c.212 - c.276
Mani was the Iranian founder of Manichaeism, a religion advocating a dualistic doctrine that viewed the world as a fusion of spirit & matter, spirit being good and matter evil.
He considered Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, and himself apostles of God.
He preached his doctrine after he had a mystical experience, and he gathered followers in India, North Africa, and throughout the Persian empire. Manichaeism at its height (3-7th cent.) was one of the most widespread religions in the world.
It was seen as a threat to other religions, and it was widely persecuted in
Christian, Zorostrian, Islamic and Buddhist cultures.