This Greek text was begun around 200 b.c. by Paul 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 Physiologos is attributed to King Solomon. (This tradition survived also in Islamic tradition.) Coptic and other Oriental Christian literature drew upon the Physiologos, especially since it was composed in Egypt.
Although the complete manuscript of the Coptic Physiologos did not survive, there are quotations and allusions 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 Coptic version of the Physiologos received a thorough study by A. van Lantschoot, who assembled 18 references to it.