Carpocrates, Or Carpocras, an Alexandrian theologian, of the Gnostic school, flourished under the reign of Hadrian in the 2d century. The fundamental Gnostic idea of a Supreme Being entirely disconnected with the affairs of the universe was the starting point of Carpo-crates. The demiurge, and the other finite spirits ruling over the material universe, were striving to keep humanity from unity with the supreme monad, to which it was constantly tending on account of its having been an original emanation from him. The preexistent state of the human soul was that period when it had been in perfect unity with the supreme monad.

The demiurge and ruling spirits have drawn it away from this union. One of their methods of accomplishing it is by laws or religious duties and observances, such as self-denial and control of. appetites and passions, and general humiliation find penances. This Gnostic anti-nomianism developed itself into a practical life of freedom from moral restraint, which Carpo-crates and his son Epiphanes took all pains to justify. The gratification of the appetites and passions became a duty, and salvation by Jesus was only attainable on the condition of perfect abandonment to an antinomian life. Jesus was simply a man of superior soul, who had the power to discern the real difficulty, and strength to achieve his own practical redemption and point the way for others. Carpocrates and his followers rejected the gospels of Matthew and Luke, and the entire Old Testament, as the contrivance of the demiurge to keep men in subjection. They also denied the resurrection of the body.