Sean Martin's Alchemy and Alchemists PDF

By Sean Martin

ISBN-10: 1904048625

ISBN-13: 9781904048626

Alchemy has commonly been considered as 'the background of an error', an instance of mediaeval gullibility and greed, within which alchemists attempted to show lead into gold, create extraordinary 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 technological know-how. This ebook explores the heritage of the so-called Royal artwork, from its mysterious beginnings in Egypt and China, throughout the Hellenistic international and the early years of Islam and into mediaeval Europe. many of the maximum minds of the center a while, figures comparable to Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon and Thomas Aquinas have been attracted to alchemy, and mythical alchemists similar to Nicholas Flamel have been idea to have really succeeded to find The Philosopher's Stone. in the course of the Renaissance, Paracelsus and his fans helped revolutionise medication, and through the 17th century, alchemy performed an important function in paving the best way for contemporary technological know-how. through 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 totally revised version, Sean Martin has increased the sections on chinese language and Indian alchemy and has further new fabric at the dating among alchemy and early glossy technological know-how, whereas additionally creating a clean evaluate of this such a lot enduringly mysterious and interesting of matters, to which all others were defined as 'child's play'.

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Extra resources for Alchemy and Alchemists

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This period seems to have been the most settled and productive of Bacon’s career. Bacon’s belief that the principles of mathematics and number underlined everything in the world led to his discovery that the calendar was in need of reform; his suggestions were finally accepted in 1582 when the Gregorian system, as it was known, was finally adopted. It also led to his creating one of the earliest maps of the world. ) But this was not all. Bacon saw abuse and ignorance everywhere, and railed against fellow scholars (including Thomas Aquinas and Albertus Magnus).

Gold was mined at least as early as 3000 BCE, and the discovery of smelting liberated early peoples from using tools largely as they were found. Now metals could be shaped and moulded • 41 • Alchemy 16/10/06 11:15 am Page 42 ALCHEMY AND ALCHEMISTS into spears, swords and chalices. This dual aspect was to be inherited by the alchemists. The craft of the smith was sacred in nearly all cultures. Like the priesthood, the craft was initiatory, and marked the smith out as a person with special powers within the community.

Mercury is either represented as a winged messenger holding a caduceus, or is sometimes portrayed as an hermaphrodite. He represents the element without which the work cannot take place. Lady Alchymia Lady Alchymia is the guiding principle of alchemy, often portrayed as a beautiful woman in flowing robes. She is often identified with Nature. Old King/Young Prince The Old King represents the matter to be worked upon, the prime matter or old state of consciousness that must be shattered during nigredo.

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Alchemy and Alchemists by Sean Martin

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