In 1826 he removed as professor of theology to Leipzig, where, hitherto distinguished only as editor of Bardesanes, Marcion (Marcion's Evangelium in seiner ursprienglichen Gestalt, 1823), and Ephraem Syrus, and the joint editor of a Syrische Chrestomathie (1824), he came into great prominence as the author of a treatise, De rationalismi qui dicitur vera indole et qua cum naturalismo contineatur ratione (1827), and also of an Offene Erklarung an die Evangelische Kirche zuntichst in Sachsen u.
Here we should especially mention the beautiful and much-discussed Song of the Pearl, or Song of the Soul, which is generally, though without absolute clear proof, attributed to the Gnostic Bardesanes (till lately it was known only in the Syrian text; edited and translated by Bevan, Texts and Studies, 2 v.
To the school of Bardesanes belongs the " Book of the Laws of the Lands," which does not, however, contribute much to our knowledge of Gnosticism.
Merx, Bardesanes von Edessa (1863), and A.
Hilgenfeld, Bardesanes der letzte Gnostiker (1864).
The true Basilides, perhaps also Satornil, Marcion and a part of his disciples, Bardesanes and others, were frankly dualists.
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).
And here may best be included Bardesanes, a famous leader of a Gnostic school of the end of the 2nd century.
Most scholars, it is true, following an old tradition, reckon Bardesanes among the Valentinians.
But from the little we know of Bardesanes, his system bears no trace of relationship with the complicated Valentinian system, but is rather completely derived from the ordinary Gnosticism, and is distinguished from it apparently only by its more strongly dualistic character.
Merx, Bardesanes von Edessa (Halle, 1863); A.
Hilgenfeld, Bardesanes, der letzte Gnostiker (Leipzig, 1864); A.
We may thus hope to recover some priceless monuments of early Christianity, hymns and treatises perhaps of Marcion and Bardesanes, the Gospel of Peter, and even the Diatessaron.
It would be interesting to trace Bardesanes and the Syriac Hymn of the Soul in all this.
The earliest Syriac work which we possess, the book " On Fate," produced in the circle of the heretic Bardaisan or Bardesanes (end of the 2nd century), largely follows Greek models.
210 by a pupil of Bardesanes (Cureton, Spicilegium Syriacum, 16 ult.).