= Adversaries of Mary: Epiph. Haer. lxxxix.). The name given to those in
Arabia in the latter part of the 4th cent. who (in opposition to the
Κολλυριδιάνιδες) maintained the novel supposition
advanced at that time by Bonosus of Sadica, and by Helvidius, that "our Lord's brethren"
were children borne by the Blessed Virgin to Joseph after our Lord's birth. The
controversy arose out of the then prevailing reverence for virginity, which in its
extreme form had led certain women, originally from Thrace, but dwelling in Arabia,
to celebrate an idolatrous festival in honour of the Virgin, by taking certain cakes
(κολλύριδες) about in chariots, and then solemnly
offering them to her and consuming them, in imitation of the Lord's Supper, or (more
probably) of the pagan worship of Ceres. The reaction from this superstition led
to the existence of the sect spoken of in this article, which, contemporaneously
with the controversy carried on by St. Jerome and by others against Helvidius and
literary supporters of the hypothesis, was led to endeavour to cut away all pretence
for the Collyridian superstition by adopting their view and so denying its very
groundwork. The controversy itself is discussed in Smith's D. B. (4 vols.
1893) under Brothers and James,
and in Murray's Illus. B. D. (1908) under James.
For its literary history, see under Helvidius,