ANGALYŪN, Persian rendering of the title of the Gospel (Gk. Euangélion) of Mani. This work was considered the most important of the seven which made up the Manichean scriptural canon; it heads most known lists of these books, whether from Manichean, anti-Manichean, or neutral sources. Like all Mani’s works, except for the Middle Persian Šābuhragān, the Gospel was written in the author’s Eastern Aramaic mother tongue. When not called simply the Gospel, it is usually termed the Living Gospel (Mid. Pers. ewangelyōn zīndag) or the Great Gospel (as in the Chinese compendium: “the GreatYing-lun”). The Coptic Psalm-Book (ed. C. R. C. Allberry, Stuttgart, 1938, pp. 139.55f.) calls it “the King of the Writings, his Great Gospel, his New Testament, the Manna of the Skies.” The book was divided into twenty-two chapters (lógoi) corresponding to the twenty-two letters of the Syriac alphabet. Exact knowledge of its contents is lacking, and only fragments survive: the Middle Persian fragments M 17, 172 I, 733 (with only the words “on earth and . . . ”); the unpublished M 644,5439; and the opening lines in Greek, found in the Cologne Mani-Codex.

See also Aržang.


For Greek, Coptic, Arabic, and Chinese lists, see P. Alfaric, Les écritures manichéennes, Paris, 1918, II, pp. 3f.

C. Schmidt and H. J. Polotsky, Ein Mani-Fund in Ägypten (Sb. preuss. Ak. Wiss., 1933), pp. 35f.

H.-C. Puech, Le manichéisme, Paris, 1949, p. 149.

Idem, “Gnostische Evangelien und verwandte Dokumente,” in E. Hennecke and W. Schneemelcher, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen I, Tübingen, 1959, p. 265; see also p. 267.

See also G. Haloun and W. B. Henning, “The Compendium of the Doctrines and Styles of the Teaching of Mani, the Buddha of Light,” Asia Major, N.S. 3, 1961, pp. 184-212.

Boyce, Cat. Man. Script. for Mid. Pers. fragments.

Idem, A Reader in Manichaean Middle Persianand Parthian, Acta Iranica 9, Tehran and Liège, 1975, pp. 32-33, 184.

A. Henrichs and L. Koenen. “Ein griechischer Mani-Codex (P. Colon. inv. nr. 4780),” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 5/2, 1970, pp. 190-91.

(J. P. Asmussen)

Originally Published: December 15, 1985

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, p. 31

Cite this entry:

J. P. Asmussen, “ANGALYŪN,” Encyclopædia Iranica, II/1, p. 31, available online at (accessed on 30 December 2012).