Early Church Fathers
409 Depravati sunt.
410 The Phrygians were the followers of Montanus, who was the founder of a sect in the second century. He is supposed to have been a native of Ardaba, on the borders of Phrygia, on which account his followers were called the Phrygian or Cataphrygian heretics. Montanus gave himself out for the Paraclete or Comforter whom our Lord promised to send. The most eminent of his followers were Priscilla and Maximilla. [But see vol. ii. pp. 4 and 5; also vol. iii. and iv. this series, and notes on Tertullian, passim.]
411 The Novatians were the followers of Novatus, in the third century, They assumed to themselves the title of Cathari, or the pure. They refused to re-admit to their communion those who had once fallen away, and allowed no place for repentance.
412 The Valentinians were the followers of Valentinus, an Egyptian who founded a sect in the second century. His system somewhat resembled the Gnostics. He taught that Christ had a heavenly or spiritual body, and assumed nothing from the Virgin Mary.
413 The Marcionites were the followers of Marcion, a heretic of the second century, who held the Oriental belief of two independent, eternal, co-existing principles, one of good, the other of evil. He applied this doctrine to Christianity. His chief opponent was Tertullian.
414 The Anthropians held that Jesus Christ was nothing but man (a!nqrwpoj).
415 This word is omitted by some editors, as Lactantius wrote before the Arian heresy had gained strength. [See vol. vi. p. 291.]
416 This is directed against the Novatians. See preceding note on the Novatians, [and vol. v., this series, passim].
417 Penetrale, "the interior of a house or temple."
418 Uberius. Others read "verius," more truly: but the reading of the text is preferable.
1 These words are omitted in some editions. The chapter is a kind of preface to the whole book, in which he complains that punishment has been inflicted on the Christians, without due inquiry into their cause. [Religious = superstitious. See p. 131, supra.]
2 Jure humanitatis.
3 Coacervant, "they heap up."
5 Virgil, Bucol., x. 8.
6 There is a reference here to a well-known passage of Lucretius, i. 935: "As physicians, when they purpose to give nauseous wormwood to children, first smear the rim round the bowl with the sweet yellow juice of honey, that the unthinking age of children may be fooled as far as the lips, but though beguiled, not be betrayed."
7 Sub praetextu.
9 Incutere. So Lucretius, i. 19, "incutiens amorem."
11 Sine fuco.
12 [Vol iv. 173. Note our author's reference to the founders of Latin Christianity, all North-Africans, like Arnobius and himself. See vol. iv. pp. 169, 170.]
14 The word kopri/aj is applied to sycophants and low buffoons and jesters, who, for the sake of exciting laughter, made boastful and extravagant promises.
15 [Let us call him Barbatus; for one so graphically described by our author deserves a name worthy of his sole claim to be a philosopher.]
17 It was the custom of the philosophers to wear a beard; to which practice Horace alludes, Serm., ii. 3, "Sapientem pascere barbam," to nourish a philosophic beard. [The readers of this series no longer require this information: but it may be convenient to recur to vol. ii. note 9, p. 321; also, perhaps, to Clement's terrible defence of beards, Ibid., pp. 276-277.]
19 Ambitu. The word denotes the unlawful striving for a post.
20 [On the reference to these two adversaries, see Lardner, Credib., iii. cap. 65, p. 491; vii. cap. 39, p. 471; also vii. 207.]
21 Hierocles is referred to, who was a great persecutor of the Christians in the beginning of the fourth century. He was the chief promoter of the persecution which the Christians suffered under Diocletian. [Wrote a work (Philalethes) to show the contradictions of Scripture. Acts xiii. 10.]
22 Intima, i.e., of an esoteric character, known only to those within the school or sect.]
23 Cui fuerat assensus. Other editions read "accensus," i.e., reckoned among.
27 Undique quadrat.
28 Hierocles, referred to in chapter 2.
29 Apollonius, a celebrated Pythagorean philosopher of Tyana: his works and doctrines are recorded by Philostratus, from whom Lactantius appears to have derived his account. The pagans compared his life and actions with those of Christ. [See Origen, vol. iv. p. 591, this series.]
30 Apuleius, a native of Madaura, a city on the borders of the province of Africa, he professed the Platonic philosophy. He was reputed a magician by the Christian writers. [Author of The Golden Ass, a most entertaining but often indecent satire, which may have inspired Cervantes, and concerning which see Warburton, Div. Legat., vol. ii. p. 177 (et alibi), ed. London, 1811.]
31 Affectavit divinitatem.
34 With one spirit, "uno spiritu."
35 [But Apollonius was set up as an Antichrist by Philostratus as Cudworth supposes, and so other men of learning. But no student should overlook l.ardner's valuable commentary on this character, and his quotations from Bishop Parker of Oxford, Credib., vol. vii. p. 486, and also p. 508, cap. 29, and appendix.]
37 See book ii. ch. 23.
38 Cf. Matt. vii. 15.
40 [Future Writers. This laying of an anchor to windward is characteristic of Lactantius.]
41 [See elucidations, vol. iii. pp. 56-60, this series.]
42 Oblatrantem atque obstrepentem veritati. These words are taken from Cyprian, vol. v. p. 457, this series.
45 [This censure of Cyprian fully exculpates Minucius, Arnobius and others, superficially blamed for their few quotations from Holy Writ. Also, it explains our author's quotations from the Sibyl, etc.]
46 [Striking is the language of the Pollio ("Redit et Virgo," etc.) in which the true Virgin seems to be anticipated.]
47 Ulla. Another reading is "illâ," as though there were a reference to the family of Saturnus.