Mani’s biography

Mani (C. 25 April 215 A.D. – Sasalid Empire, c. 26 February 277 A.D.).

Scientist, Mathematician, Painter, Geographer, Astronomer, Physician, Musician, Prophet and religious leader of Persian origin, recognized as the founder of the ancient religion of Manicheism, which spread in principle throughthe Roman and Sassanid Empire, reaching the Age Half to practice in Central Asia, China and the Islamic world well into the 17th century.

There is no concrete evidence that it is professed today. However, at the time it was followed by hundreds of people, among whom are historical figures such as St. Augustine of Hippo or the nobility of different regions, such as Zenobia, the queen of Palmyra, which is why Mani is also listed as a of the most influential people in history.

Early life

Few concrete facts are known about his personal life. The main source of the events of his life corresponds to ancient texts of historians of Arab origin, Shahrast-ni and al-Nadham, discovered during the twentieth century, as well as the Coptic texts, found in Medinet Mudi, during 1930.

According to these documents, Mani was born on approximately April 25, 215 A.D. in Hamadam, a province of Media, a country in northern Babylon.

He was named Mani, whose meaning is “jewel”. His father, also of Persian origin, was called Patek and belonged to a sect, called almughtasila, which practiced asceticism and baptism. His mother was part of the Kamsaragan family, who were related to the nobility of the Parthians.

Revelation and start of your Mission

Mani grew up in his hometown and spoke an ancient form of Eastern Aramaic. According to tradition, when he turned twelve he had divine vision, in which he was presented with an angel, which some sources cite as “the twin”, while others name al-Taum.

In the light of this belief, this angelic being was presented to him again at the age of twenty-five, to finish transmitting to him the knowledge that would prepare him for his task as a Prophet, so that he might proclaim and preach the new religion. After the angel’s second visit, Mani assumed a new way of life, which was based on asceticism.

Around 241 A.D., Mani began preaching the new religion through Persia, Asorestan, Media, Mesena and the Kingdom of Childbirth.

It is believed that he even traveled to India, probably to Turan and Sind. On his return he was greeted by King Shapur I, who welcomed him in his court for thirty years, in which Mani managed to preach his teachings, translate his teachings into scriptures, train his disciples, organize his Church, and send his missionaries to both parts of the world.


This new religion posed a radical dualism between good and evil as the basis of the universe. It also began from the belief that the human soul belonged to God, while the body to the devil. However, Manicism denies its own responsibility for human evil, as the product of evil and not of the will of the individual.

For this faith, evil was indestructible, so the only way to salvation and to reach light is to flee from darkness, avoiding all that leads us to them. In this sense, the body, as a vehicle to approach evil, is denied.

Man must practice strict asceticism, refraining from having sex, eating meat, seeking pleasure, and he must avoid violence and pray at least four times a day.

Likewise, there are different types of followers of Maniqueism. On the one hand there are the Chosen (electi) who practiced celibacy and vegetarianism, and dedicated their lives to permanent prayer. According to the Manic belief, when they died they immediately reached the Light.

On the other hand, there were the Listeners (auditors) who could marry, although they were recommended not to have offspring. They were equally to fast once a week and serve the chosen ones. When he died, the auditors reincarnated in elect, to finish their path to the light, and no longer have the need to be reincarnated again.

At some point in his preaching, Mani came to declare himself the promised messiah of the New Testament, naming Set, Noah, Abraham, Plato, Buddha, and Jesus, among others, as his predecessors and himself as the Seal of the Prophets, who had come to give them the religion definitive to men. His missionaries undertook trips through Persia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.

Likewise, they took advantage of the Silk Road, to preach the new faith, which was adopted by many, by its universalist character. From the 3rd century onwards it began to be practiced in several regions such as Babylon, the Sasalid Empire, in various parts of the Roman Empire, even China, so it is not surprising that The Mealine sources are written in multiple languages such as Greek, Latin, Persian, Chinese, childbirth, Coptic, etc.

Final years

In 272, King Shapur I died, being succeeded by his son Hormizd I, who was a friend of Mani’s, and who supported him. However, only two years after being crowned he died, opening the way for his brother Brahrs I, who was an enemy of foreign cults and wanted to re-establish the zoroastro religion.

This new sovereign imprisoned Mani in Gund-shohpur, where by his order he was killed, probably on February 26, 277 A.D., at the age of 62, although there is no clear indication of how he was executed. According to some sources his head was hung in one of the gates of the city, and his followers were chased.

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Mani’s biography
Source: Education  
July 31, 2019

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