Jabir ibn Hayyan

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Jābir ibn Ḥayyān

Father of Chemistry
Jabir ibn Hayyan.jpg
15th-century European portrait of "Geber", Codici Ashburnhamiani 1166, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence
Notable work
The Great Book of Mercy, The One Hundred and Twelve Books, The Seventy Books, The Books of the Balances, The Five Hundred Books[1]
EraIslamic Golden Age
Main interests
Alchemy and Chemistry, Shi'ite Soteriology and Imamology, Talismans, Specific Properties, Medicine and Pharmacy, Astronomy and Astrology
Notable ideas
The Theory of the Balance (ʿilm al-mīzān), the Theory of Artificial Generation (ʿilm al-takwīn), the Sulfur-Mercury Theory of Metals, the Use of Organic Substances in Chemistry

Jābir ibn Ḥayyān (Arabic/Persian: جَابِر ٱبْن حَيَّان, died c. 806−816),[4] known by the kunyas Abū Mūsā or Abū ‘Abd Allāh and the nisbas al-Ṣūfī, al-Azdī, al-Kūfī, or al-Ṭūsī,[5] is the supposed[6] author of an enormous number and variety of works in Arabic often called the Jabirian corpus. The scope of the corpus is vast and diverse covering a wide range of topics, including alchemy, cosmology, numerology, astrology, medicine, magic, mysticism, and philosophy.[7]

Popularly known as the father of chemistry, Jabir's works contain the oldest known systematic classification of chemical substances, and the oldest known instructions for deriving an inorganic compound (sal ammoniac or ammonium chloride) from organic substances (such as plants, blood, and hair) by chemical means.[8]

As early as the 10th century, the identity and exact corpus of works of Jabir was in dispute in Islamic circles.[9] The authorship of all these works by a single figure, and even the existence of a historical Jabir, are also doubted by modern scholars.[10][11] Instead, Jabir ibn Hayyan is seen more like a pseudonym to whom "underground writings" by various authors became ascribed.[12]

Some Arabic Jabirian works (e.g., the "Book of Mercy", and the "Book of Seventy") were translated into Latin under the Latinized name "Geber",[13] and in 13th-century Europe an anonymous writer, usually referred to as pseudo-Geber, started to produce alchemical and metallurgical writings under this name.[14]


Early references[edit]

In 988 Ibn al-Nadim compiled the Kitab al-Fihrist which mentions Jabir as having a master named Ja'far, which Shia sources have linked with Jafar as-Sadiq, the sixth Shia Imam who had an interest in alchemy. Others argued that it was Ja'far ibn Yahya of the Barmaki family.[15] In another reference al-Nadim reports that a group of philosophers claimed Jabir was one of their own members. Another group, reported by al-Nadim, says only The Large Book of Mercy is genuine and that the rest are pseudographical. Their assertions are rejected by al-Nadim.[9] Joining al-Nadim in asserting a real Jabir; Ibn-Wahshiyya ("Jaber ibn Hayyn al-Sufi ... book on poison is a great work ...") Rejecting a real Jabir; (the philosopher c. 970) Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani claims the real author is one al-Hasan ibn al-Nakad al-Mawili. The 14th-century critic of Arabic literature, Jamal al-Din ibn Nubata al-Misri declares all the writings attributed to Jabir doubtful.[7]

Life and background[edit]

According to the philologist and historian Paul Kraus (1904–1944), Jabir cleverly mixed in his alchemical writings unambiguous references to the Ismaili or Qarmati movement. Kraus wrote: "Let us first notice that most of the names we find in this list have undeniable affinities with the doctrine of Shi'i Gnosis, especially with the Ismaili system."[16] The Iranologist and Islamic Studies professor Henry Corbin (1903-1978) also believes that Jabir ibn Hayyan was an Ismaili.[17] Jabir was a natural philosopher who lived mostly in the 8th century; he was born in Tus, Khorasan, in Persia,[18] then ruled by the Umayyad Caliphate. Jabir in the classical sources has been variously attributed as al-Azdi, al-Kufi, al-Tusi, al-Sufi, al-Tartusi or al-Tarsusi, and al-Harrani.[19][20] There is a difference of opinion as to whether he was an Arab[21] from Kufa who lived in Khurasan, or a Persian[22][23][24] from Khorasan who later went to Kufa[19] or whether he was, as some have suggested, of Syrian Sabian[25] origin and later lived in Persia and Iraq.[19] In some sources, he is reported to have been the son of Hayyan al-Azdi, a pharmacist of the Arabian Azd tribe who emigrated from Yemen to Kufa (in present-day Iraq).[26] while Henry Corbin believes Geber seems to have been a non-Arab client of the 'Azd tribe.[27] Hayyan had supported the Abbasid revolt against the Umayyads, and was sent by them to the province of Khorasan to gather support for their cause. He was eventually caught by the Umayyads and executed. His family fled to Yemen,[26][28] perhaps to some of their relatives in the Azd tribe,[29] where Jabir grew up and studied the Quran, mathematics and other subjects.[26] Jabir's father's profession may have contributed greatly to his interest in alchemy.

After the Abbasids took power, Jabir went back to Kufa. He began his career practicing medicine, under the patronage of a Vizir (from the noble Persian family Barmakids) of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. His connections to the Barmakid cost him dearly in the end. When that family fell from grace in 803, Jabir was placed under house arrest in Kufa, where he remained until his death.

It has been asserted that Jabir was a student of the sixth Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq and Harbi al-Himyari;[9][7] however, other scholars have questioned this theory.[30]

The Jabirian corpus[edit]

There are about 600 Arabic works attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan that are known by name,[31] approximately 215 of which are still extant today.[32] Though some of these are full-length works (e.g., The Great Book on Specific Properties),[33] most of them are relatively short treatises and belong to larger collections (The One Hundred and Twelve Books, The Five Hundred Books, etc.) in which they function rather more like chapters.[34] When the individual chapters of some full-length works are counted as separate treatises too,[35] the total length of the corpus may be estimated at about 3000 treatises/chapters.[36]

The overwhelming majority of Jabirian treatises that are still extant today deal with alchemy or chemistry (though these may also contain religious speculations, and discuss a wide range of other topics ranging from cosmology to grammar).[37] Nevertheless, there are also a few extant treatises which deal with magic, or to be more precise, with "the science of talismans" (ʿilm al-ṭilasmāt, a form of theurgy) and with "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ, i.e., the science dealing with the hidden powers of mineral, vegetable and animal substances, and with their practical applications in medical and various other pursuits).[38] Other writings dealing with a great variety of subjects were also attributed to Jabir (this includes such subjects as engineering, medicine, pharmacology, zoology, botany, logic, metaphysics, mathematics, astronomy and astrology), but almost all of these are lost today.[39]

Alchemical writings[edit]

Note that Paul Kraus, who first catalogued the Jabirian writings and whose numbering will be followed here, conceived of his division of Jabir's alchemical writings (Kr. nos. 5–1149) as roughly chronological in order.[40]

  • The Great Book of Mercy (Kitāb al-Raḥma al-kabīr, Kr. no. 5): This was considered by Kraus to be the oldest work in the corpus, from which it may have been relatively independent. Some early (10th-century) sceptics considered it to be the only authentic work written by Jabir himself.[41] The Persian physician, alchemist and philosopher Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (c. 854–925) appears to have written a (lost) commentary on it.[42] It was translated into Latin in the thirteenth century under the title Liber Misericordiae.[43]
  • The One Hundred and Twelve Books (al-Kutub al-miʾa wa-l-ithnā ʿashar, Kr. nos. 6–122): This collection consists of relatively independent treatises dealing with different practical aspects of alchemy, often framed as an explanation of the symbolic allusions of the 'ancients'. An important role is played by organic alchemy. Its theoretical foundations are similar to those of The Seventy Books (i.e., the reduction of bodies to the elements fire, air, water and earth, and of the elements to the 'natures' hot, cold, moist, and dry), though their exposition is less systematic than in the later Seventy Books. Just like in the The Seventy Books, the quantitative directions in The One Hundred and Twelve Books are still of a practical and 'experimental' rather than of a theoretical and speculative nature, such as will be the case in The Books of the Balances.[44] The first four treatises in this collection, i.e., the three-part Book of the Element of the Foundation (Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss, Kr. nos. 6–8, the second part of which contains an early version of the famous Emerald Tablet attributed to Hermes Trismegistus)[45] and a commentary on it (Tafsīr kitāb al-usṭuqus, Kr. no. 9), have been translated into English.[46]
  • The Seventy Books (al-Kutub al-sabʿūn, Kr. nos. 123–192) (also called The Book of Seventy, Kitāb al-Sabʿīn): This contains a systematic exposition of Jabirian alchemy, in which the several treatises form a much more unified whole as compared to The One Hundred and Twelve Books.[47] It is organized into seven parts, containing ten treatises each: three parts dealing with the preparation of the elixir from animal, vegetable, and mineral substances, respectively; two parts dealing with the four elements from a theoretical and practical point of view, respectively; one part focusing on the alchemical use of animal substances, and one part focusing on minerals and metals.[48] It was translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona (c. 1114–1187) under the title Liber de Septuaginta.[49]
  • Ten books added to the Seventy (ʿasharat kutub muḍāfa ilā l-sabʿīn, Kr. nos. 193–202): The sole surviving treatise from this small collection (The Book of Clarification, Kitāb al-Īḍāḥ, Kr. no. 195) briefly discusses the different methods for preparing the elixir, criticizing the philosophers who have only expounded the method of preparing the elixir starting from mineral substances, to the exclusion of vegetable and animal substances.[50]
  • The Ten Books of Rectifications (al-Muṣaḥḥaḥāt al-ʿashara, Kr. nos. 203–212): Relates the successive improvements (“rectifications”, muṣaḥḥaḥāt) brought to the art by such 'alchemists' as 'Pythagoras' (Kr. no. 203), 'Socrates' (Kr. no. 204), 'Plato' (Kr. no. 205), 'Aristotle' (Kr. no. 206), 'Archigenes' (Kr. nos. 207–208), 'Homer' (Kr. no. 209), 'Democritus' (Kr. no. 210), Ḥarbī al-Ḥimyarī (Kr. no. 211),[51] and Jabir himself (Kr. no. 212). The only surviving treatise from this small collection (The Book of the Rectifications of Plato, Kitāb Muṣaḥḥaḥāt Iflāṭūn, Kr. no. 205) is divided into 90 chapters: 20 chapters on processes using only mercury, 10 chapters on processes using mercury and one additional 'medicine' (dawāʾ), 30 chapters on processes using mercury and two additional 'medicines', and 30 chapters on processes using mercury and three additional 'medicines'. All of these are preceded by an introduction describing the laboratory equipment mentioned in the treatise.[52]
  • The Twenty Books (al-Kutub al-ʿishrūn, Kr. nos. 213–232): Only one treatise (The Book of the Crystal, Kitāb al-Billawra, Kr. no. 220) and a long extract from another one (The Book of the Inner Consciousness, Kitāb al-Ḍamīr, Kr. no. 230) survive.[53] The Book of the Inner Consciousness appears to deal with the subject of specific properties (khawāṣṣ) and with talismans (ṭilasmāt).[54]
  • The Seventeen Books (Kr. nos. 233–249); three treatises added to the Seventeen Books (Kr. nos. 250–252); thirty unnamed books (Kr. nos. 253–282); The Four Treatises and some related treatises (Kr. nos. 283–286, 287–292); The Ten Books According to the Opinion of Balīnās, the Master of Talismans (Kr. nos. 293–302): Of these, only three treatises appear to be extant, i.e., the Kitāb al-Mawāzīn (Kr. no. 242), the Kitāb al-Istiqṣāʾ (Kr. no. 248), and the Kitāb al-Kāmil (Kr. no. 291).[55]
  • The Books of the Balances (Kutub al-Mawāzīn, Kr. nos. 303–446): This collection appears to have consisted of 144 treatises of medium length, 79 of which are known by name and 44 of which are still extant. Though relatively independent from each other and devoted to a very wide range of topics (cosmology, grammar, music theory, medicine, logic, metaphysics, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, etc.), they all approach their subject matter from the perspective of "the science of the balance" (ʿilm al-mīzān, a theory which aims at reducing all phenomena to a system of measures and quantitative proportions).[56] The Books of the Balances are also an important source for Jabir's speculations regarding the apparition of the "two brothers" (al-akhawān),[57] a doctrine which was later to become of great significance to the Egyptian alchemist Ibn Umayl (c. 900–960).[58]
  • The Five Hundred Books (al-Kutub al-Khamsumiʾa, Kr. nos. 447–946): Only 29 treatises in this collection are known by name, 15 of which are extant. Its contents appear to have been mainly religious in nature, with moral exhortations and alchemical allegories occupying an important place.[59] Among the extant treatises, The Book of the Glorious (Kitāb al-Mājid, Kr. no. 706) and The Book of Explication (Kitāb al-Bayān, Kr. no. 785) are notable for containing some of the earliest preserved Shi'ite eschatological, soteriological and imamological doctrines.[60] Intermittent extracts from The Book of Kingship (Kitāb al-Mulk, Kr. no. 454) exist in a Latin translation under the title Liber regni.[61]
  • The Books on the Seven Metals (Kr. nos. 947–956): Seven treatises which are closely related to The Books of the Balances, each one dealing with one of Jabir's seven metals (respectively gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead, and khārṣīnī or "chinese metal"). In one manuscript, these are followed by the related three-part Book of Concision (Kitāb al-Ījāz, Kr. nos. 954–956).[62]
  • Diverse alchemical treatises (Kr. nos. 957–1149): In this category, Kraus placed a large number of named treatises which he could not with any confidence attribute to one of the alchemical collections of the corpus. According to Kraus, some of them may actually have been part of the The Five Hundred Books.[63]

Writings on magic (talismans, specific properties)[edit]

Among the surviving Jabirian treatises, there are also a number of relatively independent treatises dealing with "the science of talismans" (ʿilm al-ṭilasmāt, a form of theurgy) and with "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ, i.e., the science dealing with the hidden powers of mineral, vegetable and animal substances, and with their practical applications in medical and various other pursuits).[64] These are:

  • The Book of Fifty (Kitāb al-Khamsīn, perhaps identical to The Great Book on Talismans, Kitāb al-Ṭilasmāt al-kabīr, Kr. nos. 1825–1874): This work, only extracts of which are extant, deals with subjects such as the theoretical basis of theurgy, specific properties, astrology, and demonology.[66]
  • The Great Book on Specific Properties (Kitāb al-Khawāṣṣ al-kabīr, Kr. nos. 1900–1970): This is Jabir's main work on "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ), i.e., the science dealing with the hidden powers of mineral, vegetable and animal substances, and with their practical applications in medical and various other pursuits.[67] However, it also contains a number of chapters on "the science of the balance" (ʿilm al-mīzān, a theory which aims at reducing all phenomena to a system of measures and quantitative proportions).[68]
  • The Book of the King (Kitāb al-Malik, kr. no. 1985): Short treatise on the effectiveness of talismans.[69]
  • The Book of Black Magic (Kitāb al-Jafr al-aswad, Kr. no. 1996): This treatise is not mentioned in any other Jabirian work.[70]

Other writings[edit]

  • Catalogues (Kr. nos. 1–4): There are three catalogues which Jabir is said to have written of his own works (Kr. nos. 1–3), and one Book on the Order of Reading our Books (Kitāb Tartīb qirāʾat kutubinā, Kr. no. 4). They are all lost.[71]
  • The Books on Stratagems (Kutub al-Ḥiyal, Kr. nos. 1150–1449) and The Books on Military Stratagems and Tricks (Kutub al-Ḥiyal al-ḥurūbiyya wa-l-makāyid, Kr. nos. 1450–1749): Two large collections on 'mechanical tricks' (the Arabic word ḥiyal translates Greek μηχαναί, mēchanai)[72] and military engineering, both lost.[73]
  • Medical and pharmacological writings (Kr. nos. 2000–2499): Seven treatises are known by name, the only one extant being The Book on Poisons and on the Repelling of their Harmful Effects (Kitāb al-Sumūm wa-dafʿ maḍārrihā, Kr. no. 2145). Kraus also included into this category a lost treatise on zoology (The Book of Animals, Kitāb al-Ḥayawān, Kr. no. 2458) and a lost treatise on botany (The Book of Plants or The Book of Herbs, Kitāb al-Nabāt or Kitāb al-Ḥashāʾish, Kr. no. 2459).[74]
  • Philosophical writings (Kutub al-falsafa, Kr. nos. 2500–2799): Under this heading, Kraus mentioned 23 works, most of which appear to deal with Aristotelian philosophy (titles include, e.g., The Books of Logic According to the Opinion of Aristotle, Kr. no. 2580; The Book of Categories, Kr. no. 2582; The Book on Interpretation, Kr. no. 2583; The Book of Metaphysics, Kr. no. 2681; The Book of the Refutation of Aristotle in his Book On the Soul, Kr. no. 2734). Of one treatise (The Book of Comprehensiveness, Kitāb al-Ishtimāl, Kr. no. 2715) a long extract is preserved by the poet and alchemist al-Ṭughrāʾī (1061–c. 1121), but all other treatises in this group are lost.[75]
  • Mathematical, astronomical and astrological writings (Kr. nos. 2800–2899): Thirteen treatises in this category are known by name, all of which are lost. Notable titles include a Book of Commentary on Euclid (Kitāb Sharḥ Uqlīdiyas, Kr. no. 2813), a Commentary on the Book of the Weight of the Crown by Archimedes (Sharḥ kitāb wazn al-tāj li-Arshamīdas, Kr. no. 2821), a Book of Commentary on the Almagest (Kitāb Sharḥ al-Majisṭī, Kr. no. 2834), a Subtle Book on Astronomical Tables (Kitāb al-Zāj al-laṭīf, Kr. no. 2839), a Compendium on the Astrolabe from a Theoretical and Practical Point of View (Kitāb al-jāmiʿ fī l-asṭurlāb ʿilman wa-ʿamalan, Kr. no. 2845), and a Book of the Explanation of the Figures of the Zodiac and Their Activities (Kitāb Sharḥ ṣuwar al-burūj wa-afʿālihā, Kr. no. 2856).[76]
  • Religious writings (Kr. nos. 2900–3000): Apart from those known to belong to the The Five Hundred Books (see above), there are a number of religious treatises whose exact place in the corpus is uncertain, all of which are lost. Notable titles include Books on the Shi'ite Schools of Thought (Kutub fī madhāhib al-shīʿa, Kr. no. 2914), Our Books on the Transmigration of the Soul (Kutubunā fī l-tanāsukh, Kr. no. 2947), The Book of the Imamate (Kitāb al-Imāma, Kr. no. 2958), and The Book in Which I Explained the Torah (Kitābī alladhī fassartu fīhi al-tawrāt, Kr. no. 2982).[77]

Historical background[edit]

Greco-Egyptian, Byzantine and Persian alchemy[edit]

Artistic impression of Jabir.

The Jabirian writings contain a number of references to Greco-Egyptian alchemists such as pseudo-Democritus (fl. c. 60), Mary the Jewess (fl. c. 0–300), Agathodaemon (fl. c. 300), and Zosimos of Panopolis (fl. c. 300), as well as to legendary figures such as Hermes Trismegistus and Ostanes, and to scriptural figures such as Moses and Jesus (to whom a number of alchemical writings were also ascribed).[78] However, these references may have been meant as an appeal to ancient authority rather than as an acknowledgement of any intellectual borrowing,[79] and in any case Jabirian alchemy was very different from what is found in the extant Greek alchemical treatises: it was much more systematic and coherent,[80] it made much less use of allegory and symbols,[81] and a much more important place was occupied by philosophical speculations and their application to laboratory experiments.[82] Furthermore, whereas Greek alchemical texts had been almost exclusively focused on the use of mineral substances (i.e., on 'inorganic chemistry'), Jabirian alchemy pioneered the use of vegetable and animal substances, and so represented an innovative shift towards 'organic chemistry'.[83]

Nevertheless, there are some important theoretical similarities between Jabirian alchemy and contemporary Byzantine alchemy,[84] and even though the Jabirian authors do not seem to have known Byzantine works that are extant today such as the alchemical works attributed to the Neoplatonic philosophers Olympiodorus (c. 495–570) and Stephanus of Alexandria (fl. c. 580–640),[85] it seems that they were at least partly drawing on a parallel tradition of theoretical and philosophical alchemy.[86] In any case, the writings actually used by the Jabirian authors appear to have mainly consisted of alchemical works falsely attributed to ancient philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Apollonius of Tyana,[87] only some of which are still extant today, and whose philosophical content still needs to be determined.[88]

One of the innovations in Jabirian alchemy was the addition of sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride) to the category of chemical substances known as 'spirits' (i.e., strongly volatile substances). This included both naturally occurring sal ammoniac and synthetic ammonium chloride as produced from organic substances, and so the addition of sal ammoniac to the list of 'spirits' is likely a product of the new focus on organic chemistry. Since the word for sal ammoniac used in the Jabirian corpus (nūshādhir) is Iranian in origin, it has been suggested that the direct precursors of Jabirian alchemy may have been active in the Hellenizing and Syriacizing schools of the Sassanid Empire.[89]

Chemical philosophy[edit]

Artistic impression of Jabir and his master Ja'far al-Sadiq, Liebig's Extract of Meat Company trading card, from the Celebrated Chemists series, 1929.

Elements and natures[edit]

By Jabir's time Aristotelian physics had become Neoplatonic. Each Aristotelian element was composed of these qualities: fire was both hot and dry, earth, cold and dry, water cold and moist, and air, hot and moist. In the Jabirian corpus, these qualities came to be called "natures" (ṭabāʾiʿ), and elements are said to be composed of these 'natures', plus an underlying "substance" (jawhar). In metals two of these 'natures' were interior and two were exterior. For example, lead was cold and dry and gold was hot and moist. Thus, Jabir theorized, by rearranging the natures of one metal, a different metal would result. Like Zosimos, Jabir believed this would require a catalyst, an al-iksir, the elusive elixir that would make this transformation possible – which in European alchemy became known as the philosopher's stone.[90]

The sulfur-mercury theory of metals[edit]

The sulfur-mercury theory of metals, though first attested in pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana's The Secret of Creation (Sirr al-khalīqa, late eighth or early ninth century, but largely based on much older sources),[91] was also adopted by the Jabirian authors. According to the Jabirian version of this theory, metals form in the earth through the mixing of sulfur and mercury. Depending on the quality of the sulfur, different metals are formed, with gold being formed by the most subtle and well-balanced sulfur.[92] This theory, which is ultimately based on ancient meteorological speculations such as found in Aristotle's Meteorology, has lain at the foundation of all theories of metallic composition until the eighteenth century.[93]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Forster 2018.
  2. ^ Kraus 1942-1943: I: xl-xli; Delva 2017: 36.
  3. ^ Kraus 1930; Kraus 1942; Corbin 1950; Lory 1989: 47–125; Lory 2000, Lory 2016, Capezzone 2020.
  4. ^ Delva 2017: 36−37 n. 6.
  5. ^ Nomanul Haq 1994: 33 n. 1.
  6. ^ Plessner 1981; Forster 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Nomanul Haq, Syed (1994). Names, Natures and Things: The Alchemist Jābir ibn Ḥayyān and his Kitāb al-Aḥjār (Book of Stones). Dordrecht: Kluwer. ISBN 978-0-7923-3254-1.
  8. ^ Stapleton et al. 1927: 338–340; Kraus 1942−1943: II: 41–42.
  9. ^ a b c Brabner, Tod (2005). "Jabir ibn Hayyam (Geber)". In Thomas F. Glick; Steven John Livesey; Faith Wallis (eds.). Medieval Science, Technology, and Medicine: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. pp. 279–281. ISBN 978-0-415-96930-7.
  10. ^ Forster, Regula (1 December 2018). "Jābir b. Ḥayyān". Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE.
  11. ^ Delva, Thijs (15 June 2017). "The Abbasid Activist Ḥayyān al-ʿAṭṭār as the Father of Jābir b. Ḥayyān: An Influential Hypothesis Revisited". Journal of Abbasid Studies. 4: 35–61. doi:10.1163/22142371-12340030.
  12. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica, "Alchemy: Arab alchemy"
  13. ^ Darmstaedter, Ernst. "Liber Misericordiae Geber: Eine lateinische Übersetzung des gröβeren Kitâb l-raḥma", Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin, 17/4, 1925, pp. 181–197; Berthelot, Marcellin. "Archéologie et Histoire des sciences", Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences de l’Institut de France, 49, 1906, pp. 308–363; see also Forster, Regula. "Jābir b. Ḥayyān", Encyclopaedia of Islam, Three.
  14. ^ Newman, William R. "New Light on the Identity of Geber", Sudhoffs Archiv, 1985, 69, pp. 76–90; Newman, William R. The Summa perfectionis of Pseudo-Geber: A critical edition, translation and study, Leiden: Brill, 1991, pp. 57–103. It has been argued by Ahmad Y. Al-Hassan that the pseudo-Geber works were actually translated into Latin from the Arabic (see Al-Hassan, Ahmad Y. "The Arabic Origin of the Summa and Geber Latin Works: A Refutation of Berthelot, Ruska, and Newman Based on Arabic Sources", in: Ahmad Y. Al-Hassan. Studies in al-Kimya': Critical Issues in Latin and Arabic Alchemy and Chemistry. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 2009, pp. 53–104; also available online).
  15. ^ Ayduz, Salim (2014). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Science, and Technology in Islam. Oxford University Press. p. 422. ISBN 978-0-19-981257-8.
  16. ^ Paul Kraus "Dignitaires de la hierarchie religieuse selon Gabir ibn Hayyan', Bulletin de l'Institut Francais d'Archeologie Orientale de Caire (1942): 85.
  17. ^ Diana, Steigerwald (2015). Imamology in Ismaili Gnosis. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers & Distributors. p. 141. ISBN 978-93-5098-081-1.
  18. ^ "Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  19. ^ a b c S.N. Nasr, "Life Sciences, Alchemy and Medicine", The Cambridge History of Iran, Cambridge, Volume 4, 1975, p. 412: "Jabir is entitled in the traditional sources as al-Azdi, al-Kufi, al-Tusi, al-Sufi. There is a debate as to whether he was an Arab from Kufa who lived in Khurasan, or a Persian from Khorasan who later went to Kufa or whether he was, as some have suggested, of Syrian origin and later lived in Persia and Iraq".
  20. ^ Selin, Helaine (2008). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 101."Elsewhere his name is given as Abu Musa, and he is variously described as Tusi, Tartusi or Tarsusi, Harranian and from Khorasan (Holmyard 1923: 47)."
  21. ^ Holmyard, Eric John, Introduction to The Works of Geber, translated by Richard Russell. (London: Dent, 1928), p. vii: "Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, generally known merely as Jabir, was the son of a druggist belonging to the famous South Arabian tribe of Al-Azd. Members of this tribe had settled at the town of Kufa, in Iraq, shortly after the Muhammadan conquest in the seventh century A.D., and it was in Kufa that Hayyan the druggist lived."
  22. ^ Ragep, F. Jamil; Ragep, Sally P.; Livesey, Steven John (1996). Tradition, Transmission, Transformation: Proceedings of Two Conferences on Pre-Modern Science Held at the University of Oklahoma. BRILL. p. 178. ISBN 978-90-04-10119-7. This language of extracting the hidden nature formed an important lemma for the extensive corpus associated with the Persian alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan as well.
  23. ^ George Sarton, Introduction to the History of Science, Pub. for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, by the Williams & Wilkins Company, 1931, vol. 2 pt. 1, p. 1044: "Was Geber, as the name would imply, the Persian alchemist Jabir ibn Haiyan?"
  24. ^ William R. Newman, Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution, Harvard University Press, 1994. p. 94: "According to traditional bio-bibliography of Muslims, Jabir ibn Hayyan was a Persian alchemist who lived at some time in the eighth century and wrote a wealth of books on virtually every aspect of natural philosophy."
  25. ^ Cyril Glassé; Huston Smith, The New Encyclopedia of Islam, (2003), Rowman Altamira, p. 233: "Jabir ibn Hayyan. A celebrated alchemist, not a Muslim, but a Harranian from the community of the Harranian "Sabians" of North Syria."
  26. ^ a b c Holmyard, Eric John (1931). Makers of Chemistry. The Clarendon press.
  27. ^ Henry Corbin, "The Voyage and the Messenger: Iran and Philosophy", Translated by Joseph H. Rowe, North Atlantic Books, 1998. p. 45: "The Nisba al-Azdin certainly does not necessarily indicate Arab origin. Geber seems to have been a client of the Azd tribe established in Kufa."
  28. ^ E.J. Holmyard (ed.) The Arabic Works of Jabir ibn Hayyan, translated by Richard Russell in 1678. New York, E.P. Dutton (1928); Also Paris, P. Geuther.
  29. ^ Holmyard, E.J. (2012). Alchemy. Courier Corporation. ISBN 978-0-486-15114-4.
  30. ^ "Iranica JAʿFAR AL-ṢĀDEQ iv. And Esoteric sciences". Retrieved 11 June 2011. The historical relations between Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq and Jāber b. Ḥayyān remain very controversial, as they are linked to still unresolved questions about dating, composition, and authorship of the texts attributed to Jāber. Scholars such as Julius Ruska, Paul Kraus, and Pierre Lory consider Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s involvement in the transmission of alchemical knowledge as a literary fiction, whereas Fuat Sezgin, Toufic Fahd, and Nomanul Haq are rather inclined to accept the existence of alchemical activity in Medina in Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq’s time, although they remain cautious regarding the authenticity of the attribution of the Jaberian corpus to Jāber b. Ḥayyān and of the alchemical works to Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq (Ruska, 1924, pp. 40–52; idem, 1927, pp. 264–266; Kraus, I, pp. lv-lvii; Lory, pp. 14–21, 57–59, 101–107; Sezgin, I, p. 529, IV, pp. 128–311; Fahd, 1970, pp. 139–141; Nomanul Haq, pp. 3–47).
  31. ^ These are listed in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 203–210.
  32. ^ Lory 1983: 51
  33. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 148–152, 205 (counted as one of the c. 600 works there).
  34. ^ Lory 1983: 51–52; Delva 2017: 37 n. 9.
  35. ^ See, e.g., The Great Book on Specific Properties, whose 71 chapters are counted by Kraus 1942−1943: I: 148–152 as nos. 1900–1970. Note, however, that this procedure is not always followed: e.g., even though the The Book of the Rectifications of Plato consists of 90 chapters, it is still counted as only one treatise (Kr. no. 205, see Kraus 1942−1943: I: 64–67).
  36. ^ This is the number arrived at by Kraus 1942−1943: I. Kraus' method of counting has been criticized by Nomanul Haq 1994: 11–12, who warns that "we should view with a great deal of suspicion any arguments for a plurality of authors which is based on Kraus' inflated estimate of the volume of the Jabirian corpus".
  37. ^ See the section 'Alchemical writings' below. Religious speculations occur throughout the corpus (see, e.g., Lory 2016), but are especially prominent in The Five Hundred Books (see below). The Books of the Balances deal with alchemy from a philosophical and theoretical point of view, and contain treatises devoted to a wide range of topics (see below).
  38. ^ See the section 'Writings on magic (talismans, specific properties)' below. Kraus refers to ʿilm al-ṭilasmāt as "théurgie" (theurgy) throughout; see, e.g., Kraus 1942−1943: I: 75, 143, et pass. On "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ), see Kraus 1942−1943: II: 61–95.
  39. ^ Only one full work (The Book on Poisons and on the Repelling of their Harmful Effects, Kitāb al-Sumūm wa-dafʿ maḍārrihā, Kr. no. 2145, medical/pharmacological) and a long extract of another one (The Book of Comprehensiveness, Kitāb al-Ishtimāl, Kr. no. 2715, philosophical) are still extant today; see the section 'Other writings' below, with Sezgin 1971: 264–265. Sezgin 1971: 268–269 also lists 30 extant works which were not known to Kraus, and whose subject matter and place in the corpus has not yet been determined.
  40. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I. Kraus based this order on an extensive analysis of the many internal references to other treatises in the corpus. A slightly different chronological order is postulated by Sezgin 1971: 231–258 (who places The Books of the Balances after the The Five Hundred Books, see pp. 252–253).
  41. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 5–9.
  42. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: lx–lxi
  43. ^ Edited by Darmstaedter 1925.
  44. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 11.
  45. ^ Zirnis 1979: 64–65, 90. Jabir explicitly notes that the version of the Emerald Tablet quoted by him is taken from "Balīnās the Sage" (i.e., pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana), although it differs slightly from the (probably even earlier) version preserved in pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana's Sirr al-khalīqa (The Secret of Creation): see Weisser 1980: 46.
  46. ^ Zirnis 1979. On some Shi'ite aspects of The Book of the Element of the Foundation, see Lory 2016.
  47. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 43–44.
  48. ^ Forster 2018.
  49. ^ Edited by Berthelot 1906: 310–363; the Latin translation of one of the seventy treatises (The Book of the Thirty Words, Kitāb al-Thalāthīn kalima, Kr. no. 125, translated as Liber XXX verborum) was separately edited by Colinet 2000: 179–187. In the ms. used by Berthelot, the name of the translator appears as a certain Renaldus Cremonensis (Berthelot 1906: 310, cf. Forster 2018). However, a medieval list of the works translated by Gerard of Cremona (Latin: Gerardus Cremonensis) mentions the Liber de Septuaginta as one of the three alchemical works translated by the magister (see Burnett 2001: 280, cf. Moureau 2020: 106, 111).
  50. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 63.
  51. ^ Ḥarbī al-Ḥimyarī occurs several times in the Jabirian writings as one of Jabir's teachers. He supposedly was 463 old when Jabir met him (see Kraus 1942−1943: I: xxxvii). According to Sezgin 1971: 127, the fact that Jabir dedicated a book to Ḥarbī's contributions to alchemy points to the existence in Jabir's time of a written work attributed to him.
  52. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 64–67. On the meaning here of muṣaḥḥaḥāt, see esp. p. 64 n. 1 and the accompanying text. See also Sezgin 1971: 160–162, 167–168, 246–247.
  53. ^ Sezgin 1971: 248.
  54. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 69. On "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ, i.e., the science dealing with the hidden powers of mineral, vegetable and animal substances, and with their practical applications in medical and various other pursuits), see Kraus 1942−1943: II: 61–95.
  55. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 70–74; Sezgin 1971: 248.
  56. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 75–76. The theory of the balance is extensively discussed by Kraus 1942−1943: II: 187–303; see also Lory 1989: 130–150.
  57. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 76; Lory 1989: 103–105.
  58. ^ Starr 2009: 74–75.
  59. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 100–101
  60. ^ Corbin 1950; Lory 2000.
  61. ^ Edited and translated by Newman 1994: 288–293.
  62. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 111–116. On khārṣīnī, see Kraus 1942−1943: II: 22–23.
  63. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 117–140.
  64. ^ A number of non-extant treatises (Kr. nos. 1750, 1778, 1795, 1981, 1987, 1992, 1994) are also discussed by Kraus 1942−1943: I: 142–154. Kraus refers to ʿilm al-ṭilasmāt as "théurgie" (theurgy) throughout; see, e.g., Kraus 1942−1943: I: 75, 143, et pass. On "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ), see Kraus 1942−1943: II: 61–95.
  65. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 142–143.
  66. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 146–147.
  67. ^ On "the science of specific properties" (ʿilm al-khawāṣṣ), see Kraus 1942−1943: II: 61–95.
  68. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 148–152. The theory of the balance, which is mainly expounded in The Books of the Balances (Kr. nos. 303–446, see above), is extensively discussed by Kraus 1942−1943: II: 187–303; see also Lory 1989: 130–150.
  69. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 153.
  70. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 154.
  71. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 3–4.
  72. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 141 n. 1.
  73. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: I: 141–142.
  74. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 155–160.
  75. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 161–166.
  76. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 167–169.
  77. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: I: 170–171.
  78. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 42–45.
  79. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 35.
  80. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 31–32.
  81. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 32–33.
  82. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 40.
  83. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 41.
  84. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 35–40.
  85. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 40. Kraus also notes that this is rather remarkable given the existence of works attributed to Stephanus of Alexandria in the Arabic tradition.
  86. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 40–41.
  87. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 41.
  88. ^ Manuscripts of extant works are listed by Sezgin 1971 and Ullmann 1972.
  89. ^ All of the preceding in Kraus 1942−1943: II: 41–42; cf. Lory 2008b.
  90. ^ Nomanul Haq 1994
  91. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 1 n. 1; Weisser 1980: 199. On the dating and historical background of the Sirr al-khalīqa, see Kraus 1942−1943: II: 270–303; Weisser 1980: 39–72.
  92. ^ Kraus 1942−1943: II: 1.
  93. ^ Norris 2006.
  94. ^ Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist. ISBN 0-06-112241-6, p. 82.
  95. ^ S.H.I.E.L.D. v1 #3


English translations of Arabic Jabirian texts[edit]

  • Nomanul Haq, Syed 1994. Names, Natures and Things: The Alchemist Jābir ibn Ḥayyān and his Kitāb al-Aḥjār (Book of Stones). Dordrecht: Kluwer. (preview) (contains a new edition of parts of the Kitāb al-Aḥjār with English translation)
  • O’Connor, Kathleen M. 1994. The Alchemical Creation of Life (Takwīn) and Other Concepts of Genesis in Medieval Islam. PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania. (preview) (contains translations of extensive passages from various Jabirian works, with discussion)
  • Zirnis, Peter 1979. The Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss of Jābir ibn Ḥayyān. PhD diss., New York University. (contains an annotated copy of the Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss with English translation)

Latin translations of Arabic Jabirian texts[edit]

  • Berthelot, Marcellin 1906. "Archéologie et Histoire des sciences" in: Mémoires de l’Académie des sciences de l’Institut de France, 49. (pp. 310–363 contain an edition of the Latin translation of Jabir's Seventy Books under the title Liber de Septuaginta)
  • Colinet, Andrée 2000. “Le Travail des quatre éléments ou lorsqu’un alchimiste byzantin s’inspire de Jabir” in: Draelants, Isabelle and Tihon, Anne and Van den Abeele, Baudouin (eds.). Occident et Proche-Orient: Contacts scientifiques au temps des Croisades. Actes du colloque de Louvain-la-Neuve, 24 et 25 mars 1997. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 165-190. (pp. 179–187 contain an edition of the Latin translation of a separate treatise belonging to Jabir’s Seventy Books, i.e., The Book of the Thirty Words, Kitāb al-Thalāthīn kalima, Kr. no. 125, translated as Liber XXX verborum)
  • Darmstaedter, Ernst 1925. "Liber Misericordiae Geber: Eine lateinische Übersetzung des gröβeren Kitâb l-raḥma" in: Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin, 17(4), pp. 181–197. (edition of the Latin translation of Jabir’s The Great Book of Mercy, Kitāb al-Raḥma al-kabīr, Kr. no. 5, under the title Liber Misericordiae)
  • Newman, William R. 1994. “Arabo-Latin Forgeries: The Case of the Summa Perfectionis (with the text of Jābir ibn Ḥayyān's Liber Regni)” in: Russell, G. A. (ed.). The 'Arabick' Interest of the Natural Philosophers in Seventeenth-Century England. Leiden: Brill, pp. 278–296. (pp. 288–291 contain a Latin translation of intermittent extracts of Jabir’s Book of Kingship, Kitāb al-Mulk, Kr. no. 454, under the title Liber regni, with an English translation on pp. 291–293)

Note that some other Latin works attributed to Jabir/Geber (Summa perfectionis, De inventione veritatis, De investigatione perfectionis, Liber fornacum, Testamentum Geberi, and Alchemia Geberi) are widely considered to be pseudepigraphs which, though largely drawing on Arabic sources, were originally written by Latin authors in the thirteenth–fourteenth centuries (see pseudo-Geber).[1]

Encyclopedic sources[edit]

Secondary sources[edit]

  • al-Hassan, Ahmad Y. 2009. Studies in al-Kimya': Critical Issues in Latin and Arabic Alchemy and Chemistry. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. (the same content and more is also available online) (argues against the great majority of scholars that all of the Latin Geber works were translated from the Arabic and that nitric acid was known in early Arabic alchemy)
  • Burnett, Charles 2001. “The Coherence of the Arabic-Latin Translation Program in Toledo in the Twelfth Century” in: Science in Context, 14, pp. 249–288.
  • Capezzone, Leonardo 2020. “The Solitude of the Orphan: Ǧābir b. Ḥayyān and the Shiite Heterodox Milieu of the Third/Ninth–Fourth/Tenth Centuries” in: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 83 (1), pp. 51–73. (recent study of Jabirian Shi'ism, arguing that it was not of a form of Isma'ilism, but an independent sectarian current related to the late ninth-century Shi'ites known as ghulāt)
  • Corbin, Henry 1950. “Le livre du Glorieux de Jâbir ibn Hayyân” in: Eranos-Jahrbuch, 18, pp. 48–114.
  • Delva, Thijs 2017. "The Abbasid Activist Ḥayyān al-ʿAṭṭār as the Father of Jābir b. Ḥayyān: An Influential Hypothesis Revisited" in: Journal of Abbasid Studies, 4(1), pp. 35–61. doi:10.1163/22142371-12340030 (rejects Holmyard 1927’s hypothesis that Jabir was the son of a proto-Shi'ite pharmacist called Ḥayyān al-ʿAṭṭār on the basis of newly available evidence; contains the most recent status quaestionis on Jabir’s biography, listing a number of primary sources on this subject that were still unknown to Kraus 1942–1943)
  • El-eswed, Bassam I. 2006. “Spirits: The Reactive Substances in Jābir's Alchemy” in: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 16(1), pp. 71-90. (the first study since the days of Berthelot, Stapleton, and Ruska to approach the Jabirian texts from a modern chemical point of view)
  • Holmyard, Eric J. 1923. “Jābir ibn Ḥayyān” in: Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 16, pp. 46–57. (pioneering paper first showing that a great deal of Jabir’s non-religious alchemical treatises are still extant, that some of these treatises contain a sophisticated system of natural philosophy, and that Jabir knew the sulfur-mercury theory of metals)
  • Holmyard, Eric J. 1927. “An Essay on Jābir ibn Ḥayyān” in: Ruska, Julius (ed.). Studien zur Geschichte der Chemie: Festgabe Edmund O. v. Lippmann. Berlin: Springer, pp. 28–37. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-51355-8_5 (seminal paper first presenting the hypothesis that Jabir was the son of a proto-Shi'ite pharmacist called Ḥayyān al-ʿAṭṭār)
  • Kraus, Paul 1930. “Dschābir ibn Ḥajjān und die Ismāʿīlijja” in: Ruska, Julius (ed.). Dritter Jahresbericht des Forschungsinstituts für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. Mit einer Wissenschaftlichen Beilage: Der Zusammenbruch der Dschābir-Legende. Berlin: Springer, pp. 23–42. (seminal paper arguing that the Jabirian writings should be dated to ca. 850–950; the first to point out the similarities between Jabirian Shi'ism and early Isma'ilism)
  • Kraus, Paul 1931. “Studien zu Jābir ibn Hayyān” in: Isis, 15(1), pp. 7–30. (contains further arguments for the late dating of the Jabirian writings; analyses Jabir’s accounts of his relations with the Barmakids, rejecting their historicity)
  • Kraus, Paul 1942. “Les dignitaires de la hiérarchie religieuse selon Ǧābir ibn Ḥayyān” in: Bulletin de l’institut francais d’archéologie orientale, 41, pp. 83–97. (pioneering paper on Jabirian proto-Shi'ism)
  • Kraus, Paul 1942-1943. Jâbir ibn Hayyân: Contribution à l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans l'Islam. I. Le corpus des écrits jâbiriens. II. Jâbir et la science grecque. Cairo: Institut français d'archéologie orientale. (vol. 1 contains a pioneering analysis of the sources for Jabir’s biography, and a catalogue of all known Jabirian treatises and the larger collections they belong to; vol. 2 contains a seminal analysis of the Jabirian philosophical system and its relation to Greek philosophy; remains the standard reference work on Jabir even today)
  • Lory, Pierre 1983. Jâbir ibn Hayyân: Dix traités d’alchimie. Les dix premiers Traités du Livre des Soixante-dix. Paris: Sindbad. (elaborates Kraus’s suggestion that the Jabirian writings may have developed from an earlier core, arguing that some of them, even though receiving their final redaction only in ca. 850–950, may date back to the late eighth century)
  • Lory, Pierre 1989. Alchimie et mystique en terre d’Islam. Lagrasse: Verdier. (focuses on Jabir's religious philosophy; contains an analysis of Jabirian Shi'ism, arguing that it is in some respects different from Isma'ilism and may have been relatively independent)
  • Lory, Pierre 2000. “Eschatologie alchimique chez jâbir ibn Hayyân” in: Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée, 91-94, pp. 73–92.
  • Lory, Pierre 2016. “Aspects de l’ésotérisme chiite dans le Corpus Ǧābirien: Les trois Livres de l’Elément de fondation” in: Al-Qantara, 37(2), pp. 279-298.
  • Moureau, Sébastien 2020. “Min al-kīmiyāʾ ad alchimiam. The Transmission of Alchemy from the Arab-Muslim World to the Latin West in the Middle Ages” in: Micrologus, 28, pp. 87–141. (a survey of all Latin alchemical texts known to have been translated from the Arabic)
  • Nomanul Haq, Syed 1994. Names, Natures and Things: The Alchemist Jābir ibn Ḥayyān and his Kitāb al-Aḥjār (Book of Stones). Dordrecht: Kluwer. (preview) (signalled some new sources on Jabir’s biography; followed Sezgin 1971 in arguing for an early date for the Jabirian writings)
  • Norris, John 2006. “The Mineral Exhalation Theory of Metallogenesis in Pre-Modern Mineral Science” in: Ambix, 53, pp. 43–65. (important overview of the sulfur-mercury theory of metals from its conceptual origins in ancient Greek philosophy to the eighteenth century; discussion of the Arabic texts is brief and dependent on secondary sources)
  • Ruska, Julius and Garbers, Karl 1939. “Vorschriften zur Herstellung von scharfen Wässern bei Gabir und Razi” in: Der Islam, 25, pp. 1–34. (contains a comparison of Jabir's and Abū Bakr al-Rāzī's knowledge of chemical apparatus, processes and substances)
  • Sezgin, Fuat 1971. Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, Band IV: Alchimie, Chemie, Botanik, Agrikultur bis ca. 430 H. Leiden: Brill, pp. 132–269. (contains a penetrating critique of Kraus’ thesis on the late dating of the Jabirian works)
  • Stapleton, Henry E. and Azo, R. F. and Hidayat Husain, M. 1927. "Chemistry in Iraq and Persia in the Tenth Century A.D" in: Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. VIII, no. 6, pp. 317-418.
  • Starr, Peter 2009. “Towards a Context for Ibn Umayl, Known to Chaucer as the Alchemist Senior” in: Journal of Arts and Sciences, 11, pp. 61–77.
  • Ullmann, Manfred 1972. Die Natur- und Geheimwissenschaften im Islam. Leiden: Brill.
  • Weisser, Ursula 1980. Das Buch über das Geheimnis der Schöpfung von Pseudo-Apollonios von Tyana. Berlin: De Gruyter.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Moureau 2020: 112; cf. Forster 2018.