Here’s my podcast on him:

Agathodaimon was an alchemist that lived around (c. 300) in Roman Egypt.

Works: Anepigraphos Supposedly from the 3rd century, but all we have are medieval fragments of this work. It describes elements and minerals.

A way to produce silver


…and poison “fiery poison” possibly arsenic trioxide, or possibly amphoteric oxide.

When this poison was dissolved into water, it stayed clear, and copper dunked into it turned deep green (which arsenic trioxide would do)

His methods can be considered the basis of future poison “experiments” and were often used for murder

History of his texts If it wasn’t for the few writing we have mentioning him, we wouldn’t even know he existed. Alchemy was in decline at his time, BUT Nestorian christians fled to persia around 400. ..this is one way (the conquest of Alexandria being another) some of the later knowledge got to the arabs later on. And possibly directly contributed to the rise of alchemy in the middle east.

We talked about greek influence on arabs influence, and in turn their influence on medieval europeans (and especially after the fall of Constantinople and reconquest of spain) .. so it’s interesting to take a look at how some of that knowledge got to the persians even before the arabs arrived.

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