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Mattias Brand awarded Praemium Erasmianum Dissertation Award 2021

Mattias Brand’s dissertation, The Manichaeans of Kellis: Religion, Community, and Everyday Life (Leiden, 2019) has been selected for one of the five prestigious Praemium Erasmianum Dissertation Awards 2021.

Manichaean texts from the Dakhleh Oasis

In his dissertation (supervised by Ab de Jong and Jacques van der Vliet, both from the LIAS), Mattias focuses on the rich fund of newly discovered Manichaean texts in Coptic from Kellis, a small site in the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt. Kellis was abandoned in the late fourth century. It was excavated in the context of the large-scale international Dakhleh Oasis Project (https://dakhlehoasisproject.com/), in which Leiden scholars (especially Olaf Kaper and Klaas Worp) have long participated. These new Manichaean sources are the oldest known Manichaean texts, and the only ones to have emerged from a modern controlled excavation. Although the collection also contains literary and religious Manichaean texts (as well as a small number of texts in Greek and Syriac), the bulk consists of personal and business correspondence. On the basis of this material, this dissertation evokes the daily life of a Manichaean community at the margins of the Roman Empire in late antiquity. The (online) awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 27 May 2021, at 4 pm.

See https://erasmusprijs.org/dissertatieprijzen/ for more information.

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