Colarbasus the name of a Gnostic mentioned by Hippolytus (Elenchos, 4:13; 6:5, 55), Epiphanius (Hoer. 35), Theodoretus (Hoeret. fabul, 1:12), Tertullian (adv. Valentin. 4, and in the appendix to the Praescripts, c. 50), and Augustine (de Hoer. c. 15), and whose system, according to these writers, was akin to that of Valentinus, and still more to that of Marcus, representing likewise the emanation of aeons according to the order of the letters of the alphabet and of numbers. According to these writers, in the system of Colarbasus, the first emanation (the "Ogdoas" of Valentinus) did not signify eight different substances, but only eight different relations and effects of the one God, which, according to their different signification, received different names. In the system ascribed to Colarbasus, the aeons were not successively begotten, but all simultaneously brought into existence. To the λόγος and the ζωή place was assigned in this system after the ἄνθρω - ος and the ἐκκλησία, an order differing from that in the system of Valentinus. Dr. Volkmar, in an essay entitled Die Koiarbasus- Gnosis (in Niedner's Zeitschriftfii Hist. Theol. 1855), undertook to show that all the accounts of Colarbasus in the writers above mentioned can be traced to the description by Irenaeus (1, 12, 3 sq.) of the system of the Gnostic Marcus and some modified systems; that the word Colarbasus with Irenaeus (1, 14, 1) is nothing but the mystical designation of the personified number Four (בֹּל ערבִּע) of the highest aeons, the holy τετρακτύς; and that all the subsequent accounts arose from an erroneous confusion of the two statements. This view of Volkmar has been adopted by most of the recent writers on Gnosticism. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:19 (of which our article is a free translation); Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen- Lex. 2:691.

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