Osthanes

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Ostanes (from Greek Ὀστάνης), also spelled Hostanes and Osthanes was named in Greek and Latin pseudepigraphies as early as the Hellenistic period. Together with Pseudo-Zoroaster and Pseudo-Hystaspes, Ostanes belongs to the group of pseudepigraphical "Hellenistic Magians", writing under pseudonyms of famous "Magians." He was an imagined master sorcerer, sage, astrologer, and philosopher claimed by some to have lived in the 5th century BC and as early as 400 BC.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ostanes, the Mede, was one of the celebrated early alchemists. Several writers have recorded for us the existence of a book called The Book of the Divine Prescriptions, which seems to have been the most famous writing of these Persian sages.
  • The nature is pleased to nature
    The nature overcomes the nature
    The Nature dominated nature.
    • Synesios in a comment about Demokritos, in K. C. Schmieder, The History of Alchemy (2005) p. 64; a translation of Geschichte der Alchemie (1832).
  • The manuscripts in which these early Greek treatises have been preserved to us seem to be derived from an encyclopaedia compiled during the tenth century, at Constantinople, from the works of various alchemists. ...The Greek text. now published by M. Berthelot and M. [Ch. Em.] Ruelle, custodian of the Library of Ste.-Geneviève, is derived from a careful collation of all these sources, and is accompanied with notes by M. Berthelot bringing light and order into the mystical obscurity in which from the beginning the alchemists enveloped their doctrines.
    First among these is the 'Physica et Mystica,' ascribed to Democritus of Abdera, a collection of fragments, among which a few receipts for dyeing in purple may be genuine, while the story of magic and the alchemical teaching are evidently spurious. The philosopher is made to state that his studies were interrupted by the death of his master, Ostanes the Magian. He therefore evoked his spirit from Hades, and learned from him that the books which contained the secrets of his art were in a certain temple. He sought them there in vain, till one day, during a feast in the sanctuary, a column opened, and revealed the precious tomes, in which the doctrines of the Master were summed up in the mysterious words: 'Nature rejoices in Nature, Nature conquers Nature, Nature rules Nature.'
    The unknown Alexandrian who wrote under the name of Democritus gives not only receipts for making white alloys of copper, but others which, he positively asserts, will produce gold. M. Berthelot, however, shows in his notes that they can only result in making amalgams for gilding or alloys resembling gold or varnishes which will give a superficial tinge to metals

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