This is also true of the ethics and the asceticism of the two systems. There is not a single point in Manichaeism which demands for its explanation an appeal to Buddhism.
An asceticism so strict and painful as that demanded by Manichaeism could only be practised by few; hence the religion must have abandoned all attempts at an extensive propaganda had it not conceded the principle of a twofold morality.
In the West the works of Augustine are the great repertory for information on the subject of Manichaeism (Contra epistolam Manichaei, quam vocant fundamenti; Contra Faustum Manichaeum; Contra Fortunatum; Contra Adimantum; Contra Secundinum; De actis cum Felice Manichaeo; De genesi c. Manichaeos; De natura boni; De duabus animabus; De utilitate credendi; De moribus eccl.
In this respect Manichaeism experienced the same kind of development as Neo-Platonism.
Their religion has points of connexion with old Iranian and Assyrian beliefs and traces of Manichaeism and Nestorianism.
For Manichaeism is an attempt to weld the doctrine of the Gospel and the doctrine of Zoroaster Manlchae- into a uniform system, though naturally not without lam, an admixture of other elements, principally Babylonian and Gnostic. Mani, perhaps a Persian from Babylonia, is said to have made his first appearance as a teacher on the coronation day of Shapur I.
This old-world wisdom of the Hindus, a thousand years before our era, is worthily to be paralleled from the Manichaeism of about the year 400.
Thus the system, not indeed of Mani the Persian, but of Manichaeism as modified by Christian influences, accompanied the Catholic Church until the 13th century.
And if it has not been quite proved that so early as the 4th century the Priscillianists of Spain were influenced by Manichaeism, it is at least undoubted that the Paulicians and Bogomiles, as well as the Catharists and the Albigenses, are to be traced back to Manichaeism (and Marcionitism).
And it is interesting to observe how, e.g., St Augustine, though desperately combating the dualism of the Manichaeans, yet afterwards introduced a number of dualistic ideas into Christianity, which are distinguishable from those of Manichaeism only by a very keen eye, and even then with difficulty.