Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

Get access

(1,451 words)

The Borboriani are a libertine, Christian gnostic group, first mentioned by the late antique bishop Epiphanius of Salamis in his work Panarion (written 374–377 CE). The name Βορβοριανοί derives from βορβορώδης (i.e. “full of mud, dirty“), thus Borboriani can be translated as “filthy ones.” Epiphanius lists further names for different branches of these gnostics, whose origin he traces back to Nicolaos (Acts 6:5; Rev 2:6) and the Nicolaitans (Epiph. Haer. 25.2.1; 25.7.1; 26.1.1): in Egypt they ar…

Cite this page
Kingreen, Sarah-M., “Borboriani”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

▲   Back to top   ▲