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675), call themselves “Mandaeans” (“the knowledgeable ones,” from the Aramaic “knowledge”).These ancient Gnostic Baptists were wrongly considered by early European missionaries and travelers as “Christians of St.

Traditional Mandaean society remains segmented into priests and laypeople, with the yalufas as an intermediary group.

The ritual and cultural building, the , is a neutral-looking, large house (without any inscription revealing its nature) in the Mandaean quarter of Ahwaz. Prayers and services, religious instruction, settling of internal Mandaean communal matters, and other community affairs take place in the mandi.

12, entitled , in the Bodleian Library, Oxford) testifies to large Mandaean populations in these towns.

On the basis of documentation from Mandaean colophons, one may safely conclude that the Mandaeans have moved around a great deal, both as a result of persecutions and of natural disasters.

Other rituals include meals and ceremonies for the dead.

The rituals are complex; they are liturgy-dependent, and they require priests.

Jordan/Palestine; for a different view see, however, MANDAEANS i. An old, mostly discarded, hypothesis of the Mandaeans as indigenous to Babylonia has recently been revived (Lupieri, pp. The Mandaeans settled in the mountains of Media and in Mesene (Characene), roughly present-day Khuzestan and lower Mesopotamia.

Coins from Tang-e Sarvak, near the Mārun River, north of Behbahān, from the 2nd century, in late Arsacid times, attest to an Aramaic-speaking people whose language seems to have been influenced by the Mandaic language.

Mandaeans also used to live on the Jarrāhi River (now called Abu Hanyour), but apparently not in recent centuries.

(These events are recorded in Mandaean colophons, mainly in unpublished manuscripts; see Buckley, 2005.) The largest population of Mandaeans is still in Iraq, where they live predominantly in Baghdad and Baṣra, much less so in their former centers of ʿAmāra on the Tigris, in An Nāṣeriya, and Suq-al-Šoyukҳ on the Euphrates, and in Qurna at the confluence of the two rivers.

Khorramshahr (Ḵorramšahr, old Moḥammara) and Shushtar (Šuštar), towns that previously held considerable Mandaean populations, no longer do.

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