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Gnostic roots for the Mazdakites?

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  • apx0n
    Hi all, I was googling a subject I haven t touched in a while, Mazdakism, and found several startling references (in NON-scholarly sources) to the movement
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 25, 2003
      Hi all,

      I was googling a subject I haven't touched in a while, Mazdakism, and
      found several startling references (in NON-scholarly sources) to the
      movement being founded atop an earlier reform effort within the
      Zoroastrian church - namely, a movement founded by gnosis-influenced
      mobads who had returned from Rome. These mobads, apparently,
      introduced teachings that suggested that Zoroastrian scriptures held
      an inner meaning, one that could be revealed through a study of
      esoteric teachings. The sources I cam accross didn't offer any other
      insight into how these mobads were 'gnosis-influenced'.

      I don't know if anyone knows about the Mazdakites here, but they were
      a proto-communist movement dating to late fifth century and early
      sixth century Sassanian Iran, founded by a supposedly historic figure
      named 'Mazdak' and supported, for a time, by Shah Kavad. I have two
      questions:

      1) Has anyone heard elsewhere that the Mazdakites were influenced by,
      or in any way resembled, gnosticism?

      2) Aside from traditions that may have had some 'close encounters'
      with Zoroastrianism (Mani was favored by the Shah in his day, but
      hated by the Zoroastrian Church as I understand it), does anyone know
      of gnostic movements within the Zoroastrian Church?

      Thanks for the help,
      Josh

      PS - if anyone has any interest in the Mazdakites email me! I'd love
      to either join or start a chat about them.
    • pmcvflag
      I believe what you may be talking about is a book by Pr Ehsan Yarshater on Manichaeans, and a chapter on the Mazdekites.
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 26, 2003
        I believe what you may be talking about is a book by Pr Ehsan
        Yarshater on Manichaeans, and a chapter on the Mazdekites.
        http://www.derafsh-kaviyani.com/english/mazdak.html

        I don't see that he mentions the "Gnostics" in question by name, but
        perhaps he means to imply that Manichaeans are Gnostic (something I
        would disagree with, as would many others here).

        PMCV

        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "apx0n" <apx0n@y...> wrote:
        > Hi all,
        >
        > I was googling a subject I haven't touched in a while, Mazdakism,
        and
        > found several startling references (in NON-scholarly sources) to
        the
        > movement being founded atop an earlier reform effort within the
        > Zoroastrian church - namely, a movement founded by gnosis-
        influenced
        > mobads who had returned from Rome. These mobads, apparently,
        > introduced teachings that suggested that Zoroastrian scriptures
        held
        > an inner meaning, one that could be revealed through a study of
        > esoteric teachings. The sources I cam accross didn't offer any
        other
        > insight into how these mobads were 'gnosis-influenced'.
        >
        > I don't know if anyone knows about the Mazdakites here, but they
        were
        > a proto-communist movement dating to late fifth century and early
        > sixth century Sassanian Iran, founded by a supposedly historic
        figure
        > named 'Mazdak' and supported, for a time, by Shah Kavad. I have
        two
        > questions:
        >
        > 1) Has anyone heard elsewhere that the Mazdakites were influenced
        by,
        > or in any way resembled, gnosticism?
        >
        > 2) Aside from traditions that may have had some 'close encounters'
        > with Zoroastrianism (Mani was favored by the Shah in his day, but
        > hated by the Zoroastrian Church as I understand it), does anyone
        know
        > of gnostic movements within the Zoroastrian Church?
        >
        > Thanks for the help,
        > Josh
        >
        > PS - if anyone has any interest in the Mazdakites email me! I'd
        love
        > to either join or start a chat about them.
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