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The Manichaean script evolved from Syriac Estrangelo with influences from the Sogdian script. It is believed by some to have been devised in the 3rd century AD by Mani, the founder of the Manichaean religion, and was used until the 10th century.

During the 19th century German expeditions discovered a number of Manichaean manuscripts at Bulayiq on the Silk Road, near Turfan in north-west China.

Notable features

Used to write

Middle Persian, Sogdian, Parthian, Bactrian, Uyhur, Old Turkish and Tokharian.

Manichaean script

Manichaean script


Information about the Manichaean script

Digital archieve of Manichaean manuscripts found in Turfan

Information about the Manichaean religion

Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), University of London:

Consonant alphabets (Abjads)

Ancient Berber, Arabic, Hebrew, Mandaic, Manichaean, Middle Persian, Nabataean, Parthian, Phoenician, Paleo-Hebrew, Proto-Sinaitic / Proto-Canaanite, Psalter, Punic, Sabaean, Samaritan, Sogdian, South Arabian, Syriac, Tifinagh, Ugaritic