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Chapter II.—Simon Magus.

It seems, then, expedient likewise to explain now the opinions of Simon,610610    See Irenæus, Hæres., i. 19, 20; Tertullian, Præscript., c. xlvi.; Epiphanius, Hæres., xxi.; Theodoret, Hæret. Fab., i. 1; St. Augustine, De Hæres., 1. See the apology of Justin Martyr (vol. i., this series, p. 171), who says, “There was a Samaritan, Simon, a native of the village called Gitto, who, in the reign of Claudius Cæsar, and in your royal city of Rome, did mighty acts of magic, by virtue of the art of the devils operating in him.” Simon’s history and opinions are treated of largely in the Recognitions of Clement. See vol. iii. of the Edinburgh series, pp. 156–271; [vol. viii. of this series]. a native of Gitta, a village of Samaria; and we shall also prove that his successors, taking a starting-point from him, have endeavoured (to establish) similar opinions under a change of name. This Simon being an adept in sorceries, both making a mockery of many, partly according to the art of Thrasymedes, in the manner in which we have explained above,611611    In book iv. of The Refutation. and partly also by the assistance of demons perpetrating his villany, attempted to deify himself. (But) the man was a (mere) cheat, and full of folly, and the Apostles reproved him in the Acts.612612    Acts viii. 9–24. With much greater wisdom and moderation than Simon, did Apsethus the Libyan, inflamed with a similar wish, endeavour to have himself considered a god in Libya. And inasmuch as his legendary system does not present any wide divergence from the inordinate desire of that silly Simon, it seems expedient to furnish an explanation of it, as one worthy of the attempt made by this man.


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