Joshua Werrett

My thesis is a commentary of 'The Visions' of Zosimos of Panopolis. In this cryptic text, Zosimos, an alchemist and Gnostic mystic who lived in Egypt around the turn of the 4th century AD, narrates a series of three dreams. In these dreams, he claims to have witnessed a host of horrid images: men eating themselves; people being burned alive, but not dying; eyes dissolving into blood, and many more. Encoded within this metaphorical dream-based framework, however, is an alchemical recipe, which supposedly allows the alchemist to not only transform any matter into gold, but to transform a human from a lowly, corporeal creature into a purely spiritual entity - making the text a fascinating blend of both the scientific and religious milieux of Zosimos' day. Cracking this code, and exploring just how each image in the text may be interpreted within these scientific or religious contexts, is the goal of my research.

I am supervised by Prof. Gregory Hutchinson and Prof. Mark Edwards.

Additional interests include: ancient astrology; ancient magic; Judaeo-Christian mysticism; Late Antique philosophy; and ancient fiction.