The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy

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University of Chicago Press, 1978 - Philosophy - 238 pages
6 Reviews
Primitive man's discovery of the ability to change matter from one state to another brought about a profound change in spiritual behavior. In The Forge and the Crucible, Mircea Eliade follows the ritualistic adventures of these ancient societies, adventures rooted in the people's awareness of an awesome new power.

The new edition of The Forge and the Crucible contains an updated appendix, in which Eliade lists works on Chinese alchemy published in the past few years. He also discusses the importance of alchemy in Newton's scientific evolution.
  

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Review: The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy

User Review  - Arthur - Goodreads

Though Eliade can't claim any primary fieldwork, The Forge and the Crucible offers an impressive laundry list of ethnographic profiles on practices of mining and metallurgy, contrasting established ... Read full review

Review: The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy

User Review  - Public_enemy - Goodreads

The best Eliade so far. It shows how many realistic aspects one can find researching old metaphysics, ideology and mysticism, namely alchemical and metallurgic teachings. Power is in secret of steel. Conan, anyone? Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Foreword
8
Preface to the Phoenix Edition
16
Meteorites and Metallurgy
20
Mythology of the Iron Age
28
The World Sexualized
35
Terra Mater Petra Genitrix
44
Rites and Mysteries in Metallurgy
54
Human Sacrifices to the Furnace
66
Smiths Warriors Masters of Initiation
98
Chinese Alchemy
110
Indian Alchemy
128
Alchemy and Initiation
143
Arcana Artis
154
Alchemy and Temporality
170
Postscript
180
Appendices
202

Babylonian Symbolisms and Metallurgical Rituals
72
Masters of Fire
80
Divine Smiths and Civilizing Heroes
88

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About the author (1978)

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) was the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor in the Divinity School and professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His books published by the University of Chicago Press include Autobiography, Volume II; the novel The Old Man and the Bureaucrats; the three-volume History of Religious Ideas; Ordeal by Labyrinth; and several other works on the history of religions.

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