Ebionites (Heb.). Lit., “the poor”; the earliest sect of Jewish Christians, the other being the Nazarenes. They existed when the term “Christian” was not yet heard of. Many of the relations of Iassou (Jesus), the adept ascetic around whom the legend of Christ was formed, were among the Ebionites. As the existence of these mendicant ascetics can be traced at least a century earlier than chronological Christianity, it is an additional proof that lassou or Jeshu lived during the reign of Alexander Jannæus at Lyd (or Lud), where he was put to death as stated in the Sepher Toldos Jeshu.
Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary