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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (whorl) Severian
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 23:15:57 

Well, god bless my boots and whiskers, I never thought to look here--I must
say, mantis, hats are off to you once again. I'm quoting the whole OED entry
this time, citations and all:

Severian (sI"vI@rI@n).

[ad. L. Seveˇriaˇn-€ˇ (pl.), f. the name Seveˇrus (see below) + -ian.]

1. A member of an Encratite or Gnostic sect of the 2nd century which
condemned marriage, etc.

‘It may reasonably be doubted whether there really was an Encratite teacher
named Severus, or whether sects did not merely get the Latin name of
Severians from the austerity of their rule of life’ (Smith’s Dict. Chr.

1607 T. Rogers 39 Art. vi. (1633) 30 Of the former sort [i.e. those who
rejected the books of the O.T.] were the Seuerians,..and the Manichies.

1656 Blount Glossogr., Severians..a sort of Hereticks that condemned
marriage, abstained from eating flesh and drinking wine, &c.

1702 Echard Eccl. Hist. (1710) 500 The Severians..who rejected the Epistles
of St. Paul and the Acts of the Apostles.

1887 Salmon in Smith & Wace Dict. Chr. Biog. IV. 633/1 A sect of Severians
is described by Epiphanius (Haer. 45) which except the feature of Encratism
has little in common with the sect described by Eusebius.

2. A follower of Severus, the Monophysite patriarch of Antioch (early 5th

1698 Fryer Acc. E. India & P. 272 Severus Bishop of Antioch.., from whom
they were denominated Severians.

1765 A. Maclaine tr. Mosheim’s Eccl. Hist. Cent. vi. ii. v. §5.

1878 P. Smith Hist. Chr. Ch. xvi. §6. 368 note, The Severians..held that the
body of Christ before the resurrection was mortal and corruptible.

1882­3 Schaff Encycl. Rel. Knowl. II. 1137 The Egyptian Monophysites called
themselves..Theodosians, or Severians.

b. attrib. or adj.

1718 J. Sharpe Hist. Acc. Heresie ii. 51 The Severian Sect (in the Year
521)..took its Name from Severus.

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