Merkabah/Merkavah mysticism is a school of early Jewish mysticism, c. 100 BCE – 1000 CE, centered on visions such as those found in the Book of Ezekiel chapter 1, or in the heikhalot literature, concerning stories of ascents to the heavenly palaces and the Throne of God. The main corpus of the Merkavah literature was composed in the period 200–700 CE, although references to the Chariot tradition can be found in the literature of the Chassidei Ashkenaz in the Middle Ages. A major text in this tradition is the Maaseh Merkavah; the noun merkabah/merkavah "thing to ride in, cart" is derived from the consonantal root r-k-b with the general meaning "to ride". The word "chariot" is found 44 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible – most of them referring to normal chariots on earth, although the concept of the Merkabah is associated with Ezekiel's vision, the word is not explicitly written in Ezekiel 1. However, when left untranslated, in English the Hebrew term merkabah/merkavah relates to the throne-chariot of God in prophetic visions.
It is most associated with the vision in Ezekiel chapter 1 of the four-wheeled vehicle driven by four hayyot, each of which has four wings and the four faces of a man, lion, ox, eagle. According to the verses in Ezekiel and its attendant commentaries, his vision consists of a chariot made of many heavenly beings driven by the "Likeness of a Man"; the base structure of the chariot is composed of four beings. These beings are called the "living creatures"; the bodies of the creatures are "like that of a human being", but each of them has four faces, corresponding to the four directions the chariot can go. The faces are that of a lion, an ox and an eagle. Since there are four angels and each has four faces, there are a total of sixteen faces; each of the hayyot angels has four wings. Two of these wings spread across the length of the chariot and connect with the wings of the angel on the other side; this creates a sort of ` box' of wings. With the remaining two wings, each angel covers its own body.
Below, but not attached to, the feet of the hayyot angels are other angels that are shaped like wheels. These wheel angels, which are described as "a wheel inside of a wheel", are called "ophanim" אופנים; these wheels are nearby and along its perimeter. The angel with the face of the man is always on the east side and looks up at the "Likeness of a Man" that drives the chariot; the "Likeness of a Man" sits on a throne made of sapphire. The Bible makes mention of a third type of angel found in the Merkabah called "seraphim" angels; these angels appear like flashes of fire continuously descending. These seraphim angels power the movement of the chariot. In the hierarchy of these angels, seraphim are the highest, that is, closest to God, followed by the hayyot, which are followed by the ophanim; the chariot is in a constant state of motion, the energy behind this movement runs according to this hierarchy. The movement of the ophanim is controlled by the "Living creatures", or Hayyot, while the movement of the hayyot is controlled by the seraphim.
The movement of all the angels of the chariot is controlled by the "Likeness of a Man" on the Throne. Mark Verman has distinguished four periods in early Jewish mysticism, developing from Isaiah's and Ezekiel's visions of the Throne/Chariot, to extant merkabah mysticism texts: 800–500 BCE, mystical elements in Prophetic Judaism such as Ezekiel's chariot Beginning c. 530s BCE 300–100 BCE, Apocalyptic literature mysticism Beginning c. 100 BCE 1–130s CE, early Rabbinic merkabah mysticism referred to in exoteric Rabbinic literature such as the Pardes ascent. 1–200 CE, continuing till c. 1000 CE, merkabah mystical ascent accounts in the esoteric Merkabah-Hekhalot literature The earliest Rabbinic merkabah commentaries were exegetical expositions of the prophetic visions of God in the heavens, the divine retinue of angels and heavenly creatures surrounding God. The earliest evidence suggests that merkabah homiletics did not give rise to ascent experiences – as one rabbinic sage states: "Many have expounded upon the merkabah without seeing it."One mention of the merkabah in the Talmud notes the importance of the passage: "A great issue—the account of the merkavah.
The sages Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva were involved in merkabah exegesis. Rabbi Akiva and his contemporary Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha are most the protagonists of merkabah ascent literature; the Talmudic interdictions concerning merkabah speculation are numerous and held. Discussions concerning the merkabah were limited to only the most worthy sages, admonitory legends are preserved about the dangers of overzealous speculation concerning the merkabah. For example, the secret doctrines might not be discussed in public: "Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above thy strength, but what is commanded thee, think thereupon with reverence. It must be studied only by exemplary scholars: "Ma'aseh Bereshit must not be explained before two, nor Ma'aseh Merkabah before one, unless he be wise and understands it by himself." Further commentary notes tha
The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran. They share a common cultural system and are native speakers of the Persian language, as well as related languages; the ancient Persians were a nomadic branch of the ancient Iranian population that entered the territory of modern-day Iran by the early 10th century BC. Together with their compatriot allies, they established and ruled some of the world's most powerful empires, well-recognized for their massive cultural and social influence covering much of the territory and population of the ancient world. Throughout history, the Persians have contributed to various forms of art and science, own one of the world's most prominent literatures. In contemporary terminology, people of Persian heritage native to present-day Afghanistan and Uzbekistan are referred to as Tajiks, whereas those in the eastern Caucasus, albeit assimilated, are referred to as Tats; however the terms Tajik and Persian were synonymous and were used interchangeably, many of the most influential Persian figures hailed from outside Iran's present-day borders to the northeast in Central Asia and Afghanistan and to a lesser extent to the northwest in the Caucasus proper.
In historical contexts in English, "Persians" may be defined more loosely to cover all subjects of the ancient Persian polities, regardless of ethnic background. The English term Persian derives from Latin Persia, itself deriving from Greek Persís, a Hellenized form of Old Persian Pārsa. In the Bible, it is given as Parás —sometimes Paras uMadai —within the books of Esther, Daniel and Nehemya. A Greek folk etymology connected the name to a legendary character in Greek mythology. Herodotus recounts this story, devising a foreign son, from whom the Persians took the name; the Persians themselves knew the story, as Xerxes I tried to use it to suborn the Argives during his invasion of Greece, but failed to do so. Although Persis was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, varieties of this term were adopted through Greek sources and used as an official name for all of Iran for many years. Thus, in the Western world, the term Persian came to refer to all inhabitants of the country; some medieval and early modern Islamic sources used cognates of the term Persian to refer to various Iranian peoples, including the speakers of the Khwarezmian language, the Mazanderani language, the Old Azeri language.
10th-century Iraqi historian Al-Masudi refers to Pahlavi and Azari as dialects of the Persian language. In 1333, medieval Moroccan traveler and scholar Ibn Battuta referred to the people of Kabul as a specific sub-tribe of Persians. Lady Mary Sheil, in her observation of Iran during the Qajar era, describes Persians and Leks to identify themselves as "descendants of the ancient Persians". On March 21, 1935, the former king of Iran, Reza Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty, issued a decree asking the international community to use the term Iran, the native name of the country, in formal correspondence. However, the term Persian is still used to designate the predominant population of the Iranian peoples living in the Iranian cultural continent; the earliest known written record attributed to the Persians is from the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, an Assyrian inscription from the mid-9th century BC, found at Nimrud. The inscription mentions Parsua as a tribal chiefdom in modern-day western Iran; the ancient Persians were a nomadic branch of the Iranian population that, in the early 10th century BC, settled to the northwest of modern-day Iran.
They were dominated by the Assyrians for much of the first three centuries after arriving in the region. However, they played a major role in the downfall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire; the Medes, another branch of this population, founded the unified empire of Media as the region's dominant cultural and political power in c. 625 BC. Meanwhile, the Persian dynasty of the Achaemenids formed a vassal state to the central Median power. In c. 552 BC, the Achaemenids began a revolution which led to the conquest of the empire by Cyrus II in c. 550 BC. They spread their influence to the rest of what is called the Iranian Plateau, assimilated with the non-Iranian indigenous groups of the region, including the Elamites and the Mannaeans. At its greatest extent, the Achaemenid Empire stretched from parts of Eastern Europe in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen; the Achaemenids developed the infrastructure to support their growing influence, including the creation of Pasargadae and the opulent city of Persepolis.
The empire extended as far as the limits of the Greek city states in modern-day mainland Greece, where the Persians and Athenians influenced each other in what is a reciprocal cultural exchange. Its legacy and impact on the kingdom of Macedon was notably huge for centuries after the withdrawal of the Persians from Europe following the Greco-Persian Wars; the empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire. During the Achaemenid era, Persian colonists settled in Asia Minor. In Lydia, near Sardis, there was the Hyrcanian plain, according to Strabo, got its name from the Persian settlers that were moved from Hyrcania. Near Sardis, there was the plain of Cyrus, which further signified the presence of numerous Persian settlements in
Jesus referred to as Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity, is described as the most influential person in history. Most Christians believe he is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. All modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew, baptized by John the Baptist and began his own ministry, he preached orally and was referred to as "rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables and gathered followers, he was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After his death, his followers believed he rose from the dead, the community they formed became the early Church.
The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25th as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on his resurrection on Easter; the used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini, the equivalent alternative "CE", are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus. Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, founded the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven, from where he will return. Most Christians believe; the Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology. The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or as non-scriptural. Jesus figures in non-Christian religions and new religious movements.
In Islam, Jesus is considered one of the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was a bringer of scripture and was born of a virgin, but was not the son of God; the Quran states. Most Muslims do not believe that he was crucified, but that he was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, was neither divine nor resurrected. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes followed by the phrase "son of <father's name>", or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon", "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth"; the name Jesus is derived from the Latin Iesus, a transliteration of the Greek Ἰησοῦς. The Greek form is a rendering of the Hebrew ישוע, a variant of the earlier name יהושע, or in English, "Joshua", meaning "Yah saves".
This was the name of Moses' successor and of a Jewish high priest. The name Yeshua appears to have been in use in Judea at the time of the birth of Jesus; the 1st-century works of historian Flavius Josephus, who wrote in Koine Greek, the same language as that of the New Testament, refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus. The etymology of Jesus' name in the context of the New Testament is given as "Yahweh is salvation". Since early Christianity, Christians have referred to Jesus as "Jesus Christ"; the word Christ was a office, not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh meaning "anointed", is transliterated into English as "Messiah". In biblical Judaism, sacred oil was used to anoint certain exceptionally holy people and objects as part of their religious investiture. Christians of the time designated Jesus as "the Christ" because they believed him to be the Messiah, whose arrival is prophesied in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
In postbiblical usage, Christ became viewed as a name—one part of "Jesus Christ". The term "Christian" has been in use since the 1st century; the four canonical gospels are the foremost sources for the message of Jesus. However, other parts of the New Testament include references to key episodes in his life, such as the Last Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23. Acts of the Apostles refers to the early ministry of its anticipation by John the Baptist. Acts 1:1 -- 11 says more about the Ascension of Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters, which were written earlier than the gospels, the words or instructions of Jesus are cited several times; some early Christian groups had separate descriptions of the life and teachings of Jesus that are not included in the New Testament. These include the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel
Platonism, rendered as a proper noun, is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered derived from it. In narrower usage, rendered as a common noun, refers to the philosophy that affirms the existence of abstract objects, which are asserted to "exist" in a "third realm" distinct both from the sensible external world and from the internal world of consciousness, is the opposite of nominalism. Lower case "platonists" need not accept any of the doctrines of Plato. In a narrower sense, the term might indicate the doctrine of Platonic realism; the central concept of Platonism, a distinction essential to the Theory of Forms, is the distinction between the reality, perceptible but unintelligible, the reality, imperceptible but intelligible. The forms are described in dialogues such as the Phaedo and Republic as transcendent perfect archetypes of which objects in the everyday world are imperfect copies. In the Republic the highest form is identified as the Form of the Good, the source of all other forms, which could be known by reason.
In the Sophist, a work, the forms being and difference are listed among the primordial "Great Kinds". In the 3rd century BC, Arcesilaus adopted skepticism, which became a central tenet of the school until 90 BC when Antiochus added Stoic elements, rejected skepticism, began a period known as Middle Platonism. In the 3rd century AD, Plotinus added mystical elements, establishing Neoplatonism, in which the summit of existence was the One or the Good, the source of all things. Platonism had a profound effect on Western thought, many Platonic notions were adopted by the Christian church which understood Plato's forms as God's thoughts, while Neoplatonism became a major influence on Christian mysticism, in the West through St Augustine, Doctor of the Catholic Church whose Christian writings were influenced by Plotinus' Enneads, in turn were foundations for the whole of Western Christian thought; the primary concept is the Theory of Forms. The only true being is founded upon the forms, the eternal, perfect types, of which particular objects of moral and responsible sense are imperfect copies.
The multitude of objects of sense, being involved in perpetual change, are thereby deprived of all genuine existence. The number of the forms is defined by the number of universal concepts which can be derived from the particular objects of sense; the following excerpt may be representative of Plato's middle period metaphysics and epistemology: "Since the beautiful is opposite of the ugly, they are two." "Of course." "And since they are two, each is one?" "I grant that also." "And the same account is true of the just and unjust, the good and the bad, all the forms. Each of them is itself one, but because they manifest themselves everywhere in association with actions and one another, each of them appears to be many." "That's right." "So, I draw this distinction: On one side are those you just now called lovers of sights, lovers of crafts, practical people. "How do you mean?" "The lovers of sights and sounds like beautiful sounds, colors and everything fashioned out of them, but their thought is unable to see and embrace the nature of the beautiful itself."
"That's for sure." "In fact, there are few people who would be able to reach the beautiful itself and see it by itself. Isn't that so?" "Certainly." "What about someone who believes in beautiful things, but doesn't believe in the beautiful itself and isn't able to follow anyone who could lead him to the knowledge of it? Don't you think he is living in a dream rather than a wakened state? Isn't this dreaming: whether asleep or awake, to think that a likeness is not a likeness but rather the thing itself that it is like?" "I think that someone who does, dreaming." "But someone who, to take the opposite case, believes in the beautiful itself, can see both it and the things that participate in it and doesn't believe that the participants are it or that it itself is the participants--is he living in a dream or is he awake? "He's much awake." Book VI of the Republic identifies the highest form as the Form of the Good, the cause of all other Ideas, that on which the being and knowing of all other Forms is contingent.
Conceptions derived from the impressions of sense can never give us the knowledge of true being. It can only be obtained by the soul's activity within itself, apart from the troubles and disturbances of sense. Dialectic, as the instrument in this process, leading us to knowledge of the forms, to the highest form of the Good, is the first of sciences. Neoplatonism, beginning with Plotinus, identified the Good of the Republic with the so-called transcendent, absolute One of the first hypothesis of the Parmenides. Platonist ethics is based on the Form of the Good. Virtue is the recognition of the supreme form of the good. And, since in this cognition, the three parts of the soul, which are reason and appetite, all have their share, we get the three virtues, Wisdom and Moderation; the bond which unites the other virtues is the virtue of Justice, by which each part of the soul is confined to the performance of its proper function. Platonism had a profound effect on Western thought. In many interpretations of the Timaeus Platonism, like Aristotelianism, poses an eternal universe, as opposed to the nearby Judaic tradition that the universe had bee
Early Christianity covers the period from its origins until the First Council of Nicaea. This period is divided into the Apostolic Age and the Ante-Nicene Period; the first Christians were Jewish Christians, either by conversion. Important practices were baptism, which made one a member of the Christian community, the communal meals, from which the Eucharist developed, the participation in Christ's death and resurrection; the inclusion of Gentile God-fearers lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. A variety of Christianities developed throughout the 2nd and 3rd century, alongside a developing proto-orthodoxy, which defined orthodoxy and heresy. Proto-orthodoxy developed in tandem with the growing number of Christians, which necessitated the devlopment of eccelsiastical structure. Early Christians used and revered the Hebrew Bible as religious text in the Greek or Aramaic translations, but developed their own Canon of the New Testament, which includes the canonical gospels, letters of the Apostles, Revelation, all written before 120.
Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. Christianity "emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine" in the syncretistic Hellenistic world of the first century CE, dominated by Roman law and Greek culture. During the early first century CE there were many competing Jewish sects in the Holy Land, those that became Rabbinic Judaism and Proto-orthodox Christianity were but two of these. There were Pharisees and Zealots, but other less influential sects, including the Essenes; the first century BCE and first century CE saw a growing number of charismatic religious leaders contributing to what would become the Mishnah of Rabbinic Judaism.
A central concern in 1st century Judaism was the covenant with God, the status of the Jews as the chosen people. Many Jews believed; the Law was given by God to guide them in their worship of the Lord and in their interctions with each other, "the greatest gift God had given his people."The Jewish messiah concept has its root in the apocalyptic literature of the 2nd century BC to 1st century BC, promising a future leader or king from the Davidic line, expected to be anointed with holy anointing oil and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age and world to come. The Messiah is referred to as "King Messiah" or malka meshiḥa in Aramaic. In the Synoptic Gospels Jewish eschatology stands central. After being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus teaches extensively for a year, or maybe just a few months, about the Kingdom of God, in aphorisms and parables, using similes and figurs of speech. In the Gospel of John, Jesus himself is the main subject; the Kingdom is described as eschatological, becoming reality in the near future.
Jesus talks as expecting the coming of the "Son of Man" from heaven, an apocalyptic figure who would initiate "the coming judgment and the redemption of Israel." According to Davies, the Sermon on the Mount presents Jesus as the new Moses who brings a New Law, the Messianic Torah. His ministry was ended by his execution by crucifixion, his early followers believed that three days after his death, Jesus rose bodily from the dead and was exalted to Divine status. Paul's letters and the Gospels document a number of post-resurrection appearances, the resurrection of Jesus "signalled for earliest believers that the days of eschatological fulfilment were at hand." The resurrection was seen as the exaltation of Jesus to the status of divine Son and Lord. His followers expected Him to return in the near future. Since the 18th century, three scholarly quests for the historical Jesus have taken place, each with distinct characteristics and based on different research criteria, which were developed during each specific phase.
Scholars involved in the third quest for the historical Jesus have constructed a variety of portraits and profiles for Jesus, most prominently that of Jesus as a Jewish apocalyptic prophet or eschatological teacher. The first part of the period, named after the lifetimes of the Twelve Apostles as narrated in the Acts of the Apostles, is called the Apostolic Age; the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. After the death of Jesus, "Christianity emerged as a sect of Judaism in Roman Palestine." The first Christians were all Jews, either by birth or conversion, who constituted a Second Temple Jewish sect with an apocalyptic eschatology. The New Testament's Acts of the Apostles and Epistle to the Galatians record the existence of a Christian community centered on Jerusalem, that its leaders included Peter, the "brother of Jesus", John the Apostle; the Jerusalem Church "held a central place among all the churches,".
Christian missionary activity spread Christianity
The Alawis rendered as Alawites, are a sect of the Ghulat branch of Islam centred in Syria. The eponymously-named Alawites revere Ali, considered the first Imam of the Twelver school. However, they are considered to be ghulat by orthodox Shia Islam; the group is believed to have been founded by Ibn Nusayr during the 9th century and established as a religion. For this reason, Alawites are sometimes called Nusayris, though the term has come to be used as a pejorative in the modern era. Another name, "Ansari", is believed to be a mistransliteration of "Nusayri". Today, according to Mehrdad Izady, Alawites represent 17.2 percent of the Syrian population, an increase from 11.8 percent in 2010 and are a significant minority in the Hatay Province of Turkey and northern Lebanon. There is a population living in the village of Ghajar in the Golan Heights, they are confused with the Alevis of Turkey. Alawites form the dominant religious group on the Syrian coast and towns near the coast which are inhabited by Sunnis and Ismailis.
Alawites identify as a separate ethnoreligious group. The Qur'an is only one of their holy books and texts, their interpretation thereof has little in common with the Shia Muslim interpretation but in accordance with the early Batiniyya and other Muslim ghulats sects. Alawite theology and rituals break from mainstream Shia Islam in several remarkable ways. For one the Alawites drink wine as Ali's transubstantiated essence in their rituals, they believe in reincarnation. Alawites have kept their beliefs secret from outsiders and non-initiated Alawites, so rumours about them have arisen. Arabic accounts of their beliefs tend to be partisan. However, since the early 2000s, Western scholarship on the Alawite religion has made significant advances. At the core of Alawite belief is a divine triad; these aspects, or emanations, appear cyclically in human form throughout history. The establishment of the French Mandate of Syria marked a turning point in Alawi history, it gave the French the power to recruit Syrian civilians into their armed forces for an indefinite period and created exclusive areas for minorities, including an Alawite State.
The Alawite State was dismantled, but the Alawites continued to be a significant part of the Syrian Armed Forces. Since Hafez al-Assad took power through the 1970 Corrective Movement, the government has been dominated by a political elite led by the Alawite Al-Assad family. During the Islamist uprising in Syria in the 1970s and 1980s, the establishment came under pressure. Greater pressure has resulted from the Syrian Civil War. In older sources, Alawis are called "Ansaris". According to Samuel Lyde, who lived among the Alawites during the mid-19th century, this was a term they used among themselves. Other sources indicate that "Ansari" is a Western error in the transliteration of "Nusayri". However, the term "Nusayri" had fallen out of currency by the 1920s, as a movement led by intellectuals within the community during the French Mandate sought to replace it with the modern term "Alawi", they characterised the older name as an "invention of the sect's enemies", ostensibly favouring an emphasis on "connection with mainstream Islam"—particularly the Shia branch.
As such, "Nusayri" is now regarded as antiquated, has come to have insulting and abusive connotations. The term is employed as hate speech by Sunni fundamentalists fighting against Bashar al-Assad's government in the Syrian civil war, who use its emphasis on Ibn Nusayr in order to insinuate that Alawi beliefs are "man-made" and not divinely inspired. Recent research has shown that the Alawi appellation was used by the sect's adherents since the 11th century; the following quote from Alkan illustrates this point: "In actual fact, the name'Alawī' appears as early as in an 11th century Nuṣayrī tract. Moreover, the term'Alawī' was used at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1903 the Belgian-born Jesuit and Orientalist Henri Lammens visited a certain Ḥaydarī-Nuṣayrī sheikh Abdullah in a village near Antakya and mentions that the latter preferred the name'Alawī' for his people. Lastly, it is interesting to note that in the above-mentioned petitions of 1892 and 1909 the Nuṣayrīs called themselves the'Arab Alawī people"our ʿAlawī Nuṣayrī people' or'signed with Alawī people'.
This early self-designation is, of triple importance. Firstly, it shows; the Alawites are distinct from the Alevi religious sect in Turkey, although the terms share a common etymology and pronunciation. The origin of the genetics of Alawites is disputed. Local folklore suggests that they are descendants of the followers of the eleventh Imam, Hasan al-Askari and his pupil, Ibn Nusayr. During the 19th and 20th centuries, some Western scholars believed that Alawites were descended from ancient Middle Eastern peoples such as the Arameans, Hittites, and
The Cologne Mani-Codex is a minute parchment codex, dated on paleographical evidence to the fifth century CE, found near Asyut, Egypt. The codex became known via antique dealers in Cairo, it consisted of four deteriorated lumps of vellum the size of a palm, was in poor condition. It was purchased for the Institut für Altertumskunde at the University of Cologne in 1969, two of its scientists, Albert Henrichs and Ludwig Koenen, produced a first report and the first edition of this ancient manuscript, hence known as the Cologne Mani-Codex, which they published in four articles in the Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Many emendations and alternate readings were offered in the following decade, it was found that some of the minute fragments associated with the codex could be incorporated into the body of text. A second edition was published in 1988. Two symposia have been devoted to the codex, their papers published: in Rende and in Cosenza; the text, which bears the ambiguous title "On the origin of his body", recounts Mani's introduction to the Jewish-Christian Elkesaite baptising sect.
Mani's teachings are revealed to him through his spiritual celestial twin. The Greek text bears traces that shows it has been translated from an Eastern Aramaic or Old Syriac original; the logoi of Mani himself are cited. That it is a compilation from earlier texts is suggested by the names of teachers that head each section of the text; the Cologne Mani Codex "Concerning the Origin of His Body" Edited and translated by Ron Cameron and Arthur J. Dewey. Society of Biblical Literature Texts and Translations Series 15. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1979; the Cologne Mani Codex - Reproductions, University of Cologne, Papyrus Collection Encyclopædia Iranica, s.v. "Cologne Mani-Codex"