One of the most famous Gnostic sects at the time of early Christianity was known as the Valentinians. They were founded by a Greek man named Valentinus who taught his own brand of Gnosticism first at the famous Greek School of Alexandria and then at Rome. The name of his followers, the Valentinians were his students and disciples who were taught by Valentinus himself, or the doctrines of Gnosis that he had left behind.
Valentinus was a very successful Gnostic teacher who first taught at the Greek School of Alexandria and then with the Latins at Rome (c. A.D. 160) where at first he was a very respected member of the Catholic community. He had developed a Gnostic system of sexual duality in the process of emanation; a long series of male and female pairs of personified ideas is employed to bridge over the distance from the unknown God to this present world.
The Valentinians believed that the attainment of this knowledge by the human individual had positive consequences within the universal order and contributed to restoring that order, and that gnosis, not faith, was the key to salvation.
Saint Clement wrote that the Valentinians regarded Catholic Christians “as simple people to whom they attributed faith, while they think that gnosis is in themselves. Through the excellent seed that is to be found in them, they are by nature redeemed, and their gnosis is as far removed from faith as the spiritual from the physical.” The teachings of Valentinus were based on original Ophitism (Ophites or Orpheus) in a Greco-Egyptian guise that can be said to be the true representative of the Gnostic spirit. This original true form of Gnosis clashed with the teachings of the Church.
Valentinians were both men and women who took turns administering sacraments, as well as preaching. It is based on the belief that all men and women were all equal and Gnosis can be achieved by both sexes. Both men and women took turns administering sacraments, as well as preaching.There were female prophets, teachers, healers, evangelists and even priests, which had conflicted with the Catholic Church’s view of women at the time.
To the Valentinians, Gnosis was to be achieved individually and was a path of the self.
The Gnostic beliefs of the Valentinians were much more oriented towards the individual in which we are our own saviors than towards a group, church or another savior entity. It was about personal salvation through Gnosis rather than salvation through an interpreter priest and church like the Roman Catholics had contended. To the Valentinians, salvation was simply not seen as being universal, or coming through Jesus Christ as it was in the Church.
THE GRECO-EGYPTIAN VALENTINIANS VS. THE ROMAN SETHIANS
There have been many books, and articles written that cover some of the history of the Valentinus and Valentinians that I briefly mention above, but I want to cover their secret history in a different light than has been done before by many other scholars and historians. My goal is to simply prove that this specific faction represents who we can call the Greco-Egyptian Alexandrian school of Ptolemaeus Gnostics that came into existence prior to that of the Roman Gnostic faction who become identified with the Sethians or Sons of Seth.
It is the Greco-Egyptian Gnostics who later become heretics when the many Gnostics defect from the Greek Gnostics such as their cousin, the former Valentian, Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens). \Clement then joins the Roman Sethians to help form the Catholic Church and in the process he becomes a Saint.
Later after a schism amongst various Gnostic church fathers in regards to teaching and power, Valentinus and his followers became one of best known of the heretics from the Greco-Egyptian Alexandrian school of Ptolemaeus Gnostics because the church had chosen to use his name to signify the group and his disciples. The name Valentinus I believe would be the chosen general name of the Church to use as the title of this group to conceal their true identities of the Ptolemaeus Gnostics in historical literature. After all, they all descend from the same tree of Gnosis.
As I had said in the first chapter of this book in the section called Gnostic Liars, the i in Gnostic is easy to dot and the t in heretic when you began using reason and common sense to connect this confusing history that these factions purposely doctored to conceal the truth. After all, they didn’t call many of the first church Fathers by the names of Doctors for no reason. They were not doctors in the sense of a noun being that of a medical physician, but a doctor in the form of a verb in which their main job was to “change the content or appearance of (a document or picture) in order to deceive; falsify.” Hence, to doctor history, and the facts in order to falsify the truth. The Gnostic Church Fathers did not lie, or tell untruths, they just changed the content or appearance of history in order to deceive their foes. Once you understand this simple fact, you can then began to piece this confusing history together.
Some of these first famous Gnostic Catholic Doctors who began to falsify history in order to deceive their foes was Saint Irenaeus who actually wrote a book with the specific intention to crete-cize (criticize) his fellow Greek-Cretan Brethren from what is known as the Greco-Egyptian Alexandria School of Gnosis. A school and people that Rome under Julius Caesar eventually went to war with the Greco-Egyptians first with words, and then the sword and fire when they completely destroyed the Library of Alexandria, also known as the Ptolemaic library of the Ptolemy dynasty. The library was created by Ptolemy I Soter, who was a Macedonian general and the successor of Alexander the Great. Ptolemy Soter made Judea an Egyptian province, and under the Ptolemies, Egypt was one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world.
The Gnostic Kohanim Levites of Kos (Dia) also play into this as well. Aristobulus I or Aristoboulos (died 103 BC) was king of the Hebrew Hasmonean Levite Dynasty, 104–103 BC. According to 2 Maccabees 1:10, belonged to a priestly family and was a teacher of Ptolemy in Egypt. It is generally admitted that this Aristobolus is the peripatetic philosopher of this name who dedicated to Ptolemy Philometor his allegorical explanation of the Pentateuch. Josephus would declare him the first Jew in 481 years and three months to wear the diadem on his head. This makes date it clear when the Levites would become the official High Priests and Kings of Judea on Crete.
It was at this time that the City of Alexandria became the commercial center of the world, and the seat of Greek learning, art, literature, civilization, and refinement. One of the most celebrated kings of this race was Ptolemy Philadelphus, who was the son of Cleopatra. He encouraged commerce, learning, Gnosticism and was one of the oldest pupils of Valentinus. The Gnostic Ptolemy was a scholar of the Old Testament (Torah), and he is especially known to for his letter to a noble lady named Flora to explain the meaning of the Old Testament.
He was also a Gnostic Warrior of his day. Author G.R.S. Mead describes this in Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: “Ptolemy, like the rest of the Valentinians, condemns as strongly such false gnosis as later the now-called “orthodox” Fathers, headed by Irenaeus, condemned all gnosis. But at this time the phrase “knowledge falsely so-called” was not a condemnation of all gnosis, for there still was an “orthodox” Christian gnosis, as Clement of Alexandria and others have so well shown.”
The Ptolemies or whom some call the Valentinians were overthrown completely in the year 30 B. C, when Augustus Caesar who was the Pontifex Maximus of the Roman Gnostic Sethians had made Greco-Egypt a Roman province. Plutarch, had written about this event in the Life of Caesar: “When the enemy endeavored to cut off his communication by sea, he was forced to divert that danger by setting fire to his own ships, which, after burning the docks, thence spread on and destroyed the great library.”
In Against Heresies, Irenaeus makes it clear that with his words he intends to over throw especially to the disciples of Ptolemaeus, whose school may be described as a bud from that of Valentinus. Irenaeus had said, “I intend, then, to the best of my ability, with brevity and clearness to set forth the opinions of those who are now promulgating heresy. I refer especially to the disciples of Ptolemaeus, whose school may be described as a bud from that of Valentinus. I shall also endeavour, according to my moderate ability, to furnish the means of overthrowing them, by showing how absurd and inconsistent with the truth are their statements.” In chapter twelve of the same book, Irenaeus dedicates it to the Doctrines of the Followers of Ptolemy and Colrbrasus.
We learn from Hippolytus (Against Heresies IV.35), Tertullian (Against the Valentinians 4) and Clement of Alexandria (Exc. ex Theod., title) that there were two main schools of Valentinianism, the Italian and the Anatolian or Asiatic. There were many notable great Gnostic scholars who were taught by Valentinians such as Heracleon, Aristobulus, Ptolemy, Basilides, Florinus, Marcus, Axionicus and even church father, Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens). According to the Epistles of Julian the Apostate, the Valentinian Gnostic Schools (colleges) had existed in Asia Minor up to his own times (d. 363).
The great Gnostic who was schooled with the Valentinians was Claudius Ptolemy ( Greek: Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, Klaúdios Ptolemaîos; Latin: Claudius Ptolemaeus; c. AD 90 – c. 168). He was a Greco-Egyptian philosopher of Alexandria, known as a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, and astrologer. Ptolemy lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, wrote in Greek, and held Roman citizenship. He was a descendant of the Greco-Egyptian dynasty of Ptolemy I Soter, and all the kings of the Ptolemies. He had written a famous letter to Flora, a noble lady from the School of Alexandria who had written to him as Prom Presbyter (Texte u. Unters., N.S., XIII, Anal. z. alt. Gesch. d. Chr.) to explain the meaning of the Old Testament.
The facts are that the Valentinians who were said to be followers of Valentinus were names to signify this group at a much later time than their original inception which occured several hundred years before the time of Valentinus. Therefor the proper true name to call these Gnostics would be the ancient Ptolemaeus Greco-Egyptian Gnostics in which Valentinus was simply a student at a later date, and the name of the Valentinians is not their true name, but a given name by the Roman Catholic Church.
After all, almost all this history of the Gnostics that has been passed down was by Church Fathers that were sometimes known as Church Doctors who often doctored history in order to support their side of the argument in which they were obviously the Gnostic winners.
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. He is a father, husband, author, martial arts black belt, and an expert in Gnosticism, the occult, and esotericism.