[St. Pachomius Library]


Date unknown
"Adamantius" is the protagonist of an untitled anti-heretical dialogue extremely popular in the IV Century. Perhaps because "Adamantius" ("Man of Steel") was also a sort of honorific nickname given to Origen by his admirers, the dialogue was assumed by its readers to be Origen's work, and this contributed greatly to its popularity. Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa included it in their Philocalia, a collection of what they believed to be valuable material culled from the works of Origen [not to be confused with the modern Philokalia], and other patristic writers shared the same opinion. Modern scholarship, however, considers the dialogue to be by another, slightly later, author, and points out that neither the theological concerns nor the style bear any discernably close resemblance to Origen's.

The theology of the dialogue is Orthodox. It purports to record a debate between Adamantius and several Gnostics, including a follower of Bar-Daisan and Marcionites of two varieties. There is much concern with the origin of evil, and with free will.

Norman Hugh Redington


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