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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part II: Other Turgid and Ridiculous Theories About the Origin of the Æons and Creation, Stated and Condemned.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXXVII.—Other Turgid and Ridiculous Theories About the Origin of the Æons and Creation, Stated and Condemned.

Now listen to some other buffooneries 6924 of a master who is a great swell among them, 6925 and who has pronounced his dicta with an even priestly authority. They run thus: There comes, says he, before all things Pro-arche, the inconceivable, and indescribable, and nameless, which I for my own part call Monotes (Solitude). With this was associated another power, to which also I give the name of Henotes (Unity). Now, inasmuch as Monotes and Henotes—that is to say, Solitude and Union—were only one being, they produced, and yet not in the way of production, 6926 the intellectual, innascible, invisible beginning of all things, which human language 6927 has called Monad (Solitude). 6928 This has inherent in itself a consubstantial force, which it calls Unity 6929 These powers, accordingly, Solitude or Solitariness, and Unity, or Union, propagated all the other emanations of Æons. 6930 Wonderful distinction, to be sure! Whatever change Union and Unity may undergo, Solitariness and Solitude is profoundly supreme. Whatever designation you give the power, it is one and the same.



Oehler gives good reasons for the reading “ingenia circulatoria,” instead of the various readings of other editors.


Insignioris apud eos magistri.


Non proferentes. Another reading is “non proserentes” (not generating).




Or, solitariness.


Or, Union.


Compare our Irenæus, I. 2, 3. [Vol. I. p. 316.]

Next: Diversity in the Opinions of Secundus, as Compared with the General Doctrine of Valentinus.

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