By Sean Martin
Alchemy has regularly been seen as 'the heritage of an error', an instance of mediaeval gullibility and greed, during which alchemists attempted to show lead into gold, create exceptional wealth and locate the elixir of existence. yet alchemy has additionally been defined as 'the mightiest mystery guy can possess', and it obsessed the likes of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and plenty of of the founders of contemporary technology. This ebook explores the heritage of the so-called Royal artwork, from its mysterious beginnings in Egypt and China, throughout the Hellenistic global and the early years of Islam and into mediaeval Europe. a number of the maximum minds of the center a long time, figures equivalent to Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas have been interested in alchemy, and mythical alchemists similar to Nicholas Flamel have been idea to have really succeeded to find The Philosopher's Stone. throughout the Renaissance, Paracelsus and his fans helped revolutionise medication, and through the 17th century, alchemy performed a massive function in paving the best way for contemporary technological know-how. in the course of the 20th century, it turned a spotlight of curiosity for the psychologist Carl Jung and his fans, who believed that the alchemists had came upon the subconscious. during this absolutely revised version, Sean Martin has increased the sections on chinese language and Indian alchemy and has additional new fabric at the dating among alchemy and early sleek technology, whereas additionally creating a clean evaluate of this such a lot enduringly mysterious and interesting of topics, to which all others were defined as 'child's play'.
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Alchemy has typically been seen as 'the heritage of an error', an instance of mediaeval gullibility and greed, within which alchemists attempted to show lead into gold, create terrific wealth and locate the elixir of lifestyles. yet alchemy has additionally been defined as 'the mightiest mystery guy can possess', and it obsessed the likes of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle and plenty of of the founders of recent technological know-how.
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Extra info for Alchemy and Alchemists
After twenty years of study and failed experiments, Flamel decided to make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, in the hope that he might find a learned Jew to explain the work to him (Abraham having written his book for fellow Jews). He went to Santiago in 1378, and spent more than a year there before meeting one Master Canches. Canches, a merchant, realized that Flamel had in his possession an ancient Kabbalistic text that was thought to have been lost forever, and willingly explained the figures for him.
Tradition holds that Aquinas died before he managed to complete the talk; this would explain why the Aurora breaks off before reaching the end of the Song of Songs. The Aurora, as it has come down to us, is the description of a life-shattering experience that could very well be Aquinas’s revelations of December 1273. It is certainly possible that it was a transcription of Aquinas’s final talk, as other of his works as we know them today were also transcribed by pupils. The work describes a vision of Sophia, the Wisdom of God.
Its earliest known occurrence is in the decree issued in 296 CE by the Emperor Diocletian against the writings of the Egyptian kimia-ists. Suidas, writing in the tenth century, explains that the word means those who have knowledge of the Egyptian art, further enhancing Egypt’s claim to be the cradle of alchemy. Suidas explains that the word is derived from the words chemi or cham, meaning Black Land, which was the ancient name for Egypt, on account of the rich, dark soil that was fed by the Nile.