Heretic Emperor: The
Lost History of King Arthur
Copyright © V M Pickin 2005
Book 2 - The Legend
Chapter 8 - The Church and the Heretics
Examines the evidence for Gnosticism in the Celtic Church. Opens with a religious controversy in the last years of Roman Britain, when the Spanish bishop Priscillian was executed as a Gnostic. Traces the historical development of Roman orthodoxy, demonstrating that early, pre-Imperial Christianity was extremely diverse and included Gnostics. Illustrates, with the example of ‘Taoist Christianity’, that the Roman Imperial church was not the only form of Christianity to have survived and flourished, and that this originally Jewish religion could assimilate to cultures other than the Roman. Demonstrates that a syncretic union of Gnostic Christianity and Celtic paganism was possible, and that there is evidence that it occurred. Shows that eery distinction between the Celtic and Roman churches, right up to Johannes Scotus Erigena, the Dark Age NeoPlatonist, is suggestive of Gnosticism, and that the best explanation for the Breton Conhospitae is Marcosian Gnosticism surviving into 6th century Gaul.