This book is about the rise of Christian dualism and its influence in the Byzantine world. Before the seventh century there had been dualist religions like Gnosticism and Manichaeism which contained Christian elements, but they were theosophical movements, based on myths which were not Christian, although they could be interpreted in a Christian sense. The Christian dualism preached by Constantine of Mananalis in the mid-seventh century was truly Christian because it was based on the authority of the New Testament alone. Christian dualism began with Constantine of Mananalis who lived in the reign of Constans II, and the Byzantine Empire ended with the conquest of Constantinople by the Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. The book focuses on two areas of Christian dualism. The first is the Tondrakian movement in Armenia, which appears to be cognate with, but not identical to, Paulicianism. Superficially Bogomilism seemed to have a good deal in common with Paulicianism. The second area which the authors have only dealt with in a limited way is Bosnia, which though on the frontiers of the Byzantine world was not part of it. Tefrice became a refuge for Paulicians who were persecuted in the Byzantine Empire, and Carbeas is said also to have offered attractive terms to non-Paulician Byzantines who would come and settle in this dangerous frontier zone.
Janet Hamilton, Bernard Hamilton and Yuri Stoyanov
Christian dualism was to form a very important dissenting tradition in the Orthodox world of Byzantium for the next 800 years, and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries was to spread to western Europe, where its adherents were known as Cathars. Marcion founded an episcopal church which may have survived in Asia Minor into the seventh century, but there is no evidence that it influenced the Christian dualists. Indeed, the differences between Marcionism and later dualist movements like Paulicianism and Bogomilism are greater than the rather superficial similarities between them. All the sources for the study of Paulicianism were written by their religious opponents, apart from some extracts from the letters of their leader Sergius-Tychicus, which are quoted by Peter of Sicily, and some statements made by Paulicians which are recorded in other Orthodox sources.