Barbelo-Gnostic Marsanes, c.200 AD?

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billd89
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Barbelo-Gnostic Marsanes, c.200 AD?

Post by billd89 »

I wonder where Marsanes was active, where his school was? (Link is to John Turner's excellent essay.) I doubt he was centered in Egypt. Any thoughts?

Reference
NHC 9

Marsanes (150?-210? AD) probably lived two generations before Plotinus (205-270 AD), who argued against his known teachings (c.250 AD). I presume Martiades (175?-235? AD) was a student and proponent of Marsanes -- not vice versa --, active (c.230 AD) somewhat before Ammonius Saccas (175-242 AD), so Marsanes might have taught as early as 175 AD.
andrewcriddle
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Re: Barbelo-Gnostic Marsanes, c.200 AD?

Post by andrewcriddle »

Marsanes is probably contemporary to Theodore of Asine c 300 CE.
See for example Marsanes

Andrew Criddle
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billd89
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Re: The Problems w/ Late Dating

Post by billd89 »

andrewcriddle wrote: Tue May 18, 2021 10:53 pm Marsanes is probably contemporary to Theodore of Asine c 300 CE.
See for example Marsanes

Andrew Criddle
Theodore of Asine looks to be a late descendant.

Yes I saw John D. Turner's dubious Late Date: "one might date Marsanes to the late third or early fourth century, contemporary with Iamblichus and Theodore." Plotinus, however, was probably addressing (c.250 AD) older material (c.175-200? AD) and not smthg published just yesterday. Given a reasonable lag-time, the widespread notice of "Marsanes' writings" might have begun several decades or even generations after the Founder's death. See how posters here typically date Xtian material, +150yrs after Jesus' death!

As with Philo's Therapeutae (DVC 29), the prophet should be (conservatively) deceased ~50-100 years, if not longer:
They have also writings of ancient men, who having been the founders of one sect or another have left behind them many memorials of the allegorical system of writing and explanation, whom they take as a kind of model, and imitate the general fashion of their sect


Birger A. Pearson's comments on the prophet Marsanes also suggest he's older than 300 AD and had a School lasting several generations. A "disciple" (like Paul) might never have met the Founder! On the Nag Hammadi tractate Marsanes:
"In this tractate Marsanes gives advanced instruction to a group of his followers who have already been initiated into gnosis. The author of the tractate may be the Gnostic prophet Marsanes himself; alternatively he may be an otherwise unknown teacher who claims to be writing in the name of the prophet Marsanes." (Ancient Gnosticism, pp. 92-93)

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