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Iustinus

(1,495 words)

Author(s): Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich) | Schmidt, Peter L. (Constance) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg) | Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] [1] I. I Eastern Roman general AD 518-527 (AD 518-527), emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, born a farmer's son around 450 in Bederiana (like  Iustinianus [1] I.), he came to Constantinople with  Leo I and was soon a member of the palace guard; under  Anastasius I he was comes rei militaris and from 515 comes excubitorum. In the dispute over the succession to Anastasius, who died without an heir, a majority in the Senate supported his candidacy and eventually he was also acclaimed by the army and the people, and was crowned on 10 Jul…

Severus

(1,402 words)

Author(s): Baltes, Matthias (Münster) | Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg) | Brock, Sebastian P. (Oxford) | Birley, A. R. (Düsseldorf) | Portmann, Werner (Berlin) | Et al.
[German version] I Greek (Σευῆρος; Seuêros). [German version] [1] Platonist, 2nd cent.? Platonist, probably 2nd cent. AD. He wrote a monograph On the soul [1. 80, 299; 2. 409-13, 428 f., 435 f.] and a commentary on Plato’s Timaeus [1. 52, 217 f.; 2. 407-9]. He appears in these works to be an original-minded, somewhat stoicizing interpreter of Aristotle’s doctrine of categories [1. 259; 2. 413 f.; 3. 66, 288 f.], and of Plato’s theories of the soul [1. 299; 3. 56, 278 f.] and of the origin of the world [4. 116-18, 417-21]. His works …

Valentinus

(500 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Groß-Albenhausen, Kirsten (Frankfurt/Main) | Tinnefeld, Franz (Munich)
[German version] [1] Christian theologian and poet, 2nd cent. Christian theologian, probably from Egypt, taught in c. AD 140-160 in Rome ( cf. Iren. adv. haereses 3,4,3). He wanted, possibly, to become episcopus ( epískopos ), but was turned down (Tert. adv. Valentinianos 4,1 ff.); afterwards, he must have lived in Cyprus (Epiphanius, Panarion 31,7,2). Besides a few extant fragments from sermons and letters, a work entitled 'On the three natures' ( Perì triôn phýseōn) is known to have existed. V. apparently wrote psalms in verse form; a fragment (in Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haer…

Naassenes

(321 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[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…

Ptolemaeus

(19,876 words)

Author(s): Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Mehl, Andreas (Halle/Saale) | Zahrnt, Michael (Kiel) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Schottky, Martin (Pretzfeld) | Et al.
(Πτολεμαῖος/ Ptolemaîos). Personal name meaning 'warlike' (not 'hostile'), first recorded in Hom. Il. 4,228; the name occurred in Macedonia in the 5th and 4th cents. BC, from where it spread to Thessaly, still in the 4th cent. (IG IX 2, 598). It became prominent with the Lagid dynasty, and became common, not only in Egypt, where it may at first have indicated solidarity with the dynasty, but also elsewhere. It underwent many deformations and transmutations. Ptolemies Famous persons: P. [1] I Soter, P. [6] III Euergetes; P. [22], the son of Caesar; the scientist Claudius P. [65]. Ameling, Wa…

Heracleon [5]

(296 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (Ἡρακλέων; Hērakléōn) is considered the 'most famous' representative of the heretical Christian school of the Valentinians (Clem. Al. Strom. 4,71,1). He was active in the second half of the 2nd cent. AD, but it is not known where (Rome and/or Alexandria?). Apparently Hypomnḗmata were produced from his exegesis of John, which Origenes [2] cites in his commentary on John (48 fragments). In his interpretation, which also draws on other gospels, Paulus [II 2] and the Old Testament, there is a background cosmogonic myth. In it the world-creating dēmiourgós [3], who is a…

Sextus

(2,046 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg) | Frede, Michael (Oxford) | Steinbauer, Dieter (Regensburg) | Rist, Josef (Würzburg)
I Greek [German version] [I 1] Author of a collection of 'gnomes' The name 'Sextus' is associated with a Greek collection of 610 maxims (Gnome) in all, known from two Greek MSS (Patm. 263, Vat. Gr. 742; Pap. Palau Rib. 225v, c. AD 400 offers 21 'gnomes'); they probably originated c. AD 200. Origenes [2] is the first to mention the title Σέξτου γνῶμαι ( Séxtou gnômai), remarking among other things that 'most Christians read them' (Orig. Contra Celsum 8,30). In about 399, Rufinus [II 6] Tyrannius translated a collection of 451 maxims into Latin, naming as author…

Valentinians

(395 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (Valentinianism). V. refers to the students of Valentinus [1] (the name first appeared in Justin. Dial. 35,6 and Hegesipp. In Euseb. Hist. eccl. 4,22,5), the most important Christian-heretical movement of the 2nd and 3rd cents. AD (with traces into the 7th cent.). It spread through the entire Mediterranean region and presented a serious competition for the emerging majority Catholic Church. Hippolytus [2] (Refutatio omnium haeresium 6,35,7) tells of a division into an Italic (Ptol…

Ophites

(188 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] Christian Gnostic sect; first mentioned in Clem. Al. Strom. 7,17 (108,2). Orig. Contra Celsum 6,24-38 attributed to them the diagram described by Celsus, but expressed doubts as to whether Ophites were still in existence (Hippolytus, Refutatio 8,20,3 makes no mention of the sect). Its founder was said to be Euphrates (in Hippolytus, Refutatio 5,13,9 he was called “Perat”). They were said to curse Jesus. According to Theodoretus (PG 83,364) and Epiphanius (Adv. haereses 37), the sy…

Pan

(1,096 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (Πάν/ Pán). Doric form of Arcadian Πάων/ Páōn, probably derived etymologically via Αἰγίπαν/ Aigípan from Mycenaean aiki-pata, which is related to Latin pastor ('shepherd'), pasci ('to graze') [1]; cf. also the ancient Indian god Pusan [15]. As the god of goatherds and shepherds, P.'s home is Arcadia [12] (Pind. fr. 95; hardly any evidence prior to 500 BC); as the twin brother of Arcas, he is a son of Zeus Lycaeus and Callisto (Epimenides fr. 16 DK); he has theriomorphic traits (the feet and head of a goa…

Menander

(3,637 words)

Author(s): Kinzl, Konrad (Peterborough) | Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Nesselrath, Heinz-Günther (Göttingen) | Meister, Klaus (Berlin) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki) | Et al.
(Μένανδρος; Ménandros). [German version] [1] Joint strategos with Nicias, 414 BC The Athenians M. and Euthydemus [1], who were already in Sicily, were chosen as joint strategoi of Nicias towards the end of 414 BC, during the Sicilian Expedition, to support him until the relief expedition of Demosthenes [1] arrived (413) (Thucyd. 7,16,1; Plut. Nicias 20,2); re-elected 413/12 (Plut. Nicias 20,6-8; Thucyd. 7,69,4; Diod. 13, 13,2). Possibly identical with the M. who fought in Abydus in 409 (Xen. Hell. 1,2,16). He was stratēgós with Tydeus (405/4) in the defeat at Aigos potamoi (X…

Kore Kosmou

(550 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] Some extensive excerpts from the hermetic book with the title Kore Kosmou are preserved through Stobaeus (excerpts 23-26 in [1]; Hermetic writings). This name describes, probably in a deliberately puzzling way, the goddess Isis, either as ‘Pupil of the Eye of the World’ [8] or as ‘Maiden of the World’ cf. the name Poemandres). The author attempts to integrate the religion of Isis and Osiris into the hermetic tradition by representing both Egyptian gods as pupils of Her…

Simon

(1,722 words)

Author(s): Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Peter, Ulrike (Berlin) | Wandrey, Irina (Berlin) | Et al.
(Σίμων/ Símōn). [German version] [1] Sculptor in bronze from Aegina, c. 480-460 BC Sculptor in bronze from Aegina. S. participated with a horse and a charioteer in the votive offerings dedicated by Phormis at Olympia; accordingly, his period of artistic activity is around 480-460 BC. The base which belonged to it has been identified. A dog and an archer by S. (Plin. HN 34,90) probably formed a further group. Neudecker, Richard (Rome) Bibliography Overbeck, nos. 402, 437  M. Zuppa, s.v. S. 2, EAA 7, 1966, 315  F. Eckstein, Anathemata, 1969, 43-49  E. Walter-Karydi, Die äginetische Bi…

Marsanes

(301 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] Title of a very fragmentarily preserved Gnostic text from Nag Hammadi (Codex X,1) in the Coptic language (Subakhmimic). The name Marsanes is also attested in the Anonymum Brucianum, in which M. appears alongside Nikotheus as a prophet of the highest truth [1. 235], and in Epiphanius (Adversus haereses 40,7,6) in the context of the description of the Archontes (here in the form Marsianes; Archontes [II]): he was translated to heaven and returned after three days. NHCod X,1 also describes an ascension into the divine spheres. The author distin…

Poemandres

(517 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (Ποιμάνδρης/ Poimándrēs). Source of divine revelation in the first tract of the Corpus Hermeticum (= CH) which was named after him. Perhaps the Coptic connection p-eime nte-rē ('spiritual power of the sun god'), for which evidence is lacking, underlies the name, omitting the article before , thus being a paraphrase of the Egyptian god Thoth (cf. Psenprēs, 'son of Re'). The name corresponds to P.' description of himself: ho tês authentías Noûs, 'the spirit of the highest power' (CH I 1; cf. PGM XIII 258: Re as authéntēs). At the same time there is a Greek etymology…

Theosophia

(320 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (Θεοσοφία; Theosophía). Title of a Christian work by an unknown writer (Severus [3] of Antioch, according to [2]) from the end of the 5th cent. AD. The title shows a connexion with Porphyrius' work Philosophy from Oracles, where he made theosophia (a blending of theologia and philosophia) a technical term, probably for the first time (fr. 303; 323; 340a Smith, cf. Porph. De abstinentia 2,45,4; 4,17,1); previously the adverb θεοσόφως/ theosóphōs was documented only in Clem. Al. Strom. 1,1 (17,3); later in Eusebius [7], Proclus [2], Damascius, pseudo-…

Theodotus

(1,303 words)

Author(s): Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Bowie, Ewen (Oxford) | Et al.
(Θεόδοτος; Theódotos). [German version] [1] Greek architect, c.370 BC Mentioned several times in the construction records for the temple of Asclepius at Epidaurus as its architect; his origins are as unknown as his subsequent whereabouts. T.’ salary during the project amounted to 365 drachmae per year, together with further payments of unknown object. It is uncertain whether he is the same person as the sculptor T. named in IG IV2 102 (B 1 line 97) as having, for 2,340 drachmae, fashioned the acroteria for the pediment; it is possible that the name T. has been in…

Therapeutai

(423 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (θεραπευταί; therapeutaí) is the name used by Philo [12] for those who devote their lives entirely to God through asceticism and philosophical contemplation ( bíos theōrētikós), (on the name cf. Pl. Phdr. 252c and the collection of inscriptions from Pergamon, Delos i.a. [1] for the devotees of Egyptian deities). Philo offers two etymologies: 'healers of the soul' and 'devotees of the highest form of being'. According to Philo, the 'best' among them were a group of Jewish hermits on Lake Mareotis southwest of Alexandria [1] in Egypt, of whom we know only from his text De vit…

Zostrianus

(143 words)

Author(s): Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg)
[German version] (Ζωστριανός; Zōstrianós). Title of the longest text of the Nag Hammadi corpus (NHCod VIII,1, 1-132). Porphyry attests its use by the Roman Gnostics (Porph. Vita Plotini 16). Z. is a variant of the name Zarathustra (Zoroaster); the teachings of both are identified. The text relates Z.' journey to  heaven, leading through 'air-earth', the antítypoi of the aeons up to the highest, threefold mighty spirit. The journey involves frequent spiritual baptisms. The text was probably written in the first half of the 3rd cent. and it belongs to…

Silvanus

(1,338 words)

Author(s): Mihály-Lorand, Dészpa | Holzhausen, Jens (Bamberg) | Bleckmann, Bruno (Strasbourg)
[German version] [1] Roman god of the forest Male deity. Mihály-Lorand, Dészpa I. Cult and places of worship Roman god of the forest [German version] A. Etymology and origin Based on the etymology of the name, four hypotheses have so far been put forward regarding the origins of this god: S. is identical with the Etruscan god Selvan [4. 54-59; 12. 200]; S. is an adjectival derivation of the word silva ('forest') and was originally an epithet of either Faunus [14. 213] or Mars [6. 132]; S. is a direct derivative of the Latin silva ('forest'), with the suffix -no- adding the meaning of 'mas…
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