No One, However, Has ever Made Such an Unblushing Advance in the Promulgation of These...
No one, however, has ever made such an unblushing advance in the promulgation of these tenets as this Scythianus. For he introduced the notion of a feud between the two unbegottens, and all those other fancies which are the consequences of a position of that kind. This Scythianus himself belonged to the stock of the Saracens, and took as his wife a certain captive from the Upper Thebaid, who persuaded him to dwell in Egypt rather than in the deserts. And would that he had never been received by that province, in which, as he dwelt in it for a period, he found the opportunity for learning the wisdom of the Egyptians! [2102] for, to speak truth, he was a person of very decided talent, and also of very liberal means, as those who knew him have likewise testified in accounts transmitted to us. Moreover, he had a certain disciple named Terebinthus, [2103] who wrote four books for him. To the first of these books he gave the title of the Mysteries, to the second that of the Heads, [2104] to the third that of the Gospel, and to the last of all that of the Treasury. [2105] He had these four books, and this one disciple whose name was Terebinthus. As, then, these two persons had determined to reside alone by themselves for a considerable period, Scythianus thought of making an excursion into Judea, with the purpose of meeting with all those who had a reputation there as teachers; but it came to pass that he suddenly departed this life soon after that, without having been able to accomplish anything. That disciple, moreover, who had sojourned with him had to flee, [2106] and made his way toward Babylonia, a province which at present is held [2107] by the Persians, and which is distant now a journey of about six days and nights from our parts. On arriving there, Terebinthus succeeded in giving currency to a wonderful account of himself, declaring that he was replete with all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and that he was really named now, not Terebinthus, but another Buddas, [2108] and that this designation had been put upon him. He asserted further that he was the son of a certain virgin, and that he had been brought up by an angel [2109] on the mountains. A certain prophet, however, of the name of Parcus, and Labdacus the son of Mithras, [2110] charged [2111] him with falsehood, and day after day unceasingly they had keen and elevated contentions [2112] on this subject. But why should I speak of that at length? Although he was often reproved, he continued, nevertheless, to make declarations to them on matters which were antecedent to the world, [2113] and on the sphere, and the two luminaries; and also on the question whither and in what manner the souls depart, and in what mode they return again into the bodies; and he made many other assertions of this nature, and others even worse than these, -- as, for instance, that war was raised with God among the elements, [2114] that the prophet himself might be believed. However, as he was hard pressed for assertions like these, he betook himself to a certain widow, along with his four books: for he had attached to himself no disciple in that same locality, with the single exception of an old woman who became an intimate of his. [2115] Then, [2116] on a subsequent occasion, at the earliest dawn one morning, he went up to the top [2117] of a certain house, and there began to invoke certain names, which Turbo has told us only the seven elect have learned. He ascended to the housetop, then, with the purpose of engaging in some religious ceremony, or some art of his own; and he went up alone, so as not to be detected by any one: [2118] for he considered that, if he was convicted of playing false with, or holding of little account, the religious beliefs of the people, he would be liable to be punished by the real princes of the country. And as he was revolving these things then in his mind, God in His perfect justice decreed that he should be thrust beneath earth by a spirit; [2119] and forthwith he was cast down from the roof of the house; and his body, being precipitated lifeless to the ground, was taken up in pity by the old woman mentioned above, and was buried in the wonted place of sepulture.


[2102] This seems the general idea meant to be conveyed. The text, which is evidently corrupt, runs thus: "in qua cum eum habitaret cum Ægyptiorum sapientiam didicisset." The Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. reads, "in qua cum habitaret, et Ægyptiorum," etc. In Migne it is proposed to fill up the lacunæ thus: "in qua cum diu habitaret, depravatus est, cum Ægyptiorum sapientiam didicisset." Routh suggests, "in qua cum ea habitaret," etc.

[2103] The Codex Casinensis reads Terbonem for Terebinthum.But in Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Catechesis, 6, as well as in others, we regularly find Terbinthon, Terbinthum, or Terebinthum, given as the name of the disciple of Scythianus. The form Tereventus is also given; and the Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. has Terybeneus. The statement made here as to these books being written by Terebinthus is not in accordance with statements made by Cyril and others, who seem to recognise Scythianus alone as the author. As to the name Terebinthus itself, C. Ritter, in his Die Stupa's, etc., p. 29 thinks that it is a Græcized form of a predicate of Buddha, viz., Tere-hintu, Lord of the Hindoos. Others take it simply to be a translation of the Hebrew hl'", the terebinth.See a note on this subject in Neander's Church Hist., ii. 166 (Bohn). [Routh, ut supra, p. 187.]

[2104] Capitulorum.

[2105] Thesaurus.

[2106] The Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. inserts here, "omnibus quæcunque ejus fuerant congregatis" = gathering together all that was his.

[2107] Reading "habetur." But Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. gives habitatur, is inhabited.

[2108] The Codex Casinensis gives, "sed aliud cujusdam homine." We adopt "sed alium Buddam nomine," with which the narratives of Cyril, Epiphanius, and others agree. Routh proposes "alio Buddam nomine" = by another name, Buddas. [Buddha is a title, not a name.]

[2109] The text gives "natum esse, simul et ab angelo." The Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. reads, "natum se esse simulabat et ab angelo."

[2110] On these Persian priests, see Epiphanius on this heresy, num. 3.

[2111] Reading arguebant, with Routh, for arguebat.

[2112] Animosa exaggeratio.

[2113] Ante seculum.

[2114] Or, in the origins of things, in principiis.

[2115] Particeps ejus.

[2116] Reading tunc for nunc.

[2117] Solarium quoddam excelsum.

[2118] The Codex Casinensis gives, "ut inde ab aliquo convinci possit." But the Codex Reg. Alex. Vat. reads, "ut ne ab aliquo," etc. We adopt, therefore, "ne ab aliquo," etc., taking the idea to be, as is suggested in Migne, that Manes went up alone, because he feared that, if observed by Parcus and Labdacus, the priests of Mithras, he might expose himself to punishment at the hands of the Persian rulers for an offence against their religion. [Manes here seems put for Terebinthus.]

[2119] Sub terras eum detrudi per spiritum.

51 when archelaus had finished
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