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Hesitant And Ignorant: The Portrayal Of Mani In The Acts Of Archelaus

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Chapter Summary

The Acts of Archelaus (AA) were highly influential in early Christian heresiology; that this influence extended mainly to the work's outline of the Manichaean cosmogony, and to the biographical details it supplied on Mani. This chapter looks at the agenda behind those details and general picture of Mani they seek to convey, as a way toward a further understanding of AA's inner structure and purpose. The chapter includes the introduction of Marcellus, Mani's letter to him and his to Mani, and Turbo's summary of Manichaean cosmogony. It presents the first encounter between Archelaus and Mani. It then covers Mani's flight to 'Diodoris', the eponymous Diodorus' letter to Archelaus and Archelaus' to him, and confrontation between Mani and Diodorus, all as the preamble to Mani's second encounter with Archelaus. Finally, it focuses on Archelaus' presentation of Mani's antecedents and earlier life, interrupted by the author's brief account of Mani's criminal end.

Keywords: Acts of Archelaus (AA); biographical; Christian heresiology; Diodorus; Mani; Manichaean cosmogony; Marcellus



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