Image of Crystal Seal of Mani, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, Syriac c. 240-276 AD Mesopotamia © Bibliothèque nationale de France Inv.58.1384

Exhibition

The Mystery of Mani

Rediscover the Manichaean religion through the words of its followers

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

Step Inside to Take a Virtual Tour

Doll house image of the Mystery of Mani Exhibit

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

 

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

This symposium was open to museum professionals and scholars working in the field of conservation and curation of papyrus collections.

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

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

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

    1 / 9

  • Image of a 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

    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

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

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

    3 / 9

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

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

    4 / 9

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

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

    5 / 9

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

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

    6 / 9

  • Image of Crystal Seal of Mani, Apostle of Jesus Christ Aramaic in Manichaean script, 240–276 AD, Mesopotamia Bibliothèque national de France Inv.1384 BIS

    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

  • Image of 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

    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

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

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

    9 / 9

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