Q. 1. What is the gnostic heresy of priscillianism?
A. 1. According to wikipedia.org, "Priscillianism is a Christian doctrine developed in the Iberian Peninsula (the Roman Hispania) in the 4th century by Priscillian, derived from the Gnostic-Manichaean doctrines taught by Marcus, an Egyptian from Memphis, and later considered a heresy by the both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church."
"The foundation of the doctrines of the Priscillianists was Gnostic-Manichaean dualism, a belief in the existence of two kingdoms, one of Light and one of Darkness. Angels and the souls of men were said to be severed from the substance of the Deity. Human souls were intended to conquer the Kingdom of Darkness, but fell and were imprisoned in material bodies. Thus both kingdoms were represented in man, and hence a conflict symbolized on the side of Light by the Twelve Patriarchs, heavenly spirits, who corresponded to certain of man's powers, and on the side of Darkness by the Signs of the Zodiac, the symbols of matter and the lower kingdom. The salvation of man consists in liberation from the domination of matter. The twelve heavenly spirits having failed to accomplish their release, the Saviour came in a heavenly body which appeared to be like that of other men, and through His doctrine and His apparent death released the souls of the men from the influence of earthly matter."
Priscillianism was condemned by synod of Zaragoza in 380. Priscillian was put to death by the emperor Gratian for the crime of magic.
The religion increased during the 5th century despite efforts to stop it. In the 6th century, Priscillianism declined and died out soon after the Synod of Braga in 563.