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The Secret Book of Artephius
Artephius (Arthephius, Artefius) is a name to which a number of alchemical and magical texts, first extant in Latin, are ascribed.
Although the origin of the texts is unclear and the identity of their author obscure, at least some of them may go back to Arabic antecedents. Roger Bacon alludes to The Secret Book of Artephius, indicating that it goes back at least to the thirteenth century. In the sixteenth century there were numerous allusions.
In printed form, works attributed to Artephius became well known in the seventeenth century. A work Artefii clavis majoris sapientiae was printed in Paris in 1609. Later it would also appear within Volume IV of Theatrum Chemicum, printed originally in 1613. Then in 1624, Eirenaeus Orandus provided an English translation of the 'secret booke'.
A Renaissance tradition held that Artephius had been born in the first or second century and died in the twelfth, thanks to having discovered the alchemical elixir that made it possible to prolong life. In his Secret Book, Artephius indeed claims to be more than a thousand years old.
Artephius is sometimes identified with Apollonius of Tyana. There also seems to be some tendency to confuse him with Orpheus, perhaps because both figures are supposed to have had the ability to converse with birds.
Artephius is said to have written this in the 12th century. Lapidus doesn't say who translated it (presumably from the Latin).
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