The Manichaean script is an abjad-based writing system rooted in the Semitic family of alphabets and associated with the spread of Manichaeism from southwest to central Asia and beyond, beginning in the 3rd century CE. It bears a sibling relationship to early forms of the Pahlavi script, both systems having developed from the Imperial Aramaic alphabet, in which the Achaemenid court rendered its particular, official dialect of the Aramaic language. Unlike Pahlavi, Manichaean script reveals influences from Sogdian script, which in turn descends from the Syriac branch of Aramaic. Manichaean script is so named because Manichaean texts attribute its design to Mani himself. Middle Persian is written with this alphabet.
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (June 2021)
|3rd century – c. 10th century CE|
|Languages||Middle Iranian and Tocharian languages|
|ISO 15924||Mani (139), Manichaean|
Final Accepted Script Proposal
The Iranologist Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst notes that the Manichaean script was mainly used to write numerous Middle Iranian languages (Manichaean Middle Persian, Parthian, Sogdian, Early New Persian, Bactrian), and Old Uyghur (a Turkic language). The Manichaean script is closely related to the Palmyrene script of Aramaic and the Estrangelo script of Syriac.