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MANICHAEISM

in the East; in particular, it drew no nearer to the Christian religion. More than once, however, Manichaeism experienced attempts at reformation; for of course the auditores very easily became worldly in character, and movements of reformation led temporarily to divisions and the formation of sects. Towards the close of the 10th century, at the time the Fihirst was written, the Manichaeans in Mesopotamia and Persia had already been in large measure ousted from the towns, and had withdrawn to the villages. But in Turkestan, and as far as the Chinese frontier, there existed numerous Manichaean communities and even whole tribes that had adopted the name of Mani. Probably it was the great migrations of the Mongolian race that first put an end to Manichaeism in Central Asia. But even in the 15th century there were Manichaeans living beside the Thomas-Christians on the coast of Malabar in India (see Germann, Die Thomas-Christen, 1875). Manichaeism first penetrated the Greek-Roman Empire about the year 280, in the time of the emperor Probus (see the Chronicon of Eusebius). If we may take the edict of Diocletian against the Manichaeans as genuine, the system must have gained a firm footing in the West by the beginning of the 4th century, but we know that as late as about the year 325 Eusebius had not any accurate knowledge of the sect. It was only subsequent to about 330 that Manichaeism spread rapidly in the Roman Empire. Its adherents were recruited on the one hand from the old gnostic sects (especially from the Marcionites—Manichaeism exerted besides this a strong influence on the development of the Marcionite churches of the 4th century), on the other hand from the large number of the “cultured,” who were striving after a “rational” and yet in some manner Christian religion. Its polemics and its criticism of the Catholic Church now became the strong side of Manichaeism, especially in the West. It admitted the stumbling-blocks which the Old Testament offers to every intelligent reader, and gave itself out as a Christianity without the Old Testament. Instead of the subtle Catholic theories concerning divine predestination and human freedom, and instead of a difficult theodicaea, it offered an exceedingly simple conception of sin and goodness. The doctrine of the incarnation of God, which was especially objectionable to those who were going over to the new universal religion from the old cults, was not proclaimed by Manichaeism. In its rejection of this doctrine Manichaeism agreed with Neo-Platonism; but, while the latter, notwithstanding all its attempts to conform itself to Christianity, could find no formula by which to inaugurate within its own limits the special veneration of Christ, the Western Manichaeans succeeded in giving their teaching a Christian tinge. The only part of the Manichaean mythology that became popular was the crude, physical dualism. The barbaric elements were judiciously screened from view as a “mystery”; they were, indeed, here and there explicitly disavowed even by the initiated. The farther Manichaeism advanced into the West the more Christian and philosophic did it become. In Syria it maintained itself in comparative purity. In North Africa it found its most numerous adherents, gaining secret support even among the clergy. Augustine was an auditor for nine years, while Faustus was at that time the most esteemed Manichaean teacher in the West. Augustine in his later writings against the Manichaeans deals chiefly with the following problems: (1) the relation between knowledge and faith, and between reason and authority; (2) the nature of good and evil, and the origin of the latter; (3) the existence of free will, and its relation to the divine omnipotence; (4) the relation of the evil in the world to the divine government.

The Christian Byzantine and Roman emperors, from Valens onwards, enacted strict laws against the Manichaeans. But at first these bore little fruit. The auditores were difficult to trace out, and besides they really gave little occasion for persecution. In Rome itself between 370 and 440 Manichaeism gained a large amount of support, especially among the scholars and public teachers. It also made its way into the life of the people by means of a popular literature in which the apostles were made to play a prominent part (Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles). Manichaeism in the West had also some experience of attempts at reformation from the ascetic side, but of these we know little. In Rome Leo the Great was the first who took energetic measures, along with the state authorities, against the system. Valentinian III. decreed banishment against its adherents, Justinian the punishment of death. In North Africa Manichaeism appears to have been extinguished by the persecution of the Vandals. But it still continued to exist elsewhere, both in the Byzantine Empire and in the West, and in the earlier part of the middle ages it gave an impulse to the formation of new sects, which remained related to it. And if it has not been quite proved that so early as the 4th century the Priscillianists of Spain were influenced by Manichaeism, it is at least undoubted that the Paulicians and Bogomiles, as well as the Catharists and the Albigenses, are to be traced back to Manichaeism (and Marcionitism). Thus the system, not indeed of Mani the Persian, but of Manichaeism as modified by Christian influences, accompanied the Catholic Church until the 13th century.

Sources.—(a) Oriental. Among the sources for a history of Manichaeism the most important are the Oriental. Of these the Mahommedan, though of comparatively late date, are distinguished by the excellent manner in which they have been transmitted to us, as well as by their impartiality. They must be named first, because ancient Manichaean writings have been used in their construction. At the head of all stands En-Nedīm, Fihrist (c. 980), ed. by Flügel (1871-1872); cf. the latter’s work Mani, seine Lehre u. seine Schriften (1862). See also Shahrastānī, Kitab al-milal wan-nuḥal (12th cent.), ed. by Cureton (1846) and translated into German by Haarbrücker (1851), and individual notes and excerpts by Tabarī (10th cent.), Al-Bīrūnī (11th cent.), and other Arabian and Persian historians. Next come the Turfan fragments described in the body of this article. See also W. Brandt, Schriften aus der Genza oder Sidvā Rabba (Göttingen, 1893).

Of the Christian Orientals those that afford most information are Ephraem Syrus (d. 373), in various writings; the Armenian Esnik (German translation by J. M. Schmid, Vienna, 1900, see also Zeitsch. f. hist. Theol., 1840, ii.; Langlois, Collection, ii. 375 seq.), who wrote in the 5th century against Marcion and Mani; and the Alexandrian patriarch Eutychius (d. 916), Annales, ed. Pococke (1628). There are, besides, scattered pieces of information in Aphraates (4th cent.), Barhebraeus (13th cent.) and others. The newly found Syriac Book of Scholia of Theodor bar Khouni (see Pognon, Les Coupes de Kouabir, Paris, 1898) gives many details about Mani’s teaching (also ed. without translation by Dr M. Lewin, Berlin, 1905).

(b) Greek and Latin. The earliest mention of the Manichaeans in the Graeco-Roman Empire is to be found in an edict of Diocletian (see Hänel, Cod. Gregor., tit. xv.), which is held by some to be spurious, while others assign it to one or other of the years 287, 290, 296, 308 (so Mason, The Persec. of Diocl., pp. 275 seq.). Eusebius gives a short account of the sect (H. E., vii. 31). It was the Acta Archelai, however, that became the principal source on the subject of Manichaeism for Greek and Roman writers. These Acta are not indeed what they give themselves out for, viz. an account of a disputation held between Mani and the bishop Archelaus of Cascar, in Mesopotamia; but they nevertheless contain much that is trustworthy, especially regarding the doctrine of Mani, and they also include Manichaean documents. They consist of various distinct pieces, and originated in the beginning of the 4th century, probably at Edessa. They were translated as early as the first half of the same century from the Syriac (as is maintained by Jerome, De vir. illust., 72; though this is doubted by modern scholars) into Greek, and soon afterwards into Latin. It is only this secondary Latin version that we possess (ed. by C. H. Beeson; Leipzig, 1906, under title Hegemonius acta Archelai); earlier editions, Zacagni (1698); Routh, Reliquiae sac., vol. v. (1848); translated in Clark’s Ante-Nicene Library, vol. xx.; small fragments of the Greek version have been preserved. Regarding the Acta Archelai, see Zittwitz in Zeitschr. f. d. histor. Theol. (1873) and Oblasinski, Acta disp. Arch. el Manetis (1874). In the form in which we now possess them, they are a compilation after the pattern of the Clementine Homilies, and have been subjected to manifold redactions. These Acta were used by Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. 6), Epiphanius (Haer. 66), and a great number of other writers. All the Greek and Latin heresiologists have included the Manichaeans in their catalogues; but they seldom adduce any independent information regarding them (see Theodoret, Haer. fab. i. 26). Important matter is to be found in the resolutions of the councils from the 4th century onwards (see Mansi, Acta concil., and Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vols. i.-iii.), and also in the controversial writings of Titus of Bostra (6th century), Πρὸς Μανιχαίους (ed. Lagarde, 1859), and of Alexander of Lycopolis Λόγος πρὸς τὰς Μανιχαίου δόξας (ed. Combefis; transl. in Ante-Nic. Lib., vol. xiv.). Of the Byzantines, the most worthy of mention