The 'Teachers' of Mani in the Acta Archelai and Simon Magus

in Vigiliae Christianae
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Abstract

This paper aims to prove that the biography of Mani in the Acta Archelae of Hegemonius, which contains a great number of completely fictitious elements, was in fact drawn up on the file of Simon Magus, pater omnium haereticorum, using the works of heresiologists and the apocryphal acts, especially the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitiones, as a model and source. There are a great number of elements in this Vita Manis that bear a strong resemblance to the well known motives of Simon's life. Projecting Simon's life over that of Mani serves as tool to reinforce the image of Mani that Hegemonius tried to convey: that of just another 'run of the mill' heretic, one in the long line of the disciples of Simon, and a fraud and devoid of any originality.

Vigiliae Christianae

A Review of Early Christian Life and Language

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