ANONYMOUS ANTIMONTANIST Presbyter bishop? Of the province of Asia, active between the 2nd-3rd c., author of a work in 3 books against the Montanists, dedicated to Avircius Marcellus, identified by some with Abercius, bishop of Hierapolis. Only 10 fragments of the work remain CPG 1327, cited by Eusebius of Caesarea in HE V,16, 2 17, 4. The second and third books seem to have been written about a year apart 13 and 14 years after the death of the prophetess Maximilla, in very different historical contexts: an absence of persecution in the first case V,16,12-15. 18-19, numerous and recent murders of Christians, both orthodox and heretics, in the second V,16, 20-22.
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One could also deduce a chronological link with the return of persecution under Septimius Severus, though it would be difficult to fix a precise date. The work is an important source on Montanism. The fragments contain data on the origins of the movement and on the first ecclesiastical condemnations V,16, 6-10. A strong eschatological expectation is evident V,16, 18-19, and the claim to exclusive possession of the Christian prophetic charism V,16, 12; 17, 4. Montanist ecstasy is described as a psychosis V,17, 2. The oracle 16 Aland is included V,16, 17. Jerome Vir. Ill. 37; 39 identifies the antiMontanist with Rhodo, author of a work Against Montanus, Prisca and Maximilla, in which another anti-Montanist, Miltiades, is mentioned, just as in the anonymous author mentioned by Eusebius. P. de Labriolle, Les sources de l'histoire du Montanisme, Fribourg-Paris 1913, XX-XXVIII; W. K¼hnert, Der antimontanistische Anonymus bei Eusebius: TZ 5 1949 436-446 proposes identification with Polycrates of Ephesus; C. Trevett, Montanism, Cambridge 1996, 30; M. W¼nsche, Der Ausgang der urchristlichen Prophetie in der fr¼hkatholischen Kirche, Stuttgart 1997, 264-297; A. Stewart-Sykes, The Original Condemnation of Asian Montanism: JEH 50 1999 1-22. Early Christian Writings holidaymapq
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