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Manichaeism was founded in Mesopotamia in the 3rd century by a Syro- Persian named Mani. The highly evangelistic Gnostic religion claimed converts including the young Augustine in the Roman Empire and was later seen as the inspiration for Paulicians, Bogomils and Cathars. Spreading across Central Asia as far as China, Manichaeism was a major heresy in the West, and suppressed as a rebel ideology in China. Professor Lieu presents the first full account of its origins and history, its persecution in the Roman and Chinese Empires and its extraordinary survival and diffusion. (1985) Slightly off-mint.