|Text source||A. Roberts 2020, A Greek Alchemical Epigram in its Middle Byzantine Context, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 83, 1-36: 5|
|Text status||Text completely known|
|Editorial status||Critical text|
This book containing bliss, hidden as it were -
gaze upon it, every Muses’ friend!
But should you wish its gold-rich veins
to probe, so wisely hidden,
then lift your mind’s bright eye towards godly natures,
to the peak, by all-wise splendours,
and scrutinise this way the wisest writing,
and you will find a wealth of higher knowledge
as you seek and search for the thrice-happy nature
that alone vanquishes natures in a god-inspired way
and alone begets dazzling gold
and makes everything; with their Muse-decorated wits,
lovers of divine knowledge alone have found it.
When you discover this nature (for let me not say who it is),
wonder at the mind, the thought, of god-inspired men,
for they are demiurges of bodies and spirits,
at how they thus acquired the peak of knowledge,
to endow with a soul, to kill and to give life again,
so as strangely to fashion and strangely to mould.
O what a marvel: the queen blessed matter!
Discerning and learning her transformations,
hidden enigmatically within,
the mind renowned by all, the famous wits,
of Theodore, rich in god-inspired ways,
being a faithful companion of lords,
put together a strange collection, placed it
in this book of all-wise thoughts;
protect and defend him, Christ, king of all!
|Comment||The epigram is also preserved in the 16th century manuscripts Kassel, Landesbibliothek, Chem. 2° 001 (ff. IIr-v) and El Escorial, Real Biblioteca, Ψ. I. 13 (f. 2v).|
|Number of verses||28|
 τὴν βίβλον ὄλβον ὥσπερ ἐγκεκρυμμένον
VENICE - Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana - gr. Z. 299 (coll. 584) [951-1000] (f. 5v)
|Identification||Vassis ICB 2005, 729: "In collectionem scriptorum alchemicorum a Theodoro confectam"|