For other and older Coptic-Gnostic texts, in one of which is contained the source of Irenaeus's treatises on the Barbelognostics, but which have unfortunately not yet been made completely accessible, see C. Schmidt in Sitzungsberichte der Berl.
Ahamoth) among the Gnostics (Ophites) in the narrower sense of the word, the Simoniani (the figure of Helena), the Barbelognostics, and in the system of the PistisSophia or the Primal Man, among the Naasseni and the sect, related to them, as described by Hippolytus.'
The sect of the Barbelognostics takes its name from the female figure of the Barbelo (perhaps a corruption of IIapO vos; cf.
With this figure of the mothergoddess who descends into the lower world seems to be closely connected the idea of the fallen Sophia, which is so widespread among the Gnostic systems. This Sophia then is certainly no longer the dominating figure of the light-world, she is a lower aeon at the extreme limit of the world of light, who sinks down into matter (Barbelognostics, the anonymous Gnostic of Irenaeus, Bardesanes, Pistis-Sophia), or turns in presumptuous love towards the supreme God (Bu06s), and thus brings the Fall into the world of the aeons (Valentinians).
Among the Barbelognostics (Irenaeus 29.3), the Primal Man (Adamas, homo perfectos et verus) and Gnosis appear as a pair of aeons, occupying a prominent place in the whole series.
The pair of aeons, Adamas and Gnosis, among the Barbelognostics, in Irenaeus i.
To these belong the Barbelognostics (in the description given by Irenaeus the figure of the Spirit takes the place of that of Sophia), and the Gnostics whom Irenaeus (i.