Religions; the Meaning of an Illuminated Way of Life?

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Part 3: Mani, The Messenger of Light.

Prologue!

It will be another (not so important) announcement to my running vacuous for the next two weeks! I know you will miss me (please, please miss me!!) That’s because we dare to take a vacation in Greece (Skiathos). Of course, I can’t be silent, and I’ll get on your nerves now and then, and it might be helpful to do something different.
Now, I share the last part of my trilogy on Dualism. And hope, despite this long part, you will find joy by reading it.

In fact, Manicheism is a successor of Zoroastrianism, but similar to Cathars, its beliefs based on the Divine.
Manichaeism is a combination of religions with its own theology. Manichean doctrine is far more dualistic than Zoroastrianism. Manicheans believe that the physical world and physical matter is evil, a work of the evil spirit.

Manichaeism considered Zoroaster to be a figure (along with the Buddha and Jesus) in a line of prophets of which Mani (216–276) was the culmination. Zoroaster’s ethical dualism is—to an extent—incorporated in Mani’s doctrine, which viewed the world as being locked in an epic battle between opposing forces of good and evil. Manicheanism also incorporated other elements of Zoroastrian tradition, particularly the names of supernatural beings; however, many of these other Zoroastrian elements are either not part of Zoroaster’s own teachings or are used quite differently from how they are used in Zoroastrianism.

Academics also note that much of what is known about Manichaeism comes from later 10th- and 11th-century Muslim historians like Al-Biruni and especially ibn al-Nadim (and his Fihrist), who “ascribed to Mani the claim to be the Seal of the Prophets.” However, given the Islamic milieu of Arabia and Persia at the time, it stands to reason that Manichaeans would regularly assert in their evangelism that Mani, not Muhammad, was the “Seal of the Prophets”. In reality, for Mani the metaphorical expression “Seal of Prophets” is not a reference to his finality in a long succession of prophets, as it is in Islam, but, rather to his followers, who testify or attest his message, as a seal does.

Another source of Mani’s scriptures was original Aramaic writings relating to the Book of Enoch literature (see the Book of Enoch and the Second Book of Enoch), as well as an otherwise unknown section of the Book of Enoch called The Book of Giants. This book was quoted directly, and expanded on by Mani, becoming one of the original six Syriac writings of the Manichaean Church. Besides brief references by non-Manichaean authors through the centuries, no sources of The Book of Giants (which is actually part six of the Book of Enoch) were available until the 20th century.

Not to make it too long, it is fascinating to know how impressive was the idea of Dualism in religious history.

One can be enjoyed if interested in this, just have a look at here

And before finishing it, let’s have some great description from my favourite book: The Master Game, by my dear friends and writers: Graham Hancock & Robert Bauval.

Around AD 240, Mani had begun his preaching mission. His preaching but was distinctly not Zoroastrianism. Therefore he has been forced to exile. Of course, in his exile to India, Mani had got the chance to preach his idea and had great success to have followers there. And after Ardeshir, the first king of the Sasanian dynasty, a convinced Zoroastrian died, Mani came back to Persian and got permission from king Shahpur the first, to continue preaching. The king protected Mani to do what he wished throughout the Persian Empire. Thereafter, Manichaeism won converts at a phenomenal rate causing intense resentment and jealousy amongst the Zoroastrian priesthood. Therefore, they persuaded the king to exile Mani for a second time.

Anyway, after back and forth with the kings’ changing, king Hormuzd, despite his faith to Zoroastrianism, tolerated Mani and his followers. But it doesn’t last so long that the officers arrested him at Gundeshapur in southwestern Persia. He was then subjected to four days of inquisition-style by the Magi (Zoroastrian priests) and declared to be “Zandic” = a heresy. A month of imprisonment in heavy chains, followed after which he was flayed alive and then decapitated. His head was impaled on the city gate, from which his skin, stuffed with straw, was also suspended; what remained of his body was thrown to the dogs.

No doubt, the level of brutality in his execution was commensurate with the level of threat that Magi saw in Mani’s new religion, which was everywhere overtaking them. And just as the case with the destruction of Catharism by the Roman Catholic Church, a thousand years later, it was also a determined attempt made by the Zoroastrians to wipe out Manicheism completely. How horrible it seems, it is a sad old story, which we can find permanently in our history!

This might not be known as the other sects or way of beliefs.

The Manichaeans had not become so famous as the Zoroastrian religion. It might because the latter had aimed to destroy its serious enemy. And after that, when the Arabs came, with their destructive swords, remained no chance for the Manichaeans to go any further.

Let’s have some declarations in detail: (Hopefully, it’s not becoming boring!)

Mani, Messenger of Light

It’s known as Manicheism after its founder Mani. It’s younger than some of the Christian Gnostic movements but a century older than the Messalians. It too was viciously persecuted by the Church as heresy, rather than as a pagan religion.

There’s a dispute amongst scholars as to whether Manicheism was Christian in any meaningful sense at all. Certainly, it was much less Christian than the religion of Bogomils and the Cathars, and that, as I have explained before, accurately can’t be described as Christianity. It said that Mani claimed to be the Apostle of Christ, though there is another claim which he had uttered himself as the Apostle of God. He meant that he was an emissary or messenger, and he placed himself as the successor to Christ at the end of a line of earlier, non-Christian apostles.

Obviously, the Church saw this as heresy. It involved Chris but clearly devalued the unique quality of his mission by putting him on a par with the founders of well-known pagan religions.
One of Mani’s surviving statements on the matter in his Book of the King
, Shapur (circa AD 250) makes this completely clear.

From age to age, the Apostles of God did not cease to bring here the wisdom and works of the spirit. Thus in one age, their coming was into the countries of India, through the Apostle, that was the Buddha. In another age, into the land of Persia, through Zoroaster. Into another, the land of the West, through Jesus. After that, into this last age, this revelation came down, and this prophethood arrived through me, Mani, the Apostle of the true God, into the land of Bable.

[…] More directly, it’s known that Mani was reared amongst an obscure sect of Jewish Christians called the Elchasaitans (considered to have been Gnostics and linked by some scholars with the Essens of Dead Sea Scrolls fame). They were mystics and visionaries with strict purity laws and respective rituals that Mani rebelled against. But through them, he was exposed to an additional vital influence on his thinking – the teachings of the Christian Gnostics. Although later to be persecuted as heresy, these teachings were still in free circulation in the first half of the third century and are generally agreed to have greatly impacted the construction of Mani’s own distinctively Gnostic religion.[…]

…guarded by the might of the Light-angels the exceedingly strong powers, who had a command from Jesus the Splendour for my safekeeping… They nourished me with visions and signs which they made known to me, slight and quite brief, as far as I was able, for, sometimes like a flash of lightning, he came.

Though, Manichaeism is very similar to Catharism and Bogomilism, as far as the divine concerns. And there are two Gods: The one of the Light and the other:

It is the Prince of Darkness who spoke with Moses, the jews, and their priests. Thus, the Christians, the Jews (the Muslims), and the Pagans are involved in the same error when they worship this god. For he led them astray in the lusts that he thought them, since he was not the God of Truth.

Actually, if we take a deep look to the world and these all happening today, it sounds mysteriously true! The question that remains in my mind is: what went wrong after thousands of years of human’s cultural progress, it’s still so much misery and injustice in the world. It seems that the right way was there, and we didn’t catch it up! I can only hope if there’d be light at the end of this long and dark tunnel.

Have a lovely weekend friends. 🧡🧡🙏🤗

Jean-François Champollion under the spell of Ramses II of Turin!

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As I noticed right now, there is something strange that happened to my WordPress site. I posted this some minutes ago but couldn’t see it, and I found it dated 2 June! 😮 As I still know, today is June 10th. The only way to get back to the future, I thought I must reblog it before I’d drown in the past… 😜🤦‍♂️

lampmagician

Ramses II, or the Great; ‘Rais the one who bore him’ or ‘born of Ra’, (Rhaméssēs),c.1303 BC– July or August 1213; reigned 1279–1213 BC, was the thirdpharaohof theNineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of theNew Kingdom, itself the most powerful period ofAncient Egypt.His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor”. He is known asOzymandiasin Greek sources (Koinē Greek:Οσυμανδύας,romanized:Osymandýas),from the first part of Ramesses’sregnal name,UsermaatreSetepenre, “TheMaatofRais powerful, Chosen of Ra”. More on Wikipedia

He was undoubtedly the greatest pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty – and one of the most important leaders of ancient Egypt. The ostentatious pharaoh is best remembered for his exploits at the Battle of Kadesh, his…

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A Short and Not so Important Announcement!

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I’m absent this weekend! It happened spontaneously by a decision, to get a ride to northern Germany to meet friends after so long distance in the time of Corona.

I’ve just thought it might be for interest of few friends 😉

Thank you for being there and wish you all a great weekend 💞😊❤️😘🙏

Jean-François Champollion under the spell of Ramses II of Turin!

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Ramses II, or the Great; ‘Ra is the one who bore him’ or ‘born of Ra’, (Rhaméssēs), c. 1303 BC – July or August 1213; reigned 1279–1213 BC, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt.  He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, itself the most powerful period of Ancient Egypt. His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor”. He is known as Ozymandias in Greek sources (Koinē Greek: Οσυμανδύας, romanized: Osymandýas), from the first part of Ramesses’s regnal nameUsermaatre Setepenre, “The Maat of Ra is powerful, Chosen of Ra”. More on Wikipedia

He was undoubtedly the greatest pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty – and one of the most important leaders of ancient Egypt. The ostentatious pharaoh is best remembered for his exploits at the Battle of Kadesh, his architectural legacy, and for bringing Egypt into its golden age. Here

Here again, is another fascinating article by Marie Grillot, and this time, about this giant statue of the great pharaoh, Ramses II, how it’s been found and restored. It is magical, a spell! 😊💖🙏

Jean-François Champollion sous le charme du Ramsès II de Turin !

via https://egyptophile.blogspot.com/

Statue of Ramses II – Granodiorite – New Kingdom
Discovered at Karnak in 1818 by Jean-Jacques Rifaud on behalf of Bernardino Drovetti Museo Egizio in Turin – C 1380

This magnificent statue of Ramses II is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic pieces of the Egyptian Museum in Turin. With a height approaching 2 m, carved in a block of black diorite (or black granite, or granodiorite, or polished basanite according to the descriptions), of perfect execution, it represents the pharaoh seated on his throne, bearing the emblem power, face and attitude-filled with serenity. This work of art of absolute perfection can only arouse unconditional admiration.

Inscription engraved by J.-J. Rifaud on the right side of the statue of Ramses II – Granodiorite – New Kingdomwhich he discovered in Karnak in 1818 on behalf of Bernardino Drovetti – Museo Egizio de Turin – C 1380

As evidenced by the inscription engraved on the right side of the throne: “Dt par Jj – Rifaud in the service of Mr Drovetti in Thebes SR (?) 1818”, it was discovered by the Marseillais Jean-Jacques Rifaud in 1818, then that he was starting excavations at Karnak on behalf of Bernardino Drovetti – French consul and… Italian antique dealer – who had hired him two years earlier.

The head of Ramses II appears in n ° 3 in “Granite statues, discovered by Jean-Jacques Rifaud, in his excavations in Thebes, in the eastern part of the great temple of Karnak”. Lithograph by Könitzer after the original drawing by Mr. Rifaud

It seems difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the find. Volume II of “Porter & Moss”, which presents it as follows: “Ramesses II, seated, with statuettes of Queen Nefertari on left and of Prince Amenirkhopshef on right, granite, in Turin Mus. 1380” refers us to a chapter of the ‘work by Jean-Jacques Rifaud “Table of Egypt, Nubia and surrounding places, or Itinerary for the use of travellers who visit these regions”. It “would” be referenced in Karnak’s discoveries “From Rifaud excavations. Presumably from here” in enumeration 9: “Three shrines, square pillars, statues, caryatids, the number of black granite statues, a white marble monolith -, a pink granite sacrificial altar, forty-two columns in one direction, and eight in another part: these are the results of the excavations undertaken from the surrounding wall to the eastern gate of the palace… “

Cracks still visible today testify to the condition
in which the statue of Ramses II was found – photo Marie Grillot

Broken discovery: “it was transported to Turin in shapeless fragments”. And also, it seems, according to some sources, that he had to suffer from a fire when he arrived in Italy.

At the start of summer 1824, Jean-François Champollion was at the Turin museum where he came to discover and write the “descriptive and reasoned” catalogue of Egyptian treasures that His Majesty, the King of Sardinia, had just acquired: he proceeds; this is the first “Drovetti” collection.

On this pencil and watercolor drawing by Marco Nicolosino made around 1832,
we can recognize, at the back of the room, the statue of Ramses II

With thanks to his insistence and to the intervention of the knight “Jules Cordero di San Quintino”, the first curator of the Museum, that the statue was able to be reconstituted. Champollion relates the facts thus: “I finally got the pieces of the statue assembled… Nothing is missing.” Throughout his stay, he never ceased to consider: “the beauty and the admirable perfection of this colossal figure” and admits: “For six whole months every day I see him and always believe to see him for the first time … In short, I’m in love with it. “

Why not, therefore, let the man in love and passionate describe it?

Statue of Ramses II – Granodiorite – New Kingdom
Discovered at Karnak in 1818
by Jean-Jacques Rifaud on behalf of Bernardino Drovetti – Museo Egizio de Turin – C 1380

“The king is represented seated on a throne in military dress. The head of the statue of Ramses the Great wears the royal helmet, armour which, according to the green colour that is applied to him in the painted bas-reliefs, was to be in bronze adorned with more precious metals: kinds of nails or small relief discs, similar to the figurative character which, in hieroglyphic texts, expresses the idea of the sun, covering the entire surface of the helmet, except a sort of rim or rather of a visor which protrudes over the entire contour of the forehead; above this visor rises the royal badge, the urœus, the body of which first forms several coils, and then extends in a straight line to the highest part of the helmet.

The face of this statue, as had been worked like all the other parts with extreme care, is of perfection that I did not expect to find in any works of Egyptian ancient style. The expression is both sweet and proud, and with a very brief examination, it is enough to convince that this is a true portrait. The eyes, of medium size, are less prominent than those of most other statues; the eyebrows are strongly marked; the external angle of the eyes is not exaggerated as usual; the nose is long and aquiline, and the mouth small, although the lips are always a little strong. Full cheeks and a rounded chin give the oval face a noticeable elegance and grace. The ears, of excellent shape, but the upper extremity of which always protrudes beyond the line of the eye, an essential characteristic of any figure in true Egyptian style, are pierced as if to hang some precious ornament thereon. Ramses the Great is beardless … A rich necklace, with six divisions ending in a row of dangling pearls, covers the Pharaoh’s chest:

The artist represented him dressed in a loose and long tunic with wide sleeves, striped and pleated, and all the openings, as well as the bottom, are embroidered and adorned with fringes, and this is undoubtedly this famous Egyptian tunic known as ‘calasiris’. The right sleeve, raised above the elbow, gives passage to the arm which, folded against the chest, supports this sceptre in the form of a hook, as often placed in the hand of kings as in that of certain deities; the left arm, extended along the side and resting on the thigh, is covered almost entirely by the sleeve of the tunic, the fringes of which descend to the wrist; the closed hand holds a cylindrical body, quite like a roll of papyrus depressed by the effort of the fingers which grip it. The shoes imitating as sandals, down to the smallest details, in palm leaves, and finely woven, which we still find in the hypogeums, are attached to the feet of the statue that are moreover of a very beautiful shape. And in a fair proportion. The execution of the hands leaves nothing to be desired in these same respects. I will also point out that the artist, as if to express that the Pharaoh’s feet rest on a mat, has traced below and in a single line, on the surface of the footstool of the throne, long leaves of plants similar to those of certain reeds.

Statue of Ramses II: on the right is a representation of Amonherkhepshef, one of his sons, and, on the left, a representation of his wife Nefertari “the beloved of the Theban goddess Mut”

Finally, to the right and left of the legs of the statue, are two full-relief figures leaning against the front of the throne and carved in its mass: one represents a queen adorned with the insignia of Athyr, and the other a young man costumed as the god Horus and wearing the emblem of Victory; two columns of hieroglyphics, engraved near this last statuette, teach us that the colossus was dedicated by the son of the king whom he loves… The legend which accompanies the statuette of woman consists only of these words: His royal and powerful wife who loves him; it undoubtedly relates to the queen, wife of Ramses and mother of Amonh…. (This proper name ends with two characters whose sound is still unknown to me, he specifies in a note): these two figures, one foot high, and wearing small sandals like the colossus, are of a very fine and very careful work.

The cartridges of Ramses II appear in particular

on his right and left forearms and on his belt – photo Marie Grillot

The proper name Ramses, engraved on the belt of the great statue, the particular first name of Ramses VI or the Great, and his proper name, carved, one on the right forearm, the other on the front- left arm, would prove sufficiently that this beautiful statue represents the least ancient, but the most famous of the Egyptian conquerors, all the same, a long inscription, starting from the clip of the belt and going down to the bottom of the tunic, would not tell us that this is indeed the image of the living and beneficent God, the Representative of Ammon, of Mars and the Sun in the high region, the king Re-Saté approved by Phré, the Director and the Guardian of Egypt: The Child of the Gods, The Son of the Sun, The Darling of Ammon: Ramses, The Eternal Awakener. “

Could Ramses II hope for a more wonderful description of his statue, studied, looked at, and interpreted with the greatest and most respectful attention?

As for Jean-François Champollion, it is certainly in order not to leave him totally and definitively that he will return to Paris with a: “good plaster of the entire bust of this statue” …

Marie Grillot

Sources:

Jean-François Champollion, Letters to M. le Duc de Blacas d’Aulps relating to the Royal Egyptian Museum in Turin , first

letter – historical monuments, Turin, July, 1824, Firmin Didot, 1824 (pp. 1-92).
Wikisourc
Table of Egypt, Nubia and surrounding places, or Itinerary for the use of travelers who visit these regions , Jean-Jacques Rifaud, Treuttel et Würtz (Paris), 1830

Topographical bibliography of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, reliefs, and paintings – II – Theban Temples ” by the late Bertha Porter and Rosalind LB Moss, Hon. D. Litt. (Oxon.), FSA. assisted by Ethel W. Burney, second edition revised and augmented, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1972

Art treasures of Museo Egizio, Eleni Vassilika, Allemandi & Co

Guide Museo Egizio, Franco Cosimo Panini editions

The Egyptian Museum Turin, Federico Garolla Editore