In alchemy, Kalid refers to a historical figure, Khalid ibn Yazid (died 704). He was an Umayyad prince, a brother of Muawiyah II who was briefly caliph. Prince Khalid lost the chance of inheriting the title, but took an interest in the study of alchemy, in Egypt. A book collector, he facilitated translations into Arabic of the existing literature. It is to this Khalid that later allusions to Calid rex (King Calid) refer.
It is contested whether the attributions to Khalid ibn Yazid of alchemical writing are justified.[Notes 2] A popular legend has him consulting a Byzantine monk Marianos (Morienus the Greek).[Notes 3] The Liber de compositione alchimiae, which was the first alchemical work translated from Arabic to Latin (by Robert of Chester in 1144) was purportedly an epistle of Marianos to Khalid.
Another traditional attribution is of the Liber Trium Verborum.[Notes 4] Forms as Calid filius Ysidri[Notes 5] attempt to distinguish ibn Yazid from others named Calid. Calid filius Hahmil certainly intends ibn Umail. There is a Calid filius Jaici mentioned by Jean-Jacques Manget, who includes an attributed Liber Secretorum Artis in his 1702 compilation Bibliotheca Curiosa Chemica.
^There are numerous variant names. The Jewish Encyclopedia gives Kalid ben Jasiki. Variants on that are Kalid ben Jazichi, Kalid Persica, or Calid, son of Sazichi.
^This made its way much later into occult lore. Cedrenus (A.D. 491) gives an example of a magician who professed Alchemy. Morienus (a Hermit, whose works were translated from Arabic into Latin as early as A.D. 1182) learned the Art of Transmutation, or the Great Elixir, at Rome of Adsar, an Alexandrian and a Christian, and afterwards taught it to Calid, or Evelid, the son of Gizid the Second, who was King of Egypt about the year A.D. 725. From John Yarker, Introduction to the Golden Tractate.
^Ruska, Julius. Arabische Alchemisten, I, Chalid Ibn Yazid Ibn Muawiya [Arab Alchemists, I: Khalid Ibn Yazid Ibn Muawiya]. Heidelberg. Khalid ibn Yazid was aided by his translator Istifan al-Kadim, his contributions were later noted by Al-Khwarizmi al-Khati (1034) and Al-Akfani (1924).