An Inscribed Mandaean Body

Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley

in The Mandaeans

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153859
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834051 | DOI:

Series: An American Academy of Religion Book

 An Inscribed Mandaean Body

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The Great ‘First World’ and its companion text, The Lesser ‘First World’, are both examples of Mandaean priestly esoteric literature, and have been hardly studied since their publication in 1963. An odd figure appears in the scroll of the The Great ‘First World’, along with a number of other illustrations, but the identity of the figure depicted is not specified, although it is in the same style as other Mandaean Lightworld beings and priestly prototypes in illustrated documents. Drower, the translator, hazards no guess at its identity. The author gives her own translation of the text on the body, and suggests on the basis of various arguments that the enigmatic figure might be the priestly prototype Hibil Ziwa, but might also invite interpretation as the mystic sage Dinanukht; it might, in fact, intentionally invite both interpretations.

Keywords: ancient texts; Dinanukht; interpretation; Mandaeans; Mandaeism; The Great ‘First World’; translations; Hibil Ziwa

Chapter.  1329 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Religion

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