Pasagii or Pas(S)Agini

Pasagii Or Pas(S)Agini a Christian heretical sect which arose in Lombardy towards the close of the 12th century, sprang out of a mixture of Judaism and Christianity, occasioned perhaps by the conquest of Jerusalem. This sect held the absolute obligation of the Old Testament upon Christians in opposition to the Manichaeans, who maintained only the authority of the New Testament. Hence they literally practiced the rites of the Jewish law, with the exception of sacrifices, which ceased to be offered at the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem; consequently they circumcised their followers, abstained from those meats of which the use is prohibited under the Mosaic economy, aid celebrated the Jewish Sabbath. They also revivtta the Ebionitish and Arian doctrines on the subject of the person of Christ, maintaining that he was not equal, but subordinate to the Father, and indeed merely the highest or purest of the creatures of God. The Pasagii were condemned as heretics by the Council of Verona in A.D. 1184, and, under the name of Circumcisi, they are mentioned also in the laws against heresies issued by Frederick II in 1224. "The name of this sect," says Neander, "reminds one of the word pasgium (passage), which signifies a tour, and was very commonly employed to denote pilgrimages to the East, to the Holy Sepulchre crusades. May not this word, then, be regarded as an index, pointing to the origin of the sect as one that came from the East, intimating that it grew out of an intercourse with Palestine? May we not suppose that from very ancient times a party of Judaizing Christians had survived, of which this sect must be an offshoot? The way in which they expressed themselves concerning Christ, as being the first-born of creation, would point also more directly to the connection of their doctrine with some older Jewish theology than to a later purely Western origin." There are also some who believe the Pasagii to have been Jews, who, to escape persecution, assumed enough of, Christian practices and doctrines to be passed unmolested, like the Cathari .(q.v.). (J. H. W.)

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