Pseudo Geber

Pseudo Geber Cover
Pseudo-Geber is the name assigned by modern scholars to an anonymous European alchemist born in the 13th century, sometimes identified with Paul of Taranto, who wrote books on alchemy and metallurgy, in Latin, under the pen name of "Geber". "Geber" is the shortened and Latinised form of the name Jabir ibn Hayyan, a renowned 8th century Islamic alchemist. In Europe for many centuries it was assumed that "Geber" was identical with Jabir ibn Hayyan and that the books had been translated from Arabic. Arabic alchemy was held in high esteem by medieval European alchemists and so was the name Geber, meaning Jabir ibn Hayyan. Some Arabic writings attributed to Jabir had been translated into Latin during the 11th to 13th centuries. (Once again, however, some of the Arabic writings attributed to Jabir were actually written in Arabic at a later date than the lifetime of Jabir, who died 815. ) The Latin writer Pseudo-Geber probably adopted the name of his illustrious predecessor in order to capitalize on his reputation. That is called pseudepigraphy, and it was not at all uncommon in the medieval era. For example, a wide variety of medieval writings were distributed with the illustrious Aristotle as the stated author; see Pseudo-Aristotle.

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