Marianus the Roman, Hermit of Jerusalem
Usually Latinised from Arabic as MORIENUS
Morien, a Greek hermit, is supposed to have
revealed the secret of the
Philosopher's Stone to
Khalid ibn Yazid, son of the second Ummayed caliph.
Prince Khalid was a real person, and seems to have been
interested in scientific and medical topics,
but the existence of Morien is less certain.
The legend does, however, accurately reflect the
world of the late VII and VIII
Century Islamic Caliphate,
and the quest of some of its leaders to
rediscover the lost sciences of
what they belatedly
concluded to have been a more advanced civilisation
than their own.
Norman Hugh Redington
Under construction --- far from complete! Read with caution.
- De transfiguratione metallorum
(also called by many other titles, especially
De compositione alchemiæ).
only pre-modern source about Morien, containing
a narrative attributed to Khalid, an interview between
the prince and the philosopher, and some other material.
It exists only in a Latin translation, supposedly by
Robert of Chester, a XII Century Christian expert on Islam,
but the existence of an Arabic original is generally
accepted. The text certainly has an Islamic
theological tone in the part discussing free will.
Translated by Lee Stavenhagen, but contains
only the interview between Morien and Khalid.
The online edition is still more abbreviated,
containing the English text but not the original Latin
or Stavenhagen's excellent commentary.
[Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1974].
--- Rex Research
- Ahmad Y. Al-Hassan:
The Arabic Original of the Epistle
of Maryanus, (2004).
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
- Lee Stavenhagen:
The original text of the Latin Morienus, (1970).
Return to St Pachomius Library.