History of the manichaean religion

Addas is supposed to have spread it in the Orient ta tes anatolesThomas in Syriaand Hermas in Egypt. After that the world will be destroyed and purified by a fire lasting 1, years. Theodoret of Cyprus"De haereticorum fabulis", in four books P. Surrounding the Father are the twelve aeons, equally distributed toward the four directions of heaven and refracted into myriads of "aeons of the aeons.

Augustine had refuted a certain Fortunatus in public discussion held in the Baths of Sossius. Amongst Latin writers St. He was not a man of profound erudition, but he was a suave and unctuous speaker. The production of vegetation, animal, and rational life on earth is a process of obscenity, cannibalism, abortion, and prize-fighting between the Messenger and the sons and daughters of Darkness, the details of which are better passed over.

Although most of the original writings of the founding prophet Mani in Persian: The first forbade all evil words and all evil food. After twenty-six days in prison, Mani died.

The Messenger dwells in the sun and, coming toward these twelve virgin-vessels he commands his three attendants to make them revolve and soon they reach the height of the heavens.

This work and its MS tradition show that in the period of Constantine, 50 years after the death of its founder, Manichaeism had spread widely in the Roman Empire.


Humans serve as the battleground, as the soul is believed to contain both the light of God and the dark of Satan. Mani wrote in Persian and Babylonian Aramaic, apparently using either language with equal facility. Mani encouraged the translation of his writings into other languages and organized an extensive mission program.

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Chinese Manichaeism

The First-Man projected his light before him, and the King of Darkness seeing it, thought and said: The King of Glory by some creation or other enables these wheels to mount the surface of the earth and thus prevents the five resplendent deities from being set on fire by the poison of the archons.

He arrived at Carthage inand was arrested, but the Christians obtained the commutation of his sentence to banishment and even that was not carried out. My sin was all the more incurable because I did not think myself a sinner.

When the church of the righteous ones triumphs, all the souls will be judged, and those of the chosen will rise to heaven. It was preceded by a ceremonial purification with water or for lack of water with some other substance in the Mohammedan fashion.

The human person is seen as a battleground for these powers: Manichaeism is often presented as a Persian religion, mostly due to the vast number of Middle Persian, Parthian, and Soghdian as well as Turkish texts discovered by German researchers near Turpanin the Xinjiang Chinese Turkestan province of China, during the early s.

In addition, he achieves a first deliverance of light by creating the sun, the moon, and the stars from portions of it that had not suffered too much from contact with obscurity. Augustine especially "De Moribus Manich.

It incorporated features from Marcion of Pontus d. The historical Jesus of Nazareth was entirely repudiated by Mani. All fasted on the first day of the week in honor of the sun, the Perfect also fasted on the second day in honor of the moon.

He put on first the aerial breeze, then threw over himself light as a flaming mantle, and over this light a covering of water; he surrounded himself with gusts of wind, took light as his lance and shield, and cast himself downward toward the line of danger.

Hoping to avoid corruption and to ensure doctrinal unity, he recorded his teachings in writing and gave those writings canonical status during his lifetime. In order to continue the liberation of the light, the Third Messenger called forth the Column of Glory who is also referred to as the New or Perfect Man; cf.

Manichaeism - One of the Most Popular Religions of the Ancient World

Like his followers in the West, Mani regarded himself as a true disciple of Jesus: Serapion of Thmuis c. Its most notorious champion was Faustus of Mileve. No sooner do the heavens rotate than the Messenger commands the Great Ban to renovate the earth and make the Great Wheels Air, Fire, and Water to mount.

Evil resided in the World of Darkness, ruled by the King of Darkness. However complex its ramifications became in the course of many centuries, its essentials remained the same.

Some of the earliest Christian theological works were composed specifically to point out errors and heresies in Manichaeism.The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

The fundamental texts for the Manichaean religion are The Shabuhragan, The Evangelion, and The Book of Giants.

It is within the pages of these scriptures that the religion is mapped out. The Shabuhragan was a book written by Mani near the end of his life, and was presented to King Shapur I, of the Sassanid Persian Empire.

A HISTORY OF. There are two portions of Manichaean scriptures that are probably the closest thing to the original Manichaean writings in their original languages that will ever be available. These are the Syriac-Aramaic quotation by the Nestorian Christian Theodore bar Konai, in his Syriac "Book of Scholia " ("Ketba de-Skolion", eighth century).

As a revealed religion and a dualistic system in its explanation of the beginning of the universe, Manichaeism proposes a tripartite conception of the world's history. Thus, totalitarian gnosis embraces all human knowledge — theology, theogony, cosmology, astronomy, geology, botany, anthropology, history, soteriology, and eschatology.

Manichæism, like Gnosticism, was an intellectual religion, it despised the simplicity of the crowd. As it professed to bring salvation through knowledge, ignorance was sin. Manichæism, in consequence, was literary and refined, its founder was a fruitful writer, and so were many of his followers.


The religion’s expansion to the East had already begun in the 7th century with the reopening of caravan routes there after China’s conquest of East Turkistan. A Manichaean missionary reached the Chinese court inand in an edict gave the religion freedom of worship in China.

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History of the manichaean religion
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