Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings

Studies on the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex


In Mani at the Court of the Persian Kings the authors explore evidence arising from their project to edit the Chester Beatty Kephalaia codex. This new text presents Mani at the heart of Sasanian Iran in dialogue with its sages and nobles, acting as a cultural mediator between East and West and interpreter of Christian, Iranian, and Indian traditions. Nine chapters study Mani’s appropriation of the ‘law of Zarades’ and of Iranian epic; suggest a new understanding of his last days; and analyse his formative role in the history of late antique religions.

These interdisciplinary studies advance research in several fields and will be of interest to scholars of Manichaeism, Sasanian Iran, and the development of religions in Late Antiquity.

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Iain Gardner, Ph.D. (Manchaster University 1983), is Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Sydney. He has published many works on both Manichaeism and Coptic papyrology, including (with Malcolm Choat) A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power (Brepols 2013).

Jason BeDuhn, Ph.D. (Indiana University, 1995), is Professor of the Comparative Study of Religions at Northern Arizona University. His previous publications include The Manichaean Body (Johns Hopkins, 2000) and Augustine's Manichaean Dilemma, vols. 1 and 2 (University of Pennsylvania, 2010-2013).

Paul Dilley, Ph.D. (Yale University, 2008), is Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, with a joint appointment in Religious Studies and Classics. He is a specialist in Early Christianity, including Coptic, and has published on monasticism, apocrypha, and Manichaeism.
"a treasure trove of new insights and fresh perspectives on a hitherto relatively unstudied text." – Paul Foster, University of Edinburgh, in: The Expository Times 127/2, 2015
Iain Gardner, An Introduction to the Chester Beatty Kephalaia Codex

PART A: Studies on the Manichaean Kephalaia
Paul Dilley, Mani’s Wisdom at the Court of the Persian Kings: The Genre and Context of the Chester Beatty Kephalaia
Jason David BeDuhn, Parallels between Coptic and Iranian Kephalaia: Goundesh and the King of Touran
Iain Gardner, The Final Ten Chapters

PART B: New Sources from the Chester Beatty Codex
Paul Dilley, Also Schrieb Zarathustra? Mani as Interpreter of the ‘Law of Zarades’
Jason David BeDuhn, Iranian Epic in the Chester Beatty Kephalaia
Iain Gardner, Mani’s Last Days.
Map and Table of Place Names

PART C: Manichaeism and the History of Religions
Paul Dilley, ‘Hell Exists, and We have Seen the Place Where It Is’: Rapture and Religious Competition in Sasanian Iran
Jason David BeDuhn, Mani and the Crystallization of the Concept of ‘Religion’ in Third Century Iran
This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of Manichaeism, early Sasanian Iran, and the development of religion across Eurasia Late Antiquity.
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