This Greek text was begun around 200 b.c. by of Mendes, who confused the scientific study of nature with magical traditions. Others continued the work after 200 b.c. In a Coptic text attributed to Eusthatius of Thrace, the book of the is attributed to King Solomon. (This tradition survived also in tradition.) Coptic and other Oriental literature drew upon the , especially since it was composed in Egypt.

Although the complete manuscript of the Coptic did not survive, there are quotations and to it in several writings. Most of these quotations are in religious texts relating to monks, patriarchs, and saints, meaning that the Christian hierarchy read this book. Though originally written in Greek in Egypt, the of the received a thorough study by A. van Lantschoot, who assembled 18 references to it.