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(flourished 2nd century AD, Alexandria) Founder of the Basilidian school of Gnosticism. According to Clement of Alexandria, Basilides claimed to base his teaching on a secret tradition of Peter the Apostle. He wrote psalms, odes, commentaries on the Gospels, and his own gospel. Fragments of these writings and varying accounts by Clement, St. Irenaeus, and others suggest that his system of belief included elements from Neoplatonism as well as the New Testament. The school survived in Egypt until the 4th century.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Basilides, visit Britannica.com.
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