Naassenes
(321 words)

[German version]

The Gnostic collection of Hippolytus [2] contains a piece of writing by the Naassenes (Hippolytus, Refutatio 5,6-11), who are elsewhere known only to us from Theodoretus; he identifies them with the Ophites (PG 80, 784) and Barbelo-Gnostics (PG 83, 361). It is not certain that the name was used by the group itself; according to Hippolytus, its members referred to themselves as ‘Gnostics’. The name derives from the Hebrew naḥaš, ‘serpent’: to the Naassenes, the source of gnosis was the serpent of Eden. The serpent, however, does not play a revelator…

Cite this page
Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg), “Naassenes”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 22 November 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e815580>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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