Artephius (d. ca. 1119)

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Artephius (d. ca. 1119)

A well-known exponent of Hermetic philosophy who died in the twelfth century, and is said to have lived more than one thousand years by means of alchemical secrets. François Pic mentions the opinion of certain savants who affirmed that Artephius was identical with Apollonius of Tyana, who was born in the first century under that name and who died in the twelfth century under that of Artephius.

Many extravagant and curious works are attributed to Artephius: De Vita Propaganda (The Art of Prolonging Life), which he claims, in the preface, to have written at the age of 1,025 years; The Key to Supreme Wisdom; and a work on the character of the planets, on the significance of the songs of birds, on things past and future, and on the philosophers' stone. Jerome Cardan spoke of these books and believed that they were composed by some practical joker who wished to play on the credulity of the partisans of alchemy.

Some scholars have identified Artephius with the Arabic poet and alchemist Al Toghrai, who died ca. 1119.


Patai, Raphael. The Jewish Alchemists. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.