Spirit. Eusebius gives us no clue about this second approach, but the Refutatio omnium haeresium makes clear that the latter was the more serious controversy in the Rome of Zephyrinus and Callistus. It was to oppose this teaching that Tertullian wrote his treatise Adversus Praxean, and later it would be indelibly associated with the name of Sabellius, 'Sabellian' becoming a label in the fourth-century Trinitarian debates with which to smear the 'Nicene' party.19
Two apparently different 'monarchianisms' would appear to have been addressing the same problem, appealing to some of the same scriptural texts;20 but, as argument about the person ofChrist emerged as a key issue in the third century, these two could be associated together. This is evident in Eusebius' report21 that Beryllus of Bostra 'tried to bring in ideas alien to the faith, actually asserting that our saviour and Lord did not pre-exist in his own form of being before he made his home among men, and had no divinity of his own but only the Father's dwelling in him'. Origen was sent to straighten out his ideas, we are told, and he did this successfully. The significant point is the association of the two ideas: the saviour was a human being in whom the one God dwelt. This perhaps anticipates the teaching of Paul of Samosata, and already associates a 'modalist' view of God with a 'dynamic' view of the essentially human saviour. Some of Tertullian's arguments in his work against Praxeas also hint at a similar association of ideas.22 Perhaps the modern distinction, while conceptually helpful, obscures the close association of the two positions.
Be that as it may, Rome under Zephyrinus and Callistus is recognised as the fulcrum of controversies which were also going on elsewhere: the evidence points to Smyrna in Asia, Antioch in Syria, Alexandria in Egypt, Libya and also North Africa. Tertullian suggests that Praxeas (according to him, the first 'modalist' teacher) imported the heresy to Rome from Asia in the time of Victor, Zephyrinus' predecessor. The fullest evidence, however, is provided by the Refutatio omnium haeresium.23 Whoever he was,24 the author of this work clearly lived through the monarchian controversies in or near Rome, and provides us with a much fuller picture than we have been able to glean from Eusebius.
Noetus of Smyrna is the prime target of this text. At Rome his ideas were disseminated by someone called Epigonus, and Cleomenes became his disciple.
24 See pt iv, ch. 22, above; the author of the Refutatio will be designated 'Hippolytus', hereafter.
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