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Chapter XXXIII.—Secundus’ System of Æons; Epiphanes; Ptolemæus.

A certain (heretic) Secundus,726726    Concerning Secundus and Epiphanes, see Irenæus, i. 11; Theodoret, Hær. Fab., i. 5–9; Epiphanius, xxxii. 1, 3, 4; Tertullian, Adv. Valent., c. xxxviii.; and St. Augustine, Hær., xi. Hippolytus, in his remarks on Secundus and Epiphanes, borrows from St. Irenæus. born about the same time with Ptolemæus, expresses himself thus: (he says) that there is a right tetrad and a left tetrad,—namely, light and darkness.  And he affirms that the power which withdrew and laboured under deficiency, was not produced from the thirty Æons, but from the fruits of these. Some other (heretic), however—Epiphanes, a teacher among them—expresses himself thus: “The earliest originating principle was inconceivable, ineffable, and unnameable;” and he calls this Monotes. And (he maintains) that there co-exists with this (principle) a power which he denominates Henotes. This Henotes and this Monotes, not by projection (from themselves), sent forth a principle (that should preside) over all intelligibles; (and this was) both unbegotten and invisible, and he styles it a Monad. “With this power co-exists a power of the same essence, which very (power) I call Unity. These four powers sent forth the remainder of the projections of the Æons.” But others, again, denominate the chief and originating Ogdoad, (which is) fourth (and) invisible, by the following names: first, Proarche; next, Anennœtus; third, Arrhetus; and fourth, Aoratus. And that from the first, Proarche, was projected by a first and fifth place, Arche; and from Anennœtus, by a second and sixth place, Acataleptus; and from Arrhetus, by a third and seventh place, Anonomastus; and from Aoratus, Agennetus, a complement of the first Ogdoad. They wish that these powers should exist before Bythus and Sige. Concerning, however, Bythus himself, there are many different opinions. Some affirm him to be unwedded, neither male nor female; but others (maintain) that Sige, who is a female, is present with him, and that this constitutes the first conjugal union.

But the followers of Ptolemæus727727    Concerning Ptolemæus, see Irenæus, i. 12; Tertullian, De Præscript., c. xlix.; and Advers. Valent., c. viii.; Epiphanius, Hær., xxxiii. 3–7; and Theodoret, Hæret. Fab., i. 8. assert that (Bythus) has two spouses, which they call likewise dispositions, viz., Ennoia and Thelesis (conception and volition). For first the notion was conceived of projecting anything; next followed, as they say, the will to do so. Wherefore also these two dispositions and powers—namely, Ennoia and Thelesis—being, as it were, mingled one with the other, there ensued a projection of Monogenes and Aletheia by means of a conjugal union. And the consequence was, that visible types and images of those two dispositions of the Father came forth from the invisible (Æons), viz., from Thelema, Nous, and from Ennoia, Aletheia. And on this account the image of the subsequently generated Thelema is (that of a) male; but (the image) of the unbegotten Ennoia is (that of a) female, since volition is, as it were, a power of conception. For conception always cherished the idea of a projection, yet was not of itself at least able to project itself, but cherished the idea (of doing so). When, however, the power of volition (would be present), then it projects the idea which had been conceived.

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