Jabir Ibn Hayyan Biography
Born In: Tous, Iran
Abu Musa Jabir Ibn Hayyan often referred to by the Latinized version of his name Geber, was a medieval era polymath. He was an alchemist, chemist, geographer, physician, physicist, astrologer, astronomer, pharmacist, and philosopher all rolled into one. Controversies abound surrounding his real identity as a couple of biographical sources cite that Jabir lived during the 10th century, while most traditional references report that he was an 8th century physician or alchemist. Some sources allude to a ‘pseudo-Geber’ who authored works in metallurgy and alchemy in 13th century Europe under the nom-de-plume of ‘Geber’. Many ‘Middle Ages’ historians as well as chroniclers refute that the Jabirian oeuvre comprising about 3000 works could have possibly been authored by one individual. Nevertheless, majority of the reliable biographic sources regard Jabir as an Islamic intellectual who left behind a massive body of work covering the subjects of astronomy, astrology, medical sciences, geography, alchemy, chemistry, philosophy, and pharmacy. Occasionally called the ‘Father of early modern chemistry’ he is immortalized in his works, the notable ones being ‘Kitab al-Kimya, ‘Book of the Kingdom’, ‘Theory of Balance in Nature’, ‘Kitab-Al-Sab’een, ‘Book of Eastern Mercury’, and ‘The Invention of Verity’. Most historiographers agree that some of his contributions have had a positive impact on alchemy and modern chemistry, difference of opinion amongst the historians about Jabir Hayyan’s identity and the body of work attributable to him notwithstanding.