Archontics
Archontics
A Gnostic sect which existed in Palestine and Armenia about the middle of the fourth century

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Archontics
    Archontics
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Archontics
    (From archon, prince, ruler).
    A Gnostic sect which existed in Palestine and Armenia about the middle of the fourth century. St. Epiphanius seems to be the earliest Christian writer who speaks of this strange sect. He relates that a young priest in Palestine named Peter had been convicted of Gnostic errors, deposed from the office of the priesthood and expelled by Bishop Aetius. He fled into that part of Arabia, where there was a centre of Ebionitism. In his old age, apparently but not really converted, he returned to Palestine, where he lived the life of an anchorite in a cave near Jerusalem and attracted followers by the austerity of his life and the practice of extreme poverty. Shortly before the death of the Emperor Constantius (337-361), Eutactus, coming from Egypt, visited the anchorite Peter and was imbued by him with the doctrines of the sect and carried them into Greater and Lesser Armenia. St. Epiphanius excommunicated Peter and the sect seems to have died out soon after.
    Following the description of St. Epiphanius in giving a summary of the doctrines of the sect, we find there are seven heavens, each of which is ruled by an archon (prince) surrounded by Angels begotten by him, who are the jailers of the souls. In the eighth heaven dwells the supreme Mother of light. The king or tyrant of the seventh heaven is Sabaoth, the god of the Jews, who is the father of the Devil. The devil, dwelling upon earth, rebelled against his father, and opposed him in all things, and by Eve begot Cain and Abel. Cain slew Abel in a quarrel about their sister, whom both loved. The souls, which are of heavenly origin are the food of the princes who cannot live without them. When the soul has reached the stage of Knowledge (gnosis), and has escaped the baptism of the Church and the power of Sabaoth, who is the author of the law, it flies to each of the heavens, makes humble prayer to its prince, and finally reaches the supreme Mother and Father of all things, from whom it has dropped upon the earth. Theodoret adds that it is the practice of some of these heretics to pour oil and water on the heads of the dead, thereby rendering them invisible to the princes and withdrawing them from their power. "Some of them", continues St. Epiphanius, "pretend to fast after the manner of the monks, deceiving the simple, and boast of having renounced all property. They deny the resurrection of the body, admitting only that of the soul; they condemn baptism and reject the participation of the Holy Mysteries as something introduced by the tyrant Sabaoth, and teach other fables full of impiety." They are addicted, says St. John Damascene, "to a most shameful kind of lust." Their apocryphal books were the greater and lesser "Symphonia", the "Anabatikon [assumption] of Isaias", a book called Allogeneis, and other pseudo-prophetical writings. They rejected the Old Testament, but used sentences torn from their context both in the Old and the New Testament to prop up their heresy. St. Epiphanius refutes their extravagant doctrines at some length, showing the absurdity and dishonesty of their abuse of Scripture texts. He writes, not with the calm detachment of the historian, but with the zeal of the pastor who is dealing with contemporary error.
    ST. EPIPHANIUS. Adv. hær., P.G., XLI., 677, 699; THEODORETUS, Hær. Fab. Comp., P. G. LXXXIII, 361; ST. JOHN DAMASCENE, De Hæresibus, P.G., XCIV, 701.
    B. GULDNER
    Transcribed by Wm Stuart French, Jr.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Archontics — The Archontics, or Archontici, were a sect of heretics, who arose towards the close of the 2nd century. They were thus called from the Greek word Polytonic|ἀρχοντες, principalities , or hierarchies of angels , by reason that they held the world… …   Wikipedia

  • Gnosticism — This article is part of a series on Gnosticism History of Gnosticism …   Wikipedia

  • Neoplatonism and Gnosticism — Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Archon — For other uses, see Archon (disambiguation). Depiction from the east frieze of the Parthenon, of an assumed Archon Basileus, a remnant title of the Greek monarchy Archon (Gr. ἄρχων, pl. ἄρχοντες) is a Greek word that means ruler or lord ,… …   Wikipedia

  • Pleroma — (Greek πλήρωμα) generally refers to the totality of divine powers. The word means fullness from πληρόω ( I fill ) comparable to πλήρης which means full ,[1] and is used in Christian theological contexts: both in Gnosticism generally, and by Paul… …   Wikipedia

  • Numenius of Apamea — Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Early Gnosticism — refers to a point in Gnosticism that occurred following the Fathers of Christian Gnosticism and related groups but prior to the shift to Medieval Gnosticism.GroupsGroups involved in Gnosticism during this timeframe are the Ophites, the Cainites,… …   Wikipedia

  • Fathers of Christian Gnosticism — The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church is a term used in Catholic and Orthodox forms of Christianity to refer to the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church. The study of the Fathers is known as Patristics.… …   Wikipedia

  • Marcus (Marcosian) — Gnosticism This article is part of a series on Gnosticism History of Gnosticism …   Wikipedia

  • Archontiker — bezeichnet eine gnostische Gruppe im Palaestina des 4. Jahrhunderts. Hauptquelle der Überlieferung ist eine christliche Polemik gegen häretische Gruppen aus dem 4. Jahrhundert, das Panarion des Epiphanius von Salamis. Die Darstellung beruht in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”