Gnostic Writings:

Writings of Basilide

Information on Basilides

The earliest of the Alexandrian Gnostics; he was a native of Alexandria and flourished under the Emperors Adrian and Antoninus Pius, about 120-140. St. Epiphanius's assertion that he was a disciple of Menander at Antioch and only later moved to Alexandria is unlikely in face of the statement of Eusebius and Theodoret that he was an Alexandrian by birth. Of his life we know nothing except that he had a son called Isidore, who followed in his footsteps. The remark in the Acts of Archelaus (lv) that Basilides was "a preacher amongst the Persians" is almost certainly the result of some confusion. Basilides invented prophets for himself named Barcabbas and Barcoph, and claimed to have received verbal instructions from St. Matthias the Apostle and to be a disciple of Glaucias, a disciple of St. Peter.

HIS SYSTEM

As practically nothing of Basilides' writing is extant and as we have no contemporaneous Gnostic witnesses, we must gather the teaching of this patriarch of Gnosticism from the following early sources: (a) St. Irenaeus, "Contra Haereses", I, xxiv, written about 170; (b) Clement of Alexandria, "Stromata", I, xxi, II, vi, viii, xx, IV, xi, xii, xxv, V, I, etc., written between 208-210, and the so-called "Excerpta ex Theodoto" perhaps from the same hand; (c) Hippolytus of Rome, "Philosophumena", VII, written about 225; (d) Pseudo-Tertullian, "Against All Heresies", a little treatise usually attached to Tertullian's "De Praescriptionibus", but really by another hand, perhaps by Victorinus of Pettau, written about 240 and based upon a non-extant "Compendium" of Hippolytus; (e) Artistic remains of Gnosticism such as Abrasax gems, and literary remains like the Pistis Sophia, the latter part of which probably dates back to the end of the second century and, though not strictly Basilidian, yet illustrates early Alexandrian Gnosticism. Later sources are Epiphanius, "Adv. Haer.", xxiv, and Theodoret, "Haer. Fab. Comp.", I, iv. Unfortunately, the descriptions of the Basilidian system given by our chief informants, St. Irenaeus and Hippolytus, are so strongly divergent that they seem to many quite irreconcilable. According to Irenaeus, Basilides was apparently a dualist and an emanationist, and according to Hippolytus a pantheistic evolutionist.

Seen from the viewpoint of Irenaeus, Basilides taught that Nous (Mind) was the first to be born from the Unborn Father; from Nous was born Logos (Reason); from Logos, Phronesis (Prudence); from Phronesis, Sophia (Wisdom) and Dynamis (Strength) and from Phronesis and Dynamis the Virtues, Principalities, and Archangels. By these angelic hosts the highest heaven was made, by their descendants the second heaven, and by the descendants again of these the third, and so on till they reached the number 365. Hence the year has as many days as there are heavens. The angels, who hold the last or visible heaven, brought about all things that are in the world and shared amongst themselves the earth and the nations upon it. The highest of these angels is the one who is thought to be the God of the Jews. And as he wished to make the other nations subject to that which was especially his own, the other angelic principalities withstood him to the utmost. Hence the aversion of all other peoples for this race. The Unborn and Nameless Father seeing their miserable plight, sent his First-born, Nous (and this is the one who is called Christ) to deliver those who should believe in him from the power of the angelic agencies who had built the world. And to men Christ seemed to be a man and to have performed miracles. It was not, however, Christ who suffered, but rather Simon of Cyrene, who was constrained to carry the cross for him, and mistakenly crucified in Christ's stead. Simon having received Jesus' form, Jesus assumed Simon's and thus stood by and laughed at them. Simon was crucified and Jesus returned to His Father. Through the Gnosis (Knowledge) of Christ the souls of men are saved, but their bodies perish.

Out of Epiphanius and Pseudo-Tertullian we can complete the description this: the highest god, i.e. the Unborn Father, bears the mystical name Abrasax, as origin of the 365 heavens. The Angels that made the world formed it out of Eternal Matter; but matter is the principle of all evil and hence both the contempt of the Gnostics for it and their docetic Christology. To undergo martyrdom in order to confess the Crucified is useless, for it is to die for Simon of Cyrene, not for Christ.

Hippolytus sets forth the doctrine of Basilides as follows:


There was a time when nothing existed, neither matter nor form, nor accident; neither the simple nor the compound, neither the unknowable nor the invisible, neither man or angel nor god nor any of these things, which are called by names or perceived by the mind or the senses. The Not-Being God (ouk on theos) whom Aristotle calls Thought of thought (noesis tes noeseos), without consciousness, without perception, without purpose, without aim, without passion, without desire, had the will to create the world. I say "had the will" only by way of speaking, because in reality he had neither will, nor ideas nor perceptions; and by the word 'world' I do not mean this actual world, which is the outcome of extension and division, but rather the Seed of the world. The seed of the world contained in itself, as a mustard seed, all things which are eventually evolved, as the roots, the branches, the leaves arise out of the seedcorn of the plant.
Strange to say this World-seed or All-seed (Panspermia) is still described as Not-Being. It is a phrase of Basilides: "God is Not-Being, even He, who made the world out of what was not; Not-Being made Not-Being."

Basilides distinctly rejected both emanation and the eternity of matter. "What need is there", he said, "of emanation or why accept Hyle [Matter]; as if God had created the world as the spider spins its thread or as mortal man fashions metal or wood. God spoke and it was; this Moses expresses thus: 'Let there be light and there was light'." This sentence has a Christian ring, but we must not forget that to Basilides God was Absolute Negation. He cannot find words enough to bring out the utter non-existence of God; God is not even "unspeakable" (arreton), He simply is Not. Hence the popular designation of Oukontiani for people who always spoke of Oukon, Not-Being. The difficulty lies in placing the actual transition from Not-Being into Being. This was probably supposed to consist in the Sperma or Seed, which in one respect was Not-Being, and in the other, the All-seed of the manifold world. The Panspermia contained in itself a threefold Filiation, Hyiotes: one composed of refined elements, Leptomeres, a second of grosser elements, Pachymeres, and a third needing purification, Apokatharseos deomenon.

These three Filiations ultimately reach the Not-Being God, but each reaches him in a different way. The first Filiation rose at once and flew with the swiftness of thought to the Not-Being God. The second, remaining as yet in the Panspermia, wished to imitate the first Filiation and rise upwards; but, being too gross and heavy, it failed. Whereupon the second Filiation takes to itself wings, which are the Holy Ghost, and with this aid almost reaches the Not-Being God. But when it has come near, the Holy Ghost, of different substance from the Second Filiation, can go no further, but conducts the Second Filiation near to the First Filiation and leaves. Yet he does not return empty but, as a vessel full of ointment, he retains the sweet odour of Filiation; and he becomes the "Boundary Spirit" (Methorion Pneuma), between the Supermundane and the Mundane where the third Filiation is still contained in the Panspermia. Now there arose out of the Panspermia the Great Archon, or Ruler; he sped upwards until he reached the firmament, and thinking there was nothing above and beyond, and not knowing of the Third Filiation, still contained in the Panspermia, he fancied himself Lord and Master of all things. He created to himself a Son out of the heap of Panspermia; this was the Christ and being himself amazed at the beauty of his Son, who was greater than his Father, he made him sit at his right hand; and with him he created the ethereal heavens, which reach unto the Moon. The sphere where the Great Archon rules, i.e. the higher heavens, the lower boundary of which is the plane where the moon revolves, is called the Ogdoad.

The same process is repeated and we have a second Archon and his Son and the sphere where they rule is the Hebdomad, beneath the Ogdoad. Lastly, the third Filiation must be raised to the Not-Being God. This took place though the Gospel. From Adam to Moses the Archon of the Ogdoad had reigned (Rom., v, 14); in Moses and the Prophets the Archon of the Hebdomad had reigned, or God of the Jews. Now in the third period the Gospel must reign. This Gospel was first made known from the First Filiation through the Holy Ghost to the Son of the Archon of the Ogdoad; the Son told his Father, who was astounded and trembled and acknowledged his pride in thinking himself the Supreme Deity. The Son of the Archon of the Ogdoad tells the Son of the Archon of the Hebdomad, and he again tells his father. Thus both spheres, including the 365 heavens and their chief Archon, Abrasax, know the truth. This knowledge is not conveyed through the Hebdomad to Jesus, the Son of Mary, who through his life and death redeemed the third Filiation, that is: what is material must return to the Chaos, what is psychic to the Hebdomad, what is spiritual to the Not-Being God. When the third Filiation is thus redeemed, the Supreme God pours out a blissful Ignorance over all that is and that shall so remain forever. This is called "The Restoration of all things".

From Clement of Alexandria we get a few glimpses into the ethical side of the system. Nominally, faith was made the beginning of the spiritual life; it was not, however, a free submission of the intellect, but a mere natural gift of understanding (Gnosis) bestowed upon the soul before its union with the body and which some possessed and others did not. But if faith is only a natural quality of some minds, what need of a Saviour, asks Clement, and Basilides would reply that faith is a latent force which only manifests its energy through the coming of the Saviour, as a ray of light will set naphtha on fire. Sin was not the results of the abuse of free will but merely the outcome of an inborn evil principle. All suffering is punishment for sin; even when a child suffers, this is the punishment of its own sin, i.e. the latent evil principle within; that this indwelling principle has had no opportunity to manifest itself, is immaterial. The persecutions Christians underwent had therefore as sole object the punishment of their sin. All human nature was thus vitiated by the sinful; when hard pressed Basilides would call even Christ a sinful man, for God alone was righteous. Viewed in another way evil was a sort of excrescence on the rational soul, the result of an original disturbance and confusion. "Their whole system", says Clement, "is a confusion of the Panspermia (All-seed) with the Phylokrinesis (Difference-in-kind) and the return of things thus confused to their own places." St. Irenaeus and St. Epiphanius reproach Basilides with the immorality of his system, and St. Jerome calls Basilides a master and teacher of debaucheries. It is likely, however, that Basilides was personally free from immorality and that this accusation was true neither of the master nor of some of his followers. That Basilidianism, together with the other forms of Gnosticism, eventually led to gross immorality, there can be no doubt. Clement of Alexandria and St. Epiphanius have preserved for us a passage of the writings of Basilides' son and successor, which counsels the free satisfaction of sensual desires in order that the soul may find peace in prayer. And it is remarkable that Justin the Martyr in his first Apology (xxvi), that is, as early as 150-155, suggests to the Roman emperors that possibly the Gnostics are guilty of those immoralities of which Christians are falsely accused. It is true that in this passage he mentions only Simon, Menander, and Marcion by name; but the passage is general in tone, and elsewhere Valentinus, Basilides, and Saturninus follow in the list.

WRITINGS

Nearly all the writings of Basilides have perished, but the names of three of his works and some fragments have come down to us.

(a) A Gospel. Origin in his Homily on Luke, I, states that Basilides had dared to write a Gospel according to Basilides. St. Jerome and St. Ambrose adopt this state of Origen; and St. Jerome, in the Prologue of his Commentary on St. Matthew, again speaks of an "Evangelium Basilidis". In all likelihood this "Gospel" was compiled out of our canonical Gospels, the text being curtailed and altered to suit his Gnostic tenets, a diatessaron on Gnostic lines.

(b) A Gospel Commentary in twenty-four books. (Clement of Alexandria calls it "Exegetica"; the Acta Archelai et Manetis, "Tractatus".) Fragments of this Commentary have come down to us (in Stromata, IV, 12-81, sqq.; Acta Arch., lv; probably also in Origen, Commentary on Romans V, i).

(c) Hymns. Origen in a note on Job, xxi, 1 sqq., speaks of "Odes" of Basilides; and the so-called Muratorian Fragment, containing a list of canonical and non-canonical books (170 or thereabouts) ends with the words: "etiam novu psalmorum librum marcioni conscripserunt una cum Basilide assianum catafrycum constitutorem". This sentence, notwithstanding its obscurity, supports Origen's statement. For a collection of Basilidian fragments see Hilgenfeld, "Ketzergeschichte des Urchrist" (Leipzig, 1884), 207, 213.

SCHOOL

Basilides never formed a school of disciples, who modified or added to the doctrines of their leader. Isidore, his son, is the only one who elaborated his father's system, especially on the anthropological side. He wrote a work on the "Psyche Prosphyes" or Appendage-Soul; another work, called "Ethics" by Clement and "Paraenetics" by Epiphanius; and at least two books of "Commentaries on the Prophet Parchor." Basilidianism survived until the end of the fourth century as Epiphanius knew of Basilidians living in the Nile Delta. It was however almost exclusively limited to Egypt, though according to Sulpicius Severus it seems to have found an entrance into Spain through a certain Mark from Memphis. St. Jerome states that the Priscillianists were infected with it. Of the customs of the Basilidians, we know no more than that Basilides enjoined on his followers, like Pythagoras, a silence of five years; that they kept the anniversary of the baptism of Jesus as a feast day and spent the eve of it in reading; that their master told them not to scruple eating things offered to idols; that they wore amulets with the word Abrasax and symbolic figures engraved on them, and, amongst other things, believed them to possess healing properties.

Although Basilides is mentioned by all the Fathers as one of the chiefs of Gnosticism, the system of Valentinus seems to have been much more popular and wider spread, as was also Marcionism. Hence, though anti-Gnostic literature is abundant, we know of only one patristic work, which had for its express purpose the refutation of Basilides, and this work is no longer extant. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., IV, vii, 6-8) says: "There has come down to us a most powerful refutation of Basilides by Agrippa Castor, one of the most renowned writers of that day, which shows the terrible imposture of the man." With the exception of a few phrases given by Eusebius we know nothing of this Agrippa and his work.

(courtesy of http://www.newadvent.org)

Irenaeus gives the following account of the doctrines of Basilides in Against Heresies, Book I, Chapter 24, sections 3-7.

3. Basilides again, that he may appear to have discovered something more sublime and plausible, gives an immense development to his doctrines. He sets forth that Nous was first born of the unborn father, that from him, again, was born Logos, from Logos Phronesis, from Phronesis Sophia and Dynamis, and from Dynamis and Sophia the powers, and principalities, and angels, whom he also calls the first; and that by them the first heaven was made. Then other powers, being formed by emanation from these, created another heaven similar to the first; and in like manner, when others, again, had been formed by emanation from them, corresponding exactly to those above them, these, too, framed another third heaven; and then from this third, in downward order, there was a fourth succession of descendants; and so on, after the same fashion, they declare that more and more principalities and angels were formed, and three hundred and sixty-five heavens. Wherefore the year contains the same number of days in conformity with the number of the heavens.

4. Those angels who occupy the lowest heaven, that, namely, which is visible to us, formed all the things which are in the world, and made allotments among themselves of the earth and of those nations which are upon it. The chief of them is he who is thought to be the God of the Jews; and inasmuch as he desired to render the other nations subject to his own people, that is, the Jews, all the other princes resisted and opposed him. Wherefore all other nations were at enmity with his nation. But the father without birth and without name, perceiving that they would be destroyed, sent his own first-begotten Nous (he it is who is called Christ) to bestow deliverance on them that believe in him, from the power of those who made the world. He appeared, then, on earth as a man, to the nations of these powers, and wrought miracles. Wherefore he did not himself suffer death, but Simon, a certain man of Cyrene, being compelled, bore the cross in his stead; so that this latter being transfigured by him, that he might be thought to be Jesus, was crucified, through ignorance and error, while Jesus himself received the form of Simon, and, standing by, laughed at them. For since he was an incorporeal power, and the Nous (mind) of the unborn father, he transfigured himself as he pleased, and thus ascended to him who had sent him, deriding them, inasmuch as he could not be laid hold of, and was invisible to all. Those, then, who know these things have been freed from the principalities who formed the world; so that it is not incumbent on us to confess him who was crucified, but him who came in the form of a man, and was thought to be crucified, and was called Jesus, and was sent by the father, that by this dispensation he might destroy the works of the makers of the world. If any one, therefore, he declares, confesses the crucified, that man is still a slave, and under the power of those who formed our bodies; but he who denies him has been freed from these beings, and is acquainted with the dispensation of the unborn father.

5. Salvation belongs to the soul alone, for the body is by nature subject to corruption. He declares, too, that the prophecies were derived from those powers who were the makers of the world, but the law was specially given by their chief, who led the people out of the land of Egypt. He attaches no importance to [the question regarding] meats offered in sacrifice to idols, thinks them of no consequence, and makes use of them without any hesitation; he holds also the use of other things, and the practice of every kind of lust, a matter of perfect indifference. These men, moreover, practise magic; and use images, incantations, invocations, and every other kind of curious art. Coining also certain names as if they were those of the angels, they proclaim some of these as belonging to the first, and others to the second heaven; and then they strive to set forth the names, principles, angels, and powers of the three hundred and sixty-five imagined heavens. They also affirm that the barbarous name in which the Saviour ascended and descended, is Caulacau.

6. He, then, who has learned [these things], and known all the angels and their causes, is rendered invisible and incomprehensible to the angels and all the powers, even as Caulacau also was. And as the son was unknown to all, so must they also be known by no one; but while they know all, and pass through all, they themselves remain invisible and unknown to all; for, "Do thou," they say, "know all, but let nobody know thee." For this reason, persons of such a persuasion are also ready to recant [their opinions], yea, rather, it is impossible that they should suffer on account of a mere name, since they are like to all. The multitude, however, cannot understand these matters, but only one out of a thousand, or two out of ten thousand. They declare that they are no longer Jews, and that they are not yet Christians; and that it is not at all fitting to speak openly of their mysteries, but right to keep them secret by preserving silence.

7. They make out the local position of the three hundred and sixty-five heavens in the same way as do mathematicians. For, accepting the theorems of these latter, they have transferred them to their own type of doctrine. They hold that their chief is Abraxas; and, on this account, that word contains in itself the numbers amounting to three hundred and sixty-five.

Irenaeus also makes this accusation (op. cit., I.28.2).

2. Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives, and are indifferent about eating meats sacrificed to idols, maintaining that God does not greatly regard such matters. But why continue? For it is an impracticable attempt to mention all those who, in one way or another, have fallen away from the truth.

Irenaeus also makes mention of Basilides as follows (op. cit., II.2.3).

3. If, however, [the things referred to were done] not against His will, but with His concurrence and knowledge, as some [of these men] think, the angels, or the Former of the world [whoever that may have been], will no longer be the causes of that formation, but the will of God. For if He is the Former of the world, He too made the angels, or at least was the cause of their creation; and He will be regarded as having made the world who prepared the causes of its formation. Although they maintain that the angels were made by a long succession downwards, or that the Former of the world [sprang] from the Supreme Father, as Basilides asserts; nevertheless that which is the cause of those things which have been made will still be traced to Him who was the Author of such a succession. [The case stands] just as regards success in war, which is ascribed to the king who prepared those things which are the cause of victory; and, in like manner, the creation of any state, or of any work, is referred to him who prepared materials for the accomplishment of those results which were afterwards brought about.

Irenaeus again makes mention of Basilides (op. cit., II.13.8).

Now, these remarks which have been made concerning the emission of intelligence are in like manner applicable in opposition to those who belong to the school of Basilides, as well as in opposition to the rest of the Gnostics, from whom these also (the Valentinians) have adopted the ideas about emissions, and were refuted in the first book.

Again Irenaeus makes mention of Basilides (op. cit., II.16.2).

This difficulty presented itself to Basilides after he had utterly missed the truth, and was conceiving that, by an infinite succession of those beings that were formed from one another, he might escape such perplexity. When he had proclaimed that three hundred and sixty-five heavens were formed through succession and similitude by one another, and that a manifest proof [of the existence] of these was found in the number of the days of the year, as I stated before; and that above these there was a power which they also style Unnameable, and its dispensation--he did not even in this way escape such perplexity. For, when asked whence came the image of its configuration to that heaven which is above all, and from which he wishes the rest to be regarded as having been formed by means of succession, he will say, from that dispensation which belongs to the Unnameable. He must then say, either that the Unspeakable formed it of himself, or he will find it necessary to acknowledge that there is some other power above this being, from whom his unnameable One derived such vast numbers of configurations as do, according to him, exist.

Irenaeus mentions Basilides again (op. cit., II.16.4).

4. As to the accusation brought against us by the followers of Valentinus, when they declare that we continue in that Hebdomad which is below, as if we could not lift our minds on high, nor understand those things which are above, because we do not accept their monstrous assertions: this very charge do the followers of Basilides bring in turn against them, inasmuch as they (the Valentinians) keep circling about those things which are below, [going] as far as the first and second Ogdoad, and because they unskilfully imagine that, immediately after the thirty AEons, they have discovered Him who is above all things Father, not following out in thought their investigations to that Pleroma which is above the three hundred and sixty-five heavens, which is above forty-five Ogdoads. And any one, again, might bring against them the same charge, by imagining four thousand three hundred and eighty heavens, or AEons, since the days of the year contain that number of hours. If, again, some one adds also the nights, thus doubling the hours which have been mentioned, imagining that [in this way] he has discovered a great multitude of Ogdoads, and a kind of innumerable company of AEons, and thus, in opposition to Him who is above all things Father, conceiving himself more perfect than all [others], he will bring the same charge against all, inasmuch as they are not capable of rising to the conception of such a multitude of heavens or AEons as he has announced, but are either so deficient as to remain among those things which are below, or continue in the intermediate space.

Irenaeus again refers to Basilides in his refutation (op. cit., II.35.1).

Moreover, in addition to what has been said, Basilides himself will, according to his own principles, find it necessary to maintain not only that there are three hundred and sixty-five heavens made in succession by one another, but that an immense and innumerable multitude of heavens have always been in the process of being made, and are being made, and will continue to be made, so that the formation of heavens of this kind can never cease. For if from the efflux(5) of the first heaven the second was made after its likeness, and the third after the likeness of the second, and so on with all the remaining subsequent ones, then it follows, as a matter of necessity, that from the efflux of our heaven, which he indeed terms the last, another be formed like to it, and from that again a third; and thus there can never cease, either the process of efflux from those heavens which have been already made, or the manufacture of [new] heavens, but the operation must go on ad infinitum, and give rise to a number of heavens which will be altogether indefinite.

And Irenaeus, in a few other passages, groups Basilides along with other gnostics such as Marcion, Valentinus, and Carpocrates.

Paul Allan Mirecki writes on the attestation of Clement of Alexandria to Basilides (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 1, p. 624):

Clement of Alexandria (ca. 200) quotes and comments on seven sections from unknown works of Basilides in Clement's famous Stromata 4-5 (cf. frags. A through E, G and H in Layton 1987:427-37, 440-44). Two of the fragments focus on cosmological issues (Layton 1987:428-31): the first is a quote (frag. A; Strom. 4.162.1) which refers to two of the constituent members of the octet in the godhead and is in agreement with Irenaeus' description (Haer. 1.24.3), while the other is a quote and discussion (frag. B; Strom. 5.74.3) refering to the Stoic concept of the uniqueness of the world. The five remaining fragments focus on ethical issues (in line with Stoic ethics; cf. Layton 1987: 418, 432-44): the first (frag. C; Strom. 5.3.2-3) refers to Basilides' teaching on election in relation to faith and virtue; the second (frag. D; frag. 4 in Volker; Strom. 4.86.1) describes Basilides' teaching on the will of God (fate) to which the virtuous person aspires; the third (=frag. E; Strom. 4.165.3) describes Basilides' teaching that human souls retain their identity through their various incarnations and so transcend the world; the fourth (frag. G; frag. 2 in Volker; Strom. 4.81.2-4.83.2) is a series of lengthy quotes introduced by Clement with the statement that they are from Book 23 of Basilides' now lost Commentaries (the Exegetica), quotes which seem to be from a commentary on 1 Pet 4:12-19 in which he argues that the will of god (fate) is "all-powerful and all good" (Layton 1987: 440-43); the fifth (frag. H; Strom. 4.153.3) is a single sentnce referring to forgivable sins.

Mirecki also writes about the connection of Origen to Basilides (op. cit., p. 624):

Origen, in his commentary on Romans (ca. 244), quotes a Basilidean text (frag. F; frag. 3 in Volker; Origenes, Opera Omnia 4) in which Basilides interprets Rom 7:7 to refer to incarnation (which Origen accepted) and a certain gnostic cosmology (which Origen rejected). this text may also come from Basilides' Commentaries like frag. G in Clement, suggesting that Basilides and the eastern Valentinian gnostic Heracleon (ca. 150; Rudolph 1977:323-24) are the first known authors of commentaries on NT texts.

And Mirecki observes on the other witnesses to Basilides as follows (op. cit., p. 624):

Other early and descriptive patristic refutations of Basilides' teachings are known. One is found in an extant herisiology by Hippolytus of Rome (first half of the 3d century; Haer. 7:20-27). But Hippolytus' report is not in tandem with the descriptions and quotations of Basilides' system which we find in the summaries and quotations in Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen (see discussion in Layton 1987:418 n. 2; Rudolph 1977:310). Another is the now lost Refutation of Basilides by the heresiologist Agrippa Castor (ca. 135) mentioned by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 4.7.6-8) at the beginning of the 4th century (Rudolph 1977:309-10).

(courtesy of http://www.earlychristianwritings.com)