Founded by Mani (c. AD 216-276), a Syrian visionary of Judaeo-Christian background who lived in Persian Mesopotamia, Manichaeism spread rapidly into the Roman Empire in the third and fourth centuries AD and became one of the most persecuted heresies under Christian Roman emperors. The religion established missionary cells in Syria, Egypt, North Africa and Rome and has in Augustine of Hippo the most famous of its converts. The study of the religion in the Roman Empire has benefited from discoveries of genuine Manichaean texts from Medinet Madi and from the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt, as well as successful decipherment of the Cologne Mani-Codex which gives an autobiography of the founder in Greek. This first ever single-volume collection of sources for this religion, which draws from material mostly unknown to English-speaking scholars and students, offers in translation genuine Manichaean texts from Greek, Latin and Coptic.
'This long-awaited volume from Australia-based scholars Iain Gardner and Samuel N. C. Lieu constitutes the first anthology of non-Central Asian Manichaean texts in English, thereby filling a great need in the ever-expanding field of Manichaean Studies. ... a rich selection of texts ... supplemented by a wide variety of fragments and testimonies ... Gardner and Lieu have met a great need by providing English-speaking readers and class-rooms with a readable and teachable anthology that will hopefully facilitate the inclusion of this important late antique religious movement in the curricula of Religious Studies and Ancient History departments from which Manichaeism has all too often been ignored or excluded.' Laval theologique et philosophique
"This book is a valuable resource for those interested in the Manichaean religion." - Birger A. Pearson, University of California