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date: 02 March 2021

Cyranideslocked

  • John Scarborough

Extract

Cyranides, a Greek tract in five books, listing the magical and curative powers of stones, plants, and animals. Authorship, date, and title are uncertain, although the Cyranides bears affinity to works ‘by’ *Hermes Trismegistus, suggesting Egyptian—perhaps Coptic—origins in the 1st or 2nd cent. ce. The treatise says it is partly by Cyranus, king of Persia, and partly by Harpocration (the medical and astrological writer). Book 5 contains a number of parallel passages to *Dioscorides (2), indicating that both the Cyranides and Dioscorides drew from common and rather ancient traditions.

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