« Abelard Abelites Abelli, Louis »


ABELITES, ê´bel-ɑ̄its (ABELIANS, ABELONIANS): A sect mentioned by Augustine (Haer., lxxxvii.; cf. Prædestinatus, i. 87) as formerly living in the neighborhood of Hippo, but already extinct when he wrote. Their name was derived from Abel, the son of Adam. Each man took a wife, but refrained from conjugal relations, and each pair adopted a boy and a girl who inherited the property of their foster-parents on condition of living together in like manner in mature life. They were probably the remnant of a Gnostic sect, tinged perhaps by Manichean influences. [The name grew out of a wide-spread belief that Abel though married had lived a life of continence.]

G. Krüger.

Bibliography: C. W. F. Walch, Entwurf einer vollständigen Historie der Ketzereien, i. 607-608, Leipsic, 1762.

« Abelard Abelites Abelli, Louis »
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