Zosimos

Zosimos (c. 250–300) Greek author of numerous alchemical texts and a self-professed disciple of Maria Prophetess. Zosimos—also called Zosimos the Panopolitan, Zosimos the Theban, and Zosimos of Panopolis—lived in Hellenistic Egypt and was the earliest reliable author on alchemy. Little is known about his life. He probably was from Panopolis in Thebais, and he probably subsequently lived in Alexandria. Among Zosimos’s writings are 22 treatises, in which he extensively quotes Maria Prophetess. With his sister, Eusebeia, he wrote a 28-volume encyclopedia on Alchemy, the oldest text on the subject; only fragments survive. He was knowledgeable in Egyptian, Greek, Arabic, and Christian alchemical lore. He was the first alchemist to write about the Philosopher's Stone and was the first to trace the origins of alchemy to the partriarchs and prophets of the Bible. According to Zosimos, the Egyptians and the Jews possess the greatest science and wisdom, and that of the Jews is “rendered more sound by divine justice.” He also held Greek alchemists in high esteem.

SEE ALSO:

FURTHER READING:

  • Patai, Raphael. The Jewish Alchemists. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.

SOURCE:

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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