AUDIANI. Rigorist monastic sect founded in Syria by Audius, a deacon of Edessa. Epiphanius considers them heretical, describing them in Panarion, ch. 70. In particular he attributes the anthropomorphite theory to them, according to which the divine form is literally the same as the human form. While the sect’s activity seems to have been confined to Syria and later to Scythia where Constantine outlawed it, the anthropomorphite theory turns up in 4th-5th-c. Egyptian monastic circles, perhaps independent of the audiani, and esp. among those circles most opposed to the theories of Origen and therefore of Evagrius of Pontus. Socrates mentions them HE VI, 7, as do two Coptic texts Life of Aphu of Oxyrhynchus; ps.-Agathonicus of Tarsus. Hfl-Lecl 1, 479-488; EC 2, 389-390; RAC 1, 910-915; bibliography in A. Guillaumont, Les Kephalaia gnostica d’‰vagre le Pontique, Paris 1962, 59-61; H.Ch. Puech, Enquªte sur la Gnose, I, Paris 1978, 271-300.

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