MANDAEANS, also known as Sabians, Nasoraeans, or St John's Christians,' an Oriental sect of great antiquity, interesting to the theologian as almost the only surviving example of a ' The first of these names (not Mendaeans or Mandaites) is that given by themselves, and means yvcvvTucot, followers of Gnosis (m, , 111e2, from ml.lxn, Hebr.
The Mandaeans are found in the marshy lands of South Babylonia (al-bataih), particularly in the neighbourhood of Basra (or Bussorah), and in Khuzistan (Disful, Shuster).
2 The existence of the Mandaeans has been known since the middle 'of the 17th century, when the first Christian missionaries, Ignatius a Jesu and Angelus a Sancto, began to labour among them at Basra; further information was gathered at a somewhat later date by Pietro della Valle' and Jean de Thevenot 5 (1633-1667), and in the following century by Engelbrecht Kaempfer (1651-1716), Jean Chardin (1643-1713) and Carsten Niebuhr.
Norberg (Codex Nazaraeus, liber Adami appellatus, 3 vols., Copenhagen, 1815-1816, followed by a lexicon in 1816, and an onomasticon in 1817), is so defective as to be quite useless; even the name Book of Adam is unknown to the Mandaeans.
The demiurge of the Mandaeans, and corresponding to the Ialdabaoth of the Ophites, he at the instance of his father frames the earth and men - according to some passages in conjunction with the seven bad planetary spirits.