138 or 139, he tells us that one Simon, a Samaritan, from a village called Gitta or Gittae (see Ency.
Dr George Salmon brought light into darkness by distinguishing between Simon of Gitta and the original Simon Magus.
Hippolytus, like the rest, identified Simon of Gitta (Zi,swv Turrnvos, vi.
Gitta, he says, had sunk from a town phanius into a village.
But while thus seeking for hidden meanings, are we not in danger of missing what lies on the surface, namely, that the Simon Magus of the Clementine romance is a portrait of Simon of Gitta, after he had been confused with the Simon of Acts?
Simon, we are informed, was a Samaritan, and a native of Gitta, a village situated at a, distance of 6 ooivoc (about 4 m.) from the.
So far we have had nothing that is inconsistent with Simon of Gitta, and little but what we are already familiar with in connexion either with him or his disciple Menander.
The Samaritans were evidently strong in magic. In all the accounts given us of Simon of Gitta magic is a marked feature, as also in the case of his pupil Menander.
We cannot, therefore, agree with Dr Salmon's remark that the only reason why Justin attributed magic to Simon of Gitta was because of his identifying him with Simon Magus.
Whether Simon of Gitta ever exhibited his skill in Rome we have no means of determining, but at all events the compound Simon, resulting from the fusion of him with his predecessor, is brought to Rome by popular legend, and represented as enjoying great influence with Nero.
But to push the equation of St Paul with Simon Magus further than we are forced to by the facts of the case is to lose sight of the real character of the Clementines as the counterblast of Jewish to Samaritan Gnosticism and to obscure the greatness of Simon of Gitta, who was really the father of all heresy, a character which has been erroneously attributed to Simon Magus.