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The Shabuhragan was a sacred writing of the Manichaean religion, written by the founder Mani (c. 210–276 CE) himself, originally in Middle Persian, and dedicated to Shapur I (c. 215-272 CE), the contemporary king of the Sassanid Persian Empire. The book was designed to present to King Shapur an outline of Mani's new religion, which united elements from Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism - the three dominant (and competing) religions in the newly expanded Persian Empire. Original Middle Persian fragments were discovered at Turpan, and quotations were brought in Arabic by Biruni:

From aeon to aeon the apostles of God did not cease to bring here the Wisdom and the Works. Thus in one age their coming was into the countries of India through the apostle that was the Buddha; in another age, into the land of Persia through Zoroaster; in another, into the land of the West through Jesus. After that, in this last age, this revelation came down and this prophethood arrived through myself, Mani, the apostle of the true God, into the land of Babel (Babylon - then a province of the Persian Empire).
(from Al-Briruni's Chronology, quoted in Hans Jonas, "The Gnostic Religion", 1958)


  • Manicheism English translations of portions of the Shabuhragan can be found here.
  • Middle Persian Sources: D. N. MacKenzie, “Mani’s Šābuhragān,” pt. 1 (text and translation), BSOAS 42/3, 1979, pp. 500-34,[1] pt. 2 (glossary and plates), BSOAS 43/2, 1980, pp. 288-310 [2].


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