Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume III/Anti-Marcion/Against the Valentinians/XXII

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Chapter XXII.—Origin of the Devil, in the Criminal Excess of the Sorrow of Achamoth. The Devil, Called Also Munditenens, Actually Wiser Than the Demiurge, Although His Work.

The odium felt amongst them[1] against the devil is the more excusable,[2] even because the peculiarly sordid character of his origin justifies it.[3] For he is supposed by them to have had his origin in that criminal excess[4] of her[5] sorrow, from which they also derive the birth of the angels, and demons, and all the wicked spirits. Yet they affirm that the devil is the work of the Demiurge, and they call him Munditenens[6] (Ruler of the World), and maintain that, as he is of a spiritual nature, he has a better knowledge of the things above than the Demiurge, an animal being. He deserves from them the pre-eminence which all heresies provide him with.


  1. Infamia apud illos.
  2. Tolerabilior.
  3. Capit: “capax est,” nimirum “infamiæ” (Fr. Junius).
  4. Ex nequitia.
  5. Achamoth’s.
  6. Irenæus’ word is Κοσμοκράτωρ; see also Eph. vi. 12.