Sample of Information  A to Z - 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. Zedekias: Not withstanding the credulity of the French people in the reign of Pepin the Short, they refused to believe in the existence of elementary spirits. The Kabalist Zedekias, being minded to convince the world, there upon commanded the sylphs to become visible to all men. According to the Abbe de Villars, the admirable creatures responded magnificently. They were beheld in human form, Sometimes ranged in battle, whether marching in good order, or under arms, or camping in superb pavilions and, again, in aerial navies of marvellous structure, whose flying flotillas sailed through the air, at the will of the Zephyrs. But the ignorant generation to which they appeared failed entirely to understand the significance of the strange spectatle. They believed at first that the creatures were sorcerers who had betaken themselves to aerial regions for the purpose of exciting storms and sending down hail on the harvests.

 

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