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Chapter VIII.—Simon Magus:  His History.

“For after that John the Baptist was killed, as you yourself also know, when Dositheus had broached his heresy,606606    [Comp. i. 54.  In Homily II. 23 Simon is said to be a follower of John the Baptist, one of the thirty chief men:  so Dositheus.  Here Dositheus is represented as the head of a separate sect; so in i. 54.—R.] with thirty other chief disciples, and one woman, who was called Luna607607    [Called “Helena” in the Homilies, and identified apparently with Helen, the cause of the Trojan War.—R.]—whence also these thirty appear to have been appointed with reference to the number of the days, according to the course of the moon—this Simon ambitious of evil glory, as we have said, goes to Dositheus, and pretending friendship, entreats him, that if any one of those thirty should die, he should straightway substitute him in room of the dead:  for it was contrary to their rule either to exceed the fixed number, or to admit any one who was unknown, or not yet proved; whence also the rest, desiring to become worthy of the place and number, are eager in every way to please, according to the institutions of their sect each one of those who aspire after admittance into the number, hoping that he may be deemed worthy to be put into the place of the deceased, when, as we have said, any one dies.  Therefore Dositheus, being greatly urged by this man, introduced Simon when a vacancy occurred among the number.”


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