Valentinus

, author of the heretical sect called Valeutinians, was an Egyptian, and, according to Danaeus, was educated at Alexandria. He aspired to the episcopal dignity; but being set aside by another, who was afterwards martyred, he formed the design to oppose the true doctrine of Christ. He came to Rome A.D. 140, during the pontificate of Hyginus, and there created great disturbances. In 143, he was censured by the church, and excluded the congregation; which was so far from humbling him, that he retired into Cyprus, where he propagated his erroneous doctrines with still greater boldness: He was learned, eloquent, and had studied the Grecian language, particularly the Platonic philosophy. Thus, from nice and witty, or sophistical, distinctions, mixing the doctrine of ideas, and the mysteries of numbers with the Theogony of Hesiod, and the Gospel of St. John, which was the only one received by him, he formed a system of religious philosophy, not very different from that of Basilides and the Gnostics, and in some respects more absurd than either. The rise of his heresy was in the reign of Adrian. Fleury places it A. D. 143, as do Danasus, Tillemont, and Echard. Valentine himself died A.D. 160. His errors spread at Rome, in Gaul, and Syria, but particularly in the Isle of Cyprus and Egypt, and continued until the fourth century. Bishop Hooper, in his tract “De Haeresi Valentiniana,” has deduced this heresy from the Egyptian mysteries. Irenseus was the principal writer against Valentinus, to whom may be added Tertullian, Clemens Alexandriuus, &c. and among the moderns, Buddeus | Dissert. de hreresi Valentiniana.” The author of this heresy is said to have at last abjured his errors, and was received into the church again, but we have no farther account of his personal history. 1

1

Dupin. Mosheim.