An invaluable study of Gnosticism and its numerous manifestations from the second century through the late Middle Ages, dualism being the doctrinal thread uniting such diverse movements as those of Marcion and Valentinus, Manichaeism, the Paulicians, Bogomils, and Cathars. Runciman emphasizes similarities between early Christian dualist thought and the wider religious milieu of the ancient world, between the puritanical strain of the medieval Bogomils and Cathars and that of the new religion of Islam. Runciman is a wonderful historian, careful yet unpedantic, his scholarship rich in the use of primary sources yet immensely readable. For the last fifty years, he has been chiefly responsible for opening Western eyes to the richness and importance of Eastern Christian and Byzantine history, continuously exploring their most obscure backwaters and connecting them with the main stream. The Medieval Manichee
reveals dualist Christian heresies not as isolated movements, but as recurring forms of a continuous opposing tradition to historic orthodoxy. 214 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
A reissue of Sir Steven Runciman's classic account of the Dualist heretic tradition in Christianity from its Gnostic origins, through Armenia, Byzantium, and the Balkans to its final flowering in Italy and Southern France. The chief danger that early Christianity had to face came from the heretical Dualist sect founded in the mid-third century AD by the prophet Mani. Within a century of his death Manichaean churches were established from western Mediterranean lands to eastern Turkestan. Though Manichaeism failed in the end to supplant orthodox Christianity, the Church had been badly frightened; and henceforth it gave the hated epithet of 'Manichaean' to the churches of Dualist doctrines that survived into the late Middle Ages.