Priscillian

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Priscillian

(prĭsĭl`yən), d. 385?, Spanish churchman, bishop of Ávila. His appointment to the bishopric was protested by orthodox leaders, who had condemned his former activities as a lay preacher in S Spain, at the Synod of Zaragoza (380). Although Priscillian's ideas were repeatedly denounced, it is not clear that they were heretical. He was suspected of Manichaean and Gnostic leanings because he stressed puristic ideals, sought perfection in asceticism, and dabbled in astrology. The church had been attacking his views for some time when Roman Emperor Maximus ordered that Priscillian be put to death for practicing magic. His execution was strongly protested by his former opponents in the church, St. Ambrose, St. Martin, and the pope. After his death Priscillian was venerated as martyr and saint, and his followers grew. Not until after a council held at Braga (563?) finally condemned Priscillianism did it disappear from Spain.
References in periodicals archive ?
Women accused of "heresy" in early and medieval Christianity include those labeled "Gnostics," Montanists, Priscillianists, Origenists,(90) Cathars,(91) and Beguines.
the medicine which is alone sufficient" (Commonitorium 1) to heal the injuries to his church caused by persuasive but pernicious Priscillianist and Origenist teachings about the origin of the soul, Christ, and salvation--all neatly laid out to aid Augustine's diagnosis, and indeed later readers' grasp of both heresies and their appeal to ordinary Christians.
Among the opponents of the Resurrection we naturally find first those who denied the immortality of the soul; secondly, all those who, like Plato, regarded the body as the prison of the soul and death as an escape from the bondage of matter; thirdly the sects of the Gnostics and Manichaeans who looked upon all matter as evil; fourthly, the followers of these latter sects the Priscillianists, the Cathari, and the Albigenses; fifthly, the Rationalists, Materialists, and Pantheists of later times.
examines how a number of heretics and heresies mentioned by Jerome in his letter to Ctesiphon (including Simon Magus, though he is not the focus of this chapter) lived on in the Pelagians and the Priscillianists.