Chemists


GEBER

known as False Geber

Born: probably 1270

Died: unknown


Unknown author of several books, probably Spaniard. He assumed the name Geber, a Latinized form of the famous 8-th century Arabian alchemist, Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan, to give added authority to his work. However, his writings reflect the 14th-century European alchemical practices rather than Arab ones.

He is attributed among other things to have discovered nitric and sulfuric acids. The latter is probably the most important chemical achievment of that period. It enabled alchemists to carry on all kinds of reactions that were not possible with vinger, the strongest known acid to the ancients. Sulfuric acid is the most widely used inorganic chemical today.

The following works have been attributed to him:

  1. Summa perfectionis magisterii (The Sum of Perfection or the Perfect Magistery),
  2. Liber fornacum (Book of Furnaces),
  3. De investigatione perfectionis (The Investigation of Perfection) and
  4. De inventione veritatis (The Invention of Verity).

The style of these writings is typical of the alchemical period: obscure and mystical. Only the appearance of the writings of the Italian chemist Vannoccio Biringuccio, the German mineralogist Georgius Agricola, and the German alchemist Lazarus Ercker began changing this.


Bibliography:

Created by Zoran Zdravkovski and Kiro Stojanoski

March 9, 1997, last updated March 9, 1997.

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