Alchemy and Alchemists

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Courier Dover Publications, 1932 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 248 pages
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Alchemy, whose beginnings — possibly in Egypt, Babylon, India, or China — are ancient and obscure, remained undocumented until about 2500 BC. Although it may have originated with metallurgy, the practice rapidly developed an association with magic, pharmacy, and astrology. In this richly illustrated and amply researched study, a noted expert traces the long history of alchemy, from its murky start to modern times.
Hermes Trismegistus and other famous alchemists appear here, along with discussions of the craft's associations with chicanery (as memorably portrayed in Ben Jonson's 1610 comedy, The Alchemist),
and its role in the secret society of Rosicrucians. Additional topics include the alchemist's laboratory and equipment, alchemical symbols and secret alphabets, noteworthy manuscripts, the influence of astrology, and more.
Although regarded today as a pseudoscience, alchemy gave rise to scientific chemistry. This volume illustrates the ways in which efforts to transmute metals — such as the search for the ever-elusive philosopher's stone — stimulated experimentation with hitherto untried substances, leading to improved knowledge of the materials vital to applied chemistry. Anyone intrigued by the origins and practices of this age-old and still-mysterious discipline, as well as those interested in the history of chemistry, will appreciate this concise, authoritative study.
  

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User Review  - Justin Howe - Goodreads

Interesting and esoteric the best chapters are full of anecdotes from the lives of various alchemists. Read full review

Contents

THE ALcIIE1vIIsT Frontispiece
7
THE D1vtNE ART IN THE NEAR EAST
15
HIZRME TRISMEGISTUS
26
THE MYSTERY or THE EMERALD TABLET
36
AN ALCHEMIST AND AN AsTRoLocIzR IN CONSULTATION ovER
38
THE GREEK ALcHEMtsTs
41
IRIIIIcus AND STILL
44
ALcHEMY IN CHINA AND INDIA
49
SYIvIsoLIc FIGURE
87
ENci IsH ALcHEMtsTs or THE MIDDLE AGm
91
MINIATURE or THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY DEPICTING
96
ALCHEMY IN THE TIME or oHN GowER AND GEOFFREY CHAUCER
102
vusTs LABORATORY AND HIS APPARATUS
108
ALcHEMIcu SYMBOLS AND SEcRzr A iHmETs
120
SOME NOTABLE ALCHEMICAL M NuscRHTs
134
Ai cHE1vnsrs AND ROYALTY
140

THE ARABIAN ALCHEMISTS
59
Snmouc FtGunm
65
THE PHII osoiHERs SToNE AND THE Euxm or LIFE
68
SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION or THE BIRTH or
70
APPARATUS IOR DIsTILLING AQUA VITAI
75
FAMOUS ALcHE1vnsTs or MEDIEVAL Tmss
77
THE SToNING or RAYMOND LULLY
81
vusTs IN FDRTUNE AND MISFORTUNE
150
FAMOUS ALCHEMISTs or THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY 59
188
vnsT AND OTHER QUACKS
197
THE ROSICRUCIANS AND ALcHEMY
203
LAST 01 THE ALCHEMISTS
222
WHn WE ows T0 rml ALCHIaMISTS
240
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