Muslims on the Manichaeans and The Search for the for the Abū ‘Īsā al-Warrāq
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Abstract Early Muslim authors wrote about a number of religious groups. Among these groups were the Manichaeans. Some of the earliest Muslim works on the Manichaeans have not survived. Of those that have, many appear to depend upon the lost Manichaeography of Abū Īsā al-Warrāq. This has been acknowledged by scholars for over half a century and, most recently, the hypothesis has been put forward by François de Blois that two authors (al-Nadīm and al-Malāḥimī) used al-Warrāq's work directly while others used him through the intermediacy of al-Nawbakhtī. This provides vital information as to how to reconstruct al-Warrāq's Manichaeography. However, no such reconstruction has been published. Nor have the works from which a reconstruction could be created been presented together for comparison. I have attempted to fill this lacuna by collating, annotating, and synoptically presenting in Arabic and English translation seven works from which al-Warrāq's material may be reconstructed. I have also taken a step towards reconstructing al-Warrāq's material myself. I have done so by using two principles from philology: (1) I searched the material for similar words and syntax, and chose the form of the passage most attested to; (2) I favored those authors likely to have used al- Warrāq directly and/or faithfully. In the end, I found convincing de Blois' hypothesis about the relationship of these seven authors to each other and to al-Warrāq. I also found that al-Malāhimī and al- Jabbār were on the whole the most reliable witnesses to al-Warrāq's material. Hopefully, I have laid a foundation upon which a full critical edition of al-Warrāq's Manichaeography can be built.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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