Basilides, the founder of a Gnostic sect, who taught in Alexandria about the year 120. Some say that he was born in Egypt, others in Syria or Persia. He taught that the Supreme Being produced from himself seven other beings, called aeons. These are, Intelligence (Basilides 0200192 ReasonBasilides 0200193 Providence, Wisdom, Power, Pence, and Holiness; these seven, with the Supreme Being himself, constituting the perfect eightBasilides 0200194 The aeons Wisdom and Power produced the angels of the first order, who produced those of the second order, and so on to the number of 365 orders, each order dwelling in its own heaven. From Greek letters the numerical value of which is 305 was formed the mystical word Abraxas, which became the symbol of the sect founded by Basil-ides. The seven angels of the lowest order, whose archon or chief was the God of the Hebrews, were the creators of the world. All human souls had committed sins in a previous state of existence, and were consequently excluded from the realm of light. To effect their return to this realm, the Nous united himself with the man Christ Jesus at the time of his baptism; but the sufferings which Jesus endured were borne by the man only, and were in expiation, as all suffering is, of sins committed by him in a former state of existence. Basilides forbade marriage and the eating of meat. He wrote a book entitled Exegetica, fragments of which are still extant, and several other works, among which is a gospel.

His followers, the Basilidians, existed as late as the 4th century; but they soon degenerated from the doctrines of their founder, affirming the God of the Hebrews to be the enemy of the world of light, and became grossly immoral.