Alchemy Academy Archive -1999-2006 edited by Adam McLean
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Alchemy Academy Archive -1999-2006 edited by Adam McLean

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An excellent resource for researching the subject of alchemy; using the PDF search feature enhances its usefulness...

An excellent resource for researching the subject of alchemy; using the PDF search feature enhances its usefulness...

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Alchemy Academy Archive -1999-2006 edited by Adam McLean Alchemy Academy Archive -1999-2006 edited by Adam McLean Document Transcript

  • Alchemy Academy archive Alchemy Academy archive April 1999 Back to alchemy academy archives. Subject: ACADEMY: Alchemy academy From: Adam McLean Date: 21 Apr 1999 The alchemy academy has now been set up and will be operated through a new e-mail address There are initially 60 members. This is a moderated discussion group for the scholarly and academic study of alchemy. Due to the problems that seem to be inherent in discussing alchemy, as many of us will have noted over the past four years of the various discussion groups I have organised, this group will be rigorously focussed on an academic and scholarly approach to alchemy. I, as moderator, will create a space in which serious discussion of alchemy can take place without the tedious degeneration into pointless speculation which has characterised previous incarnations of this group. Of course, only messages relevant to the scholarly and academic study of alchemy will be posted out. In the next few days I will post out the welcome message outlining the ground rules for this group. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal From: Adam McLean Date: 21 Apr 1999 Does anyone have access to an early 20th century journal entitled The Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (1 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive This has a number of important articles on alchemy, and some translations of key arabic alchemical works into English. I would very much like to have photocopies made of articles from this journal. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Article on prolongation of life and alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 20th Apr 1999 I recently found an interesting article in The Transactions of the American Philosophical Society Volume 56, Part 9, 1966. Gerald J. Gruman. A history of ideas about the prolongation of life. The evolution of prolongevity hypotheses to 1800. This has a substantial section on alchemy and amongst other matters discusses various links between Chinese, Arabic and Western alchemy. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Article on prolongation of life and alchemy From: Veerle Fraeters Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 A more recent article on the same theme: A. Paravicini Bagliani, Rajeunir au Moyen Age. Roger Bacon et le mythe de la prolongation de la vie, in Revue médicale de la Suisse romande 106 (1986), p.9-23. Veerle Fraeters Subject: ACADEMY : 14th/15th century primary documents From: Jim Luebke Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (2 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive I am a university student in the midst of preparing for a thesis project involving alchemy in the 14th and 15th centuries. I was wondering if anyone could direct me to useful primary sources on the subject, or even secondary literature. I am especially interested in Western Europe, although any sufficiently influential text from elsewhere in Europe or the Middle East (or earlier in time) would be useful as well. Unfortunately, my only languages are English and a depressingly small amount of German. Also, I'm not sure I have the time to wade through endless piles of documents. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Jim Luebke UCI, History / Aero Eng Subject: ACADEMY : 14th/15th century primary documents From: Adam McLean Date: 21 Apr 1999 Jim Luebke wrote: >I am a university student in the midst of preparing for a thesis >project involving alchemy in the 14th and 15th centuries. I was >wondering if anyone could direct me to useful primary sources >on the subject, or even secondary literature. I am especially >interested in Western Europe, although any sufficiently influential >text from elsewhere in Europe or the Middle East (or earlier in time) >would be useful as well. A good initial survey will be this article. Ogrinc, Will H.L. Western society and alchemy from 1200 to 1500. Journal of Medieval History 6 (1980) p103-132. You could focus on the influence of a particularly important text on the alchemy of this period. The obvious candidates for this would be the 'Turba philosophorum' or the 'Tabula Smaragdina', both of which shaped the alchemy of the 14th and 15th centuries. There are many secondary sources dealing with either of these two texts. The 'Turba' is long and complex but an extremly rich source of ideas. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (3 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive The Emerald tablet is very short but extremely influential, though it is not always easy to trace its distinct influence, as its ideas are so universal in the alchemy of this time, that it can be difficult to tease out it as a direct source for a particular author. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal From: Guy Ogilvy Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 Assuming the journal to which you refer was published in India, you might try Dr Y P Gogia in India at oscar@del2.vsnl.net.in I recently purchased a book on Indian medicinal alchemy through his bookfind. He may at least be able to point you closer to a source. Best regards Guy Ogilvy Subject: ACADEMY : Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 From: Anna Hedigan Adam, Have checked the reference in our Uni Library and found this Asiatick researches: or transactions of the Society instituted in Bengal, for inquiring into the history and antiquities, the arts, sciences, and literature of Asia. London: Printed by T. Maiden for Vernor, Hood & Sharpe 1806 - 1812. Ten volumes. All are available, and if this is the right resource I am happy to make copies for you. Also, a reference for extracted Tibetan Studies from the Society's publications, by Hungarian scholar Alexander Csoma de Koros - useful?? yours Anna http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (4 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal From: Robben Hixson Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 Dear Adam I have a 24 volume set of the Asiatic Society which was formed January 15, 1784 and was published regularly until 1839. Its founder was Sir William James. This set is a reprint under the title `Asiatic Researches, History and Antiquities, the Arts, Sciences, Ethnology, and Literature of Asia'. Could this be what you are looking for? If it is I would be happy to send copies of any articles. Robben Hixson Subject: ACADEMY : Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal From: Adam McLean Date: 21Apr 1999 Here are the articles in the 'Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal' that I would like to locate. These date to the early decades of this century. These are primarily on Islamic alchemy and include translations of some key texts into English. 1 (2) Oct 1905, 25-42. Stapleton, H. E. Sal-ammoniac: a study in primitive chemistry. 1 (2) Oct 1905, 47-71. Stapleton, H. E. & Azo, R. F. Alchemical Equipment in the eleventh century, A.D. 3 (2) 1910, 57-94. Stapleton, H. E. & Azo, R. F. An alchemical compilation of the thirteenth century, A.D. 8 (6) Jun 1927, 315-418. Stapleton, H. E., Azo, R. F. & Husain, M. H. Chemistry in 'Iraq and Persia in the tenth century A.D. 8 (7) 1929, 417-460. Ahmad, m. & Datta, B. B. A Persian translation of the 11th century Arabic http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (5 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive alchemical treatise 'Ain as-San'ah wa 'Aun as-Sana'ah. 12 (1) 1933 p1-213 H. E. Stapleton and M. Hidayat Husayn. Muhummad ibn Umail. Three treatises on alchemy. Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Bishrun's 'Treatise on alchemy' From: Adam McLean Date: 22 April 1999 It never ceases to amaze me that the core processes of alchemy are described consistently in the texts of various traditions over a thousand years or more. Today I found a English translation of a treatise on alchemy by Ibn Bishrun who lived around about 1000 A.D. [This can be seen in 'The Muqaddimah', translated from the Arabic by Franz Rosenthal, RKP, London, 1958.] From Ibn Bishrun's 'Treatise on alchemy' With God's blessing, here is the treatment: Take the noble stone. Deposit it in the cucurbit and alembic. Separate its four elements, which are water, air, earth, and fire. They are substance, spirit, soul, and dyeing. When you have separated the water from the earth and the air from the fire, keep each one apart in its own vessel. Take the dregs - the sediment - at the bottom of the vessel. Wash it with hot fire, until the fire has removed its blackness, and its coarseness and toughness have disappeared. Blanch it carefully and evaporate the superfluities of the humidities concealed in it. It will thus become white water, which contains no darkness, dirt, or disharmony. Then, turn to those primary elements that are distilled from it. Cleanse them, too, of blackness and disharmony. Wash them repeatedly and sublimate them, until they become fine, subtle, and pure. When you have done this, God has given you success. Subject: ACADEMY : Esoterica - The Journal of Esoteric Studies From: Adam McLean Date: 22nd Apr 1999 May I take this opportunity of introducing people to a web based Journal called Esoterica: The Journal of Esoteric Studies. You can http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (6 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive find it at http://www.esoteric.msu.edu There are a number of articles which may be of interest and relevance to alchemy and I was especially interested in a tranlation of part of Georg von Welling's 'Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum', made by Arthur Versluis. Adam McLean Here is a part of the description of the journal's approach: Our primary emphasis in Esoterica is the scholarly investigation of esoteric spiritual traditions, with a special emphasis on Western esotericism. Western esoteric traditions are of a remarkable variety, ranging from Gnosticism and Hermeticism to alchemy, magic, Christian mysticism, Kabbala, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and other secret or semi-secret societies. Investigation in this field is by nature transdisciplinary, drawing upon such diverse disciplines as history, religious studies, and literature, without belonging solely to any of these. Esoterica does not endorse any particular methodological approach to the study of esoteric traditions, but does discourage reductionism - that is, the denigration rather than the study of esoteric traditions or figures. The scholarly study of esotericism as a field is still relatively new, and we at Esoterica encourage a variety of approaches to this rich field of inquiry as well as open discussion of methodological differences, while bearing in mind our common aim of broadening and deepening our understanding of the vast range of esoteric works and figures. This is an academic, peer-reviewed journal, and our goals are to act as a means for communication among existing scholars in the field, to be a resource for those in academia encountering this field for the first time and considering introducing their students to it, to encourage new scholars in this emerging discipline, and to offer a reliable source of knowledge to all who are interested in esoteric studies. More than most, this field of inquiry lends itself to electronic media because it is so replete with illustrations, music, and often enigmatic writings. We are not simply placing written materials online, but http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (7 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive seeking to offer a new form of scholarship that takes advantage of technology to present a fuller understanding of the ambience of any given work or figure. In this way, Esoterica will be of benefit not only to researchers in this field, but also to those who wish to draw upon our resources in order to study and teach this field in university and college classrooms. Subject: ACADEMY : Ibn Bishrun's 'Treatise on alchemy' From: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 Date: catherine fox-anderson Dear Adam, Where is Ibn Bishrun from? I have seen this text before. Did you translate from the arabic? Thank you, Catherine ------------------This is included in the 'The Muqaddimah', translated from the Arabic by Franz Rosenthal, RKP, London, 1958. You will find some information on Ibn Bushrun in the article by Professor Ead 'Alchemy in Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah' on the alchemy web site http://www.levity.com/alchemy/islam20.html Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : What did an alchemist earn? From: Adam McLean Date: 27th April 1999 I recently found this short article in the Ciba Symposia, Feb 1942. It gives some information about the earnings of Thurneysser. Though he was perhaps untypical of the alchemists of that time, being more an entrepreneur, this does give us a suggestion about how an entreprising person like Thurneysser could make a living from alchemy. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (8 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Adam McLean -----------------------------------------------------------------------Information concerning the incomes of alchemists is very scanty, since they endeavored to hide such facts as much as their secret arts. However, we do have some knowledge of the earnings of one of the leading alchemists, Leonhard Thurneysser zum Thurn, a native of Bile (1530-1596). As physician-in-ordinary to Georg Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, he received annually the sum of 1352 thalers, an enormous honorarium at that time. In addition, he also received feed for his horses, clothing, emoluments in kind, as well as free lodging. He earned still more, however, through his alchemistic activities, which were so extensive that he maintained a staff of 200 people and traveled to his consultations in a carriage drawn by four teams of horses. He put together medicine chests for travelers containing 120 medicaments prepared chiefly in his laboratory. For each of these medicine chests which he sold in large number, he received 386 thalers. Urine specimens that were sent to him from every country were examined for a fee of 10-15 thalers. One of his main occupations was the sale of tinctures, mixtures, inunctions, etc., which he made himself. These he sold at extremely high prices. Thus he sold a quantity of Spiritus vini, of about 17 grams, for 4 thalers; an equal amount of Spiritus vitrioli cost 6 thalers, Oleum Cinnamoni 12, Rhubarb extract 2, and of Tinctura Antimonii 16 thalers. He demanded fantastic prices for his secret remedies such as amethyst tincture, ruby, sapphire, coral, or emerald tinctures. All these remedies were sold everywhere in great numbers. Furthermore, Thurneysser earned enormous sums through the sale of calendars and horoscopes; thus the Count of Oettingen paid 100 gulden for one. In view of such fees it is not surprising to learn that in 1580 his fortune amounted to 100,000 gulden, an enormous sum at that time; in addition, he possessed 12,000 pieces of gold and nine hundred-weights of silver plate. Ultimately, however, he lost everything in a lawsuit and died in poverty. L.T. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (9 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_apr99.html (10 of 10) [06/01/2002 10:17:24]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Alchemy Academy archive May 1999 Back to alchemy academy archives. Subject: ACADEMY : Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal From: Adam McLean Date: 2 May 1999 Yesterday I had some good news about the articles in the 'Memoirs of the Asiatic Society of Bengal'. One of our colleagues has been able to locate copies of these in a library to which she has ready access. So there is no need for anyone to pursue this any further. My thanks to those who tried to help locate copies. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Arabic transmission of alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 2 May 1999 I am trying to sort out a clear picture of the main historical source documents which were the vehicles for the transmission of alchemical knowledge to Europe. I would like to be able to build up a timeline or list of source materials and the personalities involved, (for example Robert of Chester and Michael Scot). Any suggestions? We are of course here looking for 11th/12th/13th century sources. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Arabic transmission of alchemy http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (1 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive From: Adam McLean Date: 2 May 1999 Here is a provisional quick sketch of a time line for the transmission of Arabic alchemy to Europe. I would welcome any suggestions, amendments or additions. It seems that there is no evidence of Arabic influence in Europe outside Spain, before the 11th century. 11th Century - Liber Sacerdotum (?) 12th Century 1144 Robert of Chester makes the first translation of an arabic alchemical text into Latin, the ' Book of the Composition of alchemy' by Morienus. Constatine Africanus translated a number of medical treatise from Arabic into Latin. 13th Century Vincent of Beauvais (c1190--1264) quotes from Rhazes, and Avicenna. Albertus Magnus(1193-1283) has knowledge of Arabic sources especially Avicenna and Averroes. 1260 Bartholomew the Englishman's 'De rerum proprietatis' quotes extensively from Arbic sources including Avicenna. Michael Scot (c.1190-1250), the translator of various arabic works, wrote his 'Ars Alchemie'. I am unsure if anyone has identified the time when the 'Turba Philosophorum' first appeared in Latin. I do not have a copy of Ruska's book on the Turba available to me at present. Can anyone tell me of a definite date for thre first appearance of the 'Turba' in Europe? Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Exhibition on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 7th May 1999 There is a most interesting exhibition entitled 'Geheimnisse der http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (2 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Alchemie' focusing on the historical, scientific, philosophical, psychological, iconographical and artistic aspects of alchemy in the University Library in Basel, Schwitzerland, from 9 April until 18 June. Later the exhibition will move to St Gallen and to Amsterdam later this year. This has been organized by Manuel Bachmann and Thomas Hofmeier of the Institut für Geschichte und Hermeneutik der Geheimwissenschaften in Basel, with the participation of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam which has lent a number of items to the exhibition. Today I received the catalogue which is in the form of a large format book. It is in German and has many illustrations some in colour. It is well worth purchasing for those who read German. It is published by Schwabe and Co of Basel and bears the ISBN 3-7965-1368-9. The authors are Manuel Bachmann and Thomas Hofmeier 271 pages. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Exhibition on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 7th May 1999 A couple of people asked where they can purchase the catalogue of the exhibition. Geheimnisse der Alchemie Manuel Bachmann, Thomas Hofmeier ISBN 3-7965-1368-9 It is easiest to buy it through the German Amazon.com using your credit card. http://www.amazon.de/ The price is DM 78,00 (EUR 39,88). This should be is about $40 or £25 (to which you have to add the postage costs.) Please note the text is in German. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (3 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Museum exhibits on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 9th May 1999 I noticed in the book/catalogue 'Geheimnisse der Alchemie' a number of photographs of original alchemical apparatus in the Pharmazie-Historisches Museum in Basel, Switzerland. This reminded me of some other museums with permanent exhibitions of alchemical apparatus, or reconstuctions of alchemical laboratories. The Castle if Heidelberg, Germany is very well known, and I have also mentioned recently the 'Sala Carbonelli' (a room dedicated to Professor Carbonelli an early 20th century scholar who wrote some articles on alchemy) in the Museo Storico Nazionale dell'arte Sanitaria in Rome. There is also the reconstruction of a sixteenth-century alchemical laboratory in the Technisches Museum in Vienna, Austria Does anyone have any information on other alchemical exhibits in Museum, that might be worth visiting? I would like to document these on the web site. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Rosicrucian Movement in English Literature From: Bartosz Protas Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 I am looking for any references to the ideas advocated by the Rosicrucian Movement in English Literature of the 17th century. I am specifically interested in the concepts of Spiritual Alchemy, Reformation of the 'Whole Wide World' based on hermetic-cabalistic principles, formation of an 'Invisible College', etc. I would also appreciate any reference to explicit use of Rosicrucian Symbolism. Thank you in advance, Bartosz Protas http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (4 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive University of Warsaw, Subject: ACADEMY : Museum exhibits on alchemy Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 From: Michal Pober Dear Adam In November of 1997 a small permanent exhibition on alchemy opened in the Castle at Budyne nad Ohri, about 40 kms NNW of Prague. The highlight is a very fine reconstruction of an Alchemy Lab in a cellar-space. The Castle is associated with Bavor Rodovsky, the best-known Czech alchemist of the Rudolf II era. If you or anyone else would like more information about this I will be happy to check a few more details. One of the primary organisers of this project was Dr Lubos Antonin of the Castle Libraries Dept. at the National Museum and a participant in the Conferences in Cesky Krumlov in '95 and Prague in '97. Secondly, though not a great deal of physical progress has been achieved so far with the project for an Alchemy Museum in Kutna Hora, there are some interesting developments. Firstly we have been donated a large collection of reproduction alchemical glass by the Kavalier Company of Sazava. Their glass and ceramic items were displayed in the Opus Magnum exhibition in Prague in '97. Secondly the legendary connection between Hynek, the son of the Czech King George of Podebrady, and Alchemy has recently been authenticated by the exciting discovery, by Dr Antonin, of an alchemical text written by Hynek. This is currently being translated from Latin into Czech by Dr Vladimir Karpenko and there will hopefully be an English version soon. The long-time belief in Hynek's adeptship also located his laboratory in the tower behind the Sankturinovsky House in Kutna Hora which have been donated by the town of Kutna Hora for the Alchemy Museum. In a couple of weeks there will be pictures of these on my web site. Currently there are a couple of pictures from the exhibition in Budyne. http://www.levity.com/bohemia/links.html http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (5 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Best Regards, Michal Subject: ACADEMY : Rosicrucian Movement in English Literature From: Adam McLean Date: 10th May Dear Bartosz Protas, You might firstly consider the articles by my friend Ron Heisler, which I have put onto the web site. The references in these articles will give you much material to follow up. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_ros.html The Forgotten English Roots of Rosicrucianism http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_dee.html John Dee and the Secret Societies http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_fre.html The Impact of Freemasonry on Elizabethan Literature http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_fludd.html Robert Fludd: A Picture in Need of Expansion http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_maier.html Michael Maier and England http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_shake.html Two Worlds that Converged: Shakespeare and the Ethos of the Rosicrucians http://www.levity.com/alchemy/h_zeiglr.html Philip Ziegler: The Rosicrucian King of Jerusalem Subject: ACADEMY : Arabic transmission of alchemy From: Jon Marshall Date: 10 May 1999 This is a reposting of an earlier piece by Jon Marshall on the alchemy forum - A. McL. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (6 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive I would like to raise another issue, and that is the connection between Islam and Western Alchemy. I was recently reading 'The elixir and the stone' and though the early parts of the book are not too bad it is noteable that there are large areas which are unsourced - and one of these is the implication that considerable numbers of alchemical and hermetic texts were translated from the Arabic very early on. This is of course the standard view and one I've supported myself. Indirect evidence for this is plentiful in words which appear to be arabic transcriptions (Holmyard I think covers this), and the appearance of alchemy in Europe only after the translators started work. However when we get to actual texts only very few seem to appear: The emerald tablet (is located in an arabic work by Jabir) and despite its reputation is possibly only useful if you already know about alchemy Stavenhagen casts doubt on the date traditionally given to the translation of Morenius' Testament usually considered to be the first alchemical work to appear in the West, putting it much later and suggesting that at least some of it is a western addition - I don't know if anyone has found the Arabic original Geber, as opposed to Jabir, seems to be a Western original - though we may still await a competant arabist trying to find he Geber texts in the Jabir corpus or even comparing the two I'm not sure of the origin of the Turba (being unable to read Ruska, but I gather portions of it have been found in Arabic but this does not prove the whole book in its current form is a translation from a similar Arabic text, and it could have been translated because it was thought to be Greek or even from a Greek original) So I'm going to suggest another heresy: Which is that very few books of Arabic Islamic alchemy were translated at all. And that the theory of alchemy in the west (post 1200) grew from http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (7 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive translations of Islamic cosmological writers (say Razis though I am not sure what was translated), non-alchemical books such as Aristotles 'Metrologica', and the psuedo-Aristotle 'Secretum secretorum', and summaries of such writings in the great compilations (Bartholemew, Vincent de Beauvais etc). So though the translation of Arabic works was of vast importance for western culture: philosophy, mathematics, medicine and possibly theology, it may not be that important for Western Alchemy after suggesting the possibility of transmutation. And here I venture into pure speculation (horror) based on one text alone. There is apparantly a text called 'Mappae Clavicula' which is Italian 9-10th century which has a recipe for "increasing gold" (all I know about this is in Singer's book on the Alum industry). There may thus have been an already existing European craft tradition of transmutation which has only left this one manuscript trace. Some of the other craft books from the period of the appearance of alchemy might also be of interest as they are occasionally a bit 'alchemical' in flavour i.e. Theophilus 'On Divers Arts'. The point of all this is not to deny an islamic/arabic influence, but to suggest that an awful lot more work may need to be done before we can be sure of the extent and nature of that influence. If this absence of translated texts is correct then the Church might not have regarded Alchemy as at all specifically connected with Islam Jon Marshall Subject: ACADEMY : Some Italian alchemy books From: Adam McLean Date: 10 May 1999 I would like to bring to your attention a remarkable series of books on alchemy produced in Italy. This is the Biblioteca Ermetica series produced by Edizioni Mediterranee in Rome under the general editor Stefano Andreani. This series produced during the 1980's and 1990's amounts to at least 24 titles. These http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (8 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive are issued in remarkably cheap paperback editions, well printed, some illustrated, and with excellent introductions by such scholars as Mino Gabriele. The books are uncut and one has the rather unknown experience of having to cut the pages with a paperknife. For those who read Italian, or who like myself would like to build a comprehensive library, these are excellent items to collect. A. Allegretti - De La Trasmutatione Dei Metalli Anonimo - Un Libretto Di Alchimia E. Canseliet - L'alchimia (2 vols) V. Capparelli - La Sapienza Di Pitagora (2 vols) V. Capparelli - Il Messaggio Di Pitagora (2 vols) G.B. Comastri - Specchio Della Verita Crassellame - Lux Obnubilata G. De Givry - Huai Nan Tze - Le Grand Oeuvre - La Gran Deluce C. Della Riviera - Il Mondo Magico De Gli Heroi L. De Sainct Disdier - Il Trionfo Ermetico B. De Vigenere - Trattato Del Fuoco E Del Sale Filostibio - L'antimonio N. Flarnel - Il Libro Delle Figure Geroglifiche N. Flamel, G. Aurach de Argentina - Il Segreto Della Polvere di Proiezione - Prezioso Dono Di Dio - Il Giardino Delle Ricchezze Fulcanelli - Il Mistero Delle Cattedrali Fulcanelli - Le Dimore Filosofali (2 vols) J.G. Gichtel - Theosophia Practica Huginus a Barma - Il Regno Di Saturno Trasformato In Eta Dell'oro Ko Hung - Le Medicine Della Grande Purezza Lambsprinck, M. Eyquem Du Martineau - La Pietra Filosofale - Il Pilota Deluonda Viva Le Breton - Le Chiavi Della Filosofia Spagirica M. Maier - Atalanta Fugiens Marchese M. Palombara - La Bugia F. Picchi - Le Epistole Di Ali Puli Rupescissa - Trattato Sulla Quintessenza Conte De Saint-Germain - La Tres Sainte Trinosophie F.M. Santinelli - Sonetti Alchemici Solazaref - Introitus Ad Philosophorum Lapidem G. Testi - Dizionario Di Alchimia E Di Fisica Antiqua Ria Trismosimo - Il Toson D'oro B. Valentino - Azoth http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (9 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive B. Valentino - Cocchio Trionfale Dell'antimonio These can be purchased through the internet from the online Italian bookshop http://www.trigono.com/index.html Subject: ACADEMY : Museum exhibits on alchemy Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 From: Catherine Fox-Anderson Dear Michal, If there should be anything in terms of alchemical connections to Spain, such as visiting/collaborating Jewish, Christian, or Muslim alchemists in Prague, during any era, I would be interested. How long does the exhibit run? I have a friend who could visit it for me. Happy hunting, good luck. Catherine Fox-Anderson Subject: ACADEMY : Mappae Clavicula From: Adam McLean Date: 11 May 1999 Jon Marshall referred to an interesting early manuscript which was a source for some chemical and medicinal recipes for early European alchemy. The 'Mappae Clavicula' whose title can perhaps be translated "the little key to painting" exists in two manuscript. One is dated to the 10th century and another to around 1130 A.D. Neither show any traces of arabic sources but seem to be based on Greek and Latin sources. It consists of a series of 293 recipes similar to those found in the Stockholm and Leiden Papyri, and thus give instructions for dyeing, writing in gold and silver letters, tingeing metals, even recipes for Greek fire, as well as methods for making medicinal preparations using sugar. The presence of two old English words in the text might suggest http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (10 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive that it was edited by an English writer. The text was published in the 'London Archaeologia' Vol 32, 1847, though I have not yet seen a copy of this. I will try and get access to this at Glasgow University Library next week. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Rosicrucian Movement in English Literature Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 From: Rafal Prinke Adam McLean wrote: > You might firstly consider the articles by my friend Ron Heisler, > which I have put onto the web site. The references in these > articles will give you much material to follow up. Ron Heisler's articles are really packed with information but I believe one should have some background to fully appreciate them. Frances Yates' 'The Rosicrucian Enlightenment' is IMHO the best book to start with, covering the whole phenomenon and writings generated by it in considerable detail. While reading it, however, one should distinguish between her (very controversial) thesis and information content. Best regards, Rafal Subject: ACADEMY : Mappae Clavicula Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 From: Barbara Berrie You might be interested in reading the translation of Mappae Clavicula by Smith and Hawthorne published in: Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc., 1974, vol 64 part 4. I don't know the full page citation. I have a poor photocopy of part of it. Smith and Hawthorne's footnotes are good. BHBerrie http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (11 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : Mappae Clavicula Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 From: Adam McLean Dear Barbara Berrie, Thanks so much for this information. I did not know that a translation had been made. Luckily I have access to the Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. here in Glasgow and will look at this next week. It is amazing what is hidden away in various academic Journals. I recently found an article which gave some information on alchemy within different cultures 'A history of ideas about the prolongation of life' in this very same journal, 'The Transactions of the American Philosophical Society' Volume 56, Part 9, 1966. If I had time I suppose I should go through all the volumes of this journal sequentially searching for any material relevant to alchemy. Best wishes, Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Rosicrucian Movement in English Literature From: Adam Audette Date: 12 May 1999 You might also refer to the Codex Rosae Crucis, published by Manly Hall 1938 and re-issued 1971. Excellent (although brief) historical account focusing on the 17th & 18th centuries of the Rosicrucian problem. The earlier edition of this work is extremely scarce, as only 1000 copies were printed. However the more recent edition is obtainable at www.prs.org. It is a work of careful and scholarly research. Extract from the introduction: "Historians of Rosicrucianism receive scant praise for honest research when their findings upset preconceived notions. Modern protagonists gyved in errors make a sorry spectacle when their literary productions are subjected to http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (12 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive critical analysis. After reading the recent "histories" of the Order, I feel that Rosicrucianism needs a restatement. As no other apologist has appeared, I have ventured this present treatise to clarify the subject from the injustices heaped upon it by friends, foes, and "impartial" historians." I was taken, upon reading Fulcanelli's Dwellings of the Philosophers, with a certain concordance of views between the two philosophers on the Rosicrucian issue. Also of interest is the D.O.M.A. manuscript (18th century) that is re-produced in facsimile and also translated into English for the first time. Yours sincerely, Adam Audette Subject: ACADEMY : Rosicrucian Movement in English Literature From: Adam McLean Date: 12 May 1999 Stanton J. Linden is one of the most important of contemporary scholars investigating the influence of alchemical and related ideas on the literature of the 17th century. You might do well to consider reading his articles and books. Alchemy and eschatology in Seventeenth-century poetry. Ambix, 31, (3), 1984, p102-124. Jonson and Sendivogius: Some new light on Mercury vindicated from the alchemists at court. Ambix 24, 1977, p39-54. Francis Bacon and Alchemy: The reformation of Vulcan. Journal of History of Ideas, 35, 1974, 547-560. Dark Hieroglyphicks Subject: ACADEMY : Mappae Clavicula Date: 13 May 1999 From: Adam McLean The manuscript of the Mappae Clavicula, written probably about 1170 ( at Bec in Normandy?) was formerly in the http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (13 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps. It was this manuscript that that was published in 1847. It is now in the Corning Glass Museum in Corning, New York, USA. I have also found a short piece on the 'Mappa clavicula' in an article by Heinz Roosen-Runge on early medieval technology manuscripts. Here is my rather inadequate translation of these paragraphs. "The 'Mappae Clavicula' is the most famous early medieval art-technical tract. It descends from the English tradition and is found most completely in a North-France manuscript of the 12th Century. The name is much older however and it is already mentioned in the year 821 in the 'Reichenauer Bücherkatalog'. On the other hand, parts of the text already appear in the 8th to the 9th century in a manuscript in Lucca, the 'Compositiones ad tingenda musiva'. The manuscript contains 294 rules for metal-working, Alcherny and art-technology. In the second hundred there are a number of recipes for the manufacture of dyes." Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Museum exhibits on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 13th May 1999 There is a reconstructed alchemical laboratory in the Deutsche Museum in Munich. This shows an alchemical laboratory as it might have appeared in 1600. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : New book on Bruno From: George Leake Date: 15th May 1999 I just wanted to mention a book I found reference to earlier this week and is turning out to be the most exciting new work on Bruno I've seen this decade. It includes English translations of three of Bruno's most important works. If I have time, I'll return with a capsule review. Very encouraging http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (14 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive too that it is a part of Cambridge's "Texts in the History of Philosophy" series, as usually Hermeticism and Alchemical related topics tend to get overlooked in such surveys. AUTHOR: Bruno, Giordano, 1548-1600. TITLE: Cause, principle, and unity / translated and edited by Robert de Lucca. Essays on magic / translated and edited by RichardJ. Blackwell ; (both written by) Giordano Bruno ; with an introduction by Alfonso Ingegno. PUBLISHED: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998. DESCRIPTION: xxxvi, 186 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. SERIES: Cambridge texts in the history of philosophy NOTES: Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxiv-xxxv) and index. Contents: Cause, principle and unity -- On magic -A general account of bonding. SUBJECTS: Metaphysics--Early works to 1800. Magic--Early works to 1800. OTHER AUTHORS: Lucca, Robert de Blackwell, Richard J., 1929- Bruno, Giordano, 1548-1600. / Essays on magic. 1998. OTHER AUTHORS: Bruno, Giordano, 1548-1600. / General account of bonding. 1998. OTHER TITLES: Essays on magic ISBN: 052159359X (hardback) 0521596580 (pbk.) OCLC NUMBER: 38765070 Subject: ACADEMY : Mappae Clavicula From: Sophie Page Date: 15th May 1999 I briefly looked at some texts related to the Mappae Clavicula in the course of part of my phd research and wondered if the following information would be useful. Recipe collections of this kind both named and formal (in the sense of being copied fairly consistently), and anonymous and informal appear in large numbers of Medieval manuscripts in alchemical collections and with secrets, practical, magical and medical recipes. In at least one monastic library which I know of (St. Augustine's, Canterbury) the MC is included in the section of the library containing alchemical works. Articles which may be of interest on this subject: 'Medieval recipes describing the use of metals in manuscripts' S.M. Alexander, in Marsyas 12, pp.34-51. 'Art, Technology and Science: Notes on their Historical Interaction' CS Smith. in Technology and Culture 11, pp.493-549. 'Notes on some mss. of the Mappae Clavicula, ' Rozelle Johnson in http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (15 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Speculum 10, 1935. 'Trial Index to some unpublished sources for the History of Medieval Craftsmanship' Daniel V Thompson, pp.410-431. Sophie Page Subject: ACADEMY : The fifth essence From: Sophie Page Date: 15th May 1999 I wondered if anybody could help me with information on 'the fifth essence' - what it is and which texts discuss it. I am most interested in Medieval texts. I am translating a Latin text (12th or 13th century) at present called the book of the essence of the spirits. In spite of the title it is rather more religious than alchemical. A line in this text reads: 'The spirit is of the fifth essence, the second purity, or the weak harmony of the elements...' I have come across one other Medieval text, which is alchemical in the traditional sense (?) (instructions for making gold and curing diseases etc) and called the book of the fifth essence, of which there is (an old and rather inadequate) edition of the English version. I would also be interested if anyone knew anything about this text. Sophie Page Subject: ACADEMY : Museum exhibits on alchemy From: Klaus Oberhummer Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 There is an original alchemical laboratory ( Fugger laboratory) in Austria - called the laboratory of Oberstockstall - in Kirchberg am Wagram. Lit: Rudolf Werner Soukup, Helmut Mayer : Alchemistisches Gold, Paracelsitische Pharmaka. Boehlau Verlag Wien,Koln,Weimar. Mag.Klaus Oberhummer Technisches Museum Wien http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (16 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : Museum exhibits on alchemy From: Michal Pober Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 Dear Catherine, >If there should be anything in terms of alchemical connections to >Spain, such as visiting/collaborating Jewish, Christian, or Muslim >alchemists in Prague, during any era, I would be interested. Nothing immediately springs to mind but I'll keep you posted if it does. >How long does the exhibit run? Its a permanent exhibition but has very abbreviated hours in winter which are probably also 'flexible'. Once I went there when it should have been open but wasn't. I'll be there next week and will make a note of the official hours. >I have a friend who could visit >it for me. But probably can't take photos.. Best Regards, michal Subject: ACADEMY : Jean de la fontaine - mercury as a tree From: Mon, 17 May 1999 Date: Veerle Johanna Fraeters I am currently reading 'Een uytlegginge vanden boom mercurii' (= an explanation of the tree ['named' or 'of'] Mercury), a short alchemical text in verse (154 lines) which is contained in ms. Sloane 1255, an autograph of the Flemish medical doctor and alchemist Justus a Balbian (= Joos van Balbiaen, °Aalst1543 Ý Delft 1616). The text learns that corpus and anima, being brought together into one vessel, will generate a tree which will be of much use to the king and the queen. Further on the six planets (mercury, luna, saturn, jupiter, mars, venus) each utter a short complaint about their vileness and how they long to be purified from sulphur so http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (17 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive that their real power can come out. Finally the sun presents himself as the perfect king of the world, who first has to die in order to resurrect together with his father, after which he can be multiplied in order to help those who are in spiritual or material need. The poem is apparently translated out of french ('uyt den walschen'), and it containes a reference to 'Jan Fonteyne' or 'Fontanus' of whom is said that he has written most clearly about the art. A text of Jean de la Fontaine de Valencienne (15th century) might be the source of the Dutch poem. I checked 'La fontaine des amoureux de la science', a trancription of which is available on Adam's alchemy website (thank you!!!), but I found no literal parallels with the (much shorter) Dutch poem. 'La fontaine des amoureux ...' is transcribed from a book entitled 'La metallique transformation. Contenant trois anciens traitez en rithme francoise' edited by Pierre Rigaud, Lyon, 1618. This edition apparently contains three different poems by Jean de la Fontaine, one of which may be the source of the Dutch poem about the tree of mercury. I checked Adam's 'database of alchemical books up to 1800' but could not find the Rigaud edition there. Does any of you know in which library this book can be consulted? Does any of you know of articles on Jean de la Fontaine and/or his works? I noticed that the representation of mercury as a tree is not uncommon. There are quite a lot of iconographical testimonies. Does any of you know more about the tradition of mercury as a tree and about the symbolical meaning of this image? Veerle Johanna Fraeters Antwerpen Subject: ACADEMY : Jean de la fontaine - mercury as a tree From: Mon, 17 May 1999 Date: Veerle Johanna Fraeters > 'La fontaine des >amoureux ...' is transcribed from a book entitled 'La metallique >transformation. Contenant trois anciens traitez en rithme francoise' >edited by Pierre Rigaud, Lyon, 1618. This edition apparently http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (18 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive >contains three different poems by Jean de la Fontaine, one of >which may be the source of the Dutch poem about the tree of >mercury. I checked Adam's 'database of alchemical books up to >1800' but could not find the Rigaud edition there. >Does any of you know in which library this book can be consulted? Jean de LA FONTAINE de Valenciennes. La metallique transformation. Contenant trois anciens traictez en rithme françoise. A sçavoir, La fontaine des amoureux de science: autheur I. de la Fontaine. Les remonstrances de nature a l'alchymiste errant: avec la responce dudict alchym. par I. de Mung. Ensemble un traicté de son Romant de la rose concernant ledict art. Le sommaire philosophique de N. Flamel. Avec la deffense d'iceluy art, et des honestes personnages qui y vacquent: contre les efforts que I. Girard met à les outrager. Derniere edition. Lyon: Pierre Rigaud 1618. There is a copy here in Glasgow in the Ferguson Collection at Glasgow University. Earlier editions of 'La metallique transformation' Paris: Guillaume Guillard en Amaulry Warancore 1561 copies in the BPH Amsterdam and the Duveen Collection, Wisconsin. Lyon: Rigaud 1590. copies in the BPH Amsterdam and in the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbuttel. There is an edition of 'La fontaine des amoureux de science...' Lyon: J. de Tournes, 1571. Copy in the Duveen Collection, Wisconsin. >Does any of you know of articles on Jean de la Fontaine and/or >his works? I cannot remember any articles which discuss this poem. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Jean de la fontaine - mercury as a tree From: George Leake http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (19 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Date: 17 May 1999 Veerle Johanna Fraeters wrote: > I checked 'La fontaine >des amoureux de la science', a trancription of which is available >on Adam's alchemy website (thank you!!!), but I found no literal >parallels with the (much shorter) Dutch poem. 'La fontaine des >amoureux ...' is transcribed from a book entitled 'La metallique >transformation. Contenant trois anciens traitez en rithme francoise' >edited by Pierre Rigaud, Lyon, 1618. This seems close but probably not what you're looking for...Veerle, if nothing turns up, email me directly and I'll try a search on a resource that should have it (its just one that takes a bit of time and patience to get to and use)--email me at taliesin@mail.utexas.edu if it comes to that. AUTHOR: Tagault, Jean, d. 1545. TITLE: Opuscule tres-necessaire a ceux qui veulent parvenir a la cognoissance des principes de la science, ou art, de chirurgie. Extraict des Institutes de M. Jean Tagaut. / Et mis en dialogue par Tannequin Guillaumet ... PUBLISHED: Lyon, Benoist Rigaud, 1590. DESCRIPTION:58, (3) p. 12 cm. SERIES: French books before 1601, roll 325, item 5. NOTES: Colophon: de l'imprimerie, de Pierre Chastain dit Dauphin. 1589. Imperfect: p. 19-30 wanting. Master microform held by: GmC. Microfilm. Watertown, Mass., General Microfilm Co., (19--) 1 microfilm reel. 35 mm. (French books before 1601, roll 325,item 5) OTHER AUTHORS: Guillaumet, Tannequin, fl. 1575-1622. OCLC NUMBER: 23457509 Available from Center for Research Libraries, Chicago. Subject: ACADEMY : The fifth essence From: Iain Jamieson Date: 17 May 1999 Sophie Page. wrote: > I wondered if anybody could help me with information on > 'the fifth essence' - what it is and which texts discuss it. I am > most interested in Medieval texts. I am translating a Latin > text (12th or 13th century) at present called the book of the > essence of the spirits. In spite of the title it is rather more religious > than alchemical. A line in this text reads: 'The spirit is of the fifth > essence, the second purity, or the weak harmony of the elements...' http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (20 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive > I have come across one other Medieval text, which is alchemical > in the traditional sense (?) (instructions for making gold and > curing diseases etc) and called the book of the fifth essence, > of which there is (an old and rather inadequate) edition of the > English version. I would also be interested if anyone knew > anything about this text. Dear Sophie, I assume the medieval text you refer to is that edited by Furnivall for the Early English Text Soc. from Slo. ms. 73 and ascribed to Hermes (!). This text is a mangled translation of John of Rupescissa's 'Liber de consideratione quintae essentiae', a work which had considerable influence on the pseudo-Lullian alchemical corpus. The following references will, I hope, be useful: Walter Pagel, Paracelsus, an Introduction to philosophical medicine in the era of the Renaissance, 2nd ed., Karger, Basel, 1982, pp. 263-266, for Rupescissa and Arnaldus on the Quinta Essentia. Michaela Pereira, The Alchemical Corpus attributed to Raymond Lull, Warburg Inst., London, 1989, Index, s.v. John of Rupescissa. R.P. Multhauf, John of Rupescissa and the growth of medical chemistry, Isis, 45 (1954), pp.359-367. You might also like to check Multhauf's 'Origins of Chemistry' which has some materials on J. of R. and the Quinta Essentia. I don't have a copy to hand so I can't give you the references. Iain Jamieson Subject: ACADEMY : Church reactions to Alchemy From: Jim Luebke Date: 17 May 1999 I was curious where I could find the best resources detailing the reaction of the Catholic Church to the practitioners of alchemy in the period between 1200-1500. Thanks, http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (21 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Jim Subject: ACADEMY : Church reactions to Alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 18 May 1999 Jim Luebke asked: >I was curious where I could find the best resources detailing the >reaction of the Catholic Church to the practitioners of alchemy in the >period between 1200-1500. There is an excellent article: Ogrinc, Will H.L. Western society and alchemy from 1200 to 1500. Journal of Medieval History 6 (1980) p103-132 Also this book provides an interesting survey of the history of alchemy: De Pascalis, Andrea. Alchemy. The Golden Art. The secrets of the oldest enigma. Rome, Gremese International, 1995. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : The fifth essence From: Adam McLean Date: 18 May 1999 Sophie Page wrote: > I wondered if anybody could help me with information on > 'the fifth essence' - what it is and which texts discuss it. I am > most interested in Medieval texts. I am translating a Latin > text (12th or 13th century) at present called the book of the > essence of the spirits. In spite of the title it is rather more religious > than alchemical. A line in this text reads: 'The spirit is of the fifth > essence, the second purity, or the weak harmony of the elements...' The 'fifth essence' is surely a rather hazy undefined term in early http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (22 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive alchemy. As far as I understand the concept of a 'fifth essence' arose as a reaction to the restrictions and rigidities of the Aristotlean four elements. It was a transfomational dynamic power that came from outside the four elements. Some people saw it as coming from the heavenly sphere, from outside the spheres of the four elements, earth lowest, then the sea or sphere of water, the air, the realm of fire above, and outside this the heavenly sphere and the 'fifth essence'. I think we will find this concept of a dynamic force that breaks down or transcends the limitations of the four elements is at the root of the many different expressions of the 'fifth essence' during this early period of European alchemy. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Barbara Obrist's book on alchemical imagery From: Adam McLean Date: 18 May 1999 Does anyone have a copy of Barbara Obrist. Le debuts de l'imagerie alchimique, XIVe-XV siecles. Paris. Le Sycomore. 1982. 328 pages. I have been looking for a copy of this book for over three years. I would really appreciate it if anyone could lend me a copy for about two weeks. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Church reactions to Alchemy From: Jose Rodríguez Date: 18 May 1999 Jim Luebke asked: >I was curious where I could find the best resources detailing the >reaction of the Catholic Church to the practitioners of alchemy in the >period between 1200-1500. Dear Jim: There is a great article (in French) about alchemy in the Middle Ages: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (23 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Barbara Obrist: "Les Rapports d'Analogie entre Philosophie et Alchimie Médiévales". In "Alchimie et Philosophie à la Renaissance". pp. 43-64. Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1993. París. Barbara Obrist provides details about the break between alchemy and European universities in the Middle Age. The assimilation of a writing based on supernatural ideas (for example: Petrus Bonus: 'Margarita Pretiosa Novella') was scandalous to a university controlled by the Christian Church. José Rodríguez (Spain) Subject: ACADEMY : Psellus 'Chrysopeia' From: Adam McLean Date: 18 May 1999 Has anyone any information on the 'Chrysopeia' of Michael Psellus (1018- 1078)? I have not been able to locate an English translation, though there is a French version in Épître sur la Chrysopée. Opuscules et extraits sur l'alchimie, la météorologie et la démonologie, publiés par Joseph Bidez. En appendice-Proclus: Sur l'art hiératique; Psellus: Choix de dissertations inédites. Publisher: pp. xiv. 246. Bruxelles, 1928. 8o. Series: [Catalogue des manuscrits alchimiques grecs. vol. 6.] And also an Italian translation 'La Crisopea', edited F. Albini, Genoa, 1988. This is an early text on gold making from a Byzantine source. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : The fifth essence From: Klaus Oberhummer Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (24 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Dear Sophie! I'll send you some information on quintessenz. I hope you understand enough German to understand this text. Lit: Claus Priesner.Karin Figala:Alchemie, Lexikon einer hermetischen Wissenschaft. Quintessenz Seinen Ursprung nahm der Begriff der Q. (von lat. quinta essentia^ d. h. ) in der Naturphilosophie des T Aristoteles. Den vier t Elementen der sublunaren Welt (Feuer, Wasser, Erde u. Luft) stellte er ein funftes, himmlisches, an die Seite. Dieses Konzept leitete er aus seiner Bewegungslehre ab: Der linearen Bewegung der irdischen Stoffe, die den Gesetzen des Werdens und Vergehens durch stofflichen Austausch gehorch-ten, stand die bestandig kreisformige der Himmelskorper, deren Sphare daher eine grundsatzlich andere, gottliche, Beschaffenheit haben mu?te, gegenuber. Dieser Weltather, spater auch Spiritus (s. T Geist) bzw. t Pneu-ma genannt, diente als immaterielles Substrat der regelma?igen Bewegung der Gestirne, die sich bis auf den irdischen Bereich ubertrug. Die pseudo-aristotelische Schrift (i. Jh. n. Chr.) schrieb spater diesem subtilen Ather stofflichen Charakter zu und verlieh ihm gottliche, erschaf-fende und bewegende Krafte. In der alchemischen Literatur erscheint die Q. als innerster Wesenskern aller Stoffe, dem eine konservierende oder heilende Kraft eigen war. T Jo-hannes von Rupescissa ordnete in seiner Schrift quintae essentiae rerum omnium> (Uberlegungen zur Q. aller Dinge) diese den anderen vier Elementen uber. Gleichzeitig wird der Gedanke einer einzigen Q. zugunsten diverser, jeweils substanzspezifischer Q.en aufgegeben. Durch Destillation (s. T Arbeitsmethoden} gewann er aus dem Wein die wertvoll-ste und heilkraftigste Q., die Quinta essentia vini (Weingeist, T Alkohol), die die nach der aristotelischen Elementenlehre an sich unvereinbaren Ele-mente Feuer (hei? und trocken) und Wasser (kalt und feucht) wunderba-rerweise in sich vereinigte. Fur die Isolierung der spezifischen Q.en aus Pflanzen, tierischen Stoffen und Mineralien sowie deren Anwendung als Arzneien gab er genaue Anweisungen. Eine aus den vier antiken Elementen gewonnene Q. wurde als Mercurius philosophorum (Merkur der Philoso-phen^ s. a. T Quecksilber} bezeichnet; dieser sollte - wie der Gotterbote Merkur - die himmlischen mit den irdischen Spharen verbinden. Die Idee der Q. fand danach ihren besonderen Niederschlag in der Pharmazie. Hie-ronymus Brunschwig(k) (f 1512 od. 1513) beschrieb in seinem beruhmten simplicibus> (Stra?burg 1500, dt. 1512) die Herstellung diverser Q.en als Arzneimittel. T Paracelsus ordnete die Q.en den anderen Elementen nicht mehr uber, sondern sah darin das fur einen bestimmten Stoff http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (25 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive charakteristische Element (so ist die Q. des / Goldes das 301 Quintessenz << OLE-Objekt: Picture (Metafile) >> Destillation von Krauteressenzen. Im Titelholzschnitt von Michael Puff von Schricks Buch erscheint die seltene Darstellung einer Frau als Laborantin. Dies verweist auf die alte Tradition der krauterkundigen Volks-medizinerinnen, da es (soweit wir wissen) kaum Alchemistinnen gab. (Aus: Michael Puff von Schrick, Hienach volget ein nuczliche materi von manigerley ausgepranten wasser wie man die nuczen und pruchen soll etc., Augsburg 1478 u. ofter) Feuer). Bei ihm wie bei seinen Vorgangern und auch bei spateren Autoren wird die jeweilige Q. durch eine Extraktion, d h. durch Abtrennung aller unwirksamen bzw. verunreinigenden Bestandteile, erhaken. In diesem Sin-ne definierten auch Martin T Ruiand (1612) und Antome Joseph Pernety (1716-1800/01) in ihren Lexika die Q. als stoffliche Essenz, die die einem Korper eigenen wirksamen Krafte bzw. Qualitaten in sich vereinigt. Der-artige Extrakte als Arzneiform finden sich noch im 19. Jh. in den Pharma-kopoen und belegen so die Dauerhaftigkeit der Vorstellung eines in jedem Stoff vorhandenen isolierbaren Wesenskerns. L Aristoteles, De caelo, Buch I, 2-3; 268^-270 , in: J. Barnes (Hrsg.), The Complete Works of Aristotle. The revised Oxford Translation, Princeton 1984, Bd. I, S. 447-51; Ruland, S. 400 f; A.-J. Pernety, Dictionnaire Mytho-Hermetique, Paris 1758, (Nachdr. -----------------------------------------------------------------------To my mind you should imagine that "Quintessenz" was used by German writers, who imagined something like "Gewinnt-Essenz", which is pronounced very similar to "Quintessenz". The latin quinque pronounces to my mind the symmetry five of the human hand. Maybe Quintessenz could be understood as "Gewinne was du ersehnst, mit Hilfe der menschlichen Hand" . Win/make the desired with the help of man. Klaus Oberhummer Subject: ACADEMY : Fifth essence From: Sophie Page Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (26 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Thanks to everybody for their helpful information on the fifth essence, it appears that I was very ignorant until a week ago. The text I am studying seems to use the term 'fifth essence' in a sense closer to the Aristotelian one (though filtered through a Christian interpretation) than the alchemical one but I need to do more research. I think it was probably written before Johannes de Rupescissa's work and does not seem to share any elements of either his alchemical text or his religious prophecies (and thus could not usefully be viewed as a transitional text between the two senses of the 5th essence). However, a look at Michela Pereira's corpus of Pseudo-Lullian alchemical works has indicated 12 (at least) more works largely centred on the fifth essence which I may need to investigate. I still need to work out the exact alchemical content of the text I am looking at (if any) and may further try the patience of Alchemy Academy members with questions in a few weeks time. Sophie Page Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Programs Date: Thu, 20 May 1999 From: Maureen Daley The Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Programs offer short-term study grants for 2000 with stipends of $1,800/month for durations of one to three months. Three awards are in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program supported by The Dibner Fund for research in the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. A fourth is in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Program for research in other special collections of the Libraries. Historians, librarians, doctoral students and other scholars are invited to apply. Deadline for applications: December 1, 1999. Applications and more information will be posted after June 15, 1999, visit http://www.sil.si.edu/Information-Files/dibner-fellowship.htm. Applications are also available by writing to Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Programs, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, NHB 22, MRC 154, Washington, D.C. 20560-0154. Tel: (202) http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (27 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive 357-2240, or send e-mail to libmail@sil.si.edu. Maureen Daley Program Assistant Information Systems Division/Publications Office Smithsonian Institution Libraries Subject: ACADEMY : Church reactions to Alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 22 May 1999 Jim Luebke asked: >I was curious where I could find the best resources detailing the >reaction of the Catholic Church to the practitioners of alchemy in the >period between 1200-1500. Sorry, I forgot a most important article Wilfrid Theisen. The attraction of alchemy for monks and friars in the 13th-14th centuries. The American Benedictine Review, 1995, 46:3, p239-253. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : John Thornborough From: Tim Axon Date: 24 May 1999 I am currently doing some research on John Thornborough (1551-1641), Bishop of Worcester (1617-1641). Thornborough was interested in alchemy and wrote an alchemical work, "Lithotheorikos" (1621). He also knew Robert Fludd, who dedicated his "Anatomiae Amphitheatrum" (1623) to him. (Fludd's "Mosaicall Philosophy" also mentions Thornborough). He appears to have led an extremely colourful life - I have found several books which mention him briefly, in passing, (e.g. DNB, Joan Lane's "John Hall and His Patients", Allen Debus's "The English Paracelsians", William Huffman's biography of Fludd, A. L. Rowse's book on Simon Forman), but nothing more substantial. (A couple of articles by Ron Heisler, accessible through the Alchemy Website, also mention him). Are there any further references that might be of use? http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (28 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive I would be particularly interested in views as to the possible significance of his remarkable tomb in Worcester Cathedral. At the top left of one side of the tomb (on the stone canopy above his effigy) is the Latin inscription "DENARIVS PHILOSOPHORVM.". At the top right: "DVM SPIRO, SPERO.". On the other side of the tomb, top left: "IN VNO.2.3.4.10" (with superscripts "o", "a" and "r" above of "2", "3" and "4", respectively); top right: "NON SPIRANS." I interpret the phrase "DENARIVS PHILOSOPHORVM" to refer to the Pythagorean Ten/Decad. This is supported by the reference to "VNO.2.3.4.10", which looks like a reference to the Pythagorean tetraktys. Final confirmation lies in the fact that immediately beneath the latter phrase is an heraldic device consisting of an (inverted) tetraktys! In fact, it turns out that this is the arms of the see of Worcester, which long predates Thornborough, but I feel sure that - in the choice of his inscription Thornborough must have been making a conscious connection between the two. Perhaps, then, the Latin inscription is a meditation on the Decad. Nevertheless, the sense of the whole inscription eludes me, and I wonder if anyone has any suggestions to offer? (Note: the phrase "NON SPIRANS." is reported in early sources to be "NON SPIRANS SPERABO", but there is no evidence of this from the tomb as it now exists - I suspect the latter is a mistranscription. The shield beneath this phrase bears the personal arms of Thornborough. There are also shields beneath each of the first two phrases mentioned - these are unfortunately now defaced but there are reasons to think that they also bore the arms of the see and of Thornborough). There are two other Latin inscriptions that may be of relevance. Above the head of the effigy: "Mors nubecula transiens, Laborum finis. vita Ianua scala coeli. mihj Lucrum.". Above the feet of the effigy: "Quj dormis attolle caput quia in infirmitate virtus, in Morte vita, in tenebris Lux." Are these quotes, I wonder? Any help regarding Thornborough, and especially regarding the tomb, would be very gratefully received! With many thanks, Tim Axon http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (29 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : The fifth essence From: Adam McLean Date: 25 May 1999 There is a short but very interesting discussion of the fifth element in this article in AMBIX Daniel Merkur. The study of spiritual alchemy: mysticism, gold-making and esoteric hermeneutics. Ambix, 37, 1990, p35-45. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Data bank of alchemical pictures From: Adam McLean Date: 25 May 1999 On the inside cover of Andrea De Pascalis' book 'Alchemy the golden art', it mentions that he is "currently working on a project, approved by the C.N.R. (National Research Council), for the creation of a data bank of alchemical and early chemical pictures." Does anyone have any information on this project or a contact address for Andrea De Pascalis? The preparation of a such a data bank, provided it was exhaustive and comprehensive would be invaluable. I myself have been trying to do this for many years, but without any financial resources or assistance it is proving a considerable task for me to undertake. I already have completed about half the work necessary. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Dum spiro spero From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 Dear Tim Axon, http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (30 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive The inscription "DUM SPIRO SPERO" struck an immediate chord in my memory as there is in the ceiling at the castle of DAMPIERRE-sur- BOUTONNE, (built at the end of the 15th century) one of Fulcanelli's Philosophick Dwellings a similar inscription i.e. "DUM SPIRO SPERABO" As long as I breathe I hope. This is to be found in the third panel at the top of the second series, in a phylactery above a severed snake representing the Philosophick Mercury. The text concerning this particular emblem is to be found on page 219 of the original edition. (Paris 1930) . I am certain that you will find it easily as Les Demeures Philosophales was also recently translated into English. Let me know if you need more help. Sincerely, Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Subject: ACADEMY : Dum spiro spero From: Adam McLean Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 The motto 'Dum spiro spero' was used by the Lindsay family in Scotland. The early 17th century Lord Lindsay built an interesting renaissance walled garden at his castle at Edzell in Scotland. This bears the date 1604 over the entrance gate, and the walled garden has three series of seven relief sculptures - representing the seven planets, the seven liberal arts and the seven virtues. These are set into strange checkered bays with seven pointed stars in the wall. The son of this Lord Edzell, was the Earl of Balcarres, Sir David Lindsay, who had an especial interest in alchemy and the rosicrucians, and had an extensive library, for the time, on alchemy. I will put a little plan of this walled garden onto the alchemy web site at http://www.levity.com/alchemy/images/edzell.gif Adam McLean http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (31 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : Béroalde de Verville's Steganographic preface From: Adam McLean Date: 27 May 1999 At the end of March Stanislas Klossowski de Rola kindly promised that he would translate the "Recueil Steganographique contenant l'intelligence du frontispiice de ce livre" from Béroalde de Verville's 'Songe de Poliphile...' Paris 1600. and allow me to make it available on the alchemy web site. I am pleased to say that he has now completed his translation and sent me the text earlier today. I have now set it up on the web site at http://www.levity.com/alchemy/beroalde.html Subject: ACADEMY : John Thornborough From: Adam McLean Date: 27 May 1999 This evening by serendipity this book was drawn to my attention. I noticed that it was dedicated to John Thornborough ============================== Lambye, John Baptiste. A revelation of the Secret Spirit. Declaring the most concealed secret of Alchymie. Written first in Latine by an unknowne Author, but explained in Italian, by Iohn Baptista Lambye, Venetian. Lately translated into English, by R.N.E. Gentleman. London, Printed by Iohn Haviland for Henrie Skelton, and are to be sold at his shop a little within All-gate. 1623. [STC 15177.] 16° [12] + 80 +[2] pages. p[1] [Title page.] p[3]-[8] [Epistle dedicatory.] To the Right Reverend Father in God, my honourable Lord, Iohn Thornburgh, Lord Bishop of Worcester, health and happinesse. [At end "R.N.E."] p[9]-[11] To the discreet and true searchers of the secrets of Nature, leading a solitary life. Iohn Baptista Lambye, Venetian, wisheth health. p1-17 The revelation of the secret spirit. The author sets out to describe that secret spiritual substance which can remove all corruptions, renew youth and prolong short life. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (32 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive p18-22 The Preamble to the Exposition of the secret spirit. [This is a summary of the following section.] p23-80 [Text in eight chapters.] Wherein it is proved that there is only one thing, out of which the secret Spirit, or the Philosophers Stone, may be taken - In which shall bee seene, (by meanes of many sentences of divers Philosophers) if it can bee judged, what thing is this only thing - Wherein is proved, that of necessity it behoveth to reduce the body to the first matter, that it may be disposed for the separation of the Elements - Where it shall bee seene if it bee possible, to know what thing is tis first matter In which is handled the separation of the foure Elements, which the apparitions of that secret Spirit doe signifie - In which shall be declared the fifth apparition of the secret Spirit in a glorified body - Wherein is shewed the manner to make the Elixir, or medicine to conserve the life of man - Where are handled the divers workers in this Science. p[1] Errata. ================ Subject: ACADEMY : Jean de la fontaine - mercury as a tree From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 Earlier editions of Jean de la Fontaine are : Paris 1547 Paris 1561 and there is an excellent anthology in the third volume of Le Roman de la Rose Paris 1735. Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Subject: ACADEMY : Data bank of alchemical pictures From: Adam McLean Date: 28 May 1999 I have today placed part of my provisional database of alchemical iconology in printed books onto the web site. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/iconology.html Over the past years I have researched over 1020 books containing woodcuts or engravings. This online database of the iconography includes a description of the images and in most cases a small picture for reference purposes. The primary source for this database is a series of folders I hold here in Glasgow, which have my written http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (33 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive research on over 500 books. This online database initially only has 55 entries, as it takes an enormous amount of time to scan in the images and set up the html pages for the web site. New pages will be added as the work proceeds. As I have no support for this work I can only find an hour or so a week to do this. The pictures are small size in order to save disc space and to save my costs, but they provide a reference for identification purposes. I cannot provide printing quality images on the web site. If you require printing quality images then you will have to contact one of the specialist libraries - Glasgow University, Wisconsin, or the British Libary - and ask them to make microfilms or photographs for you. This is expensive and my own lack of funds means that I myself cannot immediately afford to have many photographs made. Almost no libraries allow photocopies to be made from early books. I would welcome any assistance with developing this project further. If I could raise some funding I might be able to issue this as a CD-Rom. Adam McLean http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_may99.html (34 of 34) [06/01/2002 10:17:42]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Alchemy Academy archive June 1999 Back to alchemy academy archives. Subject: ACADEMY : Book of the Twenty four Philosophers From: Adam McLean Date: 2 June 1999 I recently received an enquiry for more information about "The Book of the Twenty four Philosophers". I assume this is just a subtitle for the 'Turba philosophorum', but I may be wrong. Has anyone heard of a work entitled "The Book of the Twenty four Philosophers" or have a reference to it? It sounds like the titles used in arabic alchemical texts. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Three new French books From: Adam McLean Date: 2 June 1999 Today I received notice of three new books in French recently published. I have not seen them, but here are some of the details from the publishers publicity material. Jean-Pascal Percheron. Charles Perrault, Conteur Et Hermétiste. Éditions Ramuel, May 1999. 95 FF. Charles Perrault is famous for his compilation of tales for children. But, behind these moral tales is thinly concealed a message that the Hermeticists know well, the work of the Royal Art. ----------------------Ces Hommes qui ont fait l'alchimie du XXe Siècle Geneviève Dubois. 114 pages. April 1999. 119 FF. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (1 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:05]
  • Alchemy Academy archive This provides biographies and some source material on some of the important Frenchmen who have contributed towards the alchemical tradition in the twentieth century. Includes - Louis Cattlaux, Emmanuel d'Hoogvorst, José Gifreda, Henri Coton-Alvart, Henri La Croix-Haute, Roger Caro, Alphonse Jobert, Pierre Dujols de Valois, Fulcanelli, Eugène Canseliet. ----------------------La Génération et Opération du Grand Ceuvre pour faire de L'or Geneviève Dubois. 64 pages. April 1999. 190 FF. Facsimile of an 18th century manuscript Illustrated with 21 watercolours existing in the municipal Library of Lyons. Fulcanelli mentions it in his work and Eugene Canseliet also speaks of it. ----------------------If anyone is interested in purchasing these books, which do not seem particularly expensive, perhaps the easiest way is through the French Internet bookseller Alapage. They accept credit payments online and even have a English language menu system, for dummies like myself, to help in searching and placing orders. http://www.alapage.tm.fr/ Subject: ACADEMY : Book of the Twenty four Philosophers Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 From: David Porreca The Book of 24 Philosophers is a work ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus, written in Europe around the year 1200. It really has nothing to do with alchemy, so I will keep this message short. It consists of 24 definitions of God, the most famous of which is 'God is an infinite sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is no where', quoted by Meister Eckhart, Alan of Lille and Thomas Bradwardine, among others. A critical edition of this text has recently been published: HUDRY, F., ed., 'Liber viginti quattuor philosophorum', (Turnholt, 1997) in the series Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis CXLIII a, as tome III, part 1 of the Hermes Latinus edition project headed by P. Lucentini in Naples. David Porreca http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (2 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:05]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Institution Scholar Programs From: Adam McLean Date: 4 June 1999 I received the following message. Some scholars in the US could well take advantage of this to fund some research into alchemy and early science. There is so little institutional funding available for research into alchemy, but this particular funding body could well support a short term study project. I am not sure how strong the Smithsonian Library is in regard to alchemical source material. Has anyone any knowledge of the extent of the Smithsionian's holdings of alchemical books? Adam McLean ------Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Programs Accepting Applications for 2000 The Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Programs offer short-term study grants for 2000 with stipends of $1,800/month for durations of one to three months. Three awards are in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program supported by The Dibner Fund for research in The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology. A fourth is in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Program for research in other special collections of the Libraries. Historians, librarians, doctoral students and other scholars are invited to apply. Deadline for applications: December 1, 1999. Applications and more information will be posted after June 15, 1999, visit . Applications are also available by writing to Smithsonian Institution Libraries Resident Scholar Programs, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, NHB 22, MRC154, Washington, D.C. 20560-0154. Tel: (202) 357-2240, or send e-mail to libmail@sil.si.edu. Subject: ACADEMY : Paracelsus' concept of 'monarch' Date: Sun, 06 Jun 1999 From: Barry Kushner http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (3 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:05]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Initially, I would like to know what Paracelsus meant by the the words "monarchy" and "archidoxy" and are these two words connected by the same root word? Thank you. Subject: ACADEMY : Floriana or Florian Canale? Date: Sun, 06 Jun 1999 From: Penny Bayer Some time ago there was discussion on the alchemy site about a woman called Floriana Canale who wrote "De'Secreti Universali Raccolti, et Esperimentati Da Florian Canale Bresciano"(Venice, Ghirardo Imberti, 1640). I have had a look at this book now, and notice that the author signs the name "Florian Canale", not "Floriana Canale". I am wondering how it has been established that this author is in fact a woman. I haven't found anything in the Italian DNB. If anyone knows of any external evidence by which this has been established, I should be extremely grateful to know of it. Penny Bayer Subject: ACADEMY : Guillem Tavernier Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 From: Gabriel Laderman Dear Sir: I am a rare book dealer and from time to time have a few books of alchemical interest, as I do now. At the moment though I am researching an ownership inscription, probably of the mid 18th century. Guillem Tavernier. The volume two of the work has the crossed out signature of Francoise Tavernier. Both are written in ox gall ink in a book published in 1751. Since the book is in French I believe they were French speakers. Sincerely, Gabriel Laderman http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (4 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: ACADEMY : Floriano Canale From: George Leake Date : 8 June 1999 >Some time ago there was discussion on the alchemy site about a woman >called Floriana Canale who wrote "De'Secreti Universali Raccolti, et >Esperimentati Da Florian Canale Bresciano"(Venice, Ghirardo Imberti, >1640). [snip] I am wondering how it has >been established that this author is in fact a woman. I found an earlier citation that might clear up the confusion: AUTHOR: Canale, Floriano. TITLE: De' secreti universali raccolti et sperimentati da Floriano Canale, trattati nove. Ne' quali si hanno rimedii per tutte le infermita de corpi humani, come anco de cavalli, bovi, & cani ... PUBLISHED: Brescia, 1613. DESCRIPTION: 293 p. SERIES: Italian books 1601-1700. NOTES: Microfilm. Cambridge, Mass., General Microfilm, (19--) 1 microfilm reel. 35 mm. (Italian books 1601-1700) OCLC NUMBER: 25199225 Available from Center for Research Libraries, Chicago. Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Institution Scholar Programs From: George Leake Date : 8 June 1999 >I am not sure how strong the Smithsonian Library is in >regard to alchemical source material. Has anyone >any knowledge of the extent of the Smithsionian's >holdings of alchemical books? *using a resource here at Univ. of Texas, I found a way anyone with web access could poke around for themselves. Since people on the Alchemy Academy might not know of this resource, I thought I'd cite it here: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/libcats/othercats.html Through this I found an online site for the Smithsonian: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (5 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive http://www.sil.si.edu/newstart.htm http://www.siris.si.edu/ Just for grins, let's do some basic searches Paracelsus, Hermes Trismegistus, Hermeticism, Philosopher's Stone no finds on searches at all. Alchemy, no hit under subject, one hit under Keyword search which looked very far afield to me. Bacon yielded a number of hits, none of the Francis (the man who lived during the Elizabethan era, not the subject of the film Love Is The Devil) nor Roger. Anyhow, I don't think it looks promising. Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Institution Scholar Programs From: Susan Anne Miller Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 George Leake wrote: >I found an online site for the Smithsonian: >http://www.sil.si.edu/newstart.htm >http://www.siris.si.edu/ >Anyhow, I don't think it looks promising. Last year they photocopied for me all of the Newton alchemical manuscripts which runs to hundreds of pages. Their online searching is not very good as it did not give me any of the manuscripts I knew they had so I wouldn't rely on that. Susan Miller Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Institution Scholar Programs From: Adam McLean Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 George Leake wrote: >I found an online site for the Smithsonian: >http://www.sil.si.edu/newstart.htm >http://www.siris.si.edu/ http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (6 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive >Alchemy, no hit under subject, one hit under Keyword search >which looked very far afield to me. >Anyhow, I don't think it looks promising. A small hint when searching catalogues for books on alchemy Remember there are few books or manuscripts in English so you should search using the various Latin forms of the word 'alchimia', 'alchemia', 'alchemiae', 'alchymia', 'chymiae', 'chymica'. etc., and the forms in French and German 'alchimia', 'alchimique', 'alchemia', and such related forms. Adam McLean ==================== For example 'alchymia' found the following 15 items in the Smithsonian libraries. Title :Bifolium metallicum : seu, Medicina duplex, pro metallis & hominibus infirmis, â proceribus artis hermeticæ, sub titulo lapidis philosophici ... Author :Pantaleon. Publication Date :1676. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :QD25 .G25 Title :Etliche Tractat Philippi Theophrasti Paracelsi ... : von natürlichen Dingen ... Beschreibung etlinger Kreutter ... von Metallen ... von Mineralen ... von edlen Gesteinen Author :Paracelsus, 1493-1541. Publication Date : 1582. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :QD25 .P22 1582 Title :Ex Fabri hydrographo ; Ex Palladio spagyrico [microform] Author :Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727. Publication Date :[between 1660 and 1727] Location :National Museum of American History Call Number :q mfm 001147n Title :Ex Fabri hydrographo spagyrico ; Ex Palladio spagyrico [manuscript] Author :Newton, Isaac, 16421727. Publication Date :[between 1660 and 1727] Format :Manuscript Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :MSS 001024 B Title :Ioannis Hasfurti medici ac astrologi praestantissimi, De cognoscendis, et medendis morbis ex corporum colestium positione libri IIII : cum argumentis, & expositionibus Ioannis Paulli Gallucij ... Author :Virdung, Johann, ca. 1465-ca. 1535. Publication Date :1584. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :R128.6 .V8 1584 Title :Laurentii Venturae veneti, artium et medicinae doct. De ratione conficiendi lapidis philosophici, liber unus : huic accesserunt eiusdem argumenti Ioan. Garlandii angli liber unus : et ex Speculo magno Vincentii libri duo. Author :Ventura, Lorenzo. Publication Date :1571. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :QD25 .V46 1571 http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (7 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Title :Megale chymia = vel Magna alchymia : das ist ein Lehr vnd Vnterweisung von den offenbaren vnd verborgenlichen Naturen, Arten vnd Eigenschafften, allerhandt wunderlicher Erdtgewechssen Author :Thurneisser zum Thurn, Leonhard, 1530?-1596. Publication Date :1583. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :f QD25 .T54 1583 Title :The mirror of alchimy, / Author :Bacon, Roger, 1214?-1294. Publication Date : 1597 Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :QD25 .B13 E1597 Title :Notanda chymica [manuscript] Author :Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727. Publication Date :[between 1660 and 1727] Format :Manuscript Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :MSS 001028 B Title :Notanda chymica [microform] Author :Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727. Publication Date :[between 1660 amd 1727] Location :National Museum of American History Call Number :mfm 001147n Title :Papers [microform] Author :Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727. Publication Date :1700-1718. Location :National Museum of American History Call Number :mfm 001147n Title :Paracelsus Of the chymical transmutation, genealogy and generation of metals & minerals : also, Of the urim and thummim of the Jews : with an Appendix of the vertues and use of an excellent water made by Dr. Trigge : the second part of the mumial treatise whereunto is added, Philosophical and chymical experiments of ... Raymond Lully ... Author :Paracelsus, 1493-1541. Publication Date : 1657. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :QD25 .P22o 1657 Title :Les rudimens de la philosophie naturelle touchant le systeme du corps mixte ... [microform] : Author :Locques, Nicolas de, 17th cent. Publication Date :1664-1668. Location :National Museum of American History Call Number :mfm 002836 Title :Les rvdimens de la philosophie natvrelle : tovchant le systeme dv corps mixte ... Author :Locques, Nicolas de, 17th cent. Publication Date :1664-1668. Location :Special Collections (Dibner) Call Number :QD25 .L819 Title :The works of Geber [microform] Author :Jabir ibn Hayyan. Publication Date :1928. Location :National Museum of American History Call Number :mfc 005541.01 Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Newton Alchemical MSS From: George Leake Date : 9 June 1999 Susan Anne Miller wrote: >Last year they photocopied for me all of the Newton alchemical >manuscripts which runs to hundreds of pages. Wow, thanks for this information. I had been under the impression http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (8 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive that Cambridge had the lion's share of Newton's MSS. Perhaps Newton's heirs hushed this part of his archive up and this is how it came to be on this side of the Atlantic. Suffice to say, any information you can pass on (brief descriptions?) I think would be received with the greatest interest here. G.Leake Subject: ACADEMY : Floriano Canale From: Adam McLean Date : 10 June 1999 >Some time ago there was discussion on the alchemy site about a woman >called Floriana Canale who wrote "De'Secreti Universali Raccolti, et >Esperimentati Da Florian Canale Bresciano"(Venice, Ghirardo Imberti, >1640). [snip] I am wondering how it has >been established that this author is in fact a woman. I had a look yesterday at the four editions of this work in Glasgow University Library, dated 1622, 1626, 1640, and 1645 in Venice. I suspect the confusion may have arisen from the difference between the spelling on the title page and on the head of page 1. The titles pages have: De secreti universali, Raccolti, et esperimentati da Florian Canale whereas the heading on page 1 has : Dell'officina Medicinale di Floriano Canale. I feel sure that this is a male name. The book itself seems to have been written by a member of the medical establishment of the time, and it might have been difficult for a woman in these early decades of the 17th century, when men totally dominated the medical profession, to be able to write such a work. The book consists of many recipes and cures for medical conditions and only seems to touch upon alchemy in a peripheral way, in the sense that the medicine of that period, following Paracelsus, drew heavily upon alchemical terms and substances. I cannot however read Italian, so in making this superficial assessment http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (9 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive of the book I may have missed some important point. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Floriano Canale From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 Floriano Canale was definitely a man, Lenglet Du Fresnoy gives his name in the French mode i.e. "Florian Canale" and in fact gives us an earlier edition which is probably the original one entitled "Bresciano Secreti, in-8 Brescia 1613". His terse comment reads thus: "One finds therein many Chymical operations, some are passable while others are quite mediocre." All the best, Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Subject: ACADEMY : Smithsonian Newton Alchemical MSS From: Susan Anne Miller Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 George Leake wrote: >Wow, thanks for this information. I had been under the impression >that Cambridge had the lion's share of Newton's MSS. Perhaps >Newton's heirs hushed this part of his archive up and this is how >it came to be on this side of the Atlantic. Suffice to say, any >information you can pass on (brief descriptions?) I think would >be received with the greatest interest here. Dear George, Cambridge only has the Keynes and Portsmouth Collections of Newton's work, much else went private in the 1922 and 1936 sales. Here is a brief description of the items at the Smithsonian: 1. Chemical notes (1660-1727?) - a recipe using gold and silver and a recipe beginning "Materia sublimatur" on distillation MSS1007B SCDIRB 2. Chemistry transcriptions - inc Vilanova's "Rosarium abbreviatum", Boni's "Margarita pretiosa" and Philaletha's English text on sulphur, 2 texts from Blankaart's "Theatricum Chemicom" 1693. MSS 1008B SCDIRB 3. "Ex fabri hydrographo spagyricc; Ex Palladio spagyricpo". Undated MSS 1024B SCDIRB http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (10 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive 4. Notanda Chy inc extracts from Maier's Arcana Arcanissima. MSS 1028B SCDIRB. 5. The Regimen MSS 1032B SCdirb 6. Separatio elementorum; Reductio at sublimato MSS 1041B SCDIRB. 7. Vegetation of Metals MSS 1031B SCDIRB. I think many of these are on the Chadwyck-Healey microfilms of Newton's manuscripts. Happy hunting. Susan Anne Miller Subject: ACADEMY : Paul Oskar Kristeller has died From: Adam McLean Date: 12 June 1999 I have received the following information from Eldo Stellucci in Italy. Paul Oskar Kristeller, the prince of Renaissance philology, has died in New York. He was 94. This great student contributed in a determined way, in the 30's and 40's, to renew the serious study of Humanism & Renaissance with publications in particular on Pico della Mirandola and Marsilio Ficino. His completed bibliography amounts to 800 volumes and articles. He was a Jew and was forced to leave Germany because of the antisemitic laws and sheltered in Italy at Pisa where he was called by Prof. Giovanni Gentile. As students of the mind in all its various fields, as psychohistorians knowing the importance of the Renaissance's rediscovery of a great category of symbols, we all recognise Kristeller's great contribution to our knowledge and have a gratitude for all his insightful work. Eldo Stellucci Subject: ACADEMY : Some questions Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 From: Catherine Fox-Anderson GreetingsI have a few questions now that I'm immersed in the thesis: http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (11 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive 1. In Stanislas de Rola's Golden Game, is there a reference to the Chymical Wedding, or the coinuinctio taking place in repeated cycles? I cannot find it if it's there. The focus of my thesis will be rex and regina. 2. For Adam or anyone else; how would you characterize the current state of scholarly research in alchemy? What about Spanish alchemy? 3. For Evgueni Tortchinov- Can you recommend a good article/study on the connection between Tantric sex and western alchemical symbolism? 4. Is there a reference in any accessible alchemical texts to the slowing down or speeding up of the processes of the work resulting in failure? Any references to herons? The wolf image devouring birds of prey? The furies/or valkyries? Ecstacy? Evil? 5. Can anyone recommend a good article/study on Sufi influences in alchemy? Cabalistic influences/ Jewish alchemists, particularly Spanish Jewish before 1492, or conversos in the New World (ie. Mexico)? 6. Alchemical influences in Western literature? Donne, Goethe, Milton, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Shakespeare ,etc. I'd like to mention that La historia de la alquimia en Espana by J. Garcia Font, is a solid study, and the best I've seen other than Luanco's of the last century. Has anyone read Feijoo? Thank you all in advance very much. If I can offer assistance let me know. The Azogue site and Mr. Rodriguez have been helpful. Best wishes Catherine Fox-Anderson Subject: ACADEMY : La Génération et Opération du Grand Oevre From: Adam McLean Date: 18th June 1999 Today I received a copy of an excellent recently published book. La Génération et Opération du Grand Oevre pour fair de l'or. Geneviève Dubois éditions, 1999 It is a facsimile with transcription into modern French of a manuscript in the Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, MS. Palais des Arts 88. It http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (12 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive has two series of watercoloured drawings wirh short texts. It is referred to in Fulcanelli, 'Les Demeures Philosophales'. It is a large format paperback and is modestly priced at 150F 29 euros. The easiest way to buy it is through www.alapage.com a French bookshop which has the advantage of allowing you to browse and place orders in English. The publication of this book is of especial interest to me as it finally clears up a mystery. In Glasgow University library there is a unidentified manuscript which has interested me for many years. Ms Ferguson 271. 40 folios. 215x163mm. 18th Century. In French. [20 watercolour alchemical figures with explications in French. In two series 1-14, and 1-6. The work is incomplete having lost the outer folios. Thus the explication of the first figure is missing, and the figure corresponding to the seventh figure of the second series is also missing.] This is obviously another version of the Lyons manuscript. Next week, when I have time, I will compare the two versions. I wonder if there are other manuscript copies of this work as yet unidentified. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Alchemical manuscripts in Lyon From: Adam McLean Date: 18th June 1999 The manuscript I mentioned earlier 'La Génération et Opération du Grand Oeuvre' is in the municipal library in Lyon. It came there from the collection of Mr Adamoli, an eighteeenth century collector. I have already documented some alchemical manuscripts in Lyon, but did not have any information on this item. Has anyone done any research at the public Library in Lyon into alchemical manuscripts? There may be some further treasures waiting to be discovered in this library. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Spendor Solis manuscripts http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (13 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive From: Adam McLean Date: 23rd June 1999 I have been wondering recently about the exact sequence of the manuscripts of the 'Splendor Solis'. Does anyone know of any book which has investigated the versions of the 'Splendor Solis' in detail. According to Gisela Hohle 'Splendor solis der Sonnenglantz', Wiesbaden 1972, the earliest version is the Berlin manuscript dated to about 1532-35. Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz Staatliche Museen Kupferstichkabinett MS. 78 D 3. This and the two later copies, are suggested to have been made in Augsburg, due to the stylised ornamentation, particularly the flowers, which seems to be related stylistically to other manuscripts produced in that area. These two copies may have been produced some years later. Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum MS. 146766. [1550] Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz MS. Germ. fol. 42. The copy in France is slightly later Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale MS. German 113. [ 1577] The British Library version is dated to 1582, as is another copy apparently in a private collection in Switzerland. Does anyone have any information on this Swiss version? British Library. MS. Harley 3469. [1582] Private collection Switzerland. [1582] The Kassel version was also made at this time. Kassel, Landesbibliothek MS. 8vo Chym. 21 [1584-1588] All the other manuscript copies are later, some from the 18th century. Has anyone made an investigation of the Splendor solis manuscripts, or know of a study of their sequence? I already have Hartmut Broszinski's book 'Lux Lucens in tenebris', dealing with the Kassel manuscript which does have some information on the dating. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (14 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Jewish alchemists From: Gleb Butuzov Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 Regarding the question of Jewish alchemists: there's an excellent book by Raphael Patai entitled "The Jewish Alchemists" and published by Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1994. It covers the span from Old Testament to medieval authors. Best regards. Gleb. Subject: ACADEMY : Splendor Solis manuscripts Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 From: Urs Leo Gantenbein Together with Joachim Telle I am preparing a critical edition of Splendor Solis taking into account all the existing manuscripts. The questions Adam has asked are subject to this investigation. The MS Hartmann mentions (Private collection Switzerland) is not yet located, but there is a hitherto unknown MS at the Kantonsbibliothek Solothurn, Switzerland. Urs Leo Gantenbein Subject: ACADEMY : Spendor Solis manuscripts From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 Dear Adam, I have examined all the Splendor Solis manuscripts in Germany which you mention. The first and the oldest one is, as you have correctly stated, MS. 78 D3 which is unfortunately damaged and incomplete (only 19 pictures) but the dates you quoted are inaccurate: i.e. folio 29 which depicts the plucking of the Golden Bough is dated 1531 whilst folio 69 (i.e. Venus - which incidentally was cut out of fol. 53 and rebound out of place) is dated 1532. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (15 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Those dates are interesting as my research tends to indicate that their most plausible author was the very gifted Nuremberg artist Albrecht Glockendon. The latter, on the first of August 1531, published in Nuremberg the first edition of a famous Planetary series of woodcuts (erroneously attributed either to Hans Sebald Beham or to Georg Pencz) which contains many of the elements found in a similar sequence in all the Splendor Solis manuscripts. Incidentally, the same Albrecht Glockendon lived in a house called: " Das Haus beim Sonnenbad" that is to say the House by, or near the Sun-bath. It seems quite plausible that the best of the surviving manuscript copies were illuminated by various members of the Glockendon family in Nuremberg, as indeed Gabriel Glockendon almost certainly illuminated the London manuscript. By the way, I find that the Augsburg hypothesis, on the grounds mentioned is in fact quite untenable. I would be interested to know how and where you found the date 1550 in connection with Ms HS. 146766 in Nuremberg I certainly do not remember having found any such date in it. However, it is undeniably older than Harley 3469 as it still retains fragments of golden captions in the colored rectangles under the flasks of the Planetary series which appear to have been omitted in the London copy. The second Berlin manuscript (MS. CODEX GERM. fol. 42) is a seventeenth century maneristic copy which belonged to the Elector Friedrich Wilhem von Brandenburg (1620-1688) one plate (that of "The New King" ) is missing. The Kassel manuscript Ms. Chem. 21 (also of the XVIIth century) is a collection of seriously damaged fragments under plastic it belonged to the Elector Moritz of Hesse. I am unfamiliar with the Swiss manuscript which you mention, There is one copy in Solothurn but I can provide no reference to it as my notes on that copy are incomplete and it has been nearly 25 years since I saw it last. I do know that I looked for another one in Bern but it was a wild goose chase. WHo mentions this? Much to my amazement I have never seen MS German 112 which strikes me as extraordinary, where does this reference come from? As I have previously stated, I am still working on revising and completing my own long overdue Splendor Solis project begun over twenty five years ago which Thames & Hudson has now agreed to revive. Thus at some point in the not too distant future I plan to revisit http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (16 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive all the manuscripts. All the best Stanislas Klossowski de Rola Subject: ACADEMY : Spendor Solis manuscripts From: Adam McLean Date: 24 June 1999 Stanislas Klossowski de Rola wrote: >I would be interested to know how and where you found the date 1550 in >connection with Ms HS. 146766 in Nuremberg I certainly do not remember >having found any such date in it. The date of around 1550 is given in Hartmut Broszinski 'Lux lucens in tenebris'. >I am unfamiliar with the Swiss manuscript which you mention, There is one >copy in Solothurn but I can provide no reference to it as my notes on that >copy are incomplete and it has been nearly 25 years since I saw it last. I >do know that I looked for another one in Bern but it was a wild goose chase. >WHo mentions this? The Swiss manuscript is mentioned in Gisela Hohle 'Splendor solis der Sonnenglantz', Wiesbaden 1972 and also in Broszinski, 1994. They are possibly referring to the earlier articles by Felix Hartlaub. Signa Hermetis. Zeitschrift des deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft, 4 (1937), p93-112, 114-162. Chymische Märchen. Naturphilosophische Sinnbilder aus einer alchemistischen Prunkhandschrift der deutschen Renaissance (Splendor Solis). BASF Werkzeitung 'Die BASF' 2+3/54, 1/55 BASF 1955, p5-21. In this article he also discusses Albrecht Glockendon. >Much to my amazement I have never seen MS. German 113. which >strikes me as extraordinary, where does this reference come from? MS. Allemand 113 in the Bibliotheque Nationale, f29v has the date 1577. Two illustrations from this are shown in Jacques van Lennep 'Alchemie', 1984. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (17 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive > As I have previously stated, I am still working on revising and completing >my own long overdue Splendor Solis project begun over twenty five years ago >which Thames & Hudson has now agreed to revive. Thus at some point in the >not too distant future I plan to revisit all the manuscripts. This is good news . Please keep us informed of progress in your research. Adam McLean Subject: ACADEMY : Theatre of terrestrial astronomy From: Adam McLean Date: 30th June 1999 Does anyone have any information on the 'Theatrum astronomiæ terrestri' which was issued under the name of Edward Kelly? This is the work which contains a series of 16 woodcuts, and was issued in an English translation edited by A.E. Waite in the late 19th century. I am sure this work was written some time earlier but later associated with Kelly. I thought I had made some notes on the original version of this work, but cannot find these. Does anyone know the title of the original work? Edward Kelly Tractatus duo egregii, de Lapide Philosophorum, una cum Theatro astronomiæ terrestri, cum Figuris, in gratiam filiorum Hermetis nunc primum in lucem editi, curante J. L.M.C. [Johanne Lange Medicin Candidato]. Hamburg. 1676. Subject: ACADEMY : Holger Rosenkranz - Danish alchemist From: Adam McLean Date: 30th June 99 Kent Johannsen has over the past few days informed me about a 17th century Danish alchemist of whom I have never heard of before. I wonder if anyone has any further information on this person. Adam McLean -------------------------http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (18 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Here is some information, partly from Kent Johannsen, and also gleaned from some web searching. The Dane Holger Rosenkranz was known as "The most learned man in Europe", and in the gardens of his home, Rosenholm Castle, there is a small building or tower "Pirkentavl" (late 1500) which is called "The first University of Denmark". The building itself bears remarkable resemblance with the old well known picture of the Rosicruzian college on wheels (no wheels though..). It is known, that he had an alchemist workshop in the basement. His son took up alchemy after his death, but his sister became so worried about his experiments, that she threw all of his apparatus in the moat - where it was found not many years ago. The choice of books in his library, combined with symbolism on furniture + in the castle church, makes it very likely that he was a mason. Holger Rosenkrantz' library has been recovered not long ago, it had been confiscated by the notorious "book collector" Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, and there is much interesting stuff there. Rosenholm castle was founded in 1559 by the nobleman and landlord Jørgen Rosenkrantz (1523-1596) and completed by his son Holger "the learned" Rosenkrantz (1574-1642). The castle is today one of the most beautiful and complete renaissance castles. The castle, which has had 17 owners, is still owned by the family Rosenkrantz and today contains a rich inventory, consisting of furniture, paintings and tapestries. In the park at the castle the house "Pirkentavl" is seen, which Holger "the learned" used as a schoolroom, therefore the name "the first university of Jutland". Again let us finally recall the "book collector" Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie who was responsible for yet another confiscation of a book collection namely the large library belonging to Holger Rosenkrantz. This collection contained particularly expensive treasures in the form of irreplaceable Danish national treasures which during the wars were stored at the Palace of Rosenberg. Let us as examples mention the historian Anders Sörensen Vedel's historic collections, Tycho Brahe's scientific works, Adam of Bremen's "Historia Ecclesiastica", hand writings such as Riddarromaner in quarter-size format from about the year 1500, transcript from Henrik Harpestreng's Medical Book, Denmark's oldest Annal Collection, the famous Ryd-Aabog and many others. Parts of these valuable collections are now stored in different places in Sweden such as Kungliga Biblioteket, Skokloster, the University Library in Uppsala, etc. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jun99.html (19 of 19) [06/01/2002 10:18:06]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Alchemy Academy archive July 1999 Back to alchemy academy archives. Subject: Luther's views on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 4 July, 1999 I recently found this interesting quotation from Martin Luther's 'Table talk' in Lyndy Abraham's 'Dictionary of alchemical imagery'. "The science of alchymy I like very well, and indeed, 'tis the philosophy of the ancients. I like it not only for the profits it brings in melting metals, in decocting, preparing, extracting and distilling herbs, roots; I like it also for the sake of the allegory and secret signification, which is exceedingly fine, touching the resurrection of the dead at the last day." This may reveal something of the Protestant attitude towards alchemy during the 16th century. Subject: Luther's views on alchemy Date: Sun, 4 Jul 1999 From: Michal Pober Adam McLean wrote: >I recently found this interesting quotation from Martin Luther's >'Table talk' in Lyndy Abraham's 'Dictionary of alchemical imagery'. > >"The science of alchymy I like very well, and indeed, 'tis the >philosophy of the ancients. I like it not only for the profits it brings >in melting metals, in decocting, preparing, extracting and distilling >herbs, roots; I like it also for the sake of the allegory and secret >signification, which is exceedingly fine, touching the resurrection >of the dead at the last day." > >This may reveal something of the Protestant attitude towards >alchemy during the 16th century. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html (1 of 25) [06/01/2002 10:18:28]
  • Alchemy Academy archive I wonder what ideas people have or what resources are available which provide an overview of the relations between Christianity and Alchemy. Recently I have been pondering this topic in connection with John Dee and his adventures in Bohemia when not only was he under intense scrutiny from Rome and encouraged to pay a courtesy-call to the Vatican which he circumspectly rejected. [Do we know when and how he knew of Bruno's fate?] He also took considerable pains to cover himself by attending Mass on occasion, both in Prague and in Cracow and having his children baptised in the Catholic Church with extremely eminent godparents. Then the famous 'book-burning' sequence was obviously an angelic attempt to protect them... At the same time when Rome demanded that he be expelled from the Empire it was Vilem Rozmberk, also an extremely devout Catholic who took him in. Whereas his brother, who was profoundly involved with the Czech Brethren and had large gatherings in Trebon which included figures such as Christian von Anhalt, apparently pensioned off the alchemists when he took over the Rozmberk title and lands. This happens to be just the snippet that I am working with at the moment and obviously staying within the Dee/Bohemia context can lead one to speculate with F. Yates about the prefiguring of the Rosicrucian impulse in Bohemia leading to the union and sovereignty of Frederick and Elizabeth and the Battle of the White Mountain. But Adam's contribution has piqued my curiosity in a broader sense. Is it fair to equate tolerance of alchemy with Protestantism and the persecution of Alchemy with the Catholic Church? My feeling is that its a much more complex topic than that. Any thoughts out there! Best Regards, Michal Subject: Luther's views on alchemy Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 From: Catherine Fox-Anderson http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html (2 of 25) [06/01/2002 10:18:28]
  • Alchemy Academy archive This is a topic of great interest to me as well, at least peripherally, to my thesis on alchemical symbolism in hispanic literature. J. Garcia Font's "Historia de la alquimia en Espana" is very interesting, though not available to my knowledge in English. In Spain, where the Inquisition was so strong at times, there were times when alchemy was tolerated- in the court of Felipe II, for instance, a most Catholic monarch (who built El Escorial), there were alchemists welcomed and there are/were apparently texts in his library there. There was also at least one papal bull in the 1300's (I can check which Pope if you like) issued against it. I feel certain this is not a black and white issue, and didn't get the impression Adam meant it that way in his comments on Luther. One way to perhaps get more information is through the library at the University of Notre Dame here in the States- they have a large section on the history of the Inquisition, but I haven't pursued it as it's a little beyond my scope of interest right now. If anyone is interested I have a helpful contact name there via internet. I think a lot through the ages has depended upon individual monarchs, along with their relations to individuals, and their church affiliations (whether in Spain or elsewhere). Felipe II seems to have been motivated by spiritual rather than wealth concerns in terms of his interest in alchemy (Spain was at the height of her economic glory then, gold flooding in from the American colonies). Let me know if you have any other questions; I'll see what I can find in my resources. Best wishes, Catherine Fox-Anderson Subject: Series of books on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 7 Jul 1999 I recently have bought for the alchemy research library a set of little booklets edited by Patrick J. Smith and produced at a very reasonable price by Holmes Publishing of P.O. Box 623, Edmonds, WA 98020, USA. This particular series is entitled 'Alchemical Studies'. Some of these are new translations, and all of them contain interesting and useful notes. Crassellame, Frater Marc-Antonio. A Light from Out of The Darkness. On the Composition of the Stone of the Philosophers. Being an http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html (3 of 25) [06/01/2002 10:18:28]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Original Translation by Patrick J. Smith of La Lumiére sortant par soi-même des Ténèbres ou Veritable Theorie de la Pierre des Philosophes. Alchemical Studies Series 1. Cyliani. Hermes Unveiled. Translated from the French by Partick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 2. The Golden Treatise of Hermes Trismegistus. Concerning the Physical Secret of the Philosopher's Stone. The Translation and Commentary of Mary Anne Atwood and the Text of Barrett's Version. With Additional notes by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 3. The Book of the Apocalypse of Hermes as Interpreted by Theophrastus Paracelsus. A Hermetic Commentary. Translated by A.E. Waite. Introduction and Notes by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 4. The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus. Including the Commentary of Hortulanus. Translated, with Additional Notes, by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 5. Sendivogius, Michael. The New Chemical Light I. Treatise of Mercury. Newly translated from Latin by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 6. Sendivogius, Michael. The New Chemical Light II. Treatise of Sulphur. Newly translated from Latin by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 7. Philalethes, Eirenaeus. Secrets Reveal'd: An Open Entrance to the Closed Palace of the King. Original Latin Translation Revised and Corrected, with Notes and Commentary, by Patrick Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 8. Sendivogius, Michael. Alchemical Letters of Michael Sendivogius to the Rosicrucian Society. Found in an old manuscript and translated by Ebenezer Sibley, M.D., 1791. Corrected and Edited by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 9. A Paracelsian Lexicon of Alchemical terms. Edited by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 10. The True Book of Synesius. Translated by Richard Russell. Edited by Patrick J. Smith. Alchemical Studies Series 11. http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html (4 of 25) [06/01/2002 10:18:28]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Subject: Luther's views on alchemy Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 From: Michal Pober Dear Catherine, Thanks for your response on this. I waited a couple of days before replying to see if anyone else would jump in on this but it seems we're on our own. >This is a topic of great interest to me as well, at least peripherally, Likewise and I was not feeling like searching high and low for snippets of information. I'm already doing enough of that with my current obsessions.. Which is why I was hoping for an overview or a reference to one. It seems strange if there is no worthy text which covers the field. >to my thesis on alchemical symbolism in hispanic literature. J. Garcia >Font's "Historia de la alquimia en Espana" is very interesting, though >not available to my knowledge in English. In Spain, where the >Inquisition was so strong at times, there were times when alchemy was >tolerated- in the court of Felipe II, for instance, a most Catholic >monarch (who built El Escorial), there were alchemists welcomed and >there are/were apparently texts in his library there. This is certainly interesting. One piece of wondering that I was doing was whether Spain and Rome had a different atitude in the late 16thC. Specifically Rudolf II spent the greater part of his youth in Spain and one of his confidants seems to have been the Spanish Ambassador, San Clemente, who was in Prague until his death and he was, at least at the beginning, a successful intermediary between Dee and Rudolf. Someone must have recommended him to Dee. Meanwhile Rome was baiting traps and sending spies after D & K and eventually prevailed on Rudolf to expel them. Thank you for your other information too and I'm adding it to my files but am still hoping that someone will come up with a reliable source for the big picture! This issue came up for me because I was working with people who seemed to be making blanket assumptions about Protestant and Catholic approaches to alchemy and I was looking for a judicious overview without having to start from scratch.. Best Regards, http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html (5 of 25) [06/01/2002 10:18:28]
  • Alchemy Academy archive Michal Subject: Luther's views on alchemy From: Adam McLean Date: 8 Jul 1999 Michal Pober wrote: >Which is why I was hoping for an overview or a reference to one. It seems >strange if there is no worthy text which covers the field. > but am still hoping that someone will come up with a reliable source for >the big picture! >This issue came up for me because I was working with people who seemed to >be making blanket assumptions about Protestant and Catholic approaches to >alchemy and I was looking for a judicious overview with out having to >start from scratch.. Dear Michal, There is always a great danger in seeking the 'big picture'. True research is a matter of investigating painstaking detail. It is especially true of alchemy, which has not received intense attention of scholarship over the years, in that there are many people ready to jump to formulate a 'big picture' on the basis of inadequate information. There is much danger in simplifying the relationship between alchemy and the Catholic and various Protestant traditions, or in having a view based upon one's own religious affiliations. I remember the Cesky Krumlov conference, which was devoted to Rosicrucianism, was very much dominated by ideas that Protestantism represented freedom and Catholicism some kind of repressive authority. I remember during my talk, when in discussing alchemical source material, I dared to suggest that the Frances Yates thesis had many flaws and needed some re-evaluation, that the audience immediately took a deep intake of breath. They wanted the 'big picture' presented by Frances Yates and felt uncomfortable when I challenged their belief system. I didn't make this challenge out of contrary beliefs, but because I had become aware of the problems inherent in Frances Yates's 'big picture' expressed in her 'Rosicrucian Enlightenment'. It seems that alchemists rarely intruded into everyday religious beliefs. Their writings are also often allegorical and did not often http://www.levity.com/alchemy/a-archive_jul99.html (6 of 25) [06/01/2002 10:18:28]
  • Alchemy Academy archive directly challenge Church authority, so there does not seem to be a strongly concerted Church reaction to alchemy over the centuries. Alchemists were often attacked for fraudently producing or adulterating gold, because of the danger they might bring to undermine the currency and the social structure of the time. Different church leaders responded to events at their time in different ways. Thus some Popes supported and even took an interest in alchemy, while others were quite negative. The same applied to different Protestant Princes in the 16th and 17th centuries. We must look to the detail as there is no general unified 'big picture'. The truth always lies in the detail, not in generalisations. I did not post the Martin Luther quotation to develop a debate about Catholic and Protestant attitudes to al