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The Refutation Of All Heresies - Hippolytus.

Title Page


Introductory Notice to Hippolytus.

Translated by the Rev. J. H. MacMahon, M.A.]


The Prooemium.--Motives for Undertaking the Refutation; Exposure of the Ancient Mysteries; Plan of the Work; Completeness of the Refutation; Value of the Treatise to Future Ages.

Chapter I.--Thales; His Physics and Theology; Founder of Greek Astronomy.

Chapter II.--Pythagoras; His Cosmogony; Rules of His Sect; Discoverer of Physiognomy; His Philosophy of Numbers; His System of the Transmigration of Souls; Zaratas on Demons; Why Pythagoras Forbade the Eating of Beans; The Mode of Living Adopted by His Di

Chapter III.--Empedocles; His Twofold Cause; Tenet of Transmigration.

Chapter IV.--Heraclitus; His Universal Dogmatism; His Theory of Flux; Other Systems.

Chapter V.--Anaximander; His Theory of the Infinite; His Astronomic Opinions; His Physics.

Chapter VI.--Anaximenes; His System of |An Infinite Air;| His Views of Astronomy and Natural Phenomena.

Chapter VII.--Anaxagoras; His Theory of Mind; Recognises an Efficient Cause; His Cosmogony and Astronomy.

Chapter VIII.--Archelaus; System Akin to that of Anaxagoras; His Origin of the Earth and of Animals; Other Systems.

Chapter IX.--Parmenides; His Theory of |Unity;| His Eschatology.

Chapter X.--Leucippus; His Atomic Theory.

Chapter XI.--Democritus; His Duality of Principles; His Cosmogony.

Chapter XII.--Xenophanes; His Scepticism; His Notions of God and Nature; Believes in a Flood.

Chapter XIII.--Ecphantus; His Scepticism; Tenet of Infinity.

Chapter XIV.--Hippo; His Duality of Principles; His Psychology.

Chapter XV.--Socrates; His Philosophy Reproduced by Plato.

Chapter XVI.--Plato; Threefold Classification of Principles; His Idea of God; Different Opinions Regarding His Theology and Psychology; His Eschatology and System of Metempsychosis; His Ethical Doctrines; Notions on the Free-Will Question.

Chapter XVII.--Aristotle; Duality of Principles; His Categories; His Psychology; His Ethical Doctrines; Origin of the Epithet |Peripatetic.|

Chapter XVIII.--The Stoics; Their Superiority in Logic; Fatalists; Their Doctrine of Conflagrations.

Chapter XIX.--Epicurus; Adopts the Democritic Atomism; Denial of Divine Providence; The Principle of His Ethical System.

Chapter XX.--The Academics; Difference of Opinion Among Them.

Chapter XXI.--The Brachmans; Their Mode of Life; Ideas of Deity; Different Sorts Of; Their Ethical Notions.

Chapter XXII.--The Druids; Progenitors of Their System.

Chapter XXIII.--Hesiod; The Nine Muses; The Hesiodic Cosmogony; The Ancient Speculators, Materialists; Derivative Character of the Heresies from Heathen Philosophy.

Books II. And III. Are Awanting.

Chapter I.--System of the Astrologers; Sidereal Influence;

Chapter II.--Doctrines Concerning Æons; The Chaldean Astrology; Heresy Derivable from It.

Chapter III.--The Horoscope the Foundation of Astrology; Indiscoverability of the Horoscope; Therefore the Futility of the Chaldean Art.

Chapter IV.--Impossibility of Fixing the Horoscope; Failure of an Attempt to Do This at the Period of Birth.

Chapter V.--Another Method of Fixing the Horoscope at Birth; Equally Futile; Use of the Clepsydra in Astrology; The Predictions of the Chaldeans Not Verified.

Chapter VI.--Zodiacal Influence; Origin of Sidereal Names.

Chapter VII.--Practical Absurdity of the Chaldaic Art; Development of the Art.

Chapter VIII.--Prodigies of the Astrologers; System of the Astronomers; Chaldean Doctrine of Circles; Distances of the Heavenly Bodies.

Chapter IX.--Further Astronomic Calculations.

Chapter X.--Theory of Stellar Motion and Distance in Accordance with Harmony.

Chapter XI.--Theory of the Size of the Heavenly Bodies in Accordance with Numerical Harmonies.

Chapter XII.--Waste of Mental Energy in the Systems of the Astrologers.

Chapter XIII.--Mention of the Heretic Colarbasus; Alliance Between Heresy and the Pythagorean Philosophy.

Chapter XIV.--System of the Arithmeticians; Predictions Through Calculations; Numerical Roots; Transference of These Doctrines to Letters; Examples in Particular Names; Different Methods of Calculation; Prescience Possible by These.

Chapter XV.--Quibbles of the Numerical Theorists; The Art of the Frontispicists (Physiognomy); Connection of This Art with Astrology; Type of Those Born Under Aries.

Chapter XVI.--Type of Those Born Under Taurus.

Chapter XVII.--Type of Those Born Under Gemini.

Chapter XVIII.--Type of Those Born Under Cancer.

Chapter XIX.--Type of Those Born Under Leo.

Chapter XX.--Type of Those Born Under Virgo.

Chapter XXI.--Type of Those Born Under Libra.

Chapter XXII.--Type of Those Born Under Scorpio.

Chapter XXIII.--Type of Those Born Under Sagittarius.

Chapter XXIV.--Type of Those Born Under Capricorn.

Chapter XXV.--Type of Those Born Under Aquarius.

Chapter XXVI.--Type of Those Born Under Pisces.

Chapter XXVII.--Futility of This Theory of Stellar Influence.

Chapter XXVIII. --System of the Magicians; Incantations of Demons; Secret Magical Rites.

Chapter XXIX.--Display of Different Eggs.

Chapter XXX.--Self-Slaughter of Sheep.

Chapter XXXI.--Method of Poisoning Goats.

Chapter XXXII.--Imitations of Thunder, and Other Illusions.

Chapter XXXIII.--The Burning Æsculapius; Tricks with Fire.

Chapter XXXIV.--The Illusion of the Sealed Letters; Object in Detailing These Juggleries.

Chapter XXXV.--The Divination by a Cauldron; Illusion of Fiery Demons; Specimen of a Magical Invocation.

Chapter XXXVI.--Mode of Managing an Apparition.

Chapter XXXVII.--Illusive Appearance of the Moon.

Chapter XXXVIII.--Illusive Appearance of the Stars.

Chapter XXXIX.--Imitation of an Earthquake.

Chapter XL.--Trick with the Liver.

Chapter XLI.--Making a Skull Speak.

Chapter XLII.--The Fraud of the Foregoing Practices; Their Connection with Heresy.

Chapter XLIII.--Recapitulation of Theologies and Cosmogonies; System of the Persians; Of the Babylonians; The Egyptian Notion of Deity; Their Theology Based on a Theory of Numbers; Their System of Cosmogony.

Chapter XLIV.--Egyptian Theory of Nature; Their Amulets.

Chapter XLV.--Use of the Foregoing Discussions.

Chapter XLVI.--The Astrotheosophists; Aratus Imitated by the Heresiarchs; His System of the Disposition of the Stars.

Chapter XLVII.--Opinions of the Heretics Borrowed from Aratus.

Chapter XLVIII.--Invention of the Lyre; Allegorizing the Appearance and Position of the Stars; Origin of the Phoenicians; The Logos Identified by Aratus with the Constellation Canis; Influence of Canis on Fertility and Life Generally.

Chapter XLIX.--Symbol of the Creature; And of Spirit; And of the Different Orders of Animals.

Chapter L.--Folly of Astrology.

Chapter LI.--The Hebdomadarii; System of the Arithmeticians; Pressed into the Service of Heresy; Instances Of, in Simon and Valentinus; The Nature of the Universe Deducible from the Physiology of the Brain.



Chapter I.--Recapitulation; Characteristics of Heresy; Origin of the Name Naasseni; The System of the Naasseni.

Chapter II.--Naasseni Ascribe Their System, Through Mariamne, to James the Lord's Brother; Really Traceable to the Ancient Mysteries; Their Psychology as Given in the |Gospel According to Thomas;| Assyrian Theory of the Soul; The Systems of the Naasseni a

Chapter III.--Further Exposition of the Heresy of the Naasseni; Profess to Follow Homer; Acknowledge a Triad of Principles; Their Technical Names of the Triad; Support These on the Authority of Greek Poets; Allegorize Our Saviour's Miracles; The Mystery o

Chapter IV.--Further Use Made of the System of the Phrygians; Mode of Celebrating the Mysteries; The Mystery of the |Great Mother;| These Mysteries Have a Joint Object of Worship with the Naasseni; The Naasseni Allegorize the Scriptural Account of the Gar

Chapter V.--Explanation of the System of the Naasseni Taken from One of Their Hymns.

Chapter VI.--The Ophites the Grand Source of Heresy.

Chapter VII.--The System of the Peratæ; Their Tritheism; Explanation of the Incarnation.

Chapter VIII.--The Peratæ Derive Their System from the Astrologers; This Proved by a Statement of the Astrological Theories of the Zodiac; Hence the Terminology of the Peratic Heretics.

Chapter IX.--System of the Peratæ Explained Out of One of Their Own Books.

Chapter X.--The Peratic Heresy Nominally Different from Astrology, But Really the Same System Allegorized.

Chapter XI.--Why They Call Themselves Peratæ; Their Theory of Generation Supported by an Appeal to Antiquity; Their Interpretation of the Exodus of Israel; Their System of |The Serpent;| Deduced by Them from Scripture; This the Real Import of the Do

Chapter XII.--Compendious Statement of the Doctrines of the Peratæ.

Chapter XIII.--The Peratic Heresy Not Generally Known.

Chapter XIV.--The System of the Sethians; Their Triad of Infinite Principles; Their Heresy Explained; Their Interpretation of the Incarnation.

Chapter XV.--The Sethians Support Their Doctrines by an Allegorical Interpretation of Scripture; Their System Really Derived from Natural Philosophers and from the Orphic Rites; Adopt the Homeric Cosmogony.

Chapter XVI.--The Sethian Theory Concerning |Mixture| And |Composition;| Application of It to Christ; Illustration from the Well of Ampa.

Chapter XVII.--The Sethian Doctrines to Be Learned from the |Paraphrase of Seth.|

Chapter XVIII.--The System of Justinus Antiscriptural and Essentially Pagan.

Chapter XIX.--The Justinian Heresy Unfolded in the |Book of Baruch.|

Chapter XX.--The Cosmogony of Justinus an Allegorical Explanation of Herodotus' Legend of Hercules.

Chapter XXI.--Justinus' Triad of Principles; His Angelography Founded on This Triad; His Explanation of the Birth, Life, and Death of Our Lord.

Chapter XXII.--Oath Used by the Justinian Heretics; The Book of Baruch; The Repertory of Their System.

Chapter XXIII.--Subsequent Heresies Deducible from the System of Justinus.


Chapter I. --The Ophites the Progenitors of Subsequent Heresies.

Chapter II.--Simon Magus.

Chapter III.--Story of Apsethus the Libyan.

Chapter IV.--Simon's Forced Interpretation of Scripture; Plagiarizes from Heraclitus and Aristotle; Simon's System of Sensible and Intelligible Existences.

Chapter V.--Simon Appeals to Scripture in Support of His System.

Chapter VI.--Simon's System Expounded in the Work, Great Announcement; Follows Empedocles.

Chapter VII.--Simon's System of a Threefold Emanation by Pairs.

Chapter VIII.--Further Progression of This Threefold Emanation; Co-Existence with the Double Triad of a Seventh Existence.

Chapter IX.--Simon's Interpretation of the Mosaic Hexaëmeron; His Allegorical Representation of Paradise.

Chapter X.--Simon's Explanation of the First Two Books of Moses.

Chapter XI.--Simon's Explanation of the Three Last Books of the Pentateuch.

Chapter XII.--Fire a Primal Principle, According to Simon.

Chapter XIII.--His Doctrine of Emanation Further Expanded.

Chapter XIV.--Simon Interprets His System by the Mythological Representation of Helen of Troy; Gives an Account of Himself in Connection with the Trojan Heroine; Immorality of His Followers; Simon's View of Christ; The Simonists' Apology for Their Vice.

Chapter XV.--Simon's Disciples Adopt the Mysteries; Simon Meets St. Peter at Rome; Account of Simon's Closing Years.

Chapter XVI.--Heresy of Valentinus; Derived from Plato and Pythagoras.

Chapter XVII.--Origin of the Greek Philosophy.

Chapter XVIII.--Pythagoras' System of Numbers.

Chapter XIX.--Pythagoras' Duality of Substances; His |Categories.|

Chapter XX.--Pythagoras' Cosmogony; Similar to that of Empedocles.

Chapter XXI.--Other Opinions of Pythagoras.

Chapter XXII.--The |Sayings| Of Pythagoras.

Chapter XXIII.--Pythagoras' Astronomic System.

Chapter XXIV.--Valentinus Convicted of Plagiarisms from the Platonic and Pythagoric Philosophy; The Valentinian Theory of Emanation by Duads.

Chapter XXV.--The Tenet of the Duad Made the Foundation of Valentinus' System of the Emanation of Æons.

Chapter XXVI.--Valentinus' Explanation of the Existence of Christ and the Spirit.

Chapter XXVII.--Valentinus' Explanation of the Existence of Jesus; Power of Jesus Over Humanity.

Chapter XXVIII.--The Valentinian Origin of the Creation.

Chapter XXIX.--The Other Valentinian Emanations in Conformity with the Pythagorean System of Numbers.

Chapter XXX.--Valentinus' Explanation of the Birth of Jesus; Twofold Doctrine on the Nature of Jesus' Body; Opinion of the Italians, that Is, Heracleon and Ptolemæus; Opinion of the Orientals, that Is, Axionicus and Bardesanes.

Chapter XXXI.--Further Doctrines of Valentinus Respecting the Æons; Reasons for the Incarnation.

Chapter XXXII.--Valentinus Convicted of Plagiarisms from Plato.

Chapter XXXIII.--Secundus' System of Æons; Epiphanes; Ptolemæus.

Chapter XXXIV.--System of Marcus; A Mere Impostor; His Wicked Devices Upon the Eucharistic Cup.

Chapter XXXV.--Further Acts of Jugglery on the Part of Marcus.

Chapter XXXVI.--The Heretical Practices of the Marcites in Regard of Baptism.

Chapter XXXVII.--Marcus' System Explained by Irenæus; Marcus' Vision; The Vision of Valentinus Revealing to Him His System.

Chapter XXXVIII.--Marcus' System of Letters.

Chapter XXXIX.--The Quaternion Exhibits |Truth.|

Chapter XL.--The Name of Christ Jesus.

Chapter XLI.--Marcus' Mystic Interpretation of the Alphabet.

Chapter XLII.--His System Applied to Explain Our Lord's Life and Death.

Chapter XLIII--Letters, Symbols of the Heavens.

Chapter XLIV.--Respecting the Generation of the Twenty-Four Letters.

Chapter XLV.--Why Jesus is Called Alpha.

Chapter XLVI.--Marcus' Account of the Birth and Life of Our Lord.

Chapter XLVII.--The System of Marcus Shown to Be that of Pythagoras, by Quotations from the Writings of Marcus' Followers.

Chapter XLVIII.--Their Cosmogony Framed According to These Mystic Doctrines of Letters.

Chapter XLIX.--The Work of the Demiurge Perishable.

Chapter L.--Marcus and Colarbasus Refuted by Irenæus.


Chapter I.--Heresy Compared to (1) the Stormy Ocean, (2) the Rocks of the Sirens; Moral from Ulysses and the Sirens.

Chapter II.--The System of Basilides Derived from Aristotle.

Chapter III.--Sketch of Aristotle's Philosophy.

Chapter IV.--Aristotle's General Idea.

Chapter V.--Nonentity as a Cause.

Chapter VI.--Substance, According to Aristotle; The Predicates.

Chapter VII.--Aristotle's Cosmogony; His |Psychology;| His |Entelecheia;| His Theology; His Ethics; Basilides Follows Aristotle.

Chapter VIII.--Basilides and Isidorus Allege Apostolic Sanction for Their Systems; They Really Follow Aristotle.

Chapter IX.--Basilides Adopts the Aristotelian Doctrine of |Nonentity.|

Chapter X.--Origin of the World; Basilides' Account of the |Sonship.|

Chapter XI.--The |Great Archon| Of Basilides.

Chapter XII.--Basilides Adopts the |Entelecheia| Of Aristotle.

Chapter XIII.--Further Explanation of the |Sonship.|

Chapter XIV.--Whence Came the Gospel; The Number of Heavens According to Basilides; Explanation of Christ's Miraculous Conception.

Chapter XV.--God's Dealings with the Creature; Basilides' Notion of (1) the Inner Man, (2) the Gospel; His Interpretation of the Life and Sufferings of Our Lord.

Chapter XVI.--The System of Saturnilus.

Chapter XVII.--Marcion; His Dualism; Derives His System from Empedocles; Sketch of the Doctrine of Empedocles.

Chapter XVIII.--Source of Marcionism; Empedocles Reasserted as the Suggester of the Heresy.

Chapter XIX.--The Heresy of Prepon; Follows Empedocles; Marcion Rejects the Generation of the Saviour.

Chapter XX.--The Heresy of Carpocrates; Wicked Doctrines Concerning Jesus Christ; Practise Magical Arts; Adopt a Metempsychosis.

Chapter XXI.--The System of Cerinthus Concerning Christ.

Chapter XXII.--Doctrine of the Ebionæans.

Chapter XXIII.--The Heresy of Theodotus.

Chapter XXIV.--The Melchisedecians; The Nicolaitans.

Chapter XXV.--The Heresy of Cerdon.

Chapter XXVI.--The Doctrines of Apelles; Philumene, His Prophetess.


Chapter I.--Heresies Hitherto Refuted; Opinions of the Docetæ.

Chapter II.--Docetic Notion of the Incarnation; Their Doctrines of Æons; Their Account of Creation; Their Notion of a Fiery God.

Chapter III.--Christ Undoes the Work of the Demiurge; Docetic Account of the Baptism and Death of Jesus; Why He Lived for Thirty Years on Earth.

Chapter IV.--Docetic Doctrine Derived from the Greek Sophists.

Chapter V.--Monoïmus; Man the Universe, According to Monoïmus; His System of the Monad.

Chapter VI.--Monoïmus' |Iota;| His Notion of the |Son of Man.|

Chapter VII.--Monoïmus on the Sabbath; Allegorizes the Rod of Moses; Notion Concerning the Decalogue.

Chapter VIII.--Monoïmus Explains His Opinions in a Letter to Theophrastus; Where to Find God; His System Derived from Pythagoras.

Chapter IX.--Tatian.

Chapter X.--Hermogenes; Adopts the Socratic Philosophy; His Notion Concerning the Birth and Body of Our Lord.

Chapter XI.--The Quartodecimans.

Chapter XII.--The Montanists; Priscilla and Maximilla Their Prophetesses; Some of Them Noetians.

Chapter XIII.--The Doctrines of the Encratites.


Chapter I.--An Account of Contemporaneous Heresy.

Chapter II.--Source of the Heresy of Noetus; Cleomenes His Disciple; Its Appearance at Rome During the Episcopates of Zephyrinus and Callistus; Noetianism Opposed at Rome by Hippolytus.

Chapter III.--Noetianism an Offshoot from the Heraclitic Philosophy.

Chapter IV.--An Account of the System of Heraclitus.

Chapter V.--Heraclitus' Estimate of Hesiod; Paradoxes of Heraclitus; His Eschatology; The Heresy of Noetus of Heraclitean Origin; Noetus' View of the Birth and Passion of Our Lord.

Chapter VI.--Conduct of Callistus and Zephyrinus in the Matter of Noetianism; Avowed Opinion of Zephyrinus Concerning Jesus Christ; Disapproval of Hippolytus; As a Contemporaneous Event, Hippolytus Competent to Explain It.

Chapter VII.--The Personal History of Callistus; His Occupation as a Banker; Fraud on Carpophorus; Callistus Absconds; Attempted Suicide; Condemned to the Treadmill; Re-Condemnation by Order of the Prefect Fuscianus; Banished to Sardinia; Release of Calli

Chapter VIII.--Sect of the Elchasaites; Hippolytus' Opposition to It.

Chapter IX.--Elchasai Derived His System from Pythagoras; Practised Incantations.

Chapter X.--Elchasai's Mode of Administering Baptism; Formularies.

Chapter XI.--Precepts of Elchasai.

Chapter XII.--The Heresy of the Elchasaites a Derivative One.

Chapter XIII.--The Jewish Sects.

Chapter XIV.--The Tenets of the Esseni.

Chapter XV.--The Tenets of the Esseni Continued.

Chapter XVI.--The Tenets of the Esseni Continued.

Chapter XVII.--The Tenets of the Esseni Continued.

Chapter XVIII.--The Tenets of the Esseni Continued.

Chapter XIX.--The Tenets of the Esseni Continued.

Chapter XX.--The Tenets of the Esseni Concluded.

Chapter XXI.--Different Sects of the Esseni.

Chapter XXII.--Belief of the Esseni in the Resurrection; Their System a Suggestive One.

Chapter XXIII.--Another Sect of the Esseni: the Pharisees.

Chapter XXIV.--The Sadducees.

Chapter XXV.--The Jewish Religion.

Chapter XXVI.--Conclusion to the Work Explained.


Chapter I.--Recapitulation.

Chapter II.--Summary of the Opinions of Philosophers.

Chapter III.--Summary of the Opinions of Philosophers Continued.

Chapter IV.--Summary of the Opinions of Philosophers Continued.

Chapter V.--The Naasseni.

Chapter VI.--The Peratæ.

Chapter VII.--The Sethians.

Chapter VIII.--Simon Magus.

Chapter IX.--Valentinus.

Chapter X.--Basilides.

Chapter XI.--Justinus.

Chapter XII.--The Docetæ.

Chapter XIII.--Monoïmus.

Chapter XIV.--Tatian.

Chapter XV.--Marcion and Cerdo.

Chapter XVI.--Apelles.

Chapter XVII.--Cerinthus.

Chapter XVIII.--The Ebionæans.

Chapter XIX.--Theodotus.

Chapter XX.--Melchisedecians.

Chapter XXI.--The Phrygians or Montanists.

Chapter XXII.--The Phrygians or Montanists Continued.

Chapter XXIII.--Noetus and Callistus.

Chapter XXIV.--Hermogenes.

Chapter XXV.--The Elchasaites.

Chapter XXVI.--Jewish Chronology.

Chapter XXVII.--Jewish Chronology Continued.

Chapter XXVIII.--The Doctrine of the Truth.

Chapter XXIX.--The Doctrine of the Truth Continued.

Chapter XXX.--The Author's Concluding Address.


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