Founder of a
Gnostic sect; died at an advanced age late in the second century.
What little is known of his life is gleaned chiefly from fragments of
the writings of his antagonist Rhodon, preserved by Eusebius (Hist.
Eccl., V, xii), and from Tertullian's "Prescription against
Heretics" (xxx). At Rome he separated from Marcion, whose most
famous pupil he was, and went to Alexandria, where he met the
visionary Philumene, whose utterances he regarded as inspired.
Besides collecting her oracles in a book entitled "Manifestations",
he wrote an extensive work, Eullogismoi, an attack on Mosaic
theology. The moral character of Apelles is differently estimated
according as one is influenced either by Rhodon's uncoloured picture
of the aged heresiarch, or by the stories of scandals in his early
life to which Tertullian, not without exaggeration, refers.
Apellis gnosi monarchicâ (Leipzig, 1874); IDEM in Texte und
Untersuch. (Leipzig, 1890), VI, iii, 109-120, and ibid. (new series,
Leipzig, 1900), V, iii, 93-100; BARDENHEWER, Gesch. der altkirch.
Lit. (Freiburg, 1902), I, 343, 344; TILLEMONT, Mémoires
(Venice, 1732), II, 282-285, 610, 611. BAREILLE, in Dict. de théol.
cath., I, 1455-57. HORT in Dict. of Christ. Biog. (London, 1877), I,
JOHN B. PETERSON