An Alexandrian sect of this name is mentioned by Philaster as founded by Rhetorius, and maintaining the opinion that there was no harm in any heresy whatever (Philast. Hoer. 91). Augustine remarks that this seems so absurd that he considers it incredible (Aug. Hoer. 72). Philaster is the original authority for the existence of such a sect, but Predestinatus speaks of them as if they were not unknown to him, adding to Philaster's statement that they advocated Christian fellowship with all who believed in the Incarnation (Praedest. Hoer. 72). Even before Philaster's time Athanasius mentions a person named Rhetorius, whom he accuses of holding the opinion that doctrines are of no consequence, and that all heretics are right in their own way (Contr. Apollin. 1, 6). And at a later date St. John Damascene enumerates the γυώσιμαχαι as the eighty-eighth in his catalogue of heresies, who, it seems probable, were "knowledge (or theology) haters" in the sense of being anti-dogmatists, who had arisen from reaction against the subtleties of the Gnostics, the Antiochean and the Alexandrian schools of theologians, and who are identical with the Rhetorians of Philaster.

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