39 Valentinus came from Alexandria to Rome during the pontificate of Hyginus, and established a school there. Hisdesire seems to have been to remain in communion with Rome, which he did for many ye:mrs. as Tertullian informs us. Epiphanius, however, tells that Valentinus. towards the end of his life, when living in Cyprus, separted entirely from the Church. Irenaeus, book i.; Tertullian on Valentinus, and chap xxx. of his Praescript.; Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom., iv. 13 vi.6; Theodoret, Haeret. Fab., i., 7; Epiphanius, Haer., xxxi.; St. Augustine, Haer., xi.; Philastrius, Hist. Haers., c. viii.; Photius, Biblioth., cap. ccxxx.; Clemens Alexandrinus' Epitome of Theodotus (pp. 789-809, ed. Sylburg). The title is, Ek twn Qeodotou kai thj anatolikhj kaloumenhj didaskaliaj, kata touj Oualentinou xronouj epitomai. See likewise Neander's Church History, vol. ii. Bohn's edition.
40 These opinions are mostly given in extracts from Valentinus' work Sophia, a book of great repute among Gnostics, and not named by Hippolytus, probably as being so well known at the time. The Gospel of Truth, mentioned by Irenaeus as used among the Valentinians, is not, however, considered to be from the pen of Valentinus. In the extracts given by Hippolytus from Valentinus, it is important (as in the case of Basilides: see translator's introduction) to find that he quotes St. John's Gospel, and St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. The latter had been pronounced by the Tubingen school as belonging to the period of the Montanistic disputes in the middle of the second century, that is, somewhere about 25-30 years after Valentinus.
48 The Abbe Cruice considers that the writer of The Refutationdid not agree with Pythagoras' opinion regarding the soul,-a fact that negatives the authorship of Origen, who assented to the Pythagorean psychology. The question concerning the pre-existence of the soul is stated m a passage often quoted, viz., St. Jerome's Letter to Marcellina(Ep. 82).
51 "Eat not from a stool." This proverb is also differently read and interpreted. Another form is, "Eat not from a chariot," of which the import is variously given, as, Do not tamper with your health, because food swallowed in haste, as it must be when one is driving a team of horses, cannot be salutary or nutritive; or, Do not be careless, because one should attend to the business in hand; if that be guiding a chariot, one should not at the same time try to eat his meals.
52 The word "entire" Plutarch adds to this proverb. Its ancient form would seem to inculcate patience and courtesy, as if one should not, when at meals, snap at food before others. As read in Plutarch, it has been also interpreted as a precept to avoid creating dissension the unbroken bread being a symbol of unity. It has likewise been explained as an injunction against greediness. The loaf was marked by two intersecting lines into four parts, and one was not to devour ail of these. (See Horace, 1 Epist., xvii. 49.)
53 This is the generally received import of the proverb. Ancient writers, however, put forward other meanings, connected chiefly with certain effects of beans, e.g., disturbing the mind, and producing melancholy, which Pythagoras is said to have noticed. Horace had no such idea concerning beans (see 2 Serm, vi. 63), but evidently alludes to a belief of the magi that disembodied spirits resided in beans. (See Lucian, Micyll: Plutarch, Peri Paid. Agwg. 17; Aulus Gellius, iv, 11; and Guigniaut's Cruiser's Symbolik, i. 160.) [See p. 12 supra, and compare vol, ii., this series, p. 383, and Elucidation III. p. 403.]
55 Zaron. This word also signifies "sweepings"or "refuse." Some say it means a Chaldean or Babylonian measure. The meaning would then be: Neglect not giving good measure, i e., practise fair dealing. This agrees with another form of the proverb, reading zugonfor saron-that is, overlook not the balance or scales.
56 Another meaning assigned to this proverb is, "Labour to no purpose." The palm, it is alleged, when it grows of itself, produces fruit, but sterility ensues upon transplantation. The proverb is also said to mean: Avoid what may seem agreeable, but really is injurious. This alludes to the quality of the wine (see Xenophon's Anab., ii.), which, pleasant in appearance, produced severe headache in those partaking of it.
58 Valentinus' system, if purged of the glosses put upon it by his disciples, appears to have been constructed out of a grand conception of Deity, and evidences much power of abstraction. Between the essence of God, dwelling in the midst of isolation prior to an exercise of the creative energy, and the material worlds, Valentinus interposes an ideal world. Through the latter, the soul-of a kindred nature-is enabled to mount up to God. This is the import of the terms Bythus (depth) and Sige (silence, i.e., solitarness) afterwards used.
60 In all this. Valentinus intends to delineate the progress from absolute to phenomenal being. There are three developments in this transition. Absolute being (Bythus and Sige) is the same as the eternal thought and consciousness of God's own essence. Here we have the primary emanation, viz., Nous, i.e., Mind (called also Monogenes, only-begotten), and Aletheia, i.e., Truth. Next comes the ideal manifestation through the Logos, i e., Word (obviously borrowed from the prologue to St. John's Gospel), and Zoe, i.e., Life (taken from the same source). We have then the passage from the ideal to the actual in Anthropos, i.e., Man, and Ecclesia, i.e., Church These last are the phenomenal manifestations o( the divine mind.
63 The number properly should be thirty, as there were two tetrads: (1) Bythus, Sige, Nous, and Aletheia; (2) Logos, Zoe, Ecclesia, and Anthropos. Some, as we learn from Hippolytus, made up the number to thirty, by the addition of Christ and the Holy Ghost,-a fact which Bunsen thinks conclusively proves that the alleged generation of Aeons was a subsequent addition to Valentinus' system.
65 We subjoin the meanings of these names: -Ten Aeons from Nous and Aletheia, (or) Logo- and Zoe, 1 Bythus = Profundity. 6. Hedone = Voluptuousness. 2 Mixis = Mixture. 7. Acinetus = Motionless. 3. Ageratos = Ever-young. 8. Syncrasis = Composition. 4. Henosis = Unification. 9. Monogenes = Only-begotten. 5. Autophyes = Self-grown. 10. Macaria = Blessedness.
66 The following are the meanings of these names: -Twelve Nous from Anthropos and Ecclesia, (or) Logos and Zoe: -1. Paracletus = Comforter. 7, Aeinous = Ever-thinking. 2 Pistis= Faith. 8. Synesis = Intelligence. 3 Patricus = Paternal. 19. Ecclesiasticus = Ecclesiastical. 4 Elpis= Hope. 10. Makariotes = Felicity. 5 tletricus = Temperate. 11. Theletus = Volition. 6. Agape = Love. 12. Sophia = Wisdom.
68 This Sophia was, so to speak, the bridge which spanned the abyss between God and Reality. Under an aspect of this kind Solomon (Prov. viii.) views Wisdom; and Valentinus introduces it into his system, according to the old Judaistic interpretation of Sophia, as the instrument for God's creative energy. But Sophia thought to pass beyond her function as the connecting link between limited and illimitable existence, by an attempt to evolve the infinite from herself. She fails, and an abortive image of the true Wisdom is procreated, while Sophia herself sinks into this nether world.
69 Miller's text has, "a well-formed and properly-digested substance." This reading is, however, obviously wrong, as is proved by a reference to what Epiphanius states (Haer., xxxi.) concerning Valentinus.
77 Cruice renders the passage thus: "which is denominated right, or Demiurge, while fear it is that accomplishes this transformation." The Demiurge is of course called "right," as being the power of the , psychical essence (see Clemens Alexandrinue, Hypot. excerpta c Theod., c. 43).
87 The Abbe Cruise thinks that a comparison of this passage with the corresponding one in Irenaeus suggests the addition of oi doruforoiafter Logoj, i.e., the Logos and his satellites. [ Vol. i. p. 381, this series.]
©st-takla.org : Saint Takla Haymanout Website: General Portal for the Coptic Orthodox Church Faith, Egypt / Contact us at:
Bible | Daily Readings | Agbeya | Books | Lyrics | Gallery | Media | Links | Contact us