Exhibition

The Mystery of Mani

Rediscover the Manichaean religion through the words of its followers

Coming Soon

In 1929, seven papyrus books from the lost Manichaean religion were discovered in Egypt. Dated to c. 400 AD, these unique texts proved critical in deepening understanding of this once thriving, yet effectively suppressed faith.

Crystal Seal of Mani, the Apostle of Jesus Christ
Aramaic in Manichaean script
240-276 AD
Mesopotamia
© Bibliothèque nationale de France
Inv.58.1384

On the loss and recovery of Manichaean books, Manichaean Homilies
c. 400 AD
Medinet Madi (Egypt)
CBL Pma 2.25-26

Dr Hugo Ibscher
Illustrierter Beobachter
1934
Berlin

Fragment of an Uygur Manichaean service book illustrated with the Elect in Scribal Duty
Mid 9th to mid 11th century
Kocho, China
© Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/ Jürgen Liepe
MIK III 6368

The Manichaean religion was founded by the prophet Mani in the third century. Mani saw the world as a combat between the forces of light and dark. Borrowing heavily from Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity, he considered his teachings to be a unification and clarification of all existing religions. Using picture books, multilingual missionaries carried the religion west from Mesopotamia across the Mediterranean, and east into Northern India, and Central and East Asia.

Ninety years on, this exhibition highlights the four books Beatty acquired, and features international loans that have never before been on public display.

This exhibition was co-curated by Paul Dilley, Associate Professor, University of Iowa.

 

Symposiums

Fifth Papyrus Curatorial and Conservation Meeting

20-21 June 2019

REGISTRATION OPEN

 

The Chester Beatty is delighted to host the Fifth Papyrus Curatorial and Conservation Meeting. In addition to the exciting series of papers, the programme comprises a behind-the-scenes showcase of highlights from the Chester Beatty papyrus collections as well as a visit and tour of Trinity College Dublin. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

This symposium is open to museum professionals and scholars working in the field of conservation and curation of papyrus collections. Places are limited. Fill out the booking form to register your interest in attending.

Please contact western@cbl.ie if you have any questions or difficulties booking.

Find out more

Book here

Manichaeism in Egypt: The Medinet Madi Library after 90 Years

18-19 October 2019

REGISTRATION OPEN

 

The International Association of Manichaean Studies (IAMS), in collaboration with the Chester Beatty, is pleased to announce the Manichaeism in Egypt: The Medinet Madi Library after 90 Years symposium.  Presentations will be given on the latest developments in the editing, translation, and publication of Medinet Madi codices, and new research that grows out of them.

It will be held at the Chester Beatty, Dublin, Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October 2019.

In celebration of the 90 years since the discovery of the Medinet Madi manuscript, the Chester Beatty has organised a special exhibition – The Mystery of Mani – which will be on the display in the Arts of the Book gallery.

To register for the symposium, please email western@cbl.ie

View full programme

Highlights

  • List
  • Grid
  • Slideshow
  • Revelation to the Apostle of Light, Chapter 342, Manichaean Kephalaia v2
    c. 400 AD
    Medinet Madi (Egypt)
    CBL Pma 1.299-300

    1 / 9

  • Fragment of an Uygur Manichaean service book illustrated with Mani as a Visionary Witness
    Mid 9th to mid 11th century
    Kocho (China)
    © Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/ Jürgen Liepe
    MIK III 4964

    2 / 9

  • Mani's Passion, Manichaean Psalms 2
    c. 400 AD
    Medinet Madi (Egypt)
    CBL Pma 4.43-44

    3 / 9

  • The second Synaxeis of the first logos, Manichaean Synaxeis
    Coptic
    c. 400 AD
    Medinet Madi (Egypt)
    CBL Pma 5.121

    4 / 9

  • Magical text
    Coptic
    4th–6th century
    Egypt
    CBL Cpt 2069

    5 / 9

  • Wooden board for a Manichaean binding
    c. 400 AD
    Medinet Madi (Egypt)
    CBL Cpt 826

    6 / 9

  • Crystal Seal of Mani, Apostle of Jesus Christ
    Aramaic in Manichaean script
    240–276 AD
    Mesopotamia
    © Bibliothèque nationale de France
    Inv.58.1384

    7 / 9

  • Hormuzd and Bahram enthroned, an abridged Book of Kings (Muntakhab-i Shahnama)
    Persian in Nasta’liq script
    1660-1680
    Sikakol (India)
    CBL In 23 f.409v

    8 / 9

  • Theodore’s Letter 2 (on remission of debts)
    Sahidic Coptic
    6th century
    probably Phbow (Egypt)
    CBL Cpt 2013

    9 / 9

Open today 10am–5pm

Monday to Friday 10am–5pm
Saturday 11am–5pm
Sunday 1pm–5pm


Closed Mondays: Nov - Feb

**Closed 1 Jan; Good Friday; 24-26 Dec & Monday Public Holidays.**

Admission is free
Suggested donation €5

Map

Chester Beatty
Dublin Castle
Dublin 2
D02 AD92