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ANF05. Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix
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Chapter V.—Monoïmus; Man the Universe, According to Monoïmus; His System of the Monad.

Monoïmus928928    What is given here by Hippolytus respecting Monoïmus is quite new. The only writer that mentions him is Theodoret, Hær. Fab., i. 18. [See Bunsen, vol. i. p. 103.] the Arabian was far removed from the glory of the high-sounding poet. (For Monoïmus) supposes that there is some such man as the poet (calls) Oceanus, expressing himself somehow thus:—

“Oceans, source of gods and source of men.”929929    Iliad, xiv. 201, 246.

Changing these (sentiments) into other words, Monoïmus says that man is the universe. Now the universe is the originating cause of all things, unbegotten, incorruptible, (and) eternal. And (he says) that the son of (the) man previously spoken of is begotten, and subject to passion, (and) that he is generated independently of time, (as well as) undesignedly,930930    Or, “kinglessly,” which has no meaning here. Miller therefore alters ἀβασιλεύτως into ἀβουλήτως. (and) without being predestinated.  For such, he says, is the power of that man. And he being thus constituted in power, (Monoïmus alleges) that the son was born quicker than thought and volition.  And this, he says, is what has been spoken in the Scriptures, “He was, and was generated.”931931    An allusion is evidently made to the opening chapter of St. John’s Gospel. Monoïmus, like Basilides, seems to have formed his system from the prologue to the fourth Gospel. And the meaning of this is: Man was, and his son was generated; just as one may say, Fire was, and, independently of time, and undesignedly, and without being predestinated, light was generated simultaneously with the existence of the fire. And this man constitutes a single monad, which is uncompounded and indivisible, (and yet at the same time) compounded (and) divisible. (And this monad is) in all respects friendly (and) in all respects peaceful, in all respects quarrelsome (and) in all respects contentious with itself, dissimilar (and) similar. (This monad is likewise,) as it were, a certain musical harmony, which comprises all things in itself, as many as one may express and may omit when not considering; and it manifests all things, and generates all things. This (is) Mother, this (is) Father—two immortal names. As an illustration, however, consider, he says, as a greatest image of the perfect man, the one jot—that one tittle. And this one tittle is an uncompounded, simple, and pure monad, which derives its composition from nothing at all. (And yet this tittle is likewise) compounded, multiform, branching into many sections, and consisting of many parts. That one indivisible tittle is, he says, one tittle of the (letter) iota, with many faces, and innumerable eyes, and countless names, and this (tittle) is an image of that perfect invisible man.


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