Mcolaitaas, a heretical sect, alluded to in Rev. ii. 6, 15, and by some supposed to have received their name from Nicolas of Antioch, one of the seven deacons said to have fallen into practices opposed to the gospel and to the instructions of the apostles. According to Ire-naeus, who is the first Christian writer that mentions them, they held fornication and the eating of meats which had been offered to idols not to be sinful. St. Epiphanius relates that Nicolas had a beautiful wife whom he abandoned for a life of celibacy, but afterward, unable to keep his resolution, returned to her, and justified his conduct by licentious principles, which became the basis of the Nicolaitan sect. Eusebius says that they soon became extinct, but according to Tertullian they continued to exist under another name, and their heresies passed into the sect of the Cainites. It is suggested by Mosheim that the church fathers confounded them with the Gnostics, and by Neander that the name is employed in the Apocalypse in a purely symbolical sense, and signifies seducers of the people.