Apostolici, one of the names adopted by an ascetic sect in Phrygia, Cilicia,
and Pamphylia. Their leading principle seems to have been the rejection of private
property. They are also said to have resembled Tatian, the Encratites, and the "Cathari"
(Novatianists), in that they refused to admit offenders to communion, and condemned
marriage. They appealed chiefly to the apocryphal Acts of Andrew and of
Thomas. They entitled themselves Apotactici, i.e. "Renuntiants." What
little is recorded about them, beyond the name, we owe to Epiphanius (Haer.
lxi. 506–513), who apparently knew them only by vague oral report. Their place in
his treatise would naturally assign them to the 3rd cent.; and they evidently had
not ceased to exist in the 4th. "Encratites, Saccophori, and Apotactites," described
together as "an offshoot of the Marcionites," are associated with Novatianists by
Basil in a letter answering queries from Amphilochius of Iconium (cxcix. can. 47;
cf. clxxxviii. can. 1), written in 375, when Epiphanius had begun and not completed
his work. A law of Theodosius against the Manicheans in 381 (Cod. Theod.
XVI. v. 7; cf. 11 an. 383) alleges that some of these heretics endeavoured to evade
the existing severe legislation by calling themselves "Encratites, Apotactites,
Hydroparastatae, or Saccophori." Any true historical connexion, however, between
the Apostolici and either the Marcionists or the Manicheans is highly improbable.