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Identification of a small fragment of Mani's Living Gospel (Turfan Collection, Berlin, M5439) 1

  • Mohammad Shokri-Foumeshi (a1)

Heretofore three fragments of Maniʼs Living Gospel – the most important work of Mani – have been recognized in Middle Persian and in Manichaean script: M17, M172/I/ and M644. This article, with a codicological and textological approach, shows that M17 and the new fragment M5439 are two separate pieces of a single manuscript page. The verso-side of M5439 has a new text. Now, after the identification and reading of this damaged fragment, we are able to correct the previous reconstructions and comment on a few Middle Persian words. The text contains a part of the exordium and of the chapter Aleph of the Living Gospel.

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I would like to thank Professors Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst and Nicholas Sims-Williams for their kind suggestions and constructive advice. Thanks also to the group “Digitales Turfan-Archiv I” from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), group Turfan Studies, and Berlin State Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage, Oriental Department, who provided me with the environment necessary for studying and publishing the fragment M5439.

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Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
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  • EISSN: 1474-0699
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