ADDĀ, one of the earliest disciples of Mani (to judge from the Cologne Mani Codex, p. 165.6; see Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik V, 1970, p. 111, n. 32). According to the Middle Iranian “history of the Manichean mission” (Andreas-Henning, Mir. Man. II, p. 301ff.), he was sent as a bishop on a mission into Roman-ruled territory. He was serving under the teacher Pattikios, and they were accompanied by an abbot or scribe named Mani, as well as other “brothers,” and are said to have reached Alexandria. After about one year’s time Pattikios returned to Mani in Sasanian Mesopotamia and Addā took over direction of the mission. His relationship to other missionaries in the western lands remains unclear. His greatest triumph was the conversion of Nafšā, a sister of “Caesar’s” wife (i.e., of Zenobia? See W. Sundermann, “Iranische Lebensbeschreibungen Manis,” Acta Orientalia 36, 1974, p. 137; N. Sims-Williams in W. Sundermann, Mitteliranische manichäische Texte, pp. 41ff.). For the date of the mission to the Roman empire, H. H. Schaeder suggested between 244 and 261-62 A.D. (Iranica, Abh. der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, phil.-hist. Kl., 1934, p. 71); the attempted dating to ca. 241 (Sundermann, “Iranische Lebensbeschreibungen,” pp. 95, 102) remains problematic. Ca. 260-61 Addā was active with Abzaxyā in Karḵā de Bēṯ Selōḵ (Kerkuk). He was also a writer, as is attested by Christian controversialists (cf. JA 1911, pp. 501ff.)

The name Addā occurs in that form in Christian Syriac and is confirmed by Coptic Add(as), by Addâs and Adda in the Acta Archelai, and by St. Augustine’s Addas; cf. Mid. Pers. and Parth. ʾdʾ and Sogdian (ʾ)ʾt(t)ʾ. Thus the form in the Cologne Mani Codex may be restored. The contrasting form “Addai” (ʾdy) in the Syriac “History of Karḵā de Bēṯ Selōḵ” (G. Hoffmann, Auszüge aus syrischen Akten persischer Märtyrer, Leipzig, 1880, p. 46.9) is presumably an assimilation to the name of the famous Christian apostle of the Syrians.


See also Hegemonius, Acta Archelai, ed. C. H. Beeson, Leipzig, 1906, pp. 5.5, 22.4, 93.16.

P. Alfaric, Les écritures manichéennes, Paris, 1918, pp. 104-05.

R. Jolivet and M. Jourjon, eds., Oeuvres de Saint Augustin 17: Six traités manichéennes, Paris, 1961, pp. 203-05.

O. Klima, Manis Zeit und Leben, Prague, 1962, pp. 498-99.

J. P. Asmussen, Xuāstvānīft, Copenhagen, 1965, p. 21.

W. Sundermann, Mitteliranische manichäische Texte kirchengeschichtlichen Inhalts, Berliner Turfantexte XI, Berlin, 1981, pp. 25ff., 34ff.

(W. Sundermann)

Originally Published: December 15, 1983

Last Updated: July 22, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 5, pp. 451-452

Cite this entry:

W. Sundermann, “ADDĀ,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/5, pp. 451-452; an updated version is available online at (accessed on 7 February 2014).