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Alchemy and chemistry in the medieval Islamic world

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ibn Umail describes a statue of a sage holding the tablet of ancient alchemical knowledge. Illustration from a transcript of Muhammed ibn Umail al-Tamimi's book Al-mâ' al-waraqî (The Silvery Water), Islamic miniature probably from Baghdad, 608H/1211.
Ibn Umail describes a statue of a sage holding the tablet of ancient alchemical knowledge. Illustration from a transcript of Muhammed ibn Umail al-Tamimi's book Al-mâ' al-waraqî (The Silvery Water), Islamic miniature probably from Baghdad, 608H/1211.

Alchemy and chemistry in Islam refers to the study of both traditional alchemy and early practical chemistry (the early chemical investigation of nature in general) by scholars in the medieval Islamic world. The word alchemy was derived from the Arabic word كيمياء or kīmiyāʾ.[1][2] and may ultimately derive from the ancient Egyptian word kemi, meaning black.[2]

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the focus of alchemical development moved to the Caliphate and the Islamic civilization. Much more is known about Islamic alchemy as it was better documented; most of the earlier writings that have come down through the years were preserved as Arabic translations.[3]

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These days, alchemy gets a bad rap. In fantasy stories, charlatans in fancy robes promise to turn lead into gold. But real alchemists weren’t just mystical misers. They were skilled experimentalists, backed by theories of matter. And they played a huge role in the development of knowledge about one of our fundamental questions: “what is stuff?” Do chemists today spend a lot of time trying to turn lead into gold? No—but, in part they are the inheritors of a wealth of knowledge created by alchemists who were trying to turn lead into gold! Why did they keep doing that? Did they really think it would work? Was it some science experiment? Or a religious ritual? Yes! All of those things. Today, we’ll meet some alchemists and consider just what the heck they were doing all day with metals, and how they sought to understand stuff. [Intro Music Plays] The word “alchemy,” which is where we get the word “chemistry” from, is a bit of mystery. It might mean “the black earth,” symbolizing Egypt, but it might not. Either way, all of these words were used in Europe before 1600 to describe the same system. Let’s define alchemy as a way of thinking philosophically about stuff by changing it. This included older astrological ideas alongside new ones derived from experiment and observation. Alchemy parallels the Scholastic medical tradition we looked at last time. Both systems spanned across Eurasia and relied on books. But the alchemists had different social norms, or ideas about how someone creating knowledge should act. Alchemists did publish books, but typically encoded their philosophies in complicated allegories, or stories wherein the characters and actions stand for something other than what they appear. This essentially rendered whole alchemical systems secret except to their own friends. They used code words called Decknamen: so “tin” might literally mean the metal tin in one book, but serve as a code word for silver in another. The books were illustrated, but many of the images were symbols masking their true meanings. The good and bad thing about the Decknamen system was that anyone could read any proto-scientific treatise on “what is stuff?” and come away with almost any conclusion. Good thing today we have the internet to help everyone agree on scientific questions based on evidence... right? A lot of alchemical books focused on transmutation, or changing metals into other metals. In theory—all the way back to Aristotle—transmutation mimicked a natural process: metals were compounds, formed deep in the earth when different quantities of sulfur and mercury were crushed together. Miners had been working with metals for years—digging them up and then heating them to purify them. The difference for alchemists though was that transmutation meant “hacking” this whole process by doing it artificially. But… the alchemical metals are not compounds of anything—they’re elements! So how did the alchemists take non-compounds and “read” them as compounds? The alchemists had problems obtaining pure samples. When they heated up chunks of metal, these would bubble and change color based on impurities, meaning tiny bits of other elements. But, alas—metals, when isolated, don’t actually break down into sulphur and mercury. There were two kinds of alchemical metals: the noble metals were gold, which represented the sun. And silver, which represented the moon. The base metals included mercury, which represented the planet Mercury, copper for Venus, iron for warlike Mars, tin for Jupiter, and lead for slow sad Saturn. In fact, our name for the metal “mercury” comes from this alchemical association with the Greek messenger god! Agents of transmutation also fell into two categories: particulars, which only did one thing—for example, change copper into silver—and universals, meaning the “philosopher’s stone.” That’s philosopher’s stone—no sorcerers involved, American Harry Potter. This mysterious stone could change any base metal into gold. The quest for the universal transmutation agent was called chrysopoeia, or, literally, “make into gold.” To get started, a “chrysopoeian” would combine the right ingredients in an egg-shaped vessel called an alembic, and then heat the mixture up for a long time. What were the right ingredients to make the philosopher’s stone? Alchemists disagreed. The fact that they didn’t even agree on what the philosopher’s stone actually was, pretty much symbolizes the whole system. Chrysopoeia required fine-tuning the practice of metallurgy: alchemists had to heat ingredients for days on end, controlling the temperature precisely without the aid of modern lab equipment, or even a thermometer! It was difficult, sweaty work. Eventually, the mix of ingredients would turn black, then white, then yellow, and finally red. At this point, if your oven hadn’t exploded—you won! You now had a lump of red substance that, when heated up with base metals, changed them into gold. Supposedly. The search for the philosopher’s stone produced new alchemical theories and felt like a wonder, inspiring generations of experimenters, even if it never quite “worked.” Alchemy persisted because transmutation clearly produced something, including new compounds. The problem is that we don’t always know what it produced, because of the whole secret code thing. “Luna fixa”, for example, was a dense white metal, that was corrosion resistant, had a high melting point, and was pretty soft. Was it platinum, white gold, or something else entirely? But alchemy was never only about metals. The human body, for example, was understood as an alchemical workshop: chemical reactions happened in the organs, transmuting one kind of stuff into another. This is still pretty amazing! We eat stuff that is not at all human—at least hopefully—and then that stuff somehow becomes us. In an alchemical framework, illnesses were reactions gone wrong. So while the alchemists included metallurgists, mine directors, goldsmiths, and natural philosophers, they were often physicians, interested in making efficacious compounds called pharmaceuticals, or chematria. In fact, alchemy was a system for producing useful materials from chematria to alcohol, alloys, pigments, perfumes, and cleaning products. Noblewomen alchemists, tasked with caring for the health of the workers in their husbands’ manors, played a major role in producing therapeutics. These noblewomen set up production facilities—proto-labs—and expanded the repertoire of alchemical products which could be sold. And the system itself was heavily gendered, metaphorically, which we can see in many gorgeous illustrations of allegorical kings and queens of heaven, the kings and queens of stuff. One of the wackier life-sciencey practices that came out of the ancient and medieval search to understand therapeutic compounds was palingenesis, or “life again”: the idea that you could bring things back to life by burning them, and then freezing their ashes. Alchemists spent a lot of time burning and freezing leaves. Did palingenesis work? Why don’t you go try it and see if you get better results!? At least, it might make you pay careful attention to living things and what stuff they seem to be made out of. On second thought I'm not gonna encourage you to go burn stuff. Just as there are multiple sciences today, there were multiple “alchemies” in medieval Eurasia. Chinese alchemy was tied into ideas about the earth itself. Remember how, in Chinese natural philosophy, the earth was one living organism? Chinese alchemists detected its vital channels of energy transmission using magnets, formalizing that system of earth magic called feng shui. This work eventually led to the invention of gunpowder. Chinese alchemy also included a search for immortality called waidan. But still no “sorcerers,” sadly. Mostly, waidan was about self-experimentation and diet. Indian alchemy focused on medicine, on forms of mercury, and on how to preserve health and hopefully create an undecayable body. We’ve talked before about how an Ayurvedic textbook or samhita had a whole chapter on aphrodisiacs and another on toxicology. Alchemy supplied a way of developing these love potions and poisons. Islamicate alchemy, meanwhile, blended Aristotelian, Chinese, and Indian alchemical practices. Jābir ibn Hayyān, born in Persia in 721 and known in Europe as “Geber”, was credited with authoring three thousand texts! These included a version of the Emerald Tablet, a supposedly ancient Greek text that included a guide to creating the philosopher’s stone. Hayyan also worked on mineralogy, transmutation, and medicinal elixirs and invented new equipment. Like many alchemists, Hayyan often wrote allegorically, trying in his own words to intentionally “baffle” most readers except those “whom God loves.” But the person most famous today for his work in alchemy is the Swiss physician and iconoclast Paracelsus, born in 1493, who also was called Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. Think Gregory House meets Victor Frankenstein meets Miss Cleo. In addition to his general irascibility, Paracelsus is famous today for the phrase “the dose makes the poison.” Paracelsus also believed that the philosopher’s stone was a “universal solvent” called the alkahest, which was derived from lime, alcohol, and carbonate of potash and could theoretically dissolve anything, even gold. And, most radically, Paracelsus introduced salt as a third element that made up all metals. Paracelsus was a critic of university natural philosophers and physicians. He saw these Scholastics as likely to mistake textual generalizations for truths. He admonished his alchemical colleagues not to trust the words of the ancient masters. But then he became a master himself—someone you could write books in the style of. You could say that alchemy, like other knowledge-making systems, was torn between text and experiment— that is, between loyalty to tradition and iconoclasm, and a return to basic observation. Thus, even if alchemical books were often secret-concealing gibberish, they were important in supporting a long-term rational debate about the true nature of stuff. In fact, the most famous product of alchemy was a wondrous invention that most people don’t think of as alchemical. Help us out, ThoughtBubble: Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, born in Germany in 1468, was a metallurgist who invented a process for mass producing movable type. Gutenberg made his type from an alloy of lead, tin, and antimony, creating a more durable system. He also pioneered working with oil-based ink and made tweaks to the common cheese press to make his printing press. His real achievement, though, was bringing all of these together into a system that made printing books economical. And I mean way more economical than having rooms full of monks hand-copying manuscripts. Economical printing meant better-duplicated texts with fewer errors.! Knowledge circulated not simply thanks to personal travel, which was slow and somewhat random, but as discrete knowledge. Some of this knowledge was intentionally secret code—which presents a problem for historians today. How do we figure out what the alchemists meant when they wrote things like, “The wind blows over the marriage of the moon and Saturn?” How do we interpret alchemical recipes encoded entirely in pictures? Thanks Thought Bubble! So what happened to alchemy? Parts of it became chemistry, which we’ll get to later. But alchemy also became increasingly seen as dirty, dangerous, unsavory, low-class, and lacking a classical pedigree, unlike, say, astronomy. And, in Europe, alchemy was tied to a geocentric cosmology that goes out of fashion in the sixteenth century. There were notable alchemists in the seventeenth century, including Isaac Newton. But by this time, chemists wanted a more scientific society. Publicly, alchemy was attacked as superstition, even as practitioners keep doing it in private. Alchemy went underground for most of the eighteenth century, maintained in secret societies, before dying out. The once-famous book De re metallica, or Concerning the Nature of Metals, was first translated into English by classicist Herbert Hoover— who was also a president—and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, in 1912. Fascinating! Next time—pack your mortarboard hats and masonry tools: we’re tracking the rise of the university and the cathedral! Crash Course History of Science is filmed in the Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney studio in Missoula, Montana and it’s made with the help of all this nice people and our animation team is Thought Cafe. Crash Course is a Complexly production. If you wanna keep imagining the world complexly with us, you can check out some of our other channels like Scishow, Sexplanations, and Healthcare Triage. And, if you’d like to keep Crash Course free for everybody, forever, you can support the series at Patreon; a crowdfunding platform that allows you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making Crash Course possible with their continued support.


Definition and relationship with medieval western sciences

In considering Islamic sciences as a distinct, local practice, it is important to define words such as "Arabic," "Islamic," "alchemy," and "chemistry." In order to gain a better grasp on the concepts discussed in this article, it is important to come to an understanding of what these terms mean historically. This may also help to clear up any misconceptions regarding the possible differences between alchemy and early chemistry in the context of medieval times. As A.I. Sabra writes in his article entitled, "Situating Arabic Science: Location versus Essence," "the term Arabic (or Islamic) science denotes the scientific activities of individuals who lived in a region that roughly extended chronologically from the eighth century A.D. to the beginning of the modern era, and geographically from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to the Indus valley and from southern Arabia to the Caspian Sea - that is, the region covered for most of that period by what we call Islamic civilization, and in which the results of the activities referred to were for the most part expressed in the Arabic language."[4] This definition of Arabic science provides a sense that there are many distinguishing factors to contrast with science of the Western hemisphere regarding physical location, culture, and language, though there are also several similarities in the goals pursued by scientists of the Middle Ages, and in the origins of thinking from which both were derived.

Lawrence Principe describes the relationship between alchemy and chemistry in his article entitled, "Alchemy Restored," in which he states, "The search for metallic transmutation — what we call "alchemy" but that is more accurately termed "Chrysopoeia" — was ordinarily viewed in the late seventeenth century as synonymous with or as a subset of chemistry." [5] He therefore proposes that the early spelling of chemistry as "chymistry" refers to a unified science including both alchemy and early chemistry. Principe goes on to argue that, "[a]ll their chymical activities were unified by a common focus on the analysis, synthesis, transformation, and production of material substances."[5] Therefore, there is not a defined contrast between the two fields until the early 18th century.[5] Though Principe's discussion is centered on the Western practice of alchemy and chemistry, this argument is supported in the context of Islamic science as well when considering the similarity in methodology and Aristotelian inspirations, as noted in other sections of this article. This distinction between alchemy and early chemistry is one that lies predominately in semantics, though with an understanding of previous uses of the words, we can better understand the historical lack of distinct connotations regarding the terms despite their altered connotations in modern contexts.

The transmission of these sciences throughout the Eastern and Western hemispheres is also important to understand when distinguishing the sciences of both regions. The beginnings of cultural, religious, and scientific diffusion of information between the Western and Eastern societies began with the successful conquests of Alexander the Great (334-323 B.C). By establishing territory throughout the East, Alexander the Great allowed greater communication between the two hemispheres that would continue throughout history. A thousand years later, those Asian territories conquered by Alexander the Great, such as Iraq and Iran, became a center of religious movements with a focus on Christianity, Manicheism, and Zoroastrianism, which all involve sacred texts as a basis, thus encouraging literacy, scholarship, and the spread of ideas.[6] Aristotelian logic was soon included in the curriculum a center for higher education in Nisibis, located east of the Persian border, and was used to enhance the philosophical discussion of theology taking place at the time.[7] The Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, became an important source of "theology, morality, law, and cosmology," in what Lindberg describes as "the centerpiece of Islamic education." After the death of Muhammed in 632, Islam was extended throughout the Arabian peninsula, Byzantium, Persia, Syria, Egypt, and Israel by means of military conquest, solidifying the region as a predominately Muslim one.[8] While the expansion of the Islamic empire was an important factor in diminishing political barriers between such areas, there was still a wide range of religions, beliefs, and philosophies that could move freely and be translated throughout the regions. This development made way for contributions to be made on behalf of the East towards the Western conception of sciences such as alchemy.

While this transmission of information and practices allowed for the further development of the field, and though both were inspired by Aristotelian logic and Hellenic philosophies, as well as by mystical aspects[9] it is also important to note that cultural and religious boundaries remained. The mystical and religious elements discussed previously in the article distinguished Islamic alchemy from that of its Western counterpart, given that the West had predominately Christian ideals on which to base their beliefs and results, while the Islamic tradition differed greatly. While the motives differed in some ways, as did the calculations, the practice and development of alchemy and chemistry was similar given the contemporaneous nature of the fields and the ability with which scientists could transmit their beliefs.

Contributions of Islamic alchemists to mystical alchemy

Marie-Louise von Franz describes in her introduction to Ibn Umails "Book of the Explanation of the Symbols — Kitāb Ḥall ar-Rumūz" the contributions of Islamic alchemy as follows: In the 7th to 8th century, Islamic scholars were mainly concerned with translating ancient Hermetic-Gnostic texts without changing them. Gradually they began "'confronting' their content with the Islamic religion" and began "to think independently and experiment themselves in the realm of alchemy". Thus they added "an emphasis on the monotheistic outlook" (tawḥīd) and more and more creating a synopsis of the diverse antique traditions. Thus unifying their meaning, the Islamic scholars arrived at the idea, that the secret and aim of alchemy were the achievement of "one inner psychic experience, namely the God-image" and that stone, water, prima materia etc. were "all aspects of the inner mystery through which the alchemist unites with the transcendent God". Secondly, they added "a passionate feeling tone" by using much more a poetic language than the antique Hermetists did, also giving "a greater emphasis on the coniunctio motif", i.e. images of the union of male and female, sun and moon, king and queen etc.[10] "The mystical masters of Islam understood alchemy as a transformative process of the alchemist's psyche. The fire which promoted this transformation was the love of God."[11]

Alchemists and works

Khālid ibn Yazīd

According to the bibliographer Ibn al-Nadīm, the first Muslim alchemist was Khālid ibn Yazīd, who is said to have studied alchemy under the Christian Marianos of Alexandria. The historicity of this story is not clear; according to M. Ullmann, it is a legend.[12][13] According to Ibn al-Nadīm and Ḥajjī Khalīfa, he is the author of the alchemical works Kitāb al-kharazāt (The Book of Pearls), Kitāb al-ṣaḥīfa al-kabīr (The Big Book of the Roll), Kitāb al-ṣaḥīfa al-saghīr (The Small Book of the Roll), Kitāb Waṣīyatihi ilā bnihi fī-ṣ-ṣanʿa (The Book of his Testament to his Son about the Craft), and Firdaws al-ḥikma (The Paradise of Wisdom), but again, these works may be pseudepigraphical.[14][13][12]

Jābir ibn Ḥayyān

15th century European impression of "Geber"
15th century European impression of "Geber"

Jābir ibn Ḥayyān (Persian: جابرحیان‎, Arabic: جابر بن حیان, Latin Geberus; usually rendered in English as Geber) may have been born in 721 or 722, in Persian city of Tus, Iran, and have been the son of Ḥayyān, a druggist from the tribe of al-Azd who originally lived in Kufa. When young Jābir studied in Arabia under Ḥarbī al-Ḥimyarī. Later, he lived in Kufa, and eventually became a court alchemist for Hārūn al-Rashīd, in Baghdad. Jābir was friendly with the Barmecides and became caught up in their disgrace in 803. As a result, he returned to Kufa. According to some sources, he died in Tus in 815.

A large corpus of works is ascribed to Jābir, so large that it's difficult to believe he wrote them all himself. According to the theory of Paul Kraus, many of these works should be ascribed to later Ismaili authors. It includes the following groups of works: The One Hundred and Twelve Books; The Seventy Books; The Ten Books of Rectifications; and The Books of the Balances. This article will not distinguish between Jābir and the authors of works attributed to him.[15]

Abū Bakr al-Rāzī

Abū Bakr ibn Zakariyā’ al-Rāzī (Latin: Rhazes), born around 864 in Rayy, was mainly known as a Persian physician. He wrote a number of alchemical works, including the Sirr al-asrār (Latin: Secretum secretorum; English: Secret of Secrets.)[16][17]

Ibn Umayl

Muḥammad ibn Umayl al-Tamīmī was a 10th-century alchemist of the symbolic-mystical branch. One of his surviving works is Kitāb al-māʿ al-waraqī wa-l-arḍ al-najmiyya (The Book on Silvery Water and Starry Earth). This work is a commentary on his poem, the Risālat al-shams ilā al-hilāl (The Epistle of the Sun to the Crescent Moon) and contains numerous quotations from ancient authors.[18] Ibn Umayl had important influence on medieval Western (Latin) alchemy,[19] where his work is found under different names, mainly as Senior or as Zadith.[20] His "Silvery Water" e.g. was reprinted as "The Chemical Tables of Senior Zadith" in the collection of alchemical texts: Theatrum Chemicum, and commented upon by Pseudo Aquinas in Aurora Consurgens. They both also give his (modified) image of the sage holding a chemical table (see image above).[21]


Al-Tughrai was an 11th–12th century Persian physician.[22] whose work theMasabih al-hikma wa-mafatih al-rahma (The Lanterns of Wisdom and the Keys of Mercy) is one of the earliest works of material sciences.


Al-Jildaki who was a Persian alchemist urged in his book the need for experimental chemistry and mentioned many experiments Kanz al-ikhtisas fi ma'rifat al-khawas by Abu 'l-Qasim Aydamir al-Jildaki.

Alchemical and chemical theory

Elemental scheme used by Jābir[23]
Hot Cold
Dry Fire Earth
Moist Air Water

Jābir analyzed each Aristotelian element in terms of Aristotle's four basic qualities of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness. For example, fire is a substance that is hot and dry, as shown in the table.[23][24][25] According to Jābir, in each metal two of these qualities were interior and two were exterior. For example, lead was externally cold and dry but internally hot and moist; gold, on the other hand, was externally hot and moist but internally cold and dry. He believed that metals were formed in the Earth by fusion of sulfur (giving the hot and dry qualities) with mercury (giving the cold and moist.) These elements, mercury and sulfur, should be thought of as not the ordinary elements but ideal, hypothetical substances. Which metal is formed depends on the purity of the mercury and sulfur and the proportion in which they come together.[23] The later alchemist al-Rāzī followed Jābir's mercury-sulfur theory, but added a third, salty, component.[26]

Thus, Jābir theorized, by rearranging the qualities of one metal, a different metal would result.[27] By this reasoning, the search for the philosopher's stone was introduced to Western alchemy.[28][29] Jābir developed an elaborate numerology whereby the root letters of a substance's name in Arabic, when treated with various transformations, held correspondences to the element's physical properties.[23]

Processes and equipment

Al-Rāzī mentions the following chemical processes: distillation, calcination, solution, evaporation, crystallization, sublimation, filtration, amalgamation, and ceration (a process for making solids pasty or fusible.)[30] Some of these operations (calcination, solution, filtration, crystallization, sublimation and distillation) are also known to have been practiced by pre-Islamic Alexandrian alchemists.[31]

In his Secretum secretorum, Al-Rāzī mentions the following equipment:[32]

  • Tools for melting substances (li-tadhwīb): hearth (kūr), bellows (minfākh or ziqq), crucible (bawtaqa), the būt bar būt (in Arabic, from Persian) or botus barbatus (in Latin), ladle (mighrafa or milʿaqa), tongs (māsik or kalbatān), scissors (miqṭaʿ), hammer (mukassir), file (mibrad).
  • Tools for the preparation of drugs (li-tadbīr al-ʿaqāqīr): cucurbit and still with evacuation tube (qarʿ or anbīq dhū khatm), receiving matras (qābila), blind still (without evacuation tube) (al-anbīq al-aʿmā), aludel (al-uthāl), goblets (qadaḥ), flasks (qārūra, plural quwārīr), rosewater flasks (mā’ wardiyya), cauldron (marjal or tanjīr), earthenware pots varnished on the inside with their lids (qudūr and makabbāt), water bath or sand bath (qidr), oven (al-tannūr in Arabic, athanor in Latin), small cylindirical oven for heating aludel (mustawqid), funnels, sieves, filters, etc.

See also


  1. ^ "alchemy", entry in The Oxford English Dictionary, J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner, vol. 1, 2nd ed., 1989, ISBN 0-19-861213-3.
  2. ^ a b p. 854, "Arabic alchemy", Georges C. Anawati, pp. 853-885 in Encyclopedia of the history of Arabic science, eds. Roshdi Rashed and Régis Morelon, London: Routledge, 1996, vol. 3, ISBN 0-415-12412-3.
  3. ^ Burckhardt, Titus (1967). "Alchemy: science of the cosmos, science of the soul". Stuart & Watkins: 46. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Sabra 1996, P. 655
  5. ^ a b c Principe 2011, P. 306
  6. ^ Lindberg 2007, P. 163
  7. ^ Lindberg 2007, P. 164
  8. ^ Lindberg 2007, P. 166
  9. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz (CALA IA) 2006, p. 26
  10. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz (CALA IA) 2006, p. 26-27.
  11. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz (CALA IA) 2006, p. 39.
  12. ^ a b pp. 63-66, Alchemy, E. J. Holmyard, New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1990 (reprint of 1957 Penguin Books edition), ISBN 0-486-26298-7.
  13. ^ a b M. Ullmann, "Ḵh̲ālid b. Yazīd b. Muʿāwiya, abū hās̲h̲im.", in Encyclopedia of Islam, second edition, edited by P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, and W.P. Heinrichs, Brill, 2011. Brill Online. Accessed 20 January 2011. <>
  14. ^ Anawati 1996, p. 864.
  15. ^ pp. 68-82, Holmyard 1990.
  16. ^ pp. 867-879, Anawati 1996.
  17. ^ pp. 86-92, Holmyard 1990.
  18. ^ pp. 870-872, Anawati 1996.
  19. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz (CALA IA) 2006, chapter: "Life and Work of Muḥammad ibn Umail", p. 55
  20. ^ Julius Ruska, "Senior Zadith = Ibn Umail." Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 31, 1928, pp. 665-666
  21. ^ Theodor Abt: "The Transmission of Ibn Umail's Vision to the Occident" in: Book of the Explanation of the Symbols - Kitāb Hall ar-Rumūz by Muhammad ibn Umail. Psychological Commentary by Theodor Abt. Corpus Alchemicum Arabicum (CALA) IB, Living Human Heritage Publications, Zurich 2009, p. 59-64.
  22. ^ El Khadem, H. S. (1995). "A Lost Text By Zosimos Reproduced in an Old Alchemy Book". Journal of Chemical Education. 72 (9): 774. Bibcode:1995JChEd..72..774E. doi:10.1021/ed072p774 (inactive 2020-01-22).
  23. ^ a b c d pp. 74-82, Holmyard 1990.
  24. ^ Holmyard 1990, pp. 21-22.
  25. ^ Aristotle, On Generation and Corruption, II.3, 330a-330b.
  26. ^ Holmyard 1990, p. 88.
  27. ^ Burckhardt, Titus (1967). "Alchemy: science of the cosmos, science of the soul". Stuart & Watkins: 29. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. ^ Ragai, Jehane (1992). "The Philosopher's Stone: Alchemy and Chemistry". Journal of Comparative Poetics. 12 (Metaphor and Allegory in the Middle Ages): 58–77. doi:10.2307/521636. JSTOR 521636.
  29. ^ Holmyard, E. J. (1924). "Maslama al-Majriti and the Rutbatu'l-Hakim". Isis. 6 (3): 293–305. doi:10.1086/358238.
  30. ^ p. 89, Holmyard 1990.
  31. ^ p. 23, A short history of chemistry, James Riddick Partington, 3rd ed., Courier Dover Publications, 1989, ISBN 0-486-65977-1.
  32. ^ Anawati 1996, p. 868

Further reading

External links

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