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Unformatted text preview: Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Secrets Nye - 1 - Abraham, The Jew: (Alchemist and magician, circa, 1400). Comparatively few biographical facts are forthcoming concerning this German Jew, who was at once alchemist, magician and philosopher; and these few facts are mostly derived from a very curious manuscript, now domiciled in the Archives of the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, Paris, an institution rich in occult documents. This manuscript is couched throughout in French, but purports to be literally translated from Hebrew, and the style of the handwriting indicates that the scribe lived at the beginning of the eighteenth century, or possibly somewhat earlier. A distinct illiteracy characterises the French script, the punctuation being inaccurate, indeed frequently conspicuous by its absence, but an actual description of the document must be waived till later. Abraham was probably a native of Mayence, having come thence after the exile of the Jews from Spain, and appears to have been born in 1362. We find that his father, Simon by name, was something of a seer and magician, and that the boy accordingly commenced his occult studies under the parental guidance, while at a later date he studied under one, Moses, whom he himself describes as " indeed a good man, but entirely ignorant of The True Mystery, and of The Veritable Magic." Leaving this preceptor, Abraham decided to glean knowledge by travelling, and along with a friend called Samuel, a Bohemian, by birth, he wandered through Austria and Hungary into Greece, and thence penetrated to Constantinople, where he remained fully two years. He is found next in Arabia, in those days a veritable centre of mystic learning; and from Arabia he went to Palestine, whence betimes he proceeded to Egypt. Here he had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Abra Melin , the famous Egyptian philosopher, who, besides entrusting to him certain documents, confided in him by word of mouth a number of invaluable secrets; and armed thus, Abraham left Egypt for Europe, where eventually he settled in Germany, some say at Wurzburg, but better authorities posit Frankfurt. Soon he was deep in alchemistic researches, but these did not prevent him from espousing a wife, who appears to have been his cousin Matilde Stein; and by her he had three daughters and also two sons, the elder named Joseph and the younger Lamech. He took great pains to instruct both of them in occul affairs, while, on each of his three daughters, he settled a dowry of a hundred thousand golden florins. This considerable sum, together with other vast wealth, he claim to have gained by travelling as an alchemist; and whateve the truth of this statement, he certainly won great fame being summoned to perform acts of magic before man rich and influential people, notably the Emperor Sigismun of Germanv, the Bishop of Wurzburg, King Henry VI. of England, the Duke of Bavaria, and Pope John XXIII The remainder of Abraham's career is shrouded in mystery while...
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This note was uploaded on 06/21/2009 for the course COMP gc taught by Professor Ferry during the Spring '09 term at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
- Spring '09