(714 words)

Menander, ca. 80

According to the Christian heresiologists, Menander was an early Gnostic [→ Gnosticism] magician and teacher, a pupil of → Simon Magus. He came from Capparetaea in Samaria and worked in Antioch, where he, ‘inspired by the demons, deceived many by his tricks of magic’. Justin Martyr (ca. 150), our first source about Menander, to whom we owe this information, adds that ‘he even convinced his followers that they would never die, and there are some alive today who, inspired by him, still believe this’ (Apology, I, 26). Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 180), Adversus Haereses, I, 23, 5, …

Cite this page
Broek, Roelof van den, “Menander”, in: Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Consulted online on 18 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004141872, 20061031

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