Biographical Testimonia about Mani
John C. Reeves [+]
University of North Carolina
Our intention in this chapter is not to produce indubitable certitude by resolving these various issues, but is simply to present the relevant data that is contributed by Islamicate sources to the delineation of Mani’s life and career in order that present and future researchers might enjoy an unimpeded recourse to the broadest range of relevant material. The chapter sub-divides into three sections: (1) a series of brief chronological and synchronic notices pertaining to Mani’s floruit culled from Syriac and Arabic sources; (2) an assemblage of materials for the recovery of what possibly are authentic biographical trajectories, largely recognizable from the evidence contributed by newly discovered sources like the Cologne Mani Codex, but often blended with brief accounts or traditions which betray a dependence upon the hagiographic portrayals surviving in Coptic and Middle Iranian Manichaean works; and (3) a presentation of the polemical themes deriving from the Acta Archelai and its satellites.