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Muhammed ibn Umail al-Tamini

Muhammed ibn Umail al-Tamini was an alchemist of the tenth century. In the later European literature he is known by a number of names, including Zadith Senior[1] and Zadith filius Hamuel (or Hamuelis)[2].

There is an allusion to him in Chaucer's Canon's Yeoman's Tale (the "book senior"); the tale itself having alchemy as a theme. Chaucer’s source is said to be the Chimica senioris zadith tabula[3][4]; Chaucer believed it written by a follower of Plato.

Attributed to ibn Umail are the Hall ar-Rumuz (Explanation of the symbols), the Kitâb mafâtîh al-hikma al-`uzmâ, and the Kitâb al-mâ' al-waraqî wa al-ardh al-najmîya[5], a commentary on the alchemical poem Risâla al-shams ilâ al-hilâl (in Latin, Epistola solis ad lunam crescentem, the letter of the Sun to the waxing Moon).[6]


  1. ^ Or Senior Zadith (sometimes just Senior), derived from the honorific al-sadik, becoming Zadith phonetically, and the title Sheikh becoming 'senior' by translation into Latin; this explanation is from Julius Ruska, Senior Zadith = Ibn Umail. Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 31, 1928, pp. 665-666.
  2. ^ From an erroneous translation of ibn Umail. So also Zadith ben Hamuel.
  3. ^ Also known as Senioris Zadith filii Hamuelis tabula chymica, the chemical tables of Senior Zadith son of Hamuel. It was published in the 1660 Theatrum chemicum, as Senioris antiquissimi philosophi libellus.
  4. ^ Title page of 1605 edition, as part I of Philosophiae Chymicae IV. Vetvstissima Scripta
  5. ^ Julius Ruska, Studien zu Muhammad Ibn Umail al-Tamimi's Kitab al-Ma' al-Waraqi wa'l-Ard an-Najmiyah,Isis, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Feb., 1936), pp. 310-342.
  6. ^ Another (doubtful) attribution is the illustrated Aurora consurgens, which in its text quotes Senior, perhaps c.1400; this is also said to be by Thomas Aquinas.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Muhammed_ibn_Umail_al-Tamini". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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