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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 12, 2022

Islamicate alchemy in Greek letters on the first page of Marcianus graecus 299

  • Alexandre Roberts
From the journal Byzantinische Zeitschrift


The famous middle Byzantine alchemical manuscript Marcianus graecus 299 contains annotations from the late Byzantine period, most prominently in its opening quire. This article examines a text on the very first page of the manuscript, a text written in a late Byzantine Greek script, but in a language other than Greek. A number of words in this undeciphered text can be correlated with Arabic technical vocabulary that would also have been used in other Islamicate languages such as Persian and Ottoman Turkish. Certain features such as accentuation on the final syllables of words make Turkish or Persian the most likely candidates.

Published Online: 2022-04-12
Published in Print: 2022-03-01

© 2022 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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