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Carpocrates

Carpocrates (kärpŏkˈrətēz) [key], fl. c.130–c.150, Alexandrian philosopher, founder with his son Epiphanes of a Hellenistic sect, notoriously licentious, related to Gnosticism. Epiphanes wrote a treatise, On Justice, that advocated communal ownership of property, including women; he died, age 17, at Cephalonia and was long worshiped as a deity there. The Carpocratians believed that men had formerly been united with the Absolute, had been corrupted, and would, by despising creation, be saved in this life or else later through successive transmigrations. Jesus, they held, was but one of several wise men who had achieved deliverance.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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