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The Alchemy Reader

The Alchemy Reader
From Hermes Trismegistus to Isaac Newton

  • Date Published: August 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521796620


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About the Authors
  • The Alchemy Reader is a collection of primary source readings on alchemy and hermeticism, which offers readers an informed introduction and background to a complex field through the works of important ancient, medieval and early modern alchemical authors. Including selections from the legendary Hermes Trimegistus to Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton, the book illustrates basic definitions, conceptions, and varied interests and emphases; and it also illustrates the highly interdisciplinary character of alchemical thought and its links with science and medicine, philosophical and religious currents, the visual arts and iconography and, especially, literary discourse. Like the notable anthologies of alchemical writings published in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it seeks to counter the problem of an acute lack of reliable primary texts and to provide a convenient and accessible point of entry to the field.

    • Includes a unique range of authors and works on the fascinating subject of alchemy, unavailable in any other book
    • Makes important inter-cultural and cross-disciplinary emphases, reflecting a humanistic, cultural perspective
    • Makes the subject understandable through substantial introductions, lightly modernised texts, illustrations, and a guide to further reading
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Linden's introduction to the collection and the headnotes accompanying each selection, which testify to Linden's long experience and wide reading in the history and texts of alchemy, will help make this a much-used volume.' British Society for the History of Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521796620
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 168 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Ancient Texts:
    1. Hermes Trismegistus: The Emerald Table (Tabula smaragdina)
    2. Plato: from the Timaeus
    3. Aristotle: from the Meteorology
    4. Pseudo-Democritus: from the Treatise of Democritus on Things Natural and Mystical
    5. Anonymous: Dialogue of Cleopatra and the Philosophers
    6. Anonymous: from Leiden Papyrus X and the Stockholm Papyrus
    7. Zosimos of Panopolis: Of Virtue, Lesson 1-3
    8. Stephanos of Alexandria: from The Great and Sacred Art of the Making of Gold
    9. Anonymous: The Poem of the Philosopher Theophrastos upon the Sacred Art
    Part II. Islamic and Medieval Texts:
    10. Khalid ibn Yazid: from Secreta Alchymiae
    11. Pseudo-Geber: from Of the Investigation or Search of Perfection
    Of the Sum of Perfection
    and His Book of Furnaces
    12. Avicenna: De Congelatione et Conglutinatione Lapidum
    13. Albertus Magnus: from the Libellus de Alchimia
    14. Roger Bacon: from the Radix Mundi
    15. Nicolas Flamel: from His Exposition of the Hieroglyphical Figures
    16. Bernard, Earl of Trevisan: A Treatise of the Philosophers Stone
    17. George Ripley: The Epistle of George Ripley written to King Edward the 4
    Part III. Renaissance and Seventeenth Century Texts:
    18. Paracelsus: from Of the Nature of Things and Paracelsus His Aurora
    19. Francis Anthony: Aurum-Potabile: or the Receit of Dr. Fr. Antonie
    20. Michael Sendivogius: from A New Light of Alchymie and A Dialogue between Mercury, the Alchymist and Nature
    21. Robert Fludd: from Mosaicall Philosophy
    22. Gabriel Plattes: A Caveat for Alchymists
    23. John French: preface to The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trimegistus in XVII Books
    24. George Starkey/Eirenaeus Philalethes: The Admirable Efficacy, and almost incredible Virtue of true Oyl
    from An Exposition Upon Sir George Ripley's Epistle to King Edward IV
    25. Elias Ashmole: Prolegomena to the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum
    26. Robert Boyle: from An Historical Account of a Degradation of Gold Made by an Anti-Elixir: A Strange Chymical Narrative
    27. Isaac Newton: The Key (Keynes MS 18)
    The Commentary on the Emerald Tablet (Keynes MS 28), King's College, Cambridge

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Magic, Religion, and Witchcraft in Europe
  • Editor

    Stanton J. Linden, Washington State University
    Stanton J. Linden is Professor Emeritus of English, Washington State University. His publications include Darke Hierogliphicks: Alchemy in English Literature from Chaucer to the Restoration (1996), Emblems and Alchemy (co-editor, 1998), and a critical edition of George Ripley's Compound of Alchymy (2001).

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