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Chapter XXV.—The Tenet of the Duad Made the Foundation of Valentinus’ System of the Emanation of Æons.

Logos himself also, and Zoe, then saw that Nous and Aletheia had celebrated the Father of the universe by a perfect number; and Logos him86self likewise with Zoe wished to magnify their own father and mother, Nous and Aletheia. Since, however, Nous and Aletheia were begotten, and did not possess paternal (and) perfect uncreatedness, Logos and Zoe do not glorify Nous their father with a perfect number, but far from it, with an imperfect one.676676    This follows the text as emended by Bernays. For Logos and Zoe offer twelve Æons unto Nous and Aletheia. For, according to Valentinus, these—namely, Nous and Aletheia, Logos and Zoe, Anthropos and Ecclesia—have been the primary roots of the Æons. But there are ten Æons proceeding from Nous and Aletheia, and twelve from Logos and Zoe—twenty and eight in all.677677    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 Æons was a subsequent addition to Valentinus’ system. And to these (ten) they give these following denominations:678678    There is some confusion in Hippolytus’ text, which is, however, removeable by a reference to Irenæus (i. 1). Bythus and Mixis, Ageratus and Henosis, Autophyes and Hedone, Acinetus and Syncrasis, Monogenes and Macaria.679679    We subjoin the meanings of these names:—
   Ten Æons from Nous and Aletheia, (or) Logos and Zoe, viz.:—

   1. Bythus = Profundity.

   2. Mixis = Mixture.

   3. Ageratos = Ever-young.

   4. Henosis = Unification.

   5. Autophyes = Self-grown.

   6. Hedone = Voluptuousness.

   7. Acinetus = Motionless.

   8. Syncrasis = Composition.

   9. Monogenes = Only-begotten.

   10. Macaria = Blessedness.
These are ten Æons whom some say (have been projected) by Nous and Aletheia, but some by Logos and Zoe. Others, however, affirm that the twelve (Æons have been projected) by Anthropos and Ecclesia, while others by Logos and Zoe. And upon these they bestow these following names:680680    The following are the meanings of these names:—
   Twelve Æons from Anthropos and Ecclesia, (or) Logos and Zoe:—

   1. Paracletus = Comforter.

   2. Pistis = Faith.

   3.  Patricus = Paternal.

   4. Elpis = Hope.

   5. Metricus = Temperate.

   6. Agape = Love.

   7. Æinous = Ever-thinking.

   8. Synesis = Intelligence.

   9. Ecclesiasticus = Ecclesiastical.

   10. Makariotes = Felicity.

   11. Theletus = Volition.

   12. Sophia = Wisdom.
  Paracletus and Pistis, Patricus and Elpis, Metricus and Agape, Æinous and Synesis, Ecclesiasticus and Macariotes, Theletus and Sophia. But of the twelve, the twelfth and youngest of all the twenty-eight Æons, being a female, and called Sophia, observed the multitude and power of the begetting Æons, and hurried back into the depth of the Father. And she perceived that all the rest of the Æons, as being begotten, generate by conjugal intercourse. The Father, on the other hand, alone, without copulation, has produced (an offspring). She wished to emulate the Father,681681    [Rev. ii. 24. It belongs to the “depths of Satan” to create mythologies that caricature the Divine mysteries. Cf. 2 Cor. ii. 11.] and to produce (offspring) of herself without a marital partner, that she might achieve a work in no wise inferior682682    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. to (that of) the Father. (Sophia, however,) was ignorant that the Unbegotten One, being an originating principle of the universe, as well as root and depth and abyss, alone possesses the power of self-generation. But Sophia, being begotten, and born after many more (Æons), is not able to acquire possession of the power inherent in the Unbegotten One. For in the Unbegotten One, he says, all things exist simultaneously, but in the begotten (Æons) the female is projective of substance, and the male is formative of the substance which is projected by the female. Sophia, therefore, prepared to project that only which she was capable (of projecting), viz., a formless and undigested substance.683683    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 (Hær., xxxi.) concerning Valentinus. And this, he says, is what Moses asserts: “The earth was invisible, and unfashioned.” This (substance) is, he says, the good (and) the heavenly Jerusalem, into which God has promised to conduct the children of Israel, saying, “I will bring you into a land flowing with milk and honey.”


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