Zosimos is the oldest alchemical author for whom there are genuine, uncontested, treatises. He lived in Panopolis, in upper Egypt, at the end of the 3rd century AD, or the beginning of the 4th. In Arabic his name is written in various forms, including Risimus, Rusim, Rusam, and Zusimus.
NLM has a fragment of an Arabic treatise on numerology attributed to Zosimos, in addition to a treatise on alchemy described elsewhere (MS A 70, item 14).
No other copy has been identified.
The top six lines on this folio are the end of an anonymous and untitled Persian treatise on winds and rain, while the text written diagonally over the rest of the folio is the beginning of an Arabic treatise on numerology attributed to Zosimos (3rd to 4th cent. AD). The Persian treatise was copied in 1721 (1133 H) in the city of Kashan. The Arabic text was probably added not long thereafter.
Arabic. 2 leaves (fols. 40b-41b). Dimensions 21.4 x 16.6 (text area ca.18.3 x 15) cm; 17-38 lines per page. Zosimos (Zusimus) is named in the first line of text written diagonally in the upper right corner. No title is supplied.
The copy was made by a different copyist than transcribed the first three items in the volume (which were copied at Kashan in the month of Rajab 1133 (= 28 April-27 May 1721) . This treatise was probably added not long thereafter.
The beige paper is nearly matte-finished and has no laid lines or chain lines visible; the edges have been trimmed from their original size. The paper is grease and damp stained and soiled through thumbing. Repairs have been made to fol. 1.
The volume consists of 41 leaves. Fol. 1a is blank except for penciled note (Collection: Risalat Jabir) attributing the volume to Jābir ibn Ḥayyān and an undeciphered phrase in Persian script. Fols. 1a-39a (item 1) contain Kitāb Nihāyat al-ṭalab fī sharḥ Kitāb [al-‘ilm] al-Muktasab dar zirā‘at-i dhahab by al-Jaldakī (MS P 27, item 1); fols. 39b-40a (item 2) a Persian treatise on the smelting of iron), attributed to Jābir ibn Ḥayyān(MS P 27, item 2); folios 40a-40b an untitled short anonymous Persian essay on winds and rain (MS P 27, item 3); fols. 40b-41b are an Arabic untitled treatise on numerology whose author is given as Zosimos here catalogued; and fol. 41b, lower two-thirds, contains an Arabic alchemical chapter from Kitāb al-‘Ilm al-makhzūn fī mufāriḍah attributed to Jābir ibn Ḥayyān (MS P 27, item 5).
There is an owner's stamp on fol. 41b (not legible).
The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A.S. Yahuda (ELS 2357 m. 127).
Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of incun. & MSS., p. 399, entry P 27, item 4.
NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-137 no. 2