One of the most extraordinary discoveries of Russian archeologists made in recent years is the Manichean cutt complexes in Khakasia. The amazing diversity of theif types is of great importance for the history of religion and architecture. At the same time the evidence of the Medieval Arab sources about the existence of strict canons on the constructions of similar structures has found its confirmation: design features of every temple were determined by the gods they were dedicated to.
by Igor KYZLASOV, Dr. Sc. (History), RAS Institute of Archeology
Manichaeism originated in the middle of the 3rd century in South Mesopotamia, part of the Sasanide Empire (currently Iran) and was connected with the philosophical views and religious activity of the prophet Mani (216 - 276), whose edifice absorbed many theses of Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Christianity. The constant and universal battle of the two principles on Earth-Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, according to this reformer and consolidator requires from people a supraliminal and active support of the truth and rejection of falsehood. The self-improvement of true believers could be encouraged by the mastering of elaborated theory of origin, arrangement, development, ultimate fate of the Universe and Humankind-seven books which were poetically written and illustrated by Mani himself. He created special types and rules of spelling for maximum clarification of the meaning of the texts. It should be pointed out that his religion paid great attention to reading and the accumulation of knowledge. The religion successfully promoted the development of exact sciences among which the astronomy occupied an exceptional place. A great Oriental scientist and encyclopedist, Abu Reikhan al-Biruni (973-circa 1050) paid tribute to the Manichean Calendar and chronology.
In the early Middle Ages this religion rapidly spread from Spain and North Africa to Eastern Turkestan and China becoming one of the world ... Читать далее