The Scroll and Tafsir of the Secrets of the Ancestors
Diwan u-tafsir ḏ-razia ḏ-abahata
LanguageMandaic language

The Diwan u-tafsir ḏ-razia ḏ-abahata (Classical Mandaic: ࡃࡉࡅࡀࡍ ࡅࡕࡀࡐࡎࡉࡓ ࡖࡓࡀࡆࡉࡀ ࡖࡀࡁࡀࡄࡀࡕࡀ "Scroll and Tafsir [Explanation] of the Secrets of the Ancestors", or simply "The Secrets of the Ancestors") is a Mandaean religious text. It is written as a scroll.[1]

Manuscripts and translations

The Bodleian Library at Oxford University holds a manuscript of the text, catalogued as Ms. Asiat. Misc. C 13.[1] The text was translated into German by Bogdan Burtea in 2012.[2]

Ms. Asiat. Misc. C 13 was discovered in 1956. It is a scroll that is about 32 cm wide and 257 cm long. The text contains 378 lines and occupies about 28.5 cm in width. Illustrations take up 31.5 cm of the length. The illustrated part of the manuscript is marked by frames and is divided into two parts. The upper part with banner illustrations is about 12 cm, and the lower one with anthropomorphic figures is about 18.5 cm high. The illustrations are accompanied by short explanations written in Mandaic. The figures depicted are about 7 cm in length. The manuscript is dated to the year 1238 A.H. (1822 A.D.).[3]


The contents of the text are:[4]

The text lists the names of the following uthras in order:[2]


  1. ^ a b Buckley, Jorunn Jacobsen (2010). The great stem of souls: reconstructing Mandaean history. Piscataway, N.J: Gorgias Press. ISBN 978-1-59333-621-9.
  2. ^ a b Burtea, Bogdan (2012). Die Geheimnisse Der Vorvater Edition, Ubersetzung Und Kommentierung Einer Esoterischen Mandaischen Handschrift Aus Der Bodleian Library Oxford (in German). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN 978-3-447-06466-8. OCLC 940934456.
  3. ^ Burtea 2012: 2
  4. ^ Burtea 2012: 2