I do enjoy a good heresy and an eloquent denunciation thereof (see, for instance, here or here), so you can imagine my pleasure when I came upon this passage from The Catholic Doctrine of the Church of England: An Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles by Thomas Rogers (Cambridge, 1854; p. 202):

Hence detest we both all the old heretics, and their fancies, with the new prophets of Basilides, the manifestation of Marcion, the mysteries of the Manichees, the Jobelæa of the Scythians, the Symbonia of the Archontics, the Cabala of the Jews, the Alcoran of the Turks, and also all new heretics and schismatics, with all their cursed opinions; as first, the Anabaptists, and namely the Libertines, the Davi-Georgians, and Family of Love, and all the co-deified elders thereof; as Henry Nicholas, Eliad, Fidelitas, Christopher Vitel, Theophilus the Exile, and the rest.

I am particularly intrigued by the Jobelæa and the Symbonia; I would guess that the first might have something to do with Jubilee, but if anyone has any knowledge (or an entertaining guess) about either, I will be happy to hear it.


  1. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the books of the Archontics were called the Greater and the Lesser Symphoniae. Maybe “Symbonia” is just an error?

  2. The verb-second grammar (“Hence detest we”) is very impressive for 1854.

  3. Oops, never mind; that’s just the publication date of this edition. The original publication date, according to the “Introductory Notice”, is 1586. Verb-second is fine.

  4. Sir JCass says:

    The Archontics et al. get namechecked in Canto XVIII of Joseph’s Beaumont’s Psyche (1648), which contains my favourite poetical list of heretics and heresies (maybe it’s my favourite because I can’t think of any others). This is what I could fit into a single post:
    Then proud Montanus; with Quintilians,
    Ascites, Pepuzians, and Artotyrites,
    Priscillians, pharisaik Tatians,
    Abstemious yet profane Severianites;
    Archonticks, Adamites, Quartadecimans.
    Vain Alogists, and Melchisidekians.
    Tertullianists, Arabicks, Symmachists,
    Homousiasts, Elxites, Origenians,
    Valesians, Agrippinians, Catharists,
    Hydroparastates, Patripassians.
    Apostoticks, Angelicks, Chiliasts.
    Samosatenian Paulianists.
    Mad Maniches, outrageous Donatists,
    Curs’d Arians, Colluthians, Audianites,
    Marcellians, and Macedonianists,
    Aerians, Acacians, Eustathites,
    Eunomians, Messalians, Luciferians.
    Agnoites, Hypsistarists, Apollinarians.
    Timotheans, Selcucians, Collyridians
    Rhetorians, Venustians, Proclianites,
    Foul-mouth’d Jovinianists, and black Helvidians,
    Bonosians, Campensians, Agapites;
    Pelagius, Nestorius, Eutyches.
    Accompany’d with all their Progenies.

  5. J.W. Brewer says:

    In between 1586 and 1854 several cantos-full of new heresies arose which Rogers alas did not have opportunity to vituperate against. Wikipedia indicates that the 19th century edition was done by the Parker Society, who helpfully republished quite a lot of 16th-century Anglican religious figures whose original-edition works would otherwise typically be difficult to find even in quite a good research library.

  6. As Kevin has already said, the Archontics’ apocryphal cosmogonies were called Symphonia Maior and Minor. “Symbonia” is perhaps a mere misspelling. Jobelaeus is a frequent spelling variant of Iubilaeus (presumably erudite, cf. Greek ἰωβηλαῖος).

  7. Thanks to all—to some for clearing up the “symbonia,” to others for a great poetic heresy catalog! And yeah, I should have made it clear the book was much earlier than the publication date suggested.

  8. J.W. Brewer says:

    If you like a good vigorious denunciation of heretics, let me recommend this ninth-century classic composed to celebrate the downfall of the Iconoclasts: (as the translator notes, some of the personalities attacked are not otherwise known, but the Orthodox party was not yet ready to be magnanimous or rhetorically irenic in victory). “Who would speak out the foul doctrines and lawless teachings of the insane John, expounding Delphic ways? / Anathema to Lizix and John, with Antony, Theodore the godless blasphemer, together with insane Theodotos!” etc etc etc

  9. I didn’t read far in the catalogue of heretics quoted by Sir JCass, but ‘Artotyrites’ in the second line caught my eye. ‘Bread-and-Cheesers’? Do they substitute cheese for the usual wine in their communion services? Yes, yes they do, assuming their (?) website ( isn’t some kind of joke. Why the proviso? The About Us page says that they do not proselytize or divulge the names of their members, “nor conduct public services”, and says of their leader only that he or she “holds the diploma of Master of Law from the Sorbonne University of Paris”. They offer web readers prophecies randomly selected with the help of the I Ching. The top thing on the What’s New column is way out of date and not particularly religious: “To support George Walker Bush is to endanger one’s immortal soul and reject the society of Jesus Christ.” Sp: church or joke? It’s really hard to tell – not that I plan to spend any more time trying to figure it out.

  10. Adelfons says:

    Fear I that the Bread ‘n’ Cheesers got Cheneyed.

  11. dearieme says:

    I suspect that “symbonia” refers to a sect that used trombones in their services.

  12. The last sentence of my previous comment should begin “So:”, not “Sp:”.
    And I forgot to make a “Blessed are the Cheesemakers” joke.

  13. The verb-second grammar (“Hence detest we”)
    Like German, nowadays at any rate: Daher verabscheuen wir … I don’t remember it being otherwise in, say, Morgenröte and Von der Geburt und der Bezeichnung aller Wesen (I read only as much of Böhme as I could tolerate). But then I don’t necessarily pay attention to such things.

  14. marie-lucie says:

    The Artotyrite website is quite interesting in its oddness. I don’t think it is a joke, rather it looks like a group of Christian women has been looking for historical evidence of the role of women in the early Church, finding it in the Artotyrites, and trying to revive that particular sect, with emphasis on the role of women and a commitment to peace work. Linking early Christian women prophets (or perhaps just one: Perpetua) to the I Ching is rather odd though! Perhaps the semi-secrecy is because the group is afraid of its members being ridiculed and stigmatized as crazy. The I Ching probably has some intellectual (and non-European) respectability which would not exist in the case of tarot cards and similar traditional divinatory aids.

  15. All varieties of Germanic, plus Old French and Kashmiri, are or were V2 languages — that is, verbs appear as the second constituent in main clauses. English dropped the V2 constraint en passant from Middle English to contemporary Modern English, with Early Modern English in an intermediate state.
    The question of V2 in subordinate clauses is a complex one: see this paper for a discussion of possible historical developments in syntax. The contemporary result is that the continental Germanic languages — Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, and German — have V2 only in restricted types of subordinate clauses if at all, whereas Icelandic and Yiddish on the periphery generalize V2 to all types of subordinate clauses, and English, also on the periphery, is not V2 at all.

  16. Bill Walderman says:

    “I suspect that “symbonia” refers to a sect that used trombones in their services.”
    Actually, the trombone was strongly associated with church music until Beethoven used trombones into his 5th Symphony.

  17. Curses – if only I were religious, I’d join the ploughman’s lunch church in an eyeblink. I wonder if they fight over whether the true Artotyrite must reject all frippery, such as slice of tomato, piece of lettuce, pickled onion, and stick solely to bread and cheese, and whether the real fanatics eschew even butter?

  18. The tomato and the lettuce mayst thou eat, but of the onion thou shalt not eat, no, be it how pickled so ever. For a butter dispensation, see the deacon after the service.

  19. In the alternative, see the service after the deacon.
    Our organist will be performing “Air Upon a #-Set Stomach.” Don’t miss it if you can.
    Every weekend i used to visit this web page, because i wish for enjoyment, for the reason that this this web page conations truly pleasant funny data too.
    My natural tendency, impulse, striving, and directed effort is to exterminate all spammers everywhere. Truly pleasant and funny, it isn’t.

  20. In any event, this wine vs. cheese issue has made it into Punch thus:
    “Botticelli isn’t a WINE, you JUGGINS!!!! Botticelli’s a CHEESE!!!!!1!111!”

  21. Air upon a hash-set stomach? Air upon a pound-set stomach? Oh, I get it.

  22. I’ve never heard of conation. I suspect that someone steeped in astrology and/or the tarot would say that the three-way division cognition/affection/conation that
    cognition = air
    affection = water
    and that conation should be further subdivided into two faculties corresponding to earth and fire.

  23. ∅, not everyone has ♯ in their fonts.

  24. empty: I’ve never heard of conation.
    I suspect what you mean here is equivalent to the statement: “I’ve never heard of the word ‘conation'”. Doubtless you are familiar with what people have used the word to refer to, vague as are both the word and its referent. The WiPe article on conation linked by John explains them more or less.
    I would put it this way, more or less: conation is that constituent of “human nature” that is neither thought nor passion/emotion. You can variously call it volition, will, urge, get-up-and-go.
    It is what is being imagined as “at work” when you go out for a beer. It is also “at work” in the ensuing micturition and retention.
    Conation is what is deliberately left out of the “brain-in-a-vat” notion that some philosophers like to use as a model of something-or-other. It makes analysis of that something-or-other easier, since brains have no access to Bud, nor do they pee. Even if they could conate, it wouldn’t do them a damn bit of good.
    Brains-in-vats probably could only imagine that they’re conating. That itself would not be conation, though, but thinking. There is an important difference between needing to pee, and thinking that you need to pee. This is true whether or not there is a vat to hand.

  25. mollymooly says:

    Don’t delete the comment from Patricia at May 10, 2013 08:09 PM. My response was, “Hurrah, that’s what I was seeking for, what a data!”
    PS according to the URL, this is Hat’s 5000th post. {Kudos|Well done|Keep it up}!

  26. Don’t delete the comment from Patricia at May 10, 2013 08:09 PM.
    Too late. I don’t read the spam comments before deleting them; I wake up, stumble to the computer, go to my Movable Type menu, and start clicking on the boxes next to the names of obvious spammers. I don’t bother clicking through to read the comments. If there’s a “Patricia” in a series of comments by “wow gold” and “cheap prada” and what have you, I know it’s spam so it gets checked. Then I hit “delete” and all the checked comments disappear; then I hit “rebuild” and the thread is presentable. We all have to endure this until my stepson/administrator has the free time to move the site to a less archaic platform (which will doubtless involve captcha or an equivalent hurdle commenters will have to pass, for which I apologize in advance but eliminating spam after the fact is driving me cra-a-a-azy); in the meantime, I will say again that if you like a particular bit of spam you should preserve it in your own comment, because by the time I see a “don’t delete it!” comment it will be gone.

  27. Hat, your anti-spam warfare is nothing short of heroic. Maybe the new software will allow you to exclude trolls, too.

  28. vague as are both the word and its referent
    Grumbly, could the word be vague without the referent being vague, or vice versa?

  29. mollymooly:
    I saved a copy of that comment. If you want it, just email me: my address turned backwards is gro.oilucruc@oilucruc.
    Anyone who’s wondering why a spam comment would be worth keeping:
    It was a script with built-in variants, beginning “{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.” and going on like that for thousands more words. It looks like a spammer program was supposed to randomly select one of the choices within each set of curly brackets so the spam would be (relatively) coherent but different every time, but someone stupidly sent out the actual unprocessed generic script. An interesting glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ of the spamming industry?

  30. Or, instead of e-mailing me, you could just copy the comment from ‘Rhoda’ that appeared while I was writing mine, if Hat doesn’t delete it first.

  31. Bill Walderman: the trombone was strongly associated with church music until Beethoven used trombones into his 5th Symphony.
    That’s interesting. Did the 5th Symphony somehow trigger the disappearance of the trombone from church music?

  32. Actually, here it says “Trombones were the mainstay of church-music ensembles, and would remain so in Germany for most of the 19th century”, so perhaps I’ve misunderstood your remark.

  33. I think the idea is that although trombones continued to be used in church music, the stereotype “trombone = church music” was broken among non-church-musicians when Beethoven successfully used them in 1808. (He was not, Wikipedia notes, the first symphony-writer to do so: that credit belongs to Eggert in 1807.)

  34. empty: could the word be vague without the referent being vague, or vice versa?
    Yes. Someone who (wittingly or not) subscribes to “philosophical realism” would be unlikely to claim that reality is vague. Vague as compared to what: some different, more clear-cut reality ? Philosophical realists get to have only one reality, although the more thoughtful ones among them might not hesitate to concede that the word “reality” may be vague.
    Another example: to talk of the “position” of an electron is a vague way to describe something which can be described more precisely as a probability distribution. Electrons are probability distributions, right ? But maybe that’s too vague a way to put it.

  35. It is from such considerations that I don’t use the word “reality” at all, but at most mention it. Nor do I talk about reality, no more than I talk about God. One can know that there are less vague concepts in circulation, more useful ways to think about stuff – and different stuff to think about, although related to the older stuff in terms of the history of ideas.
    I bet you don’t trouble yourself with the historical notion of infinitesimals. Differentiation is better understood in terms of limits. Even non-standard analysis discards “vanishing quantity”, and defines infinitesimal in a way Leibniz would not have understood.

  36. Trond Engen says:

    Off line for a few days and then all this happening. The comment threads here, at the Log, and at GeoCurrents, are of a kind that gives me new belief in mankind. I fear that’s an artifact of the audience, though. So maybe what makes me feel uplifted is that it seems that more and more linguists are willing to engage directly in civilized and informative discussions with eachother and for the general public.

  37. Trond Engen says:

    Wrong thread again! I may have a new belief in mankind, but it’s the same old me.

  38. “To support George Walker Bush is to endanger one’s immortal soul and reject the society of Jesus Christ.”

    Now updated to say “Donald J. Trump”.

  39. Thanks, it’s good to get an Artotyrite update!

  40. John Cowan says:

    The Collyridians, likewise mentioned in the catalogue above, and assuming they ever actually existed, believed in the divinity of Mary. While no kind of mainstream Christianity has ever accepted this, it’s clear that the special emphasis of Alexandria (and the Oriental Orthodox generally) on Mary as the Mother of God (and not merely the mother of Jesus or even Christ) owes something to the underlying belief in Isis and Osiris.

  41. David Marjanović says:

    Now updated to say “Donald J. Trump”.

    And yet, the “Random I-Ching Quote” I got for prophecy was: “Possessions in great measure. Supreme success.”

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