Mani was a Babylonian who lived in the Parthina (Persian) empire. He was prophet and religious founder who developed a dualistic religion. He lived around 210-276 CE.
The fundamental division in Manicheism was between the Good/Spiritual realm and the Evil/physical realm Human souls originated in the Spiritual realm but were ensnared in matter.
Mani incorporated elements from Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity in his religion which, for a time, was a serious rival of Christianity in the Middle East and North Africa. Some have speculated that pockets of Manichees survived into the middle ages and inspired groups such as the Cathars.
Mani was executed by crucifixion (or, alternatively, by flaying alive) by the Shahnashah Bahram I.
teacher of comparative religions