The Montanists; Priscilla and Maximilla their Prophetesses; Some of them Noetians.
But there are others who themselves are even more heretical in nature (than the foregoing), and are Phrygians [948] by birth. These have been rendered victims of error from being previously captivated by (two) wretched women, called a certain Priscilla and Maximilla, whom they supposed (to be) prophetesses. And they assert that into these the Paraclete Spirit had departed; and antecedently to them, they in like manner consider Montanus as a prophet. And being in possession of an infinite number of their books, (the Phrygians) are overrun with delusion; and they do not judge whatever statements are made by them, according to (the criterion of) reason; nor do they give heed unto those who are competent to decide; but they are heedlessly swept onwards, by the reliance which they place on these (impostors). And they allege that they have learned something more through these, than from law, and prophets, and the Gospels. But they magnify these wretched women above the Apostles and every gift of Grace, so that some of them presume to assert that there is in them a something superior to Christ. These acknowledge God to be the Father of the universe, and Creator of all things, similarly with the Church, and (receive) as many things as the Gospel testifies concerning Christ. They introduce, however, the novelties of fasts, [949] and feasts, and meals of parched food, and repasts of radishes, alleging that they have been instructed by women. And some of these assent to the heresy of the Noetians, and affirm that the Father himself is the Son, and that this (one) came under generation, and suffering, and death. Concerning these I shall again offer an explanation, after a more minute manner; for the heresy of these has been an occasion of evils to many. We therefore are of opinion, that the statements made concerning these (heretics) are sufficient, when we shall have briefly proved to all that the majority of their books are silly, and their attempts (at reasoning) weak, and worthy of no consideration. But it is not necessary for those who possess a sound mind to pay attention (either to their volumes or their arguments).


[948] These heretics had several denominations: (1) Phrygians and Cataphrygians, from Phrygia; (2) Pepuzians, from a village in Phrygia of this name; (3) Priscillianists; (4) Quintillists. See Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiast., iv. 27, v. 16, 18; Epiphanius, Hær., xlviii.; Theodoret, Hær. Fab., iii. 2; Philastrius, xlix.; and St. Augustine, Hær., xxvi. [The "Tertullianists" were a class by themselves, which is a fact going far to encourage the idea that they did not share the worst of these delusions.]

[949] Bunsen thinks that Hippolytus is rather meagre in his details of the heresy of the Phrygians or Montanists, but considers this, with other instances, a proof that parts of The Refutation are only abstracts of more extended accounts.

chapter xi the quartodecimans
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