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Valentinus

SECOND CENTURY. Prominent Gnostic, founder of the Valentinian sect. If one were to attempt to reconstruct the thought of Valentinus on the basis of the few fragments preserved in his earliest critics Irenaeus* of Alexandria, Clement, and Hippolytus,* he would appear but as another in that chain of Gnostics cataloged in their refutations, inseparable from his successor Ptolemaeus, who headed up the Valentinian school from about 160 and who was a sufficient systemizer to warrant more than fragmentary citation. Thus Irenaeus incorporated major passages of an extended work of the latter plus a portion of a commentary on John's gospel, and Epiphanius* quoted a most reasonable statement of the Valentinian position under the title “Letter to Flora.”