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Sethians

(4,600 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
Modern scholarship has as yet reached no agreement whether or not there existed in Late Antiquity a distinct religious group or sect that took its name from Adam's son Seth (Gen 4:25; 5:3). Whereas some scholars express scepticism (e.g. Wisse), others feel confident in demarcating a body of Sethian literature and in reconstructing the doctrine of a distinct group of Sethians (e.g. Schenke, Turner). They claim that the Sethians were as much a distinct group as the Valentinians [→ Valentinus and V…

Perates

(987 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
The Perates are a gnostic group whose name is first mentioned by → Clement of Alexandria ( Stromateis, VII, 108, 2). Hippolytus identifies two otherwise unknown persons as their founders ( Refutatio, V, 13, 9): Akembes (IV, 2, 1; Kelbes: V, 13, 9; Ademes: X, 10, 1), who is called ho Karystios (Karystos is a town in Euboia), and Euphrates, who is called ho Peratikos (also mentioned by Origen, Contra Celsum VI, 28 as a teacher of the → Ophites). Clement opines that the name Perates is derived from their place of origin. Different suggestions have been discussed: Eub…

Carpocratians

(2,168 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
The Carpocratians belong to the broad spectrum of Christian schools in the 2nd century that teach Christianity as a philosophy. Their founder, the Alexandrian Christian Carpocrates, was married to a lady called Alexandria who came from the island of Kephallenia in the Adriatic sea. They had a son called Epiphanes who received from his father an “encyclopaedic education”, wrote some treatises and died at the age of seventeen. Clement reports that the deceased Epiphanes was given divine honours: a temple and a mouseion were erected in Same on the island of Kephallenia and every…

Basilides

(3,880 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
Basilides,, 2nd century Basilides was a free Christian teacher who presumably lived and taught in Alexandria during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (cf. Jerome, Chronicle, 201, 1f Helm). He had a son who became his disciple, Isidore. The ancient evidence about Basilides and his school can be divided into three groups: 1. the fragments and testimonies preserved by → Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea and Hegemonius ( Acta Archelai); 2. the report of Irenaeus of Lyon, which influenced the heresiology of Pseudo-Tertullian, Epiphanius of Salamis and F…

Satorneilos

(157 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich Alfried
[English version] (Σατορνεῖλος, Σατορνῖνος, lat. Saturninus). Christl. Lehrer z.Z. Kaiser Hadrians (1. H. 2. Jh. n. Chr.) in Antiocheia [1] (Eus. HE 4,7,3; vgl. auch Hippolytos, Refutatio omnium haeresium 7,28), galt als Häretiker (Häresie; Gnosis). Er lehrte laut Eirenaios [2] von Lyon, Adversus haereses 1,24,1-2, als oberstes Prinzip den unbekannten Vater als Schöpfer der Engel. Der Mensch als “Gleichnis” des transzendenten “Bildes” der oberen Macht war nach S. urspr. lebensunfähige Kreatur der sie…

Julian of Eclanum

(334 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] (c. 385 – before 455), the son of a bishop and married, was consecrated bishop of Aeclanum prior to 417. In 418, Julian and 18 other bishops refused to sign the Epistola tractoria of the bishop of Rome Zosimus, which condemned Pelagianism (Pelagius), and called for a revision of the proceedings against Pelagius and Celestius. Deposed by Zosimus and banished from their sees by the emperor in 419, Julian and his companions traveled to Cilicia to join Theodore of Mopsuestia. In the autumn of 418, Julian had denounc…

Bishop Lists

(316 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] The first list of bishops is found in Irenaeus, Haer. III 3.3 (c. 185 ce) as a list of names of twelve Roman bishops who had handed down in the apostolic succession the teaching entrusted to them by the apostles Peter and Paul. This construction was used by Irenaeus to legitimize his own position of being in possession of the complete apostolic teaching against the claim of the Valentinian school (Valentinianism) to a secret tradition interpreting and transcending scripture. Examples of the succession of teachings are found in ancient Judaism (cf. m. Ab. 1.1–2.8) and in …

Basilides/Basilidians

(287 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] With his son and disciple Isidore, Basilides was active as a teacher of theology in the time of the emperors Hadrian (117-138) and Antoninus Pius (138-161). His Exegetica was a commentary on what was probably his own recension of Luke; two fragments have been preserved: Clement of Alexandria, Strom. IV, 81.1-83.1, and Acta Archelai 67.4-12. Fragments of the following works of Isidore have been preserved: Ethica (Clem. Alex. Strom. III, 1-3), On the Attached Soul ( Strom. II, 112.1-114.2), and An Explanation of the Prophet Parchor ( Strom. VI, 53.2-5). Additional dox…

Priscillian/Priscillianists

(452 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] Priscillian was of noble descent. From 370 ce, he led a devotional movement that spread rapidly in Spain and southern Gaul, advocating asceticism (stricter fasting, poverty, celibacy), charisma (Spirit/Holy Spirit), and intensive private study of the Bible and the Apocrypha as the true form of Christianity for clergy and laity. The Priscillianists were soon suspected of Gnostic/Manichaean heresy (Gnosis, Manichaeism), also of superstition and magic. At the Synod of Saragossa (380), sharp criti-¶ cism of Priscillian apparently led to no formal condemnat…

Adoptionism

(449 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich A.
[German Version] is the conventional term for a Christological conception that denies Christ's preexistence and generation before all time, maintaining instead that God adopted the human Jesus as Son. I. Two theologians from Asia Minor are mentioned as exponents of Adoptionism in early Christianity: Theodotus the Money-Changer (or Banker) and Theodotus (or Theodotus of Byzantium). As heads of schools in Rome in th…

Docetism

(1,489 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | van Ess, Josef
[German Version] I. Christianity – II. Islam I. Christianity 1. Early Church Docetism (Gk δοκέω/ dokéō, “to seem”) can be defined as any type of Christology that (a) limits the true humanity of the Son of God Jesus Christ through the assumption of a body of special quality, that (b) teaches the suffering and death of Jesus Christ as merely apparent, or that (c) characterizes the hum…

Portrait Gallery

(5,136 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge) | Löhr, Wolf-Dietrich
Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge) [German version] A. Definition (CT) Portrait gallery (PG) indicates the display of a series of portraits that are related to each other not by their aesthetic value, but by a feature that the persons represented in them have in common. Within such a group, the portrayed persons can generally stand as representatives ( exempla) of a historicity oriented by personal virtue ( virtus) and stimulate the audience towards moral edification or emulation by means of their memory. Similar to an ancestors' gallery, a PG can originate fr…

Theologie

(2,918 words)

Author(s): M.v.P. | Löhr, Winrich Alfried
(θεολογία). I. Griechisch-römisch [English version] A. Begriff Die griech. Philosophen bezeichnen als “Theologen” ( theológos ) zunächst die Dichter, die eine auf dem Mythos basierende Rede ( lógos) von den Göttern ( theoí) führen, von ihren Handlungen und Verhaltensweisen, ihren genealogischen und dynastischen Entwicklungen, den ursächlichen Prägungen, die sie der Welt geben. In diesem Sinne gelten etwa Orpheus, Musaios [1], Homeros [1] und Hesiodos als “Theologen” (Aristot. metaph. 2,4,1000a). Insofern die Beschaffenheit der…

Pelagius/Pelagians/Semi-Pelagians

(2,236 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Markschies, Christoph | Holmes, Stephen R.
[German Version] I. Church History Pelagius was an ascetic and theological writer from Britain. Before 410 he taught in Rome, and in 411/412, following the capture of Rome by the Goths, went to Palestine after a short stay in North Africa. His teaching, according to which the possibility of sinlessness was an essential part of human nature, provoked the criticism of Augustine and Jerome. This teaching had its setting in the pastoral care of members of the Roman elite. Pelagius stated that when one re…

Pelagius/Pelagianer/Semipelagianer

(2,025 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Markschies, Christoph | Holmes, Stephen R.
[English Version] I. Kirchengeschichtlich Pelagius (P.) war ein aus Britannien stammender Asket und theol. Autor, der vor 410 in Rom lehrte und sich 411/12 anläßlich der Einnahme Roms durch die Goten nach kurzem Aufenthalt in Nordafrika nach Palästina begab. Seine Lehre, nach der die Möglichkeit zur Sündlosigkeit unverfügbar zum Wesen des Menschen gehört, provozierte die Kritik von Augustin und Hieronymus. Kontext dieser Lehre ist die Seelsorge an Angehörigen der röm. Elite: Wenn man den Klienten i…

Theology

(3,332 words)

Author(s): M.v.P. | Löhr, Winrich Alfried (Cambridge)
(θεολογία/ theología). I. Greek-Roman [German version] A. Concept At first it is the poets who are described by Greek philosophers as 'theologians' ( theológos ); they engage in discourse (lógos) based on myths about the gods ( theoí), their acts and behaviour, their genealogical and dynastic evolution and the causal traits which they give to the world. In this sense Orpheus, Musaeus [1], Homerus [1] or Hesiodus are regarded as 'theologians' (Aristot. Metaph. 2,4,1000a). Yet where the nature of the gods is supposed to be accessible…

Church Polity

(28,214 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Winrich | Dingel, Irene | Ohst, Martin | Weitlauff, Manfred | Pirson, Dietrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Early Church – II. Middle Ages – III. Reformation – IV. Modern Period – V. Present – VI. Practical Theology I. Early Church The church polity projected and in part realized in early Christianity is one of the most significant institutional inventions of Late Antiquity. Since it has survived into the present, with many modifications and variations, it also represents an element of continuity between the ancient world and the modern world. Church polity as used here means all the institutions affecting the external organization of early Ch…

Iulianus

(4,648 words)

Author(s): Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa) | Et al.
Epithet of many gentilicia [1]. Famous persons: the jurist Salvius I. [1]; the doctor I. [2]; the emperor I. [11], called ‘Apostata’; the bishops I. [16] of Aeclanum and I. [21] of Toledo. [German version] [1] L. Octavius Cornelius P. Salvius I. Aemilianus Roman jurist, 2nd cent. AD Jurist, born about AD 100 in North Africa, died about AD 170; he was a student of  Iavolenus [2] Priscus (Dig. 40,2,5) and the last head of the Sabinian law school (Dig. 1,2,2,53). I., whose succession of offices is preserved in the inscription from Pupput, provi…

Iulianus/-os

(4,346 words)

Author(s): Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Nutton, Vivian (London) | Franke, Thomas (Bochum) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton) | Montanari, Franco (Pisa) | Et al.
Beinamen bei vielen Gentilicia [1]. Bekannte Personen: der Jurist Salvius I. [1], der Arzt I. [2], der Kaiser I. [11], gen. “Apostata”, die Bischöfe I. [16] von Aeclanum und I. [21] von Toledo. [English version] [1] L. Octavius Cornelius P. Salvius I. Aemilianus röm. Jurist, 2. Jh. Jurist, geb. um 100 n.Chr. in Nordafrika, gest. um 170 n.Chr., war ein Schüler des Iavolenus [2] Priscus (Dig. 40,2,5) und der letzte Vorsteher der sabinianischen Rechtsschule (Dig. 1,2,2,53). I., dessen Ämterfolge die Inschr. aus Pupput/Prov. Africa (CIL VIII 24…
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