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Document Details :

Title: What did Augustine See?
Subtitle: Augustine and Mani's Picture Book
Author(s): VAN OORT, Johannes
Journal: Augustiniana
Volume: 70    Issue: 2   Date: 2020   
Pages: 183-202
DOI: 10.2143/AUG.70.2.3289070

Abstract :
Based on analyses of a number of Augustinian texts (mainly conf. 3,10-11 and c. Faust. 20,9) and a whole range of Manichaean sources, this study seeks to answer the difficult question: Was Augustine acquainted with Mani’s Picture Book? After considering the various options and objections, my answer is in the affirmative: in all likelihood, Augustine knew Mani’s Icon (Picture, Ārdahang). It is in his Confessions (conf. 3,10-11 and perhaps also in what he tells about his ‘lost’ De pulchro et apto in conf. 4,24) that he gives some clues that point in this direction, but understandable only to the initiated. On the basis of the above-mentioned passages in Augustine’s oeuvre, it also seems possible to provide further indications of the likely themes depicted in Mani’s Icon.

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