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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Simon Magus

DEFINITIONS

Simon Magus: Probably a real person living in the first century c.e., although his miracles may have been mythologized. Simon taught a form of Gnosticism and worked miracles, including such things as levitation, imperviousness to fire, and causing statues to move. St. Peter’s secretary, Clement I, called Simon a counterpart to St. Paul and the left hand of God.

His followers began to believe that he was God in human form. This made him a threat to the Catholic Church resulting in his label as the “first heretic” and his form of the faith, commonly called “Simonianism,” as a heresy.

An apocryphal (non-Biblical) book, the Acts of Peter, gives a legend of his death. While in Rome demonstrating his power of levitation, St. Peter prays to God to stop him and Simon Magus—also known as Simon the Sorcerer and Simon of GATT—falls to the ground breaking his legs. The crowd, which had been in his favor, becomes angered and stones him to death.


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Description of a Magus
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Goal of Ritual
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