An ascetic sect of Jews in the first century after Christ, whom Milman calls the ancestors of the Christian monks and hermits. They resided near Alexandria, in Egypt, and bore a striking resemblance in their doctrines to those of the Essenians. They were, however, much influenced by the mystical school of Alexandria, and, while they borrowed much from the Cabala, partook also in their speculation of Pythagorean and Orphic ideas. Their system pervades some of the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry. The best amount of them is by Philo Judaeus. Name is from Greek meaning healing agents.
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