The Impact of Manichaeism on its Contemporary Arts

Document Type : مقاله کوتاه


Faculty Member, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University


Manichaeism is a dualistic religious system with Christian, Gnostic, and pagan elements, founded in Persia in the 3rd century AD by Manes (c.216 AD–c.276 AD). It is based on a supposed primeval conflict between light and darkness.Unlike his preceding prophets whose preaching were collected by their disciples, Manes, a skillful painter and inventor of calligraphic style, wrote and illuminated several books to elaborate his teachings. Manichaean text were thus illustrated, illuminated and elaborately bound. Manichaeism was therefore not only influential as a religion, but also seminal in art and architecture.