Ophite

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Ophite (Min) A greenish spotted porphyry, being a diabase whose pyroxene has been altered to uralite; -- first found in the Pyreness. So called from the colored spots which give it a mottled appearance.
    • n Ophite (Eccl. Hist) A mamber of a Gnostic serpent-worshiping sect of the second century.
    • a Ophite Of or pertaining to a serpent.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ophite Pertaining to a serpent.
    • n ophite A name originally applied to certain eruptive (diabasic or doleritic) rocks occurring in the Pyrenees, and later used with similar meaning for rocks found in Spain, Portugal, and northern Africa. In many of these the augite has become converted into uralite, hence they had previously been often classed with the diorites. Michel Lévy divides the French ophites into two types, the first distinguished by the presence of large proportions of the augitic or uralitic constituent, the second by a large predominance of plagioclase. The composition of the rocks which have been designated by different lithologists as ophites is variable, and their relations have not vet been fully worked out.
    • n ophite A member of a Gnostic body, of very early origin, especially prominent in the second century, and existing as late as the sixth century. Its members were so called because they held that the serpent by which Eve was tempted was the impersonation of divine wisdom, the great teacher and civilizer of the human race. They were also called Naassenes (from Hebrew nāchāsh, a serpent). See Sethian.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ophite one of a Gnostic sect who worshipped the serpent
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ophites, Gr. 'ofi`thssc. ), a kind of marble spotted like a serpent: cf. F. ophite,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. ophidion, dim. of ophis, opheōs, a serpent.

Usage

In literature:

About the church are six hundred pillars of marble, porphyry, and ophites.
"The Cloister and the Hearth" by Charles Reade
Their structure is ophitic in the finer varieties, and to some extent in the coarser kinds as well.
"History and Comprehensive Description of Loudoun County, Virginia" by James W. Head
And the Ophite stone is of such nature also.
"Hypnerotomachia" by Francesco Colonna
The natives of Boeotia had many memorials of their having been originally Ophites.
"A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume II. (of VI.)" by Jacob Bryant
The Ophites consequently adored the serpent, and cursed the true God Jehovah.
"Bible Romances" by George W. Foote
This produces the ophitic structure (very common also in the dolerites).
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 5" by Various
Ophitic structure is commonest in olivine-dolerites, though the olivine takes no part in it.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 6" by Various
About the church are six hundred pillars of marble, porphyry, and ophites.
"The Cloister and the Hearth" by Charles Reade
By this is meant the Ophite race, who came from Egypt, and from Syria, and got footing in this island.
"Ophiolatreia" by Anonymous
An early Christian sect, the Ophites, found serpent worshipping quite consistent with their Christianity.
"Bible Studies" by Joseph M. Wheeler
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