. 20. 

9 i. e. become united with the Godhead. The newly-baptized were 
given milk and honey. Cf. Hatch, Hibbert Lectures, above quoted, 
p. 300. 



T-HE OPHITE HERESIES 137 

begotten by the unbegotten have come into being and 
are filled. 

But the same one is called by the Phrygians *' unfruitful." 
For he is unfruitful when he is fleshly and performs the 
desire of the flesh. This, he says, is the saying: "Every 
tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is cut down and 
cast into the fire." 1 For these fruits, he says, are only the 
rational, the living man who enter by the third gate. 2 They 
say, indeed : " Ye who eat dead things and make living 
ones, what will ye make if ye eat living things ? " 3 For 
they say that words 4 and thoughts and men are living 
things cast down by that Unportrayable One into the form, 
below. This, he says, is what he means: "Throw not P- i9- 
your holy things to the dogs nor pearls to the swine," B 
saying that the intercourse of woman with man is the work 
of dogs and swine. 

But this same one, he says, the Phrygians call goatherd, 
not because, he says, he feeds goats and he-goats, as the 
psychic man calls them, but because, he says, he is Aipolos, 
that is, he who is ever revolving 6 and turning about and 
driving the whole cosmos in its circumvolution. For to 
revolve is to turn about and to change the position of 
things, whence, he says, the two centres of the heaven men 
call Poles. And the poet says : 

"What unerring ancient of the sea turns hither 
The Immortal Egyptian Proteus." 

{Odyssey, IV, 384.) 

He 7 is not betrayed (by Eidothea), he says, but turns 
himself about, as it were, and goes to and fro. He says, 
too, that cities wherein we dwell are called 7ro'A.ei9, because 
we turn and go about in them. Thus, he says, the p. 170, 
Phrygians call him Aipolos, who turns everything always 
in every direction and changes it into what it should be. 
But the Phrygians also call the same one "of many fruits," 
because (the Naassene writer) says, "the children of the 

1 Matt. iii. io. 

2 This "third gate" is evidently baptism. For the reason see 
Forerunners, II, p. 73, n. 2. 

3 This seems to be a quotation from the Naassene author. 

4 Perhaps an allusion to the \6yot (nrepfiariKoi. 5 Matt. vii. 6. 

6 The derivation to be tolerable should be *atir6\os ! 

7 i, e. Proteus. 



1 38 PHILOSOPHUMEN A 

desolate are more in number than those of her who has 
a husband " ; : that is, the deathless things which are born 
again and ever remain are many, if few are those which are 
born (once) ; but all the things of the flesh, he says, are 
corruptible, even if those which are born are many. Where- 
fore, he says, Rachel mourned for her children and would 
not be comforted when mourning over them, for she knew, 
he says, that they were not. 2 And Jeremiah wails for the 
Jerusalem below, not the city in Phoenicia, 3 but the mortal 
generation below. For Jeremiah, he says, also knew the 
Perfect Man who has been born again of water and the 
spirit and is not fleshly. The same Jeremiah indeed said : 
" He is a man, and who shall know him ? " 4 Thus, he says, 
the knowledge of the 'Perfect Man is very deep and hard to 
comprehend. For the beginning of perfection, he says, is 
the knowledge of man ; but the knowledge of God is com- 
pleted perfection. 

P- 17 ! The Phrygians also say, however, that he is a "green 
ear of corn reaped " ; and following the Phrygians, the 
Athenians when initiating (any one) into the Eleusinian 
(Mysteries) also show to those who have been made epopts 
the mighty and wonderful and most perfect mystery for an 
epopt 5 there a green ear of corn reaped in silence. 6 And 
this ear of corn is also for the Athenians the great and 
perfect spark of light from the Unportrayable One ; just as 
the hierophant himself, not indeed castrated like Attis, but 
rendered a eunuch by hemlock, and cut off from all fleshly 
generation, celebrating by night at Eleusis the great and 
ineffable mysteries beside a huge fire, cries aloud and makes 
proclamation, saying : " August Brimo has brought forth a 
holy son, Brimos," that is, the strong (has given birth) to 
the strong. 7 For august is, he says, the generation which is 
spiritual or heavenly or sublime, and strong is that which 
is thus generated. For the mystery is called Eleusis or 
Anacterion : " Eleusis," he says, because we spiritual ones 

P- x 72. came on high rushing from the Adamas below. s For 

1 Gal. iv. 27. 2 Je> em. xxxi. 15. 

3 The mistake in geography shows that Hippolytus was not a Jew. 

4 Jerem. xviii. 9. 5 iiroTrnxlu . . . ^.var-hpiov. 

6 This is in effect the first real information we have as to the final 
secret of the Eleusinian Mysteries. 

7 Hesychius also translates Brimos by lirx^pSs. 

8 Hades or Pluto. 



fHE OPHITE HERESIES 139 

eleusesthai, he says is to come, but anactoreion the return on 
high. This, he says, is what they who have been initiated into 
the mysteries of the Eleusinians say. But it is a regulation 
that those who have been initiated into the Lesser Mysteries 
should moreover be initiated into the Great. For greater 
destinies obtain greater portions. 1 But the Lesser Mysteries, 
he says, are those of Persephone below and of the way 
leading thither, which is wide and broad and bears the 
dead to Persephone, and the poet says : 

" But under her is a straight and rugged road 
Hollow and muddy, but the best to lead 
To the delightful grove of much-reverenced Aphrodite." 2 

These, he says, are the Lesser Mysteries, those of fleshly 
generation, after being initiated into which men ought to 
cease (from the small) and be initiated into the great and p. 173. 
heavenly ones. For those who have obtained greater 
destinies, he says, receive greater portions. For this, he 
says, is the gate of heaven and this the house of God where 
the good God dwells alone, 3 into which will not enter, he 
says, any unpurified, any psychic or fleshly one ; but it is 
kept for the spiritual only, where those who are must cast 
aside 4 their garments and all become bridegrooms, having 
come to maturity through the virgin spirit. 5 For this is the 
virgin who bears in her womb and conceives and gives 
birth to a son not psychic or corporeal, but the blessed 
Aeon of Aeons. Concerning these things, he says, the 
Saviour expressly spake: "Narrow and straitened is the 
way that leads to life and few are those who enter into it; 

1 Schleiermacher attributes this saying to Ileraclitus. 
1 Mcineke {ap. Cr. ) attributes these lines to Par men id t?. 

3 Cf. Justinus later, p. 175 infra. 

4 Schneidewin and Cruice both read AajSetV, " receive " (their 
vestures) [ox $a\siv. 

5 Cr. translates air-qpaevw/iivovs, exuta virilitafc ; but it seems to be 
a participle of airappev6oj = airav8p6u). The idea that the Gnostic 
pneumatics or spirituals would finally be united in marriage with the 
angels or ^0701 <Tirep/j.aTiKoi was current in Gnosticism. See Fore- 
runners, II, I IO. The "virgin spirit" was probably that Barbelo 
whom Irenseos, I, 26, if. (pp. 221 ff., Harvey), describes under that 
name as reverenced by the " Barbeliotae or Naassenes" ; in any case, 
probably, some analogue of the earth-goddess, ever bringing forth and 
yet ever a virgin. 

VOL. I. K 



i 4 o PHILOSOPHUMENA 

but wide and broad is the way leading to destruction and 
many are they who pass along it." x 

9. But the Phrygians further say that the Father of the 

p 174. universals is Amygdalus, not a tree, he says, but that pre- 
existent almond 2 which containing within itself the perfect 
fruit (and) as if pulsating and stirring in the depth, tore asunder 
its breasts and gave birth to its own invisible and unnameable 
and ineffable boy of whom we are speaking. 3 For " Amyxai " 
is as if to burst and cut asunder, 4 as he says, in the case of 
inflamed bodies having within them any gathering, the 
surgeons who cut them open call them " amychas." Thus, 
he says, the Phrygians call the almond from whom the 
invisible one proceeded and was born, and through whom 
all things came into being and apart from whom nothing 
came into being. 

But the Phrygians say that he who was thence born is a 
piper, because that which was born is a melodious spirit. For 
God, he says, is a Spirit, wherefore neither on this mountain 
nor in Jerusalem shall the true worshippers prostrate them- 
selves, but in spirit. 5 For spiritual, he says, is the prostration 
of the perfect, not fleshly. But the Spirit, he says, (is) 
there where both the Father and the Son are named, being 

P- l 75- there born from this (Son and from) the Father. 6 This, he 
says, is the many-named, myriad-eyed 7 incomprehensible 
One for whom every nature yearns, but each, in a different 
way. This, he says, is the Word 8 of God, which is, he 
says, the word of announcement of the great Power. 
Wherefore it will be sealed and hidden and concealed, 
lying in the habitation wherein the root of the universals 9 
is established, that is 10 (the root) of Aeons, Powers, 

1 Matt. vii. 13, 14. The A.V. has etWpxoA"" for dtepxofiai. 

2 See n. on p. 119 supra. 3 i.e. Attis. 

4 a/iiWo) is rather to " scratch/* or " scarify," than as in the text. 

5 Cf. John iv. 21. 

c Cruice's restoration. Schneidewin's would read: "The Spirit is 
there where also the Father is named, and the Son is there born from 
the Father." 

7 Cf. Ezekiel x. 12. e prj/xa, not \6yos. 

9 Here we see the interpretation put by Hippolytus on the Aris- 
totelian Ta o\a. 

10 6e/u.\i6w. The whole of this sentence singularly resembles that in 
the Great Announcement ascribed to Simon Magus, for which see 
II, p. 12 infra. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 141 

Thoughts, Gods, Angels, Emissary Spirits, things which 
are, things which are not, things begotten, things un- 
begotten, things incomprehensible, things comprehensible, 
years, months, days, hours (and) of an Indivisible Point, 1 
from which what is least begins to increase successively. 
The Point, he says, being nothing and consisting of nothing 
(and) being indivisible will become of itself a certain magni- 
tude incomprehensible by thought. 2 It, he says, is the 
kingdom of the heavens, the grain of mustard seed, the 
Indivisible Point inherent to the body which none knoweth, 
he says, save the spiritual alone. This, he says, is the saying : 
"There are no tongues nor speech where their voice is not 
heard." 3 P- 176. 

Thus they hastily declare that the things which are said 
and are done by all men are to be understood in their way, 
imagining that all things become spiritual. Whence they 
also say that not even they who exhibit (in the) theatres 
say or do anything not comprehende4 in advance. 4 So 
for example, he says, when the populace have assembled in 
the theatres 5 some one makes entrance clad in a notable 
robe bearing a cithara and singing to it. Thus he speaks 
chanting the Great Mysteries 6 (but) not knowing what he 
is saying : 

" Whether thou art the offspring of Kronos, or of blessed Zeus, 
Or of mighty Rhea, Hail Attis, the sad mutilation of Rhea. 7 
The Assyrians call thee the muchdonged-for Adonis, 
Egypt names thee Osiris, heavenly horn of the Moon. 8 p. 177. 

1 This idea of the Indivisible Point, which recurs in several Gnostic 
writings, including those of Simon and Basilides, seems founded on the 
mathematical axiom that the line and therefore all solid bodies spring 
from the point, which itself has "neither parts nor magnitude." 

9 'Etrivoia. This also is used by Simon as the equivalent oCEvuoia. 

3 Ps. xix. 3. 

4 airpovo7)Tws, Cr., sine numine qnidquam ; Macmahon, " without 
premeditation." 

5 Performances in the theatres formed part of the Megalesia or 
Festival of the Great Mother. 

6 I should be inclined to read t>)s MeyaATjs fivcrr-hpta, ** Mysteries of 
the Great Mother." 

7 An allusion to the variant of the Cybele legend which makes her 
the emasculate* of Attis. 

8 So Conington, who translated the hymns into English verse, and 
Schneidewin. Ilippolytus, however, evidently gave this invocation to 
the Greeks. See p. 132 supra. 



142 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

The Greeks Sophia, 1 the Samothracians, the revered Adamna, 

The Thessalians, Corybas, and the Phrygians 

Sometimes Papas, now the dead, or a god, 

Or the unfruitful one, or goatherd, 

Or the green ear of corn reaped, 

Or he to whom the flowering almond-tree gave birth 

As a pipe-playing man." 2 

This, he says, is the many-formed Attis to whom they sing 
praises, saying : 

" I will hymn Attis, son of Rhea, not making quiver with a buzzing 
sound, nor with the cadence of the Idtean Curetes' flutes, but I will 
mingle (with the hymn) the Phoebun music of the lyre. Evohe, Evan, 
for (thou art) Bacchus, (thou art) Pan, (thou art the) shepherd of 
white stars." 

For such and such-like words they frequent the so-called 
Mysteries of the great Mother, thinking especially that by 
means of what is enacted there, they perceive the whole 
mystery. For they get no advantage from what is acted 
there except that they are not castrated. They merely 
perfect the work of the castrated; 3 for they give most 
pointed and careful instructions to abstain as if castrated 
from intercourse with women. But the rest of the work as 
p. 17S. we have said many times, they perform like the castrated. 
But they worship none other than the Naas, calling them- 
selves Naassenes. But Naas is the serpent, from whom he 
says, all temples under heaven are called naos from the 
Naas ; and that to that Naas alone is dedicated every holy 
place and every initiation and every mystery, and generally 
that no initiation can be found under heaven in which there 
is not a naos and the Naas within it, whence it has come to 
be called a naos. But they say that the serpent is the 
watery substance, as did Thales of Miletos 4 and that no 
being, in short, of immortals or mortals, of those with souls 
or of those without souls, can be made without him. And 
that all things are set under him, and that he is good and 

1 8' ocpiav, according to Schneidewin's restoration (for which see 
p. 176 Cr.), seems better sense, if w ? e can suppose that the Sabazian 
serpent was so called. 

2 The whole hymn with the next fragment is given as restored to 
metrical form where quoted in last note. 

3 That is of the Ga//i, or eunuch-priests of Attis and Cybele. 

4 Thales only said, so far as we know, that water was the beginning 
of all things. 



'THE OPHITE HERESIES 143 

contains all things within him as in the horn of the one- 
horned bull 1 (so as) to contribute beauty and bloom to all 
things according to their own nature and kind, as if he had 
passed through all "as if he went forth from Edem and cut 
himself into four heads." 2 

But this Edem, they say, is the brain, as it were bound 
and enlaced in the surrounding coverings as in the heavens ; p. 179- 
and they consider man as far as the head alone to be 
Paradise. Therefore "the river that came forth from 
Eden " that is from the brain they think " is separated 
into four heads and the name of the first river is called 
Phison ; this it is which encompasses all the land of 
' Havilat. There is gold and the gold of that land is good, 
and there is bdellium and the onyx stone." 3 This, he says, 
(is the) eye, bearing witness by its honour (among the other 
features) and its colours to the saying : " But the name of 
the second river is Gihon ; this it is which encompasses all 
the land of Ethiopia." This, he says, is the hearing, being 
somewhat like a labyrinth. "And the name of the third is 
Tigris ; this it is which goes about over against the Assy- 
rians." This, he says, is the smell which makes use of the 
swiftest current of the flood. And it goes about over 
against the Assyrians because in inspiration the breath drawn 
in from the outer air is sharper and stronger than the 
respired breath. For this is the nature of respiration. 
"The fourth river is Euphrates." This they say, is the 
mouth, which is the seat of prayer and the entrance of food, 
which gladdens 4 and nourishes and characterizes 5 the p. 180. 
spiritual perfect man. This, he says, is the water above 
the firmament concerning which, he says, the Saviour 
spake: "If thou knewest who it is that asks thou would 
have asked of him, and he would have given thee to drink 
living rushing water.'' 6 To this water, he says, comes every 

1 The cornucopia : horn ot the goat (not bull) Amalthea seems to 
have been intended. I see no likeness between this and the passage in 
Deut. xxxiii. 17, to which Macmahon refers it. 

2 Gen. ii. 10. 

3 This and the three following quotations are from Gen. ii. 10-14 
and follow the Septuagint version. 

1 Play upon Euphrates and eixppaluei, "rejoices." 

5 x a P aKT Vpi^ 1 - "Stamps" would be more correct, but singularly 
incongruous' with water. 

6 John iv. 10. No substantial difference from A.V. 



i 4 4 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

nature to choose its own substances. 1 and from this water 
goes forth to every nature that which is proper to it, he 
says, more (certainly) than iron to the magnet, gold to the 
spine of the sea-falcon and husks to amber. 2 But if any- 
one, he says, is blind from birth, and has not beheld the 
true light which lightens every man who cometh into the 
world, 3 let him recover his sight again through us, and 
behold how as it were through some Paradise full of all 
plants and seeds, the water flows among them. Let him 
see, too, that from one and the same water the olive-tree 
chooses and draws to itself oil, and the vine wine, and each 
of the other plants (that which is) according to its kind. 

p. 181 But that Man, he says, is without honour in the world, 
and much honoured [in heaven, being betrayed] by those 
who know not to those who know him not, and accounted 
like a drop which falleth from a vessel. 4 But we are, he 
says, the spiritual who have chosen out of the living water, 
the Euphrates flowing through the midst of Babylon, that 
which is ours, entering in through the true gate which is 
Jesus the blessed. And we alone of all men are Christians, 
whom the mystery in the third gate has made perfect, and 
have been anointed 5 there with silent ointment from the 
horn like David and not from the earthen vessel, he says, 
like Saul, 6 who abode with the evil spirit of fleshly desire. 

10. These things, then, we have set forth as a few out of 
many : for the undertakings of folly which are nonsensical 
and madlike are innumerable. But since we have expounded 
to the best of our ability their unknowable gnosis, we have 
thought it right to add this also. This psalm has been 
concocted by them, whereby they seem to hymn all the 

p. 182. mysteries of their error thus : 7 

1 ovffiai, but not in the theological sense. 

2 This simile, repeated often later, has been the chief support of 
Salmon and Stahelin's forgery theory. Yet Clement of Alexandria 
(Book VII, c. 2, Stromateis) also uses it, and the turning of swords into 
ploughshares and spears into pruning-hooks appears in Micah iv. 3, as 
well as in Isaiah ii. 4, without arguing a common origin. 

3 John I. 9. 4 Isn. xl. 15. 

5 Play upon x? l H^ VQl > "anointed," and xP L<TTiaV0 ' 1 ' 

6 1 Sam. x. I ; xvi. 13, 14. 

7 The hymn which follows is so corrupt that Schneidewin declared it 
beyond hope of restoration. Miller shows that the original metre was 
anapaestic, the number of feet diminishing regularly from 6 to 4 He 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 145 

The generic law of the universe was the primordial mind ; 

But the second was the poured-fbrth light 1 of the First-born : 

And the third toiling soul received the Law as its portion. 

Whence clothed in watery shape, 

The loved one subject to toil (and) death, 

Now having lordship, she beholds the light, P- 183. 

Now cast forth to piteous state, she weeps. 

Now she weeps (and now) rejoices ; 

Now laments (and now) is judged ; 

Now is judged (and now) is dying. 

Now no outlet is left or she wandering 

The labyrinth of woes has entered. 2 

But Jesus said : Father, behold ! 

A strife of woes upon Earth 

From thy breath has fallen, 

But she seeks to flee malignant chaos. 

And knows not how to win through it, 

For this cause send me, O Father, 

Holding seals I will go down, p. i$a 

Through entire aeons I will pass, 

All mysteries I will disclose ; 

The forms of the gods I will display ; 

The secrets of the holy way 

Called Gnosis, I will hand down. 

These things the Naassenes attempt, calling themselves 
Gnostics. 3 But since the error is many-headed and truly 



likens this to that of the hymns of Synesius and the Tragopodagra of 
Lucian. 

1 Reading <pdos for x* os - 

2 This seems (o correspond with the Ophite description of Sophia or 
the third Person of their Triad in Chaos. Cf. Irenieus, I> 28. 

3 The source of this chapter on the Naassenes is so far undiscover- 
able. Contrary to his usual practice, Hippolyt.ua here mentions the 
name of no heretical author as he does in the following chapters of this 
Book. It is probable, therefore, that he may have taken down his 
account of "Naassene" doctrines from the lips of some convert, which 
would account for the extreme wildness of the quotations and to the 
incoherence with which he jumps about from one subject to another. 
This would also account for the heresy here described being far more 
Christian in tone than the other forms of Ophitism which follow it in 
the text, and the quotations from Scripture, especially the N.T., being 
more numerous and on the whole more apposite than in the succeeding 
chapters. The style, such as it is, is maintained throughout and its 
continuity should perhaps forbid us to see in it a plurality of authors. 
Little prominence in it is given to the Serpent which gives its name to 
the sect, although it is here said that he is good, and this seems to 
point to the Naassene being more familiar with the Western than with 
the Eastern forms of Cybele- worship. 



146 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

of diverse shape like the fabled Hydra, we, having struck 
off its heads at one blow by refutation, (and) using the rod 
of Truth, will utterly destroy the beast. For the remaining 
heresies differ little from this, they all being linked together 
by one spirit of error. But since they by changing the 
words and the names wish the heads of the serpent to be 
many, we shall not thus fail to refute them thoroughly 
as they will. 

2. Peratce} 

12. There is also indeed a certain other (heresy), the 
Peratic, the blasphemy of whose (followers) against Christ 
has for many years evaded (us). Whose secret mysteries 
it now seems fitting for us to bring into the open. They 
suppose the cosmos to be one, divided into three parts. 
But of this triple division, one part according to them is, as 
it were, a single principle like a great source 2 which may be 

1 No mention of this sect is made by Irenreus or Epiphanius, and 
Theodoret's statements concerning it correspond so closely with those 
of our text as to make it certain either that they were drawn from it or 
that both he and llippolytus drew from a common source. Yet 
Clement of Alexandria knew of the Peratics (see Stromateis VII, 16), and 
Origen [cont. Cels. VI, 28) speaks of the Ophites generally as boasting 
Euphrates as their founder. The name given to them in our text is 
said by Clement [ttbi cit.) to be a place-name, and the better opinion 
seems to be that it means " Mede" or one who lives on the further side 
of the Euphrates. The main point of their doctrine seems to be the 
great prominence given in it to the Serpent, whom they call the Son, 
and make an intermediate power between the Father of All and Matter. 
In this they are perhaps following the lead of some of the Grreco- 
Oriental worships like that of Sabazius, one of the many forms of Attis, 
or that of Dionysos whose symbol was the serpent. The proof of their 
doctrines, however, they sought for not, like the Naassenes, in the mystic 

rites, but in a kind of astral theology which looked for religious truths 
in the grouping of the stars ; and it was in pursuit of this that they 
identified the Saviour Serpent with the constellation Draco. Yet they 
were ostensibly Christians, being apparently perfectly willing to accept 
the historical Christ as their great intermediary. Their attitude to 
Judaism is more difficult to grasp because, while they quoted freely 
"from the Old Testament, they apparently considered its God as an 
evil, or at all events, an unnecessarily harsh, power, in which they 
anticipated Manes and probably Marcion. Had we more of their 
writings we should probably find in them the embodiment of a good 
deal of early Babylonian tradition, to which most of these astrological 
heresies paid great attention. 

2 irrjyr). 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 147 

cut by the mind into boundless sections. And the first and p. 186. 
chiefest section according to them is the triad and (the one 
part of it) 1 is called Perfect Good and Fatherly Greatness. 2 
But the second part of this triad of theirs is, as it were, a 
certain boundless multitude of powers which have come 
into being from themselves, while the third is (the world of) 
form. And the first is unbegotten and is good ; and the 
second is good (and) self-begotten, while the third is be- 
gotten. 3 Whence they say expressly that there are three 
Gods, three /ogoi, three minds, and three men. For they 
assign to each part of the world of the divided divisibility, 
gods and logoi and minds and men and the rest. But they 
say that from on high, from the unbegottenness and the first 
section of the cosmos, when the cosmos had already been 
brought to completion, there came down through causes 
which we shall declare later 4 in the days of Herod a certain 
triple-bodied and triple-powered :> man called Christ, con- 
taining within Himself all the compounds 6 and powers from 
the three parts of the cosmos. And this, he says is the p. 1S7. 
saying : "The whole Pleroma was pleased to dwell within 
Him bodily and the whole godhead" of the Triad thus 
divided "is in Him." 7 For, he says that there were 
brought down from the two overlying worlds, (to wit) the 
unbegotten and the self-begotten, unto this world in which 
we are, seeds of all powers. But what is the manner of 
their descent we shall see later. 8 Then he says that Christ 
was brought down from on high from the unbegottenness so 

1 to fxku eV /j.epos. Cruice thinks these words should bo added here 
instead of in the description of the "great source" just above. See 
Book X, II, p. 481 infra. 

- Probably " Great Father." 

A This is entirely contradictory of Ilippolytus' own statement later ot 
their doctrine that the universe consists of Father, Son, and Matter. 
AvToyev-fjs, for which avToyevvyros is substituted a page later, is the 
last epithet to be applied to a sou. Is it a mistake for ^ovoyiw^Tos, 
"only begotten." For the three worlds, see the Naassene author 
also, p. 121 supra. 

4 The cause assigned a little later is the salvation of the three worlds. 

5 rptivvaixos probably means with powers from all three worlds. 
The phrase is frequent in the Fist is Sophia. 

(TvynpiiAara, concrctioncs, Cr. and Macmahon. It might mean 
" decrees" and is used in the Septuagint version of Daniel for " inter- 
pretations " of dreams. 

7 Coloss. i. 19, and ii. 9. 8 From the starry influences? 



148 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

that through His descent all the threefold divisions should 
be saved. For the things, he says, brought down below 
shall ascend through Him ; but those which take counsel 
together against those brought down from above shall be 
banished and after they have been punished shall be rooted 
out. This, he says, is the saying : " The Son of Man came 
not into the world to destroy the world, but that the world 
through Him might be saved." l He calls " the world," he 
says, the two overlying portions, (to wit) the unbegotten 
and the self-begotten. When the Scripture says : " Lest 
ye be judged with the world," 2 he says, it means the third 
part of the cosmos (to wit) that of form. For the third part 
p. 188. which he calls the world must be destroyed, but the two 
overlying ones preserved from destruction. 3 

13. Let us first learn, then, how they who have taken 
this teaching from the astrologers insult Christ, working 
destruction for those who follow them in such error. For 
the astrologers, having declared the cosmos to be one, 
divided it 4 into the twelve fixed parts of the Zodiacal signs, 
and call the cosmos of the fixed Zodiacal signs one un- 
wandering world. But the other, they say, is the world of 
the planets alike in power and in position and in number 
which exists as far as the Moon. 5 And that one world 
receives from the other a certain power and communion, 
and that things below partake of things above. But so 
that what is said shall be made plain, I will use in part the 
very words of the astrologers, 6 recalling to the readers 
what was said before in the place where we set forth the 
whole art of astrology. Their doctrines then are these : 
From the emanation of the stars the genitures of things 

1 John iii. 17. * I. Cor. xi- 32. 

3 But see n. 4 on last page and text three sentences earlier. 

4 It was not the world, but the Zodiac that the astrologers divided 
into dodecatemories. See Bouche-Leclercq, VAstrologie Gr., passim. 

6 There must be some mistake here. The planetary world, according 
to the astronomy of the time, only began at the Moon. 

6 The words which follow, down to the end of this paragraph, with 
the exception of one sentence, are taken, not from the astrologers, but 
from their opponent Sextus Empiricus. They correspond to pp. 339 ff. 
of the Leipzig edition of Sextus and the restorations from this are 
shown by round brackets. The whole passage doubtless once formed 
the beginning of Book IV of our text, the opening words of which 
they repeat. For the probable cause of this needless repetition see the 
Introduction, p. 20 supra. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 149 

below are influenced. For the Chaldeans, scrutinizing 
the heavens with great care, said that (the seven stars) p. 189. 
account for the active causes of everything which happens 
to us j but that the degrees of the Zodiacal circle work 
with them. (Then they divide the Zodiacal circle into) 
12 parts, and each Zodiacal sign into 30 degrees and 
each degree into 60 minutes ; for these they call the least 
and the undivided. And they call some of the 
Zodiacal signs male and others female, some bicorporal 
and others not, some tropical and others firm. Then 
there are male or female according as they have a nature 
co-operating in the begetting of males (or females). 
Moved by which, I think 1 the Pythagoricians 2 call the 
monad male, the dyad female, and the triad again .male 
and in like manner the rest of the odd and even numbers. 
And some dividing each sign into dodecatemories employ 
nearly the same plan. For example, in Aries they call the p. 190 
first dodecatemory Aries and masculine, its second Taurus 
and feminine, and its third Gemini and masculine, and so 
on with the other parts. And they say that Gemini and 
Sagittarius which stands opposite to it and Virgo and Pisces 
are bicorporal signs, but the others not. And in like 
manner, those signs are tropical in which the Sun turns 
about and makes the turnings of the ambient, as, for 
example, the sign Aries and its opposite Libra, Capricorn 
and Cancer. For in Aries, the spring turning occurs, in 
Capricorn the winter, in Cancer the summer and in Libra 
the autumn. These things also and the system concerning 
them we have briefly set forth in the book before this, 
whence the lover of learning can learn how Euphrates the 
Peratic and Celbes the Carystian, the founders of the 
heresy, altering only the names, have really set down like 
things, having also paid immoderate attention to the art. 
For the astrologers also say that there are "terms " of the p. 191, 
stars in which they deem the ruling stars to have greater 
power. For example in some (they do evil), but in others 
good, of which they call these malefic and those benefic. 
And they say that (the Planets) behold one another and are 
in harmony with one another as they appear in trine (or 

1 Sextus' comment, not Hippolytus'. 

2 The personal followers of Pythagoras were called Pythagorics, 
those who later gave a general assent to his doctrines Pythagoreans. 



1 5 o PHILOSOPHUMEN A 

square). Now the stars beholding one another are figured 
in trine when they have a space of three signs between 
them, but in square if they have two. And as in the 
man the lower parts suffer with the head and the head 
suffers with the lower parts, thus do the things on earth 
p. 192. with those above the Moon. But (yet) there is a certain 
difference and want of sympathy between them since they 
have not one and the same unity. 

This alliance and difference of the stars, although a 
Chaldrean (doctrine), those of whom we have spoken before 
have taken as their own and have falsified the name of 
truth. (For they) announce as the utterance of Christ a 
strife of aeons and a falling-away of good powers to the bad, 
and proclaim reconciliations of good and wicked. 1 Then 
they invoke Toparchs and Proastii, 2 making for themselves 
also very many other names which are not obvious but 
systematize unsystematically the whole idea of the astrologers 
about the stars. As they have thus laid the foundation of 
an enormous 'error they shall be completely refuted by our 
appropriate arrangement. For I shall set side by side with 
the aforesaid Chaldaic art of the astrologers some of the 
doctrines of the Peratics, from which comparison it will be 
p. 193. understood how the words of the Peratics are avowedly those 
of the astrologers, but not of Christ. 

14. It seems well then to use for comparison a certain 
one of the books 3 magnified by them wherein it is said : 
" I am a voice of awaking from sleep in the aeon of the 

1 An echo of a tradition which seems widespread in Asia. In the 
Pistis Sophia it is said that half the signs of the Zodiac rebelled against 
the order to give up "the purity of their light" and joined the wicked 
Adamas, while the other half remained faithful under the rule of 
Jabraoth. Cf. Rev. xii. 7, and the Babylonian legend of the assault of 
the seven evil spirits on the Moon. 

2 "Toparch" = ruler of a place. Proastius, "suburban," or a dweller 
in the environs of a town. It here probably means the ruler of a part 
of the heavens near or under the influence of a planet. 

3 The bombastic phrases which follow seem to have been much 
corrupted and to have been translated from some language other than 
Greek. Nvuroxpoos and vSaToxpoos are not, I think, met with elsewhere, 
and the genders are much confused throughout the whole quotation, 
Poseidon being made a female deity and Isis a male one. The more 
outlandish names have some likeness to the " Munichuaphor," "Chre- 
maor," etc., of the Pistis Sophia. There seems some logical connection 
between the name of the powers and those born under them, the lovers 
being assigned to Eros, and so on. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 151 

night, (and) now I begin to lay bare the power from Chaos. 
The power is the mud of the. abyss, which raises the mire 
of the imperishable watery void, the whole power of the 
convulsion, pale as water, ever-moving, bearing with it the 
stationary, holding back those that tremble, setting free 
those that approach, relieving those that sigh, bringing 
down those that increase, a faithful steward of the traces of 
the winds, taking advantage of the things thrown up by the 
twelve eyes of the Law, 1 showing a seal to the power which p. 194 
arranges by itself the onrushing unseen water which is called 
Thalassa. 2 Ignorance has called this power Kronos guarded 
with chains since he bound together the maze of the dense 
and cloudy and unknown and dark Tartarus. There are 
born after the image of this (power) Cepheus, Prometheus, 
Iapetus. 3 (The) power to whom Thalassa is entrusted is 
masculo-feminine, who traces back the hissing (water) from 
the twelve mouths of the twelve pipes and after preparing 
distributes it. (This power) is small and reduces the bois- 
terous restraining rising (of the sea) and seals up the ways 
of her paths, so that nothing should declare war or suffer 
change. The Typhonic daughter of this (power) is the faithful 
guard of all sorts of waters. Her name is Chorzar. Ignorance 
calls her Poseidon, after whose likeness came Glaucus, 
Melicertes, Io, 4 Nebroe. He that is encircled with the 12- 
angled pyramid 5 and darkens the gate into the pyramid 
with divers colours and perfects the whole blackness (i this p. 195. 
one is called Core 7 whose 5 ministers are: first Ou, 2nd 

1 Cruice points out that "eyes" are here probably written for 
"wells," tbe Hebrew for both being the same, and refers us to the 
twelve wells of Elim in Exod. xv. 27. 

2 Schneidewin here quotes from Berossos the well-known passage 
about the woman Omoroca, Thalalth, or Thalassa, who presided over 
the chaos of waters and its monstrous inhabitants. See Cory's Ancient 
Fragments) p. 25. The name has been generally taken to cover that 
of Tiamat whom Bel-Merodach defeated. See Rogers, Religion of 
Babylonia and Assyria, p. 107. 

3 All Titans, like Kronos himself. 

4 Macmahon reads here Ino, but this name appears later. 

5 There is some confusion here. The Platonists, following Philolaos, 
attributed singular properties to the twelve-angled figure made out of 
pentagons and declared it to have been the model after which the 
Zodiac was made. 

G vvKToxpoos. It seems to be a translation of the Latin nocticolor. 
7 So the Codex. Schneidewin and Cruice would read Kpuvos, but 
that name has already occurred. 



152 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

Aoai, 3rd Ouo, 4th Ouoab, 5th . . . Other faithful stewards 
there are of his toparchy of day and night who rest in their 
authority. Ignorance has called them the wandering stars 
on which hangs perishable birth. StewarJ of the rising of 
the wind 1 is Carphasemocheir (and second) Eccabaccara, but 
ignorance calls these Curetes. (The) third ruler of the 
winds is Ariel 2 after whose image came ^Kolus (and) Briares. 
And ruler of the 12-houred night (is) Soclas 3 whom ignor- 
ance has called Osiris. After his likeness there were born 
Admetus, Medea, Hellen, Aethusa. Ruler of the 12-houred 
day-time is Euno. He is steward of the rising of the first- 
blessed 4 and aatherial (goddess) whom ignorance calls Isis. 
The sign of this (ruler) -is the Dogstar 5 after whose image 
were born Ptolemy son of Arsinoe, Didyme, Cleopatra, 
Olympias. (The) right hand power of God is she whom 
9 6 - ignorance calls Rhea, after whose image were born Attis, 
Mygdon, 6 Oenone. The left-hand power has authority over 
nurture whom ignorance calls Demeter. Her name is Bena. 
After the likeness of this (god) were born Celeus, Tripto- 
lemus, Misyr, 7 Praxidice. (The) right-hand power has 
authority over seasons. Ignorance calls this (god) Mena 
after whose image were born, Bumegas, 8 Ostanes, Hermes 
Trismegistus, Curites, Zodarion, Petosiris, Berosos, Astram- 
psychos, Zoroaster. (The) left-hand power of fire. Ignor- 
ance calls him Hephaestus after whose image were born 
Erichthonius, Achilleus, Capaneus, Phaethon, Meleager, 

1 Here again Schneidewin would read cmttcjos, "star " ; but the next 
sentence makes it plain that it is the wind which is meant. 

2 Ariel is in one of the later documents of the Pistis Sophia made 
one of the torturers in hell. 

3 Probably Saclan or Asaqlan whom the Manichoeans made the 
Son of the King of Darkness and the husband of the Nebrod or Nebroe 
mentioned above. 

4 TrpcoroKafxapov. Macmahon translates it the "star Protocamarus," 
for which I can see no authority. It seems to me to be an inversion of 
TrpwTOfiaKdpos, " first-blest," very likely to happen in turning a Semitic 
language into Greek and back again. 

6 The dogstar, Sothis, or Sirius, was identified with Isis. 

6 Mvyhoov. In a magic spell, Pluto, who has many analogies with 
Attis, is saluted as " Huesemigadon," perhaps " Hye, Cye, Mygdon." 
Has this Mygdon any analogy with amygdalon the almond ? 

7 Qy. Mise, the hermaphrodite Dionysos? 

8 Bov/Atyas, "great ox"? All the other names which follow are 
those of magicians or diviners. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 153 

Tydeus, Enceladus, Raphael, Suriel, 1 Omphale. Three 
middle powers suspended in air (are) causes of birth. 
Ignorance calls them Fates, after whose image were born 
(the) house of Priam, (the) house of Laius, Ino, Autonoe, 
Agave, Athamas, Procne (the) Danaids, the Peliades. A 
masculo-feminine power there is ever childlike, who grows 
not old, (the) cause of beauty, of pleasure, of prime, of 
yearning, of desire, whom ignorance calls Eros, after whose 
image were born Paris, Narcissus, Ganymede, Endymion, p. 197. 
Tithonus, Icarius, Leda, Amymone, Thetis, (the) Hesperides, 
Jason, Leander, Hero." These are the Proastii up to Aether. 
For thus he inscribes the book. 

15. The heresy of the Peratre, it has been made easily 
apparent to all, has been adapted from the (art) of the 
astrologers with a change of names alone. And their other 
books include the same method, if any one cared to go 
through them. For, as I have said, they think the un- 
begotten and overlying things to be the causes of .birth of 
the begotten, and that our world, which they call that of 
form, came into being by emanation, and that all those stars 
together which are beheld in the heaven become the causes 
of birth in this world, they changing their names as is to be 
seen from a comparison of the Proastii. And secondly after 
the same fashion indeed, as they say that the world came 
into being from the emanation of her 2 on high, thus they say 
that things here have their birth and death and are governed 
by the emanation from the stars. Since then the astrologers p. 198. 
know the Ascendant and Midheaven and the Descendant 
and the Anti-meridian, and as the stars sometimes move 
differently from the perpetual turning of the universe, and 
at other times there are other succeedents to the cardinal 
point and (other) cadents from the cardinal points, (the 
Perat?e) treating the ordinance of the astrologers as an 
allegory, picture the cardinal points as it were God and 
monad and lord of all generation, and the succeedent as the 
left hand and the cadent the right. When therefore any 
one reading their writings finds a power spoken of by them 
as right or left, let him refer to the centre, the succeedent 

1 Two of the seven "angels of the presence." Their appearance in 
a list mainly of Greek heroes is inexplicable. 

2 rrjs &vw. Perhaps we should insert 8uud/xws, "the Power on 
High." 



154 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

and the cadent, and he will clearly perceive that their whole 
system of practice has been established on astrological 
teaching. 

1 6. But they call themselves Peratas, thinking that nothing 
which has its foundations in generation can escape the fate 
determined from birth for the begotten. For if anything, 
he says, is begotten it also perishes wholly, as it seemed also 
p. 199. to the Sibyl. 1 But, he says, we alone who know the com- 
pulsion of birth and the paths whereby man enters into the 
world and have been carefully instructed we alone can pass 
through 2 and escape destruction. But water, he says, is 
destruction, and never, he says, did the world perish quicker 
than by water. But the water which rolls -around the 
Proastii is, they say, Kronos. For such a power, he says, 
is of the colour of water and this power, that is Kronos, 
none of those who have been founded in generation can 
escape. For Kronos is set as a cause over every birth so 
that it shall be subject to destruction 3 and no birth could 
occur in which Kronos is not an impediment. This, he 
says is what the poets say and the gods (themselves) also 
fear : 

Let earth be witness thereto and wide heaven above 
And the water of Styx that flows below. 

The greatest of oaths and most terrible to the blessed gods. 

(Homer, Odyssey, vv. iS4ff.) 

But not only do the poets say this, he says, but also the 
wisest of the Greeks, whereof Heraclitus is one, who says, 
p. 200. " For water becomes death to souls." 4 

This death (the Peratic) says seizes the Egyptians in the 
Red Sea with their chariots. And all the ignorant, he says, 
are Egyptians and this he says is the going out from Egypt 
(that is) from the body. For they think the body little 
Egypt (and) that it crosses over the Red Sea, that is, the 
water of destruction which is Kronos, and that it is beyond 
the Red Sea, that is birth, and comes into the desert, that is, 

1 See Sibyll. Orac, III. But the Sibyl says the exact opposite. 
Cf. Charles, Apocrypha and Psttedepigrapha of the 0.7'., II, 377. 

2 -rrtpao-ai. The derivation is too much even for Theodoret, who says 
that the name of the sect is taken from "Euphrates the Peratic" (or 
Mede). 

3 So modern astrologers make him the "greater malefic." 

4 A fragment from Heraclitus according to Schleienr.acher. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES i$g 

outside generation where are together the gc h o destruction 
and the god of salvation. But the gods c. le^ ction, h. 
says, are the stars which bring upon thos co ng into 
being the necessity of mutable generation. 1 'e, 3 said, 
Moses called the serpents of the desert which bi ^d use 
to perish those who think they have crossed thi < d u.a. 
Therefore, he says, to those sons of Israel who were bitten 
in the desert, Moses displayed the true and perfect serpent, 
those who believed on which were not bitten in the desert, 
that is, by the Powers. None then, he says, can save and p. 201. 
set free those brought forth from the land of Egypt, that is, 
from the body and from this world, save only he perfect 
serpent, the full of the full. 1 He who hopes on this, he 
says, is not destroyed by the serpents of the desert, that is, by 
the gods of generation. It is written, he says, in a book of 
Moses. 2 This serpent, he says, is the Power which followed 
Moses, the rod which was turned into a serpent. And the 
serpents of the magicians who withstood the power of Moses 
in Egypt were the gods of destruction ; but the rod of Moses 
overthrew them all and caused them to perish. 

This universal serpent, he says, is the wise word of Eve. 
This, he says, is the mystery of Edem, this the river flowing 
out of Edem, this the mark which was set on Cain so that 
all that found him should not kill him. This, he says, is 
(that) Cain whose sacrifice was not accepted by the god 
of this world ; but he accepted the bloody sacrifice of Abel, 
for the lord of this world delights in blood. 3 He it is, he 
says, who in the last days appeared in man's shape in the 
time of Herod, born after the image of Joseph who was p. 202. 
sold from the hand of his brethren and to whom alone 
belonged the coat of many colours. This, he says, is he 
after the image of Esau whose garment was blessed when 
he was not present, who did not receive, he says, the blind 
man's blessing, but became rich elsewhere taking nothing 
from the blind one, whose face Jacob saw as a man might 

1 So the Pistis Sophia speaks repeatedly of "the Pleroma of all 
Plcromas." 

2 Many magical books bore the name of Moses. See Forerunners, 
II, 46, and n. 

3 Is this why one Ophite sect was called the Cainites ? The 
hostility here shown to the God of the Jews is common to many other 
sects such as that of Saturninus, of Marcion and later of Manes. Cf. 
forerunners, II, under these names. 

VOL. I. L 



156 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

see the face of God. Concerning whom he says, it is 
written that : " Nebrod was a giant hunting before the 
Lord." 1 There are, he says, as many counterparts of him as 
there were serpents seen in the desert biting the sons of 
Israel, from which that perfect one that Moses set up 
delivered those that were bitten. This, he says, is the 
saying : " And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, 
so must the Son of Man be lifted up." 2 After his likeness 
was the brazen serpent in the desert which Moses set up. 
The similitude of this alone is always seen in the heaven 
in light. This he says is the mighty beginning about which 
it is written. About this he says is the saying : " In the 
beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and 
p. 203. the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 
All things were made by Him and without Him nothing 
was. That which was in Him was life." 3 And in Him, he 
says, Eve came into being (and) Eve is life. She, he says 
is Eve, mother of all living 4 (the) nature common (to all), 
that is, to gods, angels, immortals, mortals, irrational beings, 
and rational ones; for, he says, "to all" speaking collect- 
ively. And if the eyes of any are blessed, he says, he will 
see when he looks upward to heaven the fair image of the 
serpent in the great summit 5 of heaven turning about and 
becoming the source of all movement of all present things. 
And (the beholder) will know that without Him there is 
nothing framed of heavenly or of earthly things or of things 
below the earth neither night, nor moon, nor fruits, nor 
generation, nor wealth, nor wayfaring, nor generally is there 
anything of things which are that He does not point out. 
In this, he says, is the great wonder beheld in the heavens 
by those who can see. 

For against this summit (that is) the head which is the 
most difficult of all things to be believed by those who 
know it not, 

p. 204. "The setting and rising mingle with one another." 

(Aratus, P/iain., v. 62.) 

1 Gen. x. 9. Nimrod, who is sometimes identified with the hero' 
Gilgames, plays a large part in all this Eastern tradition. 

2 John iii. 13, 14. 3 Ibid., i. 1-4. 

4 For this identification of Eve with the Mother of Life or Great 
Goddess of Asia, see Forerunners, II, 300, and 11. 

5 &icpav. Cruice and Macmahon hoth read a^X - ^ "beginning," but 
see ravrrfv tV &Kpav later. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 157 

This it is concerning which ignorance speaks.: 

"The Dragon winds, great wonder of dread portent." 

{Ibid., v. 46.) 

and on either side of him Corona and Lyra are ranged 
and above, by the very top of his head, a piteous man, the 
Kneeler, is seen 

" Holding the sole of the right foot of winding Draco." 

(//., v. 70.) 

And in the rear of the Kneeler is the imperfect serpent 
grasped with both hands by Ophiuchus and prevented 
from touching the Crown lying by the Perfect Serpent. 1 

1 7 . This is the variegated wisdom of the Peratic heresy, 
which is difficult to describe completely, it being so 
tangled through having been framed from the art of 
astrology. So far as it was possible, therefore, we have set 
forth all its force in few words. But in order to expound 
their whole mind in epitome we think it right to add this : 
According to them the universe is Father, Son and Matter. 2 
Of these three every one contains within himself boundless p. 205. 
powers. Now midway between Matter and the Father sits 
the Son, the Word, the Serpent, ever moving himself 
towards the immoveable Father and towards Matter (which 
itself) is moved. And sometimes he turns himself towards 
the Father and receives the powers in his own person, 3 and 
when he has thus received them he turns towards Matter ; 
and Matter being without quality and formless takes pattern 
from the forms 4 which the Son has taken as patterns from 
the Father. But the Son takes pattern from the Father 
unspeakably and silently and unchangeably, that is, as 
Moses says the colours of the (sheep) that longed, 5 flowed 
from the rods set up in the drinking-places. In such a way 

1 All this is, of course, quite different to the meaning assigned to 
these stars by the unnamed heretics of Book IV. 

2 If we could be sure that Hippolytus was here summarizing fairly 
Ophite doctrines, it would appear that the Ophites rejected the 
Platonic theory that matter was essentially evil. What is here said 
presents a curious likeness to Stoic doctrines of the universe, as of 
man's being. Hippolytus, however, never quotes a Stoic author and 
seems throughout to ignore Stoicism save in Book I. 

3 irp6<ru)Trot>. The word used to denote the "character" or part or 
a person on the stage. 

4 iSe'cu. So throughout this passage. 5 Gen. xxx. 37 ff. 



158 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

also did the powers flow from the Son to Matter according 
to the yearning of the power which (flowed) from the rods 
upon the things conceived. But the difference and unlike- 
ness of the colours which flowed from the rods through 
the waters into the sheep is, he says, the difference of 
corruptible and incorruptible birth. Or rather, as a painter 
while taking nothing from the animals (he paints), yet 
transfers with his pencil to the drawing-tablet all their forms, 
thus the Son by his own power transfers to Matter the 

p. 206. types x of the Father. All things that are here are therefore 
the Father's types and nothing else. For if any one, he says 
has strength enough to comprehend from the things here 
that he is a type from the Father on high transferred hither 
and made into a body, as in the conception from the rod, 
he becomes white, 2 (and) wholly of one substance 3 with the 
Father who is in the heavens, and returns thither. But if 
he does not light upon this doctrine, nor discover the 
necessity of birth, like an abortion brought forth in a night 
he perishes in a night. Therefore, says he, when the 
Saviour speaks of " Your Father who is in heaven " 4 He 
means him from whom the Son takes the types and transfers 
them hither. And when He says " Your father is a 
manslayer from the beginning " 5 he means the Ruler and 
Fashioner of Matter who receiving the types distributed by 
the Son has produced children here. Who is a manslayer 
from the beginning because his work makes for corruption 
and death. 6 None therefore, he says, can be saved nor 

p. 207. return (on high) save by the Son who is the Serpent. For 
as he brought from on high the Father's types, so he again 
carries up from here those of them who have been awakened 
and have become types of the Father, transferring them 
thither from here as hypostatized from the Unhypostatized 7 
One. This, he says, is the saying "I am the Door." But 
he transfers them, he says (as the light of vision) 8 to those 

1 x a P aKT VP es - See n. on p. 143 supra. 

2 Not " ring-straked" like Jacob's sheep. z bjxoovaios. 

4 Matt. vii. n. Note the change of "Your " for " Our." 

5 John viii. 44. 

6 Here agaiti he dwells upon the supposed evil nature of the 
Demiurge. 

7 Or as Macmahon translates, " the substantial from the Unsub- 
stantial one." 

s A lacuna in the text is thus filled by Cruice. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 159 

whose eyelids are closed, as the naphtha draws everywhere 
the fire to itself or rather as the magnet the iron but 
nothing else, or as the sea-hawk's spine the gold but nothing 
else, or as again (as) the chaff is drawn by the amber. 1 Thus, 
he says, the perfect and consubstantial race which has been 
made the image * J (of the Father) but nought else is again 
led from the world by the Serpent, just as it was sent down 
here by him. 

For the proof of this they bring forward the anatomy of 
the brain, likening the cerebrum to the Father from its 
immobility, and the cerebellum to the Son from its being 
moved and existing in serpent form. Which (last) they 
imagine ineffably and without giving any sign to attract p. 208. 
through the pineal gland the spiritual and life-giving 
substance emanating from the Blessed One. 3 Receiving 
which the cerebellum, as the Son silently transfers the 
forms to Matter, spreads abroad the seeds and genera of 
things born after the flesh, to the spinal marrow. By the 
use of this simile, they seem to introduce cleverly their 
ineffable mysteries handed down in silence which it is not 
lawful for us to utter. Nevertheless they will easily be 
comprehended from what I have said. 

18. But since I think I have set forth clearly the Peratic 
heresy and by many words have made plain what bad 
escaped (notice), and since it has mixed up everything with 
everything concealing its own peculiar poison, it seems right 
to proceed no further with the charge, the opinions laid 
down by them being sufficient accusation against them. 4 

1 Again this simile is not necessarily by the Peratic author, but seems 
to be introduced by Hippolytus. For the supposed conduct of naphtha 
in the presence of fire, see Plutarch, vit Alex. 

2 i^eiKovKTixevov. A different metaphor from the "type." We 
shall meet with this one frequently in the work attributed to Simon 
Magus. 

3 The text has 4k Kafxaplov. Here Schneidewin agrees that the 
proper reading is (xaKapiov, there being no reason why any " life-giving 
substance" should exist in the brain-pan. He thus confirms the 
reading in n. on p. 152 supra. 

4 This chapter on the Peratre is evidently drawn from more sources 
than one. The author's first statement of their doctrines, which occupies 
pp. 146-149 sztpra, represents probably his first impression of them 
and contains at least one glaring contradiction, duly noted in its 
place. Then comes a long extract from Sextus Empiricus which is to all 
appearance a repetition of the earliest part of Book IV, only pardonable 



160 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

3. The Sethiani. 
p 209. 19. Let us see then what the Sethians say. 1 They are 

if it be allowed that the present Book was delivered in lecture form. 
There follows a quotation longer and more sustained than any other in 
the whole work from a Peratic book which he says was called Proastii, 
with a bombastic prelude much resembling the language of Simon 
Magus' Great Announcement in Book VI, followed by a catalogue 
of starry " influences " which reads much as if it were taken from some 
astrological manual. There follows in its turn a dissertation on the 
Ophite Serpent showing how this object of their adoration, identified 
with the Brazen Serpent of Exodus, was made to prefigure or typify in 
the most incongruous manner many personages in the Old and New 
Testaments, including Christ Himself. After this he announces an 
"epitome" of the Peratic doctrine which turns out to be perfectly 
different from anything before said, divides the universe, which he 
has previously said the Peratics divided into unbegotten, self-begotten 
and begotten, into a new triad of Father, Son {i.e. Serpent), and Matter, 
and gives a fairly consistent statement of the Peratic scheme of salvation 
based on this hypothesis. One can only suppose here that this last 
is an afterthought added when revising the book and inspired by some 
fresh evidence of Peratic beliefs probably coloured by Stoic or 
Marcionite doctrine. In those parts of the chapter which appear to 
have been taken from genuinely Peratic sources, the reference to 
some Western Asiatic tradition concerning cosmogony and the proto- 
plasts and differing considerably from the narrative of Genesis, is 
plainly apparent. 

1 This chapter is the most difficult of the whole book to account for, 
with the doubtful exception of the much later one on the Doceta;. A 
sect of Sethians is mentioned by Irenrcus, who does not attempt to 
separate their doctrines from those of the Ophites. Pseudo-Tertullian 
in his tractate Against All Heresies also connects with the Ophites a 
sect called Sethites or Sethoites, the main dogma he attributes to them 
( being an attempt to identify Christ with the Seth of Genesis. Epiph- 
anius follows this last author in this identification and calls them 
Sethians, but does not expressly connect them with the Ophites, makes 
them an Egyptian sect, and does not attribute to them serpent-worship. 
The sectaries of this chapter are called in the rubric Sithiani, altered 
to Sethiani in the Summary of Book X, and the name is not necessarily 
connected with that of the Patriarch. In the Bruce Papyrus, a Power, 
good but subordinate to the Supreme God, is mentioned, called "the 
Sitheus," which may possibly, by analogy with the late- Egyptian Si- 
Osiris and Si-Ammon, be construed " Son of God." Of their doctrines 
^ little can be made from Hippolytus' brief but confused description. 
Their division of the cosmos into three parts does not seem to differ 
much from that of the Peratre, although they make a sharper distinction 
than this last between the world of light and that of darkness, which 
has led Salmon (D.C.B. s.v., Ophites) to conjecture for them a Zoro- 
astrian origin. This is unlikely, and more attention is due to Hippo- 
lytus' own statement that they derived their doctrines from Musseus, 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 161 

of opinion * that there are three definite principles of the 
universals, and that each of the principles contains bound- 
less powers. But what they mean by powers let him judge 
who hears them speak thus : Everything which you under- 
stand by your mind or which you pass by unthought of, 
is formed by nature to become each of these principles, as 
in the soul of man every art which is taught. For example, 
he says, that a boy will become a piper if he spend some time 
with a piper, or a geometrician if he does so with a geome- 
trician, or a grammarian with a grammarian, or a carpenter 
with a carpenter, and to one in close contact with other 
trades it will happen in the same way. But the substance 
of the principles, he says, are light and darkness; and 
between them there is uncontaminated spirit. But the 
spirit which is set between the darkness below and the light 
on high, is not breath like a gust of wind or some little 
breeze which can be perceived, but resembles some faint p. 
perfume of balsam or of incense artificially compounded, as 
a power penetrating by force of a fragrance inconceivable 
and better than can be said in speech. But since the light 
is above and the darkness below and the spirit as has been 
said between them, the light naturally shines like a ray of 
the sun on high on the underlying darkness, and again the 

Linus, and Orpheus. In Forerunners it is sought to show that the 
Orphic teaching was one of the foundations on which the fabric of 
Gnosticism was reared, and the image of the earth as a matrix was 
certainly familiar to the Greeks, who made Delphi its bfx<pa\6s or 
navel. Hence the imagery of the text, offensive as it is to our ideas, 
would not have been so to them, and Epiphanius (Nar. t XXXVIII, p. 
510, Oehl.) knew of several writings, /coxa ttjs 'To-repas, or the Womb, 
which he says the sister sect of Cainites called the maker of heaven and 
earth. In this case, we need not take the story in the text about the 
generation by the bad or good serpent as necessarily referring to the In- 
carnation. One of the scenes in the Mysteries of Attis-Sabazius, and 
perhaps of those of Eleusis also, seems to have shown the seduction by 
Zeus in serpent-form of his virgin daughter Persephone and the birth 
therefrom of the Saviour Dionysos who was but his father re-born. This 
story of the fecundation of the earth-goddess by a higher power in serpent 
shape seems to have been present in all the religions of Western Asia, and 
was therefore extremely likely to be caught hold of by an early form of 
Gnosticism. In no other respect does this so-called " Sethian " 
heresy seem to have anything in common with Christianity, and it may 
therefore represent a pre-Christian form of Ophitism. The serpent in 
it is, iperhaps, neither bad nor good. 
1 Tovrots 5o/ce?, " it seems to them," 



162 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

fragrance of the spirit having the middle place spreads 
abroad and is borne in all directions, as we observe the 
fragrance of the incense burnt in the fire carried everywhere. 
And such being the power of the triply divided, the power 
of the spirit and of the light together is in the darkness 
which is ranged below them. But the darkness is a fearful 
water, into which the light with the spirit is drawn down 
and transformed into such a nature (as the water). 1 And 
the darkness is not witless, but prudent completely, and 
knows that if the light be taken from the darkness, 
the darkness remains desolate, viewless, without light, 

p. 211. powerless, idle, and strengthless. Wherefore with all its 
sense and wit it is forced to detain within itself the brilliance 
and spark of the light with the fragrance of the spirit. And 
an image of their nature is to be seen in the face of man, 
(to wit) the pupil of the eye dark from the underlying fluids, 
(and) lighted up by (the) spirit. As then the darkness seeks 
after the brilliance, that it may hold the spark as a slave 
and may see, so do the light and the spirit seek after their 
own power, and make haste to raise up and take back to 
themselves their powers which have been mingled with the 
underlying dark and fearful water. 2 But all the powers of 
the three principles being everywhere boundless in number 
are each of them wise and understanding as regards its own 
substance, and the countless multitude of them being wise 
and understanding, whenever they remain by themselves 
are all at rest. But if one power draws near to another, 
the unlikeness of (the things in) juxtaposition effects a 
certain movement and activity formed from the movement, 
by the coming together and juxtaposition of the meeting 

p. 212. powers. For the coming together of the powers comes 
to pass like some impression of a seal struck by close 
conjunction for the sealing of the substances brought up (to 
it). 3 Since then the powers of the three principles are 
boundless in number and the conjunctions of the boundless 
powers (also) boundless, there must needs be produced 

1 Cruice and Macmahon both translate this "into the same nature 
with the spirit." 

2 This anxiety of the higher powers to redeem from matter darkness 
or chaos, the scintilla of their own being which has slipped into it, is 
the theme of all Gnosticism from the Ophites to the Pistis Sophia and 
the Manichaean writings. See Forentnners, II, passim. 

3 Or " the substances brought up to the sealer." 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 163 

images of boundless seals. Now these images are the 
forms * of the different animals. 

From the first great conjunction then of the three 
principles came into being a certain great form of a seal, 
(to wit) heaven and earth. And heaven and earth are 
planned very like a matrix having the navel 2 in the midst. 
And if, he says, one wishes to have this design under his 
eyes, let him examine with skill the pregnant womb of any 
animal he pleases, and he will discover the type of heaven 
and earth and of all those things between which lie un- 
changeably below. And the appearance of heaven and 
earth became by the first conjunction such as to be like a 
womb. But again between heaven and earth boundless 
conjunctions of powers have occurred. And each con- 
junction wrought and stamped 3 nothing else than a seal of 
heaven and earth like a womb. But within this (the earth) p. 213 
there grew from the boundless seals boundless multitudes 
of different animals. And into all this infinity which is 
under heaven there was scattered and distributed among the 
different animals, together with the light, the fragrance of the 
spirit from on high. 

Then there came into being from the water the first-born 4 
principle (to wit) a wind violent and turbulent and the 
cause of all generation. For making some agitation in 
the waters it raises waves in them. But the motion of the 
waves as if it were some impregnating impulse is a be- 
ginning of generation of man or beast when it is driven 
onward swollen by the impulse of the spirit. But when 
this wave has been raised from the water and made preg- 
nant in the natural way, and has received within itself the 
feminine power of reproduction, it retains the light scattered 
from on high together with the fragrance of the spirit that 
is mind given shape in the different species. 5 Which p. 214. 
(mind) is a perfect God, who is brought down from the 
unbegotten light on high and from the spirit into man's 
nature as into a temple, by the force of nature and the 

1 ibecu. And so throughout. 

2 Schneidewin, Cruice, and Macmahon would here and elsewhere 
rend 6 <pa\\bs. But see the next sentence about pregnancy. 

3 ^ervTTODffev, "struck off." 

4 7rpa>T oyovos. The others were " unbegotten " like the highest world 
of the Peratae and Naassenes. 

5 uSeaiy. 



164 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

movement of the wind. It has been engendered from the 
water (and) commingled and mixed with the bodies as if it 
were (the) salt of the things which are and a light of the dark- 
ness struggling to be freed from the bodies and not able to 
find deliverance and its way out. For some smallest spark 
from the light (has been mingled) with the fragrance from 
above (i. e. from the spirit), like a ray (making composition 
of things dissolved and) solution of things compounded as, 
he says, is said in a psalm. 1 Therefore every thought and 
care of the light on high is how and in what way the mind 
may be set free from the death of the wicked and dark 
body (and) from the Father of that which is below, who 
is the wind which raised the waves in agitation and disorder 

p. 215. and has begotten Nous his own perfect son, not being his 
own (son) as to substance. 2 For he was a ray from on 
high from that perfect light overpowered in the dark and 
fearful bitter and polluted water, which (ray) is the shining 
spirit borne above the water. When then the waves (raised 
from the) waters [have received within themselves the 
feminine power of reproduction, they detain in 3 ] the 
different species, like some womb, (the light) scattered 
(from on high), (with the fragrance of the spirit) as is seen 
in all animals. 

But the wind at once violent and turbulent is borne 
along like the hissing of a serpent. First then from the 
wind, that is from the serpent, came the principle of 
generation in the way aforesaid, 4 all things having received 
the principle of generation at the same time. When then 
the light and the spirit were received into the unpurined 

p. 216. and much suffering disordered womb, the serpent, the wind 
of the darkness, the first-born of the waters entering in, 
begets man, and the unpurified womb neither loves nor 
recognizes any other form (but the serpent's). 5 Then the 

1 Is this Ps. xxix. 3, 10 already quoted by the Naassene author? Cf. 
p. 133 supra. 

2 This idea of a divine son superior to his father is common to the 
whole Orphic cosmogony and leads to the dethroning of Uranus by 
Kronos, Kronos by Zeus and finally of Zeus by Dionysos. It is met 
with again in Basilides (see Book VII infra). 

3 A lacuna here which Cruice thus fills. 

4 This has not been previously described. Is the narrative of the Fall 
alluded to? 

6 Cruice and Macmahou would translate "any other than man's." 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 165 

perfect Word of the light on high, having been made like 
the beast, the serpent, entered into the unpurified womb, 
beguiling it by its likeness to the beast, so that it might 
loose the bands which encircle the Perfect Mind which was 
begotten in the impurity of the womb by the first-born of 
the water, (to wit) the serpent, the beast. This, he says, 
is the form of the slave l and this the need for the descent 
of the Word of God into the womb of a Virgin. But it is 
not enough, he says, that the Perfect Man, the Word, has 
entered into the womb of a virgin and has loosed the pangs 
which were in that darkness. But in truth after entering 
into the foul mysteries of the womb, He was washed 2 and 
drank of the cup of living bubbling water, which he must 
needs drink who was about to do off the slave-like form 
and do on a heavenly garment. 

20. This is what the champions of the Sethianian doctrines p. 217. 
say, to put it shortly. But their system is made up of 
sayings by physicists and of words spoken in respect of 
other matters, which they transfer to their own system and 
explain as we have said. And they say that Moses also 
supported their theory when he said " Darkness, gloom 
and whirlwind." These, he says, are the three words. Or 
when he says that there were three born in Paradise, Adam, 
Eve (and the) Serpent ; or when he says three (others), 
Cain, Abel (and) Seth ; and yet again three, Shem, Ham 
(and) Japhet; or when he speaks of three patriarchs, 
Abraham, Isaac, (and) Jacob ; or when he says that there 
existed three days before the Sun and Moon ; or when he 
says that there are three laws (the) prohibitive, (the) per- 
missive and the punitive. And a prohibitive law is; " From 
every tree in Paradise thou mayest eat the fruit, but of the 
tree of knowledge of good and evil, eat not." But in this 
saying: "Go forth from thine own land, and from thy 
kindred and (thou shalt come) hither into a land which I 
shall show thee." This law he says is permissive for he who 
chooses may go forth and he who chooses may remain. 
But the law is punitive which says " Thou shalt not commit 

1 Phil. ii. 7. The only quotation from the N.T. other than that from 
Matt, used by the Sethians, if it be not, as I believe it is, the inter- 
polation of Hippolytus. 

2 aire\ov(raTo. Yet it may refer to baptism which preceded initiation 
in nearly all the secret rites of the Pagan gods. Cf. Forerunners, I, c. 2. 



1 66 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not murder " for 
to each of these sins there is a penalty. 1 

p. 218. But the whole teaching of their system is taken from 
the ancient theologists Musaeus, Linus and he who most 
especially makes known the initiations and mysteries (to 
wit), Orpheus. For their discourse about the womb is also 
that of Orpheus j and the phallus, which is virility, is thus 
explicitly mentioned in the Bacchica of Orpheus. 2 And these 
things were made the subject of initiation and were handed 
down to men, before the initiatory rite of Celeus, Triptolemus, 
Demeter, Core and Dionysos in Eleusis, at Phlium in Attica. 
For earlier than the Eleusinian Mysteries are the secret rites 
of the so-called Great (Mother) in Phlium. For there is in 
that (town) a porch, and on the porch to this day is en- 
graved the representation of all the words spoken (in them). 

p. 219. Many things are engraved on that porch concerning which 
Plutarch also makes discourse in his ten books against 
Empedocles. And on the doors is engraved a certain old 
man grey-haired, winged, having his pudendum stretched 
forth, pursuing a fleeing woman of a blue colour. And 
there is written over the Old man " Phaos ruentes " and over 
the woman " Pereephicola." But "phaos ruentes" seems 
to be the light according to the theory of the Sethians 
and the "phicola" the dark water, while between them is 
at an interval the harmony of the spirit. And the name of 
" Phaos ruentes " denotes the rushing below of the light as 
they say from on high. So that we may reasonably say 
that the Sethians celebrate among themselves (rites) in 
some degree akin to the Phliasian Mysteries of the Great 
(Mother). 3 And to the triple division of things the poet 
seems to bear witness when he says : 

1 The whole of this paragraph reads like an interpolation, or rather 
as something which had got out of its place. The statement about 
the physicists is directly at variance with the opening of the next which 
attributes the Sethian teaching to the Orphics. The triads he quotes 
are all of three '-.'good" powers and therefore would belong much 
more appropriately to the system of the Perata?. The quotation from 
Deut. iv. n, he attributes to several other heresiarchs. 

2 The codex has 6fx^a\6s for 6 <pa\\bs which is Schneidewin's emenda- 
tion. No book attributed to Orpheus called "Bacchica" has come 
down to us, but the Rape of Persephone was a favourite theme with 
Orphic poets. Cf. Abel's Orphica, pp. 209-219. 

3 This is not improbable ; but Hippolytus gives us no evidence that 
this is the case, as Plutarch, from whom he quotes, certainly did not 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 167 



"And in three lots were all things divided 
And each drew his own domain.'' 

(Homer, //., XV, 189. 1 ) 

that is each of the threefold divisions has taken power. 
And, as for the underlying dark water below, that the light p. 220. 
has plunged into it and that the spark borne down (into it) 
ought to be restored and taken on high from it, the all-wise 
Sethians seem to have here borrowed from Homer when 
he says : 

" Let earth be witness and wide heaven above 
And the water of Styx that flows below 
The greatest oath and most terrible to the blessed gods." 2 

(//. XV, 36-3S.) 

That is, the gods, according to Homer, think water some- 
thing ill-omened and frightful, wherefore the theory of the 
Sethians says it is frightful to the Nous. 

21. This is what they say and other things like it in 
endless writings. And they persuade those who are their 
disciples to read the theory of Composition and Mixture ;: 
which is studied by many others and by Andronicus the 
Peripatetic. The Sethians then say that the theory about 
Composition and Mixture is to be framed after this fashion : 
The light ray from on high has been compounded and the 
very small spark has been lightly mingled 4 in the dark p. 221. 
waters below, and (these two) have united and exist in one 
mass as one odour (results) from the many kinds of incense 
on the fire. And the expert who has as his test an acute 
sense of smell ought to delicately distinguish from the sole 
smell of the incense the different kinds of it set on the fire ; 
as (for example) if it be storax and myrrh and frankincense 
or if anything else be mixed with it. And they make use 
of other comparisons, as when they say that if brass has 
been mixed with gold, a certain process 5 has been discovered 
which separates the gold from the brass. And in like 

connect the frescoes of Phlium in the Peloponnesus (not Attica as he 
says) with the Sethians, nor does the light in their story desire the 
water. 

1 This too is a stock quotation which has already done duty for the 
Naassene author. Cf. p. 131 supra. 

So has this with the " Peratic." Cf. p. 154 supra. 



i68 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

manner if tin or brass or anything of the same kind be 
found mixed with silver, these by some better process of 
alloy are also separated. But even now any one distinguishes 
water mixed with wine. Thus, he says, if all things are 
mingled together they are distinguished. And truly, he 
says, learn from the animals. For when the animal is dead 
each (of its parts) is separated (from the rest) and thus when 
dissolved, the animal disappears. This he says is the 
saying : "I come not to bring peace upon the earth but a 
sword" 1 that is to cut in twain and separate the things 

p. 222. which have been compounded together. For each of the 
compounds is cut in twain and separated when it lights on 
its proper place. For as there is one place of composition 
for all the animals, so there has been set up one place of 
dissolution, which no man knoweth, he says, save only we 
who are born again, spiritual not fleshly, whose citizenship is 
in the heavens above. 

With these insinuations they corrupt their hearers, both 
when they misuse words, turning good sayings into bad as 
they wish, and when they conceal their own iniquity by 
what comparisons they choose. All things then, he says, 
which are compounds have their own peculiar place and run 
towards their own kindred things as the iron to the magnet, 
the straw to the amber, and the gold to the sea-hawk's 
spine. 2 And thus the (ray) of light which was mingled with 
the water having received from teaching and learning (the 
knowledge of) its own proper place hastens to the Word 
come from on high in slave-like form and becomes with the 
Word a Word where the Word is, more (quickly) than the 
iron (flies) to the magnet. 

p. 223. And that these things are so, he says, and that all com- 
pounded things are separated at their proper places, learn 
(thus) : There is among the Persians in the city Ampa 
near the Tigris a well, and near this well and above it has 
been built a cistern having three outlets. From which well 
if one draws, and takes up in a jar what is drawn from the 
well whatever it is and pours it into the cistern hard by ; 

1 Matt. x. 34. 

2 This again seems to be Hippolytus' own repetition of a simile 
which he met with in the Naassene author and which so pleased him 
that he made use of it in his account of the Peratic heresy as well as 
here. Cf. pp. 144 and 159 supra. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 169 

when it comes to the outlets and is received from each 
outlet in one vessel, it separates itself. And in the first 
outlet is exhibited an incrustation * of salt, and in the second 
bitumen, and in the third oil. But the oil is black, as he 
says Herodotus also recounts, 2 has a heavy odour and the 
Persians call it rhadinace. This simile of the well, say the 
Sethians, suffices for the truth of their proposition better 
than all that has been said above. 

22. The opinion of the Sethians seems to us to have been 
made tolerably plain. But if any one wishes to learn the 
whole of their system let him read the book inscribed 
Paraphrase (of) Seth ; for all their secrets he will find there 
enshrined. 3 But since we have set forth the things of the 
Sethians 4 let us see also what Justinus thinks. P- 22 4 

4. Justinus. 5 

23. Justinus, being utterly opposed to every teaching of 

1 a\as irr)yvv/.ievov. 

2 Herodotus VI, 20, mentions the City of Ampe, but says nothing 
there about the well which is described in c. 119 as at Ardericca in 
Cissia. 

3 The title of the book is given in the text as Uapdcppavts 2t)0, which 
is a well-nigh impossible phrase. 

4 On the whole it may be said that this is the most suspect of all the 
chapters in the Philosophumena, and that, if ever Hippolytus was 
deceived into purchasing forged documents according to Salmon and 
Stahelin's theory, one of them appears here. Much of it is mere 
verbiage as when, after having identified Mind or Nous with the 
fragrance of the spirit, he again explains that it is a ray of light sent 
from the perfect light, or when he explains the difference between the 
three different kinds of law. The quotations too are seldom new, nearly 
all of them appearing in other chapters and are, if it were possible, more 
than usually inapposite, while almost the only new one is inaccurate. 
The sentence about the Paraphrase (of) Seth, if" that is the actual title of 
the book, does not suggest that Hippolytus is quoting from that work, 
nor does the phrase, "he says," occur with anything like the frequency 
of its use in e.g., the Naassene chapter. On the whole, then, it seems 
probable that in this Hippolytus was not copying or extracting from 
any written document, but was writing down, to the best of his recollec- 
tion the statements of some convert who professed to be able to reveal 
its teaching. It is significant in this respect that when the summary in 
Book X had to be made, the summarizer makes no attempt to abbreviate 
the statement of the supposed tenets of the Sethians, but merely copies 
out the part of the chapter in which they are described, entirely omitting 
the stories of the frescoed porch at Phlium and the oil-well at Ampa. 

5 Nothing is known of this Justinus, whose name is not mentioned 



1 70 PHILOSOPHUMEN A 

the Holy Scriptures, and also to the writing or speech x of 
the blessed Evangelists, since the Word taught his disciples 
saying : "Go not into the way of the Gentiles" 2 which is 
plainly : Give no heed to the vain teaching of the Gentiles 
seeks to bring back his hearers to the marvel-mongering of 
the Greeks and what is taught by it. He sets out word for 
word and in detail the fabulous tales of the Greeks, but 



by any other patristic writer, and there is no sure means of fixing his 
date. Macmahon, relying apparently on the last sentence of the 
chapter, would make him a predecessor of Simon Magus, and therefore 
contemporary with the Apostles' first preaching. This is extremely 
unlikely, and Salmon on the other hand {D.C.B., s.v., "Justinus 
the Gnostic") considers his heresy should be referred to "the latest 
stage of Gnosticism " which, if taken literally, would make it long 
posterior to Hippolytus. The source of his doctrine is equally obscure ; 
for although Hippolytus classes him with the Ophites, the serpent in his 
system is certainly not good and plays as hostile a part towards man as 
the serpent of Genesis, while his supreme Triad of the Good Being, an 
intermediate power ignorant of the existence of his superior, and the 
Earth, differs in all essential respects from the Ophite Trinity of the 
First and Second Man and First Woman. Yet the names of the world- 
creating angels and devils here given, bear a singular likeness to those 
which Theodore bar Khoni in his Book of Scholia attributes to the 
Ophites and also to those mentioned by Origen as appearing on the 
Ophite Diagram. On the other hand, there are many likenesses not 
only of ideas but of language between the system of Justinus and that 
of Marcion, who also taught the existence of a Supreme and Benevolent 
God and of a lower one, harsh, but just, who was the unwitting author 
of the evil which is in the world. This, indeed, leaves out of the 
account the third or female power ; but an Armenian account of 
Marcion's doctrines attributes to him belief in a female power also, 
called Ilyle or Matter and the spouse of the Just God of the Law, with 
whom her relations are pretty much as described in the text. Justinus, 
however, was not like Marcion a believing Christian ; for he makes his 
Saviour the son of Joseph and Mary and the mere mouthpiece of the 
subaltern angel Baruch, while his account of the Crucifixion differs 
materially from that of Marcion. The obscene stories he tells about the 
protoplasts also appear in much later Manichsean documents and seem 
to be drawn from the Babylonian tradition of which the loves of the angels 
in the Book of Enoch are probably also a survival. It is therefore not 
improbable that Justinus, the Book of Enoch, the Ophites, and perhaps 
Marcion, alike derived their tenets on these points from heathen myths 
of the marriage of Heaven and Earth, which may possibly be traced 
back to early Babylonian theories of cosmogony. Cf. Forerunners , 
II, cc. 8 and 11, passim. 

1 Hippolytus, like the Gnostic writers, seems to know of an oral as 
well as a written tradition from the Evangelists. 

2 Matt. x. 5. In the A.V. as here, to Mvk), " the nations." 



THE OPHITE HERESIES .71 

neither teaches first hand x nor hands down his own com- 
plete mystery unless he has bound the dupe by an oath. 
Thereafter he explains the myth for the purpose of winning 
souls, 2 so that those who read the numberless follies of the 
books shall have the fables as consolation 3 as if one 
tramping along a road and coming across an inn should see 
fit to rest and so that when they have again turned to the 
full study of the things read, they may not detest them p. 225. 
until, being led on by the rush of the crowd, they have 
plunged into the offence artfully contrived by him, having 
first bound them by fearful oaths neither to utter nor to 
abandon his teaching and compelling them to accept it. 
Thus he delivers to them the mysteries impiously sought out by 
him, using as aforesaid the Greek myths and partly corrupted 
books according to what they indicate of the aforesaid 
heresies. For they all, drawn by one spirit, are led into a 
deep pit (of error) but each narrates and mythologizes the 
same things differently. But they all call themselves 
especially Gnostics, as if they alone had drunk in the 
knowledge of the perfect and good. 

24. But swear, says Justinus, if you wish to know the 
things "which eye hath not seen nor ear heard, nor have 
they entered into the heart of man," 4 (that is) Him who is 
good above all things, the Highest, to keep the ineffable 
secrets of the teaching. For our Father also, when he saw 
the Good One and was perfected by him, kept silence as to 
the secrets 5 and swore as it is written: "The Lord s ware p. 226. 
and will not repent." 6 Having then thus sealed up these 
(secrets), he turns their minds to many myths through a 
quantity (of books), and thus leads to the Good One, per- 
fecting the mystae by unspoken mysteries. But we shall 
not travel through more (of his works). We shall give as a 
sample the ineffable things from one book of his, it being 
one which he clearly thinks of high repute. It is inscribed 
Baruch. 1 We shall disclose one myth set forth in it by him 

1 Trp6repov 8<5a|as or "at first teaches." 

2 tyvxaywyias X^P IU ' 1 ne reader must again be reminded that while 
thtt^vxv of the Greeks was what we should call "mind," the irv^vixa is 
spirit, answeiing more to our word "soul." 

3 irapafxvdiov, a play upon fxvdos. 

4 I Cor. ii. 9. 

8 Lit., "guarded the secrets of silence." 

6 Ps. ex. 4. 7 "The Blessed." 

VOL. I. M 



172 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

out of many, it being also in Herodotus. Having trans- 
formed x this, he tells it to his hearers as new, the whole 
system of his teaching being made up out of it. 

25. Now Herodotus 2 says that Heracles when driving 
Geryon's oxen from Erytheia 3 came to Scythia and being 
wearied by the way lay down to sleep in some desert place 
for a short time. While he was asleep his horse disappeared, 
mounted on which he had made his long journey. 4 On 
waking he made search over most of the desert in the 
attempt to find his horse. He entirely misses the horse, 

p. 227. b u t finding a certain semi-virgin girl 5 in the desert, he asks 
her if she had seen the horse anywhere. The girl said that 
she had seen it, but would not at first show it to him unless 
Heracles would go .with her to have connection with her. 
But Herodotus says that the upper part of the girl as far as 
the groin was that of a virgin, but that the whole body below 
the groin had in some sort the frightful appearance of a viper. 
But Heracles, being in a hurry to find his horse yielded to 
the beast. For he knew her and made her pregnant, and 
foretold to her after connection that she had in her womb 
three sons by him who would be famous. 6 And he bade 
her when they were born to give them the names Agathyrsus, 
Gelonus, and Scytha. And taking the horse from the beast- 
like girl as his reward, he went away with his oxen. But 
after this, there is a long story in Herodotus. 7 Let us 
dismiss it at present. But we will explain something of 
what Justinus teaches when he turns this myth into (one of) 
the generation of the things of the universe. 

26. This he says : There were three unbegotten prin- 
ciples of the universals, 8 two male and one female. And 

p. 228. of the male, one is called the Good One, he alone being 
thus called, and he has foreknowledge of the universals. 
And the second is the Father of all begotten things, not 



1 TrapanAdorei, "given it another form." As a fact, Justinus' quotation 
from Herodotus is singularly accurate, save as afterwards noted. 

2 Herodotus, IV, 8-10. 

3 An island near Cadiz. The codex has 'EpvOpas, "the Red 
Sea." 

4 In Herodotus it is mares and a chariot. 

5 ut^ondpOevos. A neologism. 

6 In Herodotus the prophecy is given by the girl. 

7 To explain the origin of the Scythian nation. 

8 Or perhaps, as above, " the things of the universe." 



T*HE OPHITE HERESIES 173 

having foreknowledge and being (unknowable and) * in- 
visible. But the female is without foreknowledge, passionate, 
two-minded, two-bodied, in all things resembling Hero- 
dotus' myth, a virgin to the groin and a viper below, as 
says Justinus. And this maiden is called Edem and Israel. 
These, he says, are the principles of the universals, their 
roots and sources, by which all things came into being, 
beside which nothing was. Then the Father without fore- 
knowledge, beholding the semi-virgin, who was Edem, came 
to desire of her. This Father, he says, is called Elohim. 2 
Not less did Edem desire Elohim, and desire brought them 
together into one favour of love. And the Father from such 
congress begot on Edem twelve angels of his own. And the 
names of these angels of the Father are : .Michael, Amen, 
Baruch, Gabriel, Esaddaeus. 3 . . . And the names of the 
angels of the Mother which Edem created are likewise set 
down. These are : Babel, Achamoth, Naas, Bel, Belias, 
Satan, Sael, Adonaios, Kavithan, Pharaoh, Karkamenos, p. 229. 
Lathen. 4 Of these twenty-four angels the paternal ones join 
with the Father and do everything in accordance with his will, 
but the maternal angels (side) with the Mother, Edem. And 
he says that Paradise is the multitude of these angels taken 

1 Supplied from the summary in Book X. So the Pistis Sophia has 
a Power never otherwise described but not benevolent who is called 
"the great unseen Forefather," and seems to rule over material things. 

2 There is nothing to show that Hippolytus or Justinus knew this to 
be a plural. 

3 Seven names are missing from the text. Of the five given, Michael, 
Amen and Gabriel are given in the chapter on the Ophites in Theodore 
bar Khoni's Book of Scholia as the first angels created by God, the 
name of Baruch being replaced by that of " the great Yah." 
" Esaddaeus" is probably El Shaddai, who is said in the same book 
to be the angel sent to give the Law to the Jews and to have 
treacherously persuaded them to worship himself. 

4 Of these twelve names, Babel is written in bar Khoni as Babylon 
and said to be masculo-feminine, Achamoth is the Hebrew nODPI, 
Chochmah, Sophia, or Wisdom whom most Gnostics called the Mother 
of Life, Naas is the Serpent as is explained in the chapter on the 
Naassenes, Bel, Baal or the Chaldrean Bel, for Belias we should 
probably read Beliar, the devil of works like the Asccnsio Isaiae, 
Kavithan should probably be Leviathan, Adonaios is the Hebrew 
Adonai, or the Lord, while Sael, Karkamenos and Lathen cannot be 
identified. Pharaoh and " Samiel," a homonym of Satan, appear in 
bar Khoni's list of angels who rule one or other of the ten heavens, and 
Adonaios and Leviathan in the Ophite Diagram described by Celsus. 
Cf. Forerunners, II, pp. 70 ff. 



1 74 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

together; concerning which Moses says: "God planted a 
Paradise in Edem towards the East," * that is, towards the 
face of Edem that Edem might ever behold Paradise, that 
is, the angels. And the angels of this Paradise are alle- 
gorically called trees, 2 and Baruch, the third angel of the 
Father, is the Tree of Life, and Naas, the third angel of 
the Mother is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. 3 
For thus, he says, the (words) of Moses ought to be inter- 
preted, saying : Moses declared them covertly, because all 
do not come to the truth. 

But he says also when Paradise was produced from the 
mutual pleasure of Elohim and Edem, the angels of Elohim 
taking (dust) from the fairest earth, that is, not from the 
beast-like parts of Edem, but from the man-like and culti- 
vated regions of the earth above the groin, create man. 
But from the beast-like parts, he says, the wild beasts and 
p. 230. other animals are produced. Now they made man as a 
symbol of their 4 unity and good-will and placed in him the 
powers of each, Edem (supplying) the soul and Elohim the 
spirit. 5 And there thus came into being a certain seal, as 
it were and actual memorial of love and an everlasting sign 
of the marriage of Elohim and Edem, (to wit) a man who is 
Adam. And in like manner also, Eve came into being as 
Moses has written, an image and a sign and a seal to be for 
ever preserved of Edem. And there was likewise placed in 
Eve the image, a soul from Edem but a spirit from Elohim. 
And commands were given to them, " Increase and multiply 
and replenish the earth," 6 that is Edem, for so he would 
have it written. For the whole of her own power Edem 
brought to Elohim as it were some dowry in marriage 
Whence, he says, in imitation of that first marriage, women 
unto this day bring freely to their husbands in obedience to 
a certain divine and ancestral law (a dowry) which is that 
of Edem to Elohim. 

But when heaven and earth and the things which were 

1 Gen. ii. 8. 

2 So a Chinese Manichsean treatise lately discovered (see Fore- 
runners, II, p. 352) speaks of demons inhabiting the soul as "trees." 

3 v\ov tuv etSeVat yvwcriv k.t.A., " the Tree of seeing Knowledge," etc. 

4 The context shows that it is the unity, etc., of Elohim and Edem 
that is referred to. 

6 Cf. n, 911 p. 177 supra. c Gen. i. 28. 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 175 

therein had been created as it is written by Moses, the 
twelve angels of the Mother were divided into four author- 
ities, and each quarter, he says, is called a river, (to wit) 
Phison and Gihon, Tigris and Euphrates, as Moses says : 
These twelve angels visiting the four parts encompass and p. 231 
arrange the world, having a certain satrapial * power over 
the world by the authority of Edem. But they abide not 
always in their own places, but as it were in a circular dance, 
they go about exchanging place for place, and at certain 
times and intervals giving up the places assigned to them. 
When Phison has rule over the places, famine, distress and 
affliction come to pass in that part of the world, for miserly 
is the array of these angels. And in like manner in each 
of the quarters according to the nature and power of each, 
come evil times and troops of diseases. And evermore the 
flow of evil according to the rule of the quarters, as if they 
were rivers, by the will of Edem goes unceasingly about the 
world. 

But from some such cause as this did the necessity of 
evil come about. 2 When Elohim had built and fashioned 
the world from mutual pleasure, he wished to go up to the d. 232. 
highest parts of heaven and to see whether any of the 
things of creation lacked aught. And he took* his own 
angels with him, for he was (by nature) one who bears 
upward, and left below Edem, for she being earth did not 
wish to follow her spouse on high. Then Elohim coming to 
the upper limit of heaven and beholding a light better than 
that which himself had fashioned, said : u Open unto me 
the gates that I may enter in and acknowledge the Lord : 
For I thought that I was the Lord." 3 And a voice from 
the light answered him, saying : " This is the gate of the 
Lord (and) the just enter through it." And straightway the 
gate was opened, and the Father entered without his angels 
into the presence of the Good One and saw ' ' what eye has 
not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of 
man." Then the Good One says to him, "Sit thou on my 

1 Macmahon, "viceregal"; but the "satrap" shows from which 
country the story comes. 

2 Thus the Armenian version of Marcion's theology (for which see 
Forerunners, II, p. 217, n. 2) makes the "God of the Law's" with- 
drawal from Hyle or Matter, and his retirement to a higher heaven, the 
cause of all man's woes. 

3 Cf. Ps. cxvii. 19, 20 ; but the likeness is not exact. 



i 7 6 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

right hand." x But the Father says to the Good One : 
" Suffer me, O Lord, to overturn the world which I have 
made ; for my spirit is bound in men and I wish to recover 
it." Then says the Good One to him: "While with me 
thou canst do no evil ; for thou and Edem made the world 
from mutual pleasure. Let therefore Edem hold creation 

p. 233. while she will ; 2 but do thou abide with me." Then Edem 
knowing that she had been abandoned by Elohim was 
grieved, and sat beside her own angels and adorned herself 
gloriously lest haply Elohim coming to desire of her should 
descend to her. 

But since Elohim being ruled by the Good One did not 
come down to Edem, she gave command to Babel, who is 
Aphrodite, to bring about fornication and dissolutions of 
marriage among men, in order that as she was separated 
from Elohim, so also might the (spirit) of Elohim which is 
in men be tortured, (and) grieved by such separations and 
might suffer the same things as she did on being abandoned. 
And Edem gave great power to her third angel Naas, 3 that 
he might punish with all punishments the spirit of Elohim 
which is in men, so that through the spirit Elohim might 
be punished for having left his spouse contrary to their 
vows. The Father Elohim seeing this sent forth his third 
angel Baruch to the help of the spirit which is in men. 

p. 234. Then Baruch came again and stood in the midst of the 
angels for the angels are Paradise in the midst of which 
he stood and gave commandment to the man : " From 
every tree which is in Paradise freely eat, but from (the 
tree) of Knowledge of Good and Evil eat not," 4 which tree 
is Naas. That is to say : Obey the eleven other angels of 
Edem for the eleven have passions, but have no transgres- 
sion. But Naas had transgression, for he went in unto Eve 
and beguiled her and committed adultery with her, which is 
a breach of the Law. And he went in also unto Adam and 
used him as a boy which is also a breach of the Law. 5 
Thence came adultery and sodomy. 

1 Ps. ex. 1. 

2 Lit., " until she wishes it not." 

3 "Serpent." See n. on p. 173 supra. 

4 Gen. ii. 16, 17. 

5 That these stories about the protoplasts endured into Manichaean 
times, see M. Cumont's La Cosmogonic Manicheenne, Appendix I, 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 177 

From that time vices bore sway over men, and the good 
things came from a single source, the Father. For he, 
having gone up to the presence of the Good One showed 
the way to those who wished to go on high ; but his having 
withdrawn from Edem made a source of ills to the spirit of 
the Father which is in men. Therefore Baruch was sent to p. 235. 
Moses, and through him spoke to the sons of Israel that 
he might turn them towards the Good One. But the third * 
(angel Naas) by means of the soul which came from Edem 
to Moses as also to all men, darkened the commandments 
of Baruch and made them listen to his own. Therefore the 
soul is arrayed against the spirit and the spirit against the 
soul. 2 For the soul is Edem and the spirit Elohim, each 
of them being in all mankind, both females and males. 
Again after this, Baruch was sent to the Prophets, so that 
by their means the spirit which dwells in man might 
hearken and flee from Edem and the device of wickedness 3 
as the Father Elohim had fled. And in like manner and 
by the same contrivance, Naas by the soul which inhabits 
man along with the spirit of the Father seduced the 
Prophets, and they were all led astray and did not follow 
the words of Baruch which Elohim had commanded. 

In the sequel, Elohim chose Heracles as a prophet out of p. 236. 
the uncircumcision and sent him that he might fight against 
the twelve angels of the creation of the wicked ones. These 
are the twelve contests of Heracles which he fought in 
their order from the first to the last against the lion, the 
bear, the wild boar, 4 and the rest. For these are the names 
of the nations which have been changed, they say, by the 
action of the angels of the Mother. But when he seemed 
to have prevailed, Omphale, who is Babel or Aphrodite 5 
becomes connected with him and leads astray Heracles, 
strips him of his power (which is) the commands of Baruch 
which Elohim commanded, and puts other clothes on him, 
her own robe, which is the power of Edem who is below. 

1 Here again a power is referred to by its number instead of its name, 
as with the Naassene author. 2 Gal. v. 17. 

3 tV irhatnv tV irovrjpdv, malam fictione?n, Cr. Yet we have been 
told nothing of any deceit by Edem towards her partner. 

4 The Ophite Diagram, and bar Khoni's authority both figure the 
powers hostile to man as taking the shapes of these animals. 

5 So one of the latest documents of the Pistis Sophia calls the planet 
Aphrodite by a />/a-name ; which in that case is Bubastis. 



178 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

And thus the power of prophecy 1 of Heracles and his 
works become imperfect. 

Last of all in the days of Herod the king, Baruch is again 
sent below by Elohim and coming to Nazareth finds Jesus, 
the son of Joseph and Mary, 2 a boy of twelve years old, 
feeding sheep, and teaches Him all things from the beginning 
which came about from Edem and Elohim and the things 

P- 2 37- which shall be hereafter, and he said: "All the prophets 
before thee were led astray. Strive, therefore, O Jesus, 
Son of Man, that thou be not led astray, but preach this 
word unto men. And proclaim to them the things touching 
the Father and the Good One, and go on high to the Good 
One and sit there with Elohim the Father of us all." And 
Jesus hearkened to the angel, saying: "Lord, I will do all 
(these) things," and He preached. Then Naas wished to 
lead astray this one also (but Jesus did not wish to hearken 
to him) 3 for He remained faithful to Baruch. Then Naas, 
angered because he could not lead Him astray, made Him 
to be crucified. But He, leaving the body of Edem on the 
Cross, went on high to the Good One. But He said to 
Edem: "Woman, receive thy Son," 4 that is the natural 
and earthly man, and commending 5 the spirit into the 
hands of the Father went on high to the presence of the 
Good One. 

But the Good*. One is Priapus, who before anything was, 
was created. Whence he is called Priapus because he 
previously made 6 all things. W T herefore he says he is set 
up before every temple 7 being honoured by the whole 
creation and in the streets bears the blossoms of creation 
on his head, that is the fruits of creation of which he is the 

p. 238. cause having first made the creation which before did not 
exist. When therefore you hear men say that a swan came 

1 irpo(f)7]Teia. 

2 If these words are to be taken literally, Justinus was the only 
heretic of early date who denied His divinity, and this would distinguish 
him finally from Marcion. But the words are not inconsistent with 
the Adoptionist view. 

3 These words are Miller's suggestion. 4 John xix. 26. 

5 irapade/xevos. So Luke xxiii. 46. 

6 iTTpioTroiyac. The derivation is absurd and the word if it had any 
meaning would be something like "made like a saw." irpoizoUa) would 
make the pun at which he seems to have been striving. 

7 This was not the case, the statues of Priapus being placed in 
gardens. The whole passage seems to have been interpolated by some 
one ignorant of Greek and of Greek customs, or mythology, 



THE OPHITE HERESIES 179 

upon Leda and begot children from her, the swan is Elohim 
and Leda is Edem. And when men say that an eagle came 
upon Ganymede, the eagle is Naas and Ganymede is Adam. 
And when they say that the gold came upon Danae and 
begot children from her, the gold is Elohim and Danae is 
Edem. And likewise they making parallels in the same 
way teach all such words as bring in myths. When then 
the Prophets say : " Hear O Heaven and give ear O Earth, 
the Lord has spoken," x Heaven means, he says, the spirit 
which is in man from Elohim and Earth the soul which is 
in man (together) with the spirit, and the Lord means 
Baruch, and Israel, Edem. For Edem is also called Israel 
the spouse of Elohim. "Israel," he says, "knew me not; 
for if she had known that I was with the Good One, she 
would not have punished the spirit which is in man through 
the Father's ignorance." 

27. Afterwards ... is written also the oath in the first 
book which is inscribed Baruch which those swear who are p. 239. 
about to hear these mysteries and to be perfected 2 by the 
Good One. Which oath, he says, our Father Elohim swore 
when in the presence of the Good One and having sworn 
did not repent, touching which, he says, it is written : " The 
Lord sware and did not repent." This is that oath : " I 
swear by Him who is above all, the Good One, to preserve 
these mysteries and to utter them to none, nor to turn away 
from the Good One to creation." And when he has sworn 
that oath he enters into the presence of the Good One and 
sees "what eye hath not seen nor ear heard and it has not 
entered into the heart of man," and he drinks from the 
living water, which is their font, as they think, the well 
of living, sparkling water. For there is a distinction, he 
says, between water and water ; and there is the water below 
the firmament of the bad creation, wherein are baptized 3 
the earthly and natural men, and there is the living water 
above the firmament of the Good One in which Elohim was p. 240. 
baptized and having been baptized did not repent. And 
when the prophet declares, he says, to take unto himself a 
wife of whoredom because the earth whoring has committed 

1 fca. i. 2. 

2 TeAeTo-flas or " initiated." In any case a mystical word. 

3 Lit., " washed " ; but the context shows that it is baptism which 
is in question. It played an important part not only in all these here- 
tical sects but in heathen " mysteries" like those of Isis and Mithras. 



180 PHILOSOPHUMENA 

whoredom from behind the Lord, 1 that is Edem from 
Elohim. In these words, he says, the prophet speaks 
clearly the whole mystery, but he was not hearkened to by 
the wickedness of Naas. In that same fashion also they 
hand down other prophetic sayings in many books. But 
pre-eminent among them is the book inscribed Baruch in 
which he who reads will know the whole management of 
their myth. 

Now, though I have met with many heresies, beloved, I 
have met with none worse than this. But truly, as the 
saying is, we ought, imitating his Heracles, to cleanse the 
Augean dunghill or rather trench, having fallen into which 
his followers will never be washed clean nor indeed be able 
to come up out of it. 

28. Since then we have set forth the designs of Justinus 
the Gnostic falsely so called, it seems fitting to set forth also 
p. 241. in the succeeding books the tenets of the heresies which 
follow him 2 and to leave none of them unrefuted ; the 
things said by them being quite sufficient when exposed to 
make an example of them, if and only their hidden and 
unspeakable (mysteries) would leap to light into which the 
senseless are hardly and with much toil initiated. 3 Let us 
see now what Simon says. 

1 Hosea i. 2. The A.V. has " departing from the Lord." Here 
we have Edem clearly identified with the Earth goddess which is the 
key to the whole of Justinus' story. 

2 reus e|?js . . . rds roov olkovKovQuiv alpzaeuv. Macmahon, follow- 
ing Cruice, translates as above. It may well be, however, that the 
" heresies which follow " only mean which follow in the book. 

3 There is no reason to doubt Hippolytus' assertion that this chapter 
is compiled from a book called Baruch in which Justinus set forth his 
own doctrines. The narrative therein is, unlike that of the earlier 
chapters, perfectly coherent and plain, and the author's use of the 
historical present gives it a dramatic form which is lacking from the 
oratio obliqua formerly employed. Solecisms like the omission of 
the article are also rare, and the very long sentences in which Hippo- 
lytus seems to have delighted do not appear except in those passages 
where he is speaking in his own person. Whether from this or from 
some other cause, moreover, the transcription of it seems to have given 
less difficulty to the scribe Michael than some of the other chapters, and 
there is therefore far less need to constantly restore the text as in the 
case of the quotations from Sextus Empiricus. On the whole, therefore, 
we may assume that, as we have it, it is a genuine summary of Justinus* 
doctrines taken from a work by his own hand. 

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