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A sect of Gnostics founded by Carpocrates of Alexandria. The sect claimed Christ derived the mysteries of his religion from the Temple of Isis in Egypt, where he was said to have studied for six years, and that he taught them to his apostles, who transmitted them to Carpocrates. Members used theurgic incantations and had their own peculiar greetings, signs and words, and symbols and degrees of rank. The Carpocratians believed in metampsychosis and the preexistence of the soul, but rejected the resurrection of the body. They had some beliefs in common with the Basilideans. The sect endured until the sixth century.


Legge, Francis. Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity from 330 B.C. to 330 A.D. 2 vols. 1915. Reprint, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1964.

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