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This book offers the first detailed commentary on the Gnostic treatises reported by Irenaeus in Adversus Haereses 1.29–30. It is argued that these texts represent the earliest tangible layer of the Gnostic literary tradition and served as sources for the Apocryphon of John and other later works. They also formed the starting point for Valentinus and his followers, who sought to reconcile the ideas of the Gnostics with apostolic Christianity. The book also shows that Irenaeus and later heresiologists referred to “the Gnostics” as a specific group among the great mass of heretics.
Manichaeism in Greek anti-Manichaica & Roman Imperial Legislation
The Manichaeans of the Roman East is the first monograph that synthesizes an enormous body of primary material to reconstruct the history of East-Roman Manichaeans, from the time their first missionaries arrived in the territory of the Roman East until the disappearance of Manichaeism from the Eastern Roman Empire. Through her systematically comparative and intertextual investigation of the sources, Matsangou provides a number of original approaches to issues such as the classification of Manichaeism, the socio-religious profile and lifestyle of East Roman Manichaeans, the triggers of the severe anti-Manichaean persecutions. She thoroughly analyses the relationship between Manichaean and Christian ascetics for the first time, suggesting a possible Manichaean impact on the rise of ascetic manifestations among Christian ascetics, monks, and individuals in society. By considering the dimensions of the phenomenon of crypto-Manichaeism and using the concept of “entryism”—borrowed from politics—as a theoretical model, Matsangou makes intriguing hypotheses suggesting an alternative explanation for the disappearance of Manichaeism from the Roman East.
Papers from the Symposium at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, 18-19 October 2019
The Medinet Madi Library comes of age in this landmark volume as one of the 20th century’s major finds of religious manuscripts. Discovered in Egypt’s Fayum region in 1929, these Coptic codices contain a cross-section of the sacred literature of the Manichaean religion. Early work on the collection in the 1930s was cut short by the ravages of the second world war. Recent decades have brought multiple new editorial projects, on which this volume offers a comprehensive set of status reports, as well as individual studies on aspects of the Manichaean religion informed by the library’s contents.