Union Académique Internationale

Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum

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Project nº59, adopted in 1998

The prophet Mani (226-266 CE) who established his universal religion in the 3rd Century CE was a great champion of the dissemination of his religious ideas through the written word. Manichaean scriptures in a variety of ancient and medieval languages ranging from Latin to Chinese have been recovered mainly in archaeological contexts since the beginning of the 20th century. The majority of these texts, many in a very fragmentary state, are kept in libraries in Berlin, Dublin, Paris, London and Beijing. The project is the official publication of the International Association of Manichaean Studies (IAMS). The project received UNESCO sponsorship under the aegis of the Integrated Study of the Silk Road Program (1996-2003). A total of 20 volumes have been published between 1996 and 2018.

The main Sub-Series(es) The primary purpose of this project is to publish in a single corpus, texts, translations and commentaries of all known genuine Manichaean texts and major polemical texts against the Manichaean religion. Because of the linguistic diversity of Manichaean texts the project is divided into a number of sub-series each built round a major language. CFM is currently subdivided into eight sub-series according to the language of the original text: Arabica, Coptica, Graeca, Iranica, Latina, Sinica, Syriaca and Turcica. Each sub-series has its own series director who ensures that the volumes submitted for publication by Brepols of Turnhout (Belgium) meet the highest standards of scholarship. The text-volumes contain texts, translations, detailed commentary, word indices and up-to-date bibliographies as well as select photographs of the original manuscripts.

The Dictionary of Manichaean Texts and Series Subsidia: A sub-project team for this important sub-series under the directorship of Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams FBA with funding from the AHRC (UK) and the British Academy had been based at the Ancient India and Iran Trust at Cambridge from 2000 to 2004. Five out of the six planned volumes of the Dictionary intended to cover the entire vocabulary and technical terminology of Manichaean Texts have now been published.

Series Archaeologica: The material remains of the Manichaean sect are not overlooked and two of the published volumes of CFM are devoted to collections of Manichaean art in Berlin museums (Germany) and in museums in Quanzhou and Jinjiang (China).

Analecta Manichaica: This series, launched in 2017, is intended to be an irregular journal and conference-proceedings volume for IAMS with contributions focusing on the editing, translation and studies of original Manichaean texts.

Biblia Manichaica: A new series was introduced in 2017 to enable the compilation and analysis of Manichaean texts in all known languages which are clearly influenced by Jewish and Christian scriptures (both canonical and apocryphal).

Electronic publications: An important component of the project is the electronic Database of Manichaean Texts. This major “electronic bank” holds plain-text versions of almost all Manichaean texts published before 1998. The availability of such a major research resource in electronic format has considerably lightened the task of text editing and of compiling lexical data, especially for the Dictionary of Manichaean Texts. This Database or electronic corpus will be made available gradually to all scholars researching on Manichaean texts. In addition, Brepols, the publisher of CFM, has agreed in principle that 10% of the Corpus, especially the Dictionary volumes, will be availabe on-line gratis via the website of the International Association of Manichaean Studies.

List of Committees

LIEU Samuel N. C.DirecteurAustralian Academy of the Humanities
PEDERSEN Nils-Arne Co-Director
VAN OORT Johannes Co-Director
SIMS-WILLIAMS Nicholas JohnEditor of Dictionary series: British Academy
MORANO Enrico Editor Analecta Manichaica
DUBOIS Jean-Daniel Editor Analecta Manichaica
MIKKELSEN GunnerSecretary

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