The Persian Schools, which appeared in the western Persian province of Babylonia (in particular, within the Sassanid province of Asuristan), and whose writings were originally produced in the Aramaic dialects spoken in Babylonia at the time, are representative of what is believed to be among the oldest of the Gnostic thought forms. These movements are considered by most to be religions in their own right, and are not emanations from Christianity or Judaism.
- Mandaeanism is still practiced in small numbers, in parts of southern Iraq and the Iranian province of Khuzestan. The name of the group derives from the term Mandā d-Heyyi, which roughly means "Knowledge of Life." Although the exact chronological origins of this movement are not known, John the Baptist eventually would come to be a key figure in the religion, as an emphasis on baptism is part of their core beliefs. As with Manichaeism, despite certain ties with Christianity, Mandaeans do not believe in Moses, Jesus, or Mohammed. Their beliefs and practices likewise have little overlap with the religions that manifested from those religious figures and the two should not be confused. Significant amounts of original Mandaean Scripture, written in Mandaean Aramaic, survive in the modern era. The primary source text is known as the Genzā Rabbā and has portions identified by some scholars as being copied as early as the 2nd century AD. There is also the Qolastā, or Canonical Book of Prayer and The Book of John the Baptist (sidra ḏ-iahia).
- Manichaeism which represented an entire independent religious heritage, but is now extinct, was founded by the Prophet Mani (216 - 276 AD). The original writings were written in Syriac Aramaic, in a unique Manichaean script. Although most of the literature/scripture of the Manichaeans was believed lost, the discovery of an original series of documents have helped to shed new light on the subject. Now housed in Cologne Germany, a Manichaean religious work written in Greek, the Codex Manichaicus Coloniensis, contains mainly biographical information on the prophet and details on his claims and teachings. Before the discovery of these authentic Manichaean texts, scholars had to rely on anti-Manichaean polemical works, such as the Christian anti-Manichaean Acta Archelai (also written in Greek), which has Mani saying, for example, "The true God has nothing to do with the material world or cosmos", and, "It is the Prince of Darkness who spoke with Moses, the Jews and their priests. Thus the Christians, the Jews, and the Pagans are involved in the same error when they worship this God. For he leads them astray in the lusts he taught them."
Famous quotes containing the word persian:
“The threadbare trees, so poor and thin,
They are no wealthier than I;
But with as brave a core within
They rear their boughs to the October sky.
Poor knights they are which bravely wait
The charge of Winters cavalry,
Keeping a simple Roman state,
Discumbered of their Persian luxury.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)