3. A HERETIC, who seems to have lived about the beginning of the third century of our era.
It is also probable that he resided in or near Rome, since we read in Photius (Bibl.
p. 12a., ed. Bekker), that the celebrated presbyter Caius (about A. D. 210) wrote against Artemon and his heresies. From the synodal letter of the bishops assembled at Antioch in A. D. 269, who deposed the heretic Paul of Samosata (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 7.30
), it seems clear that Artemon was regarded in the East as the precursor of the heresies of Paul, and perhaps also that Artemon was then still alive; at any rate, however, that his sect was still in existence. Artemon and his friend Theodotus denied the divinity of Christ, and asserted, that he was merely a prophet raised by his virtues above all others, and that God had made use of him for the good of mankind. (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 5.28
; Theodoret. Haeret. fabul. Epit.
These opinions were probably supported by Artemon and his followers, the Artemonites, by philosophical arguments; for Eusebius states, that they occupied themselves very much with philosophy and mathematics, and that they made use of them in their interpretation of Scripture. They are charged with having introduced forged readings into the text of the Bible, and to have omitted certain passages from the copies they used.
These accusations, however, rest on rather weak grounds. (C. H. Stemmler Diatribe de Secta Artemonitarum,
Leipzig, 1730; Schaffhausen, Historia Artemonis et Artemonitarum,
Leipzig, 1737, 4to.)