Montanists, a sect of the 2d century, so called after Montanus of Phrygia. He is said to have been a priest of Cybele, and to have announced himself about 160 as a prophet, who was to carry Christianity forward to perfection. He taught a permanent extraordinary influence of the Paraclete, manifesting itself by prophetic ecstasies and visions, assigned to doctrines and rites a subordinate significance, and demanded the most rigid asceticism as a manifestation of internal purity. Besides the ordinary fasts, he prescribed annual and weekly ones, and declared second marriages and flight from persecution to be sins. He represented the beginning of the millennium as very near at hand, and Pepuza in Phrygia as the place which would be its centre. His followers, who were also called Cataphryges and Pepuziani, found a zealous and gifted advocate in Tertullian, and included many prophetesses, among whom Maximilla and Priscilla are especially celebrated. The members of the ruling church were designated by them as psychii, while they assumed themselves the name pneu-matii. They were opposed especially by the Alexandrian school, and condemned by several provincial councils. They were numerous in Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia, where some towns, as Pepuza and Thyatira, were exclusively inhabited by them.
Thence they spread into other parts of Asia Minor, especially into Cap-padocia, Galatia, and Cilicia. In Constantinople and Carthage also they were very numerous. The literature of the modern Tubingen school represents Montanism as a reaction of Jewish Christianity against Paulinism. - See Werns-dorf, Be Montanistis (Dantzic, 1751; strongly favorable); Munter, Effata et Oracula Monta-nistarum (Copenhagen, 1829); Kirchner, Be Montanistis (Jena, 1832); Schwegler, Ber Mon-tanismus und die christliche Kirche des ziceiten Jahrhvnderts (Tubingen,- 1841); and Baur, Bas Christenthum und die christliche Kirche der drei ersten Jahrhunderte (2d ed., 1860).