Religion Past and Present

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Simon Magus/Simonians.
(427 words)

[German Version]

We know little about Simon’s life. According to Just. 1 Apol. 26.1, he came from Gitta, on the western edge of the Samarian hills; under Claudius (41–54) he appeared in Rome, where he “performed feats of magic by means of art given him by demons” and “was considered a god” ( Just. 1 Apol. 26 and 56; Dial. 120.6). Displays of power, the claim to be “something great,” and the acclamation “this is the power of God, which is called great” characterize Simon’s religiosity (cf. Acts 8:9–24). In the light of Acts 8, it is reasonable to associ…

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Zangenberg, Jürgen, “Simon Magus/Simonians.”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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