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Alchindus was an Arabian doctor living during the 11th century. Some viewed him as being among a number of magicians while other describe him only as a superstitious writer. He used charm words and combinations of figures when curing patients, which caused demonologists to proclaim the devil was responsible for his powers. These claims were partially based on the fact Alchindus wrote a book entitled The Theory of Magic Arts. However, it is suspected that the work might not contained anything more formidable than natural philosophy, at a time when all matters of science and philosophy were held in suspicion.

It is true; some of his theories were magical in nature. An example of this was his explanation of the phenomena of dreams. Alchindus said dreams were the work of elementals who acted their strange fantasies out before the mind of the sleeper as actors play on the stage in a theater. The only thing that connected the author with the practice of magic was the title of his work, and not its contents. A.G.H.

Source: 81, 13.

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