On the basis of these writings Marcion proclaimed the true Christianity, and founded churches. He taught that all who put their trust in the good God, and his crucified Son, renounce their allegiance to the Demiurge, and approve themselves by good works of love, shall be saved. But he taught further—and here we trace the influence of the current gnosticism on Marcion—that only the spirit of man is saved by the good God; the body, because material, perishes. Accordingly his ethics also were thoroughly dualistic. By the “works of the Demiurge,” which the Christian is to flee, he meant the whole “service of the perishable.” The Christian must shun everything sensual, and especially marriage, and free himself from the body by strict asceticism. The original ethical contrast of “good” and “just” is thus transformed into the cosmological contrast of “spirit” and “matter.” The good God appears as the god of spirit, the Old Testament God as the god of matter. That is Gnosticism; but it is at the same time illogical. For, since, according to Marcion, the spirit of man is derived, not from the good, but from the just God, it is impossible to see why the spiritual should yet be more closely related to the good God than the material. There is yet another direction in which the system ends with a contradiction. According to Marcion, the good God never judges, but everywhere manifests His goodness—is, therefore, not to be feared, but simply to be loved, as a father. But here the question occurs, What becomes of the men who do not believe the gospel? Marcion answers, The good God does not judge them, but merely removes them from His presence. Then they fall under the power of the Demiurge, who—rewards them for their fidelity? No, says Marcion, but on the contrary—punishes them in his hell! The contradiction here is palpable; and at the same time the antithesis of “just” and “good” ultimately vanishes. For the Demiurge now appears as an inferior being, who in reality executes the purposes of the good God. It is plain that dualism here terminates in the idea of the sole supremacy of the good God.
It is not surprising, therefore, that even in the 2nd century the disciples of Marcion diverged in several directions. Rigorous asceticism, the rejection of the Old Testament, and the recognition of the “new God” remained common to all Marcionites, who, moreover, like the Catholics, lived together in close communities ruled by bishops and presbyters (although their constitution was originally very loose, and sought to avoid every appearance of “legality”). Some, however, accepted three first principles (the evil, the just, the good); others held by two, but regarded the Demiurge as the god of evil, i.e. the devil; while a third party, like Apelles, the most distinguished of Marcion’s pupils, saw in the Demiurge only an apostate angel of the good God—thus returning to monotheism. The golden age of the Marcionite churches falls between the years 150 and 250. During that time they were really dangerous to the great Church; for in fact they maintained certain genuine Christian ideas, which the Catholic Church had forgotten. The earliest inscription (A.D. 318) on a Christian place of worship is Marcionite, and was found on a stone which had stood over the doorway of a house in a Syrian village. From the beginning of the 4th century they began to die out in the West, or rather they fell a prey to Manichaeism. In the East also many Marcionites went over to the Manichaeans; but there they survived much longer. They can be traced down to the 7th century, and then they seem to vanish. But it was unquestionably from Marcionite impulses that the new sects of the Paulicians and Bogomils arose; and in so far as the western Cathari, and the antinomian and anticlerical sects of the 13th century are connected with these, they also may be included in the history of Marcionitism.
See A. Harnack, History of Dogma, i. 266, 286; F. Loofs, Dogmengeschichte pp. 111–114; G. Krüger, Early Christian Literature, and art. in Hauck-Herzog’s Realencyklopädie für prot. Theol. und Kirche, xii.; F. J. Foakes Jackson’s Christian Difficulties of the Second and Twentieth Centuries, is a study of Marcion and his relation to modern thought. (A. Ha.)
MARCOMANNI (i.e. men of the mark, or border), the name of a Suevic tribe. With kindred peoples they were often in conflict with the Roman Empire, and gave their name to the Marcomannic War, a struggle waged by the emperor Marcus Aurelius against them and the Quadi. The Marcomanni disappeared from history during the 4th century, being probably merged in the Baiouarii, the later Bavarians.
See Suebi; also F. M. Wittmann, Die älteste Geschichte der Markomannen (Munich, 1855), and E. Devrient, “Hermunduren und Markomannen” in Neues Jahrb. f. das klassische Altertum (1901), 51.
MARCOS DE NIZA (c. 1495–1558), a Franciscan friar born in Nice about 1495. He went to America in 1531, and after serving his order zealously in Peru, Guatemala and Mexico, was chosen to explore the country north of Sonora, whose wealth was pictured in the hearsay stories of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. Preceded by Estevanico, the negro companion of Cabeza de Vaca in his wanderings and the “Black Mexican” of Zuñi traditions, Fray Marcos left Culiacan in March 1539, crossed south-eastern Arizona, penetrated to Zuñi or the “Seven Cities of Cibola,” and in September returned to Culiacan. He saw Zuñi only from a distance, and his description of it as equal in size to the city of Mexico was probably exact; but he embodied much mere hearsay in his report, the Descubrimiento de las siete ciudades, which led F. V. de Coronado to make his famous expedition next year to Zuñi, of which Fray Marcos was the guide; and the realities proved a great disappointment. Fray Marcos was made Provincial of his order for Mexico before the second trip to Zuñi, and returned in 1541 to the capital, where he died on the 25th of March 1558.
The Descubrimiento is one of the world’s famous narratives of travel. It may be found in J. F. Pacheco’s Documentos (vol. iii.) and Hakluyt’s Voyages (vol. iii.); also in G. Ramusio, Navigazione (vol. iii.) and H. Ternaux-Compans, Voyages (vol. iii.). See A. F. A. Bandelier, The Gilded Man (El Dorado), (New York, 1893); H. H. Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico (San Francisco, 1888), and, for critical opinions, G. P. Winship, “The Coronado Expedition,” in U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, Fourteenth Annual Report (for 1892–1893), (Washington, 1896).
MARCOU, JULES (1824–1898), Swiss-American geologist, was born at Salins, in the department of Jura, in France, on the 20th of April 1824. He was educated at Besançon and at the college of St Louis, Paris. He worked in early years with J. Thurmann (1804–1855) on the geology of the Jura mountains. In 1847 he went to North America as travelling geologist for the Jardin des Plantes, and in the following year in Boston he joined Agassiz, whom he had met in Switzerland, and accompanied him to the Lake Superior region. Marcou spent two years in studying the geology of various parts of the United States and Canada, and returned to Europe for a short time in 1850. In 1853 he published a Geological Map of the United States, and the British Provinces of North America. In 1855 he became professor of geology and palaeontology at the polytechnic school of Zurich, but relinquished this office in 1859, and in 1861 again returned to the United States, when he assisted Agassiz in founding the Museum of Comparative Zoology. In 1861 he published his Geological Map of the World (2nd ed. 1875). Of his published papers the more noteworthy are those on the Jura-Cretaceous formations of the Jura, on the “Dyas” (Permian) of Nebraska, and on the Taconic rocks of Vermont and Canada. His other works include Lettres sur les roches du Jura et leur distribution géographique dans les deux hémisphères (1857–1860) and Geology of North America (1858). Marcou died at Cambridge, Mass., on the 17th of April 1898.
MARCUS AURELIUS ANTONINUS (121–180), Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, was born in Rome A.D. 121, the date of his
birth being variously stated as the 6th, 21st and 26th of April.
- Marcion was the earliest critical student of the New Testament canon and text. It is noteworthy that he refused to admit the genuineness of the Pastoral Epistles and said that the letter to the Ephesians was really addressed to the Laodiceans (Tertullian, Adv. Marc. v. 11, 21).—(Ed.)
- Some have seen a reference to this work in 1 Tim. vi. 20.—(Ed.)