What does the word “Arkhegos” mean?

The term “Arkhegos” is a Greek word indicating “chief leader.” Duncan Greenlees, in his presentation of the Gospel of the Prophet Mani defines the term “arkhegos” as meaning “Leader”, “High Prelate” and compares it to the Arabic term “imam” and the Chinese term “fatchou”, the “King of Religion.”

“His diocese was the world from Spain to China, where the Faith had penetrated; his work was to encourage amid persecution, to prevent corruption of the Teaching, to guard against falling away from the Founder’s lofty ideal of life. The first seven Leaders died as martyrs, and then some fixed place where the supreme authority could be found was needed, so their successors cam to reside at the capital Ctesiphon, and then at Baghdad – until they were forced by prudence to withdraw to the safer Samarqand, and finally, so it seems, to the Chinese borderlands.” (Gospel of the Prophet Mani, Duncan Greenlees, 1956, the Book Tree, San Diego, CA)

In its original Manichaean usage, it referred to the earthly head of the Manichaean Church appointed by Mar Mani as his successor. During the time of Mar Ammo, there were two such persons using this title, one in Babylon and the other in Turkistan due to geographical divide and persecution of the Church.