Image: Geber

Geber or Jabir (721?-815?)

Geber or Jabir (721?-815?), Arabian alchemist. Born Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan, he is supposed to have lived in Al Kfah and Baghdd (both now in Iraq), and more than 500 treatises have been ascribed to him. Contemporary scholars, however, believe that most of these works date from the 9th to the 12th century. In addition, several works printed in Latin and ascribed to Geber, which is the Latin transcription of his Arabic name, probably date from the 14th century. These works give detailed descriptions of chemical processes, including experiments on the properties of metals. They develop the theoryof great importance to medieval and Renaissance scholarsthat all metals are composed of mercury and sulfur and that it is possible to transmute base metals into gold.

Recommended for you

Read more about the full history of the world

Sofonisba Anguissola

Sofonisba Anguissola (1527-1625), Italian painter who specialized in portraits, and the first female Italian painter to enjoy an international repu...


Karel Appel

Karel Appel (1921-2006), Dutch painter and sculptor who helped to pioneer an unrestrained, physical style of painting in Europe in the period follo...


Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer Bartlett (1941-) American artist, known for her representations of water, gardens, and swimmers, which are created and shown in series. Sh...