Religion Past and Present

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(147 words)

[German Version]

Menander, a Gnostic from Samaria (Kapparetaia); taught in Syrian Antioch around the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries ce. Justin (1 Apol. 26, 4) describes him as a pupil of Simon Magus and a magician. According to Irenaeus (Haer. I 23.5), Menander swore that he could use his power over the angels who created the world. He himself claimed to be the savior (salvator) sent by the primal power; anyone taking his name at baptism would obtain immortality. His pupils, according to Irenaeus, were Saturninus and Basilides. This information must, however, be used with caution…

Cite this page
Holzhausen, Jens, “Menander”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 June 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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