Focuses on the Mandaean mythological figure of Ruha (Spirit), who is presented largely as a leader of the forces of darkness opposing those of the Lightworld. She has been traditionally regarded as evil, although there are good reasons to regard her as a fallen wisdom figure. It examines the Mandaean stories in which Ruha appears as ambiguous (double‐sided or dual) or in a positive light. Four sets of mythological traditions, taken from a variety of texts, illustrate the points made: the descent of the ‘utra (Lightworld (heavenly) figure) Hibil Ziwa (Radiance) into the Underworld; the creation of Tibil (the earthly world) and of the human beings; Ruha and the ‘utras; and Ruha's self‐revelations and identifications with Lightbeings.
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