Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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(364 words)

, Arab, al-iksīr, also iksīr al-falāsifa, the secret means by which the alchemists believed base metals could be transmuted into silver and gold; synonymous with “the philosopher’s stone”. Although it has not yet been found in the older Greek alchemical works, it can hardly be doubted that the word is derived from the Greek ξήριον “powder for wounds”. It is frequently mentioned in the writings of Ḏj̲ābir b. Ḥaiyān edited by Berthelot. It enters the metals and permeates them like poison in a body; a s…

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Ruska, J., “Elixir”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 07 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-871X_ei1_SIM_2197>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936

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