Thanks, Olivier, for the information - I thought I had looked at Mertens on the Mithraic reference, but I guess I missed that - yes, it's in the thirteenth memoir.
Well, I think in part the same thing as she does, that it has to do with his birth from the rock, but probably not just that.
Thanks, I will look at her notes again. I wonder if Berthelot has anything on that passage. Still need to look on the Mithraic studies side too.
--- In email@example.com, Olivier Dufault <odufault@...> wrote:
> The entry in the Souda is strange because the two works it attributes to
> Zosimus are not found in the Greek textual tradition. Besides the unknown
> life of Plato, it mentions "Alchemical works (*chèmeutika*) in 28 books in
> alphabetical order (*kata stoicheion*), whom some call *Cheirokmèta*.
> Since the Greek alphabet has 24 letters, there is an obvious problem there.
> Reitzenstein suggested that the four additional letters were taken from the
> Coptic alphabet. Still, we are left to wonder why Zosimus only took 4 out
> of the 6 Coptic letters added to the Greek alphabet (Sahidic has 30
> letters, I don't know if the Achmimic alphabet is different, and that would
> be important since Zosimus came from Achmim/Panopolis).
> Another strange thing is that it does not mention any of the books we
> actually know. One possible explanation is that what it called
> "Cheirokmèta" was a later compilation, now lost, of the works we know from
> the three main corpus.
> The article by Howard Jackson is "The Seer Nikotheos and His Lost
> Apocalypse in the Light of Sethian Apocalypses from Nag Hammadi and the
> Apocalypse of Elchasai", Novum Testamentum, Vol. 32, Fasc. 3 (Jul., 1990),
> pp. 250-277.
> Note that the reference to the Mithraic mystery is not in the treatise *On
> the Letter Omega *but in another one *peri asbestou *("about
> quicklime": *Mémoires
> authentiques* XIII). Since the product of the operation is called "the
> stone which is not a stone", Michèle Mertens remarks that the mithraic
> mystery must be that of Mithras being born out of a stone.
> Olivier Dufault