By E. J. Holmyard
Alchemy is believed to have originated over 2000 years in the past in Hellenic Egypt, the results of 3 converging streams: Greek philosophy, Egyptian know-how and the mysticism of center jap religions. Its heyday used to be from approximately 800 A.D. to the center of the 17th century, and its practitioners ranged from kings, popes, and emperors to minor clergy, parish clerks, smiths, dyers, and tinkers. Even such complete males as Roger Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, Sir Thomas Browne and Isaac Newton got interested in alchemical matters.
In its look for the "Philosopher's Stone" that might transmute base metals into silver and gold, alchemy took on many philosophical, non secular and mystical overtones. those and plenty of different elements of alchemy are explored with huge, immense perception and erudition during this vintage paintings. E. J. Holmyard, a famous student within the box, starts with the alchemists of old Greece and China and is going directly to speak about alchemical gear, Islamic and early Western alchemy; indicators, symbols, and mystery phrases; Paracelsus; English, Scottish and French alchemists; Helvetius, expense, and Semler, and masses more.
Ranging over millennia of alchemical historical past, Mr. Holmyard exhibits how, like astrology and witchcraft, alchemy was once a vital part of the pre-scientific ethical order, arousing the cupidity of princes, the blind worry of mobs and the highbrow interest of discovered males. finally, even though, with the appearance and ascension of the clinical strategy, the hopes and concepts of the alchemists light to the prestige of "pseudo-science." That transformation, in addition to alchemy's indisputable function as a precursor of recent chemistry, are brilliantly illuminated during this ebook. scholars of alchemy, chemistry, the heritage of technological know-how, and the occult, plus an individual attracted to the foundation and evolution of 1 of mankind's such a lot enduring and influential myths, probably want to have a replica of this masterly examine.