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Chalkolibanon

To have placed the winged feet of Hermis on the figure, or to have used the ordinary word hydrargyros ("water-silver") for mercury, would have made the puzzle altogether too transparent; so loannes has employed the archaic word chalkolibanon, which he evidently borrowed from Plato, to designate the material used in fabricating the feet of his Planetary Logos. Plato speaks of chalkolibanon (Kri-tias, p. 114) as a metal mined by the Atlantians and esteemed by them as the most precious of metals except gold—which it is, in the series of esoteric correspondences. He does not describe it, but says, "Chalkolibanon is now only a name, but was then something more than a name," a statement that is no more than a sarcastic comment on the spiritual degeneracy of the times. But in his highly technical alchemical work, the Timaios (p. 59), he unmistakably describes this metal, calling it simply chalkos and ranking it as a primary metal next to gold, as "a sort of bright and condensed fluid." The Word is rendered "fine brass" in the authorized version, although brass was unknown to the Greeks, who used a bronze composed of copper and tin. But chalkos was used as a general term for metal, as well as for copper in particular; and chalkolibanon is simply the "metal that forms in drops," as does gum exuding from a tree. It is neither "brass" nor "incense-gum," but simply quicksilver—fluidic, "as if melted in a furnace."

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