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Alchemy

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Alchemy The History of Alchemy Video

What is Alchemy? Explained Documentary

Black powder may have been an important invention of Chinese alchemists. As previously stated above, Chinese alchemy was more related to medicine.

It is said that the Chinese invented gunpowder while trying to find a potion for eternal life. Described in 9th-century texts [ citation needed ] and used in fireworks in China by the 10th century, [ citation needed ] it was used in cannons by Gunpowder was used by the Mongols against the Hungarians in , and in Europe by the 14th century.

Chinese alchemy was closely connected to Taoist forms of traditional Chinese medicine , such as Acupuncture and Moxibustion. In the early Song dynasty , followers of this Taoist idea chiefly the elite and upper class would ingest mercuric sulfide , which, though tolerable in low levels, led many to suicide.

The introduction of alchemy to Latin Europe may be dated to 11 February , with the completion of Robert of Chester 's translation of the Arabic Book of the Composition of Alchemy.

Although European craftsmen and technicians pre-existed, Robert notes in his preface that alchemy though here still referring to the elixir rather than to the art itself [62] was unknown in Latin Europe at the time of his writing.

The translation of Arabic texts concerning numerous disciplines including alchemy flourished in 12th-century Toledo, Spain , through contributors like Gerard of Cremona and Adelard of Bath.

These brought with them many new words to the European vocabulary for which there was no previous Latin equivalent. Alcohol, carboy, elixir, and athanor are examples.

Meanwhile, theologian contemporaries of the translators made strides towards the reconciliation of faith and experimental rationalism, thereby priming Europe for the influx of alchemical thought.

In the early 12th century, Peter Abelard followed Anselm's work, laying down the foundation for acceptance of Aristotelian thought before the first works of Aristotle had reached the West.

In the early 13th century, Robert Grosseteste used Abelard's methods of analysis and added the use of observation, experimentation, and conclusions when conducting scientific investigations.

Grosseteste also did much work to reconcile Platonic and Aristotelian thinking. Through much of the 12th and 13th centuries, alchemical knowledge in Europe remained centered on translations, and new Latin contributions were not made.

The efforts of the translators were succeeded by that of the encyclopaedists. In the 13th century, Albertus Magnus and Roger Bacon were the most notable of these, their work summarizing and explaining the newly imported alchemical knowledge in Aristotelian terms.

Albertus critically compared these to the writings of Aristotle and Avicenna, where they concerned the transmutation of metals.

From the time shortly after his death through to the 15th century, more than 28 alchemical tracts were misattributed to him, a common practice giving rise to his reputation as an accomplished alchemist.

Roger Bacon, a Franciscan friar who wrote on a wide variety of topics including optics , comparative linguistics , and medicine, composed his Great Work Latin : Opus Majus for Pope Clement IV as part of a project towards rebuilding the medieval university curriculum to include the new learning of his time.

While alchemy was not more important to him than other sciences and he did not produce allegorical works on the topic, he did consider it and astrology to be important parts of both natural philosophy and theology and his contributions advanced alchemy's connections to soteriology and Christian theology.

Bacon's writings integrated morality, salvation, alchemy, and the prolongation of life. His correspondence with Clement highlighted this, noting the importance of alchemy to the papacy.

He noted that the theoretical lay outside the scope of Aristotle, the natural philosophers, and all Latin writers of his time. The practical, however, confirmed the theoretical thought experiment, and Bacon advocated its uses in natural science and medicine.

In particular, along with Albertus Magnus, he was credited with the forging of a brazen head capable of answering its owner's questions.

Soon after Bacon, the influential work of Pseudo-Geber sometimes identified as Paul of Taranto appeared. His Summa Perfectionis remained a staple summary of alchemical practice and theory through the medieval and renaissance periods.

It was notable for its inclusion of practical chemical operations alongside sulphur-mercury theory, and the unusual clarity with which they were described.

Adepts believed in the macrocosm-microcosm theories of Hermes, that is to say, they believed that processes that affect minerals and other substances could have an effect on the human body for example, if one could learn the secret of purifying gold, one could use the technique to purify the human soul.

They believed in the four elements and the four qualities as described above, and they had a strong tradition of cloaking their written ideas in a labyrinth of coded jargon set with traps to mislead the uninitiated.

Finally, the alchemists practiced their art: they actively experimented with chemicals and made observations and theories about how the universe operated.

Their entire philosophy revolved around their belief that man's soul was divided within himself after the fall of Adam.

By purifying the two parts of man's soul, man could be reunited with God. In the 14th century, alchemy became more accessible to Europeans outside the confines of Latin speaking churchmen and scholars.

Alchemical discourse shifted from scholarly philosophical debate to an exposed social commentary on the alchemists themselves. Pope John XXII 's edict, Spondent quas non-exhibent forbade the false promises of transmutation made by pseudo-alchemists.

These critiques and regulations centered more around pseudo-alchemical charlatanism than the actual study of alchemy, which continued with an increasingly Christian tone.

The 14th century saw the Christian imagery of death and resurrection employed in the alchemical texts of Petrus Bonus , John of Rupescissa , and in works written in the name of Raymond Lull and Arnold of Villanova.

Nicolas Flamel is a well-known alchemist, but a good example of pseudepigraphy , the practice of giving your works the name of someone else, usually more famous.

Although the historical Flamel existed, the writings and legends assigned to him only appeared in His work spends a great deal of time describing the processes and reactions, but never actually gives the formula for carrying out the transmutations.

Most of 'his' work was aimed at gathering alchemical knowledge that had existed before him, especially as regarded the philosopher's stone.

Bernard Trevisan and George Ripley made similar contributions. Their cryptic allusions and symbolism led to wide variations in interpretation of the art.

During the Renaissance , Hermetic and Platonic foundations were restored to European alchemy. The dawn of medical, pharmaceutical, occult, and entrepreneurial branches of alchemy followed.

These were previously unavailable to Europeans who for the first time had a full picture of the alchemical theory that Bacon had declared absent.

Renaissance Humanism and Renaissance Neoplatonism guided alchemists away from physics to refocus on mankind as the alchemical vessel.

Esoteric systems developed that blended alchemy into a broader occult Hermeticism, fusing it with magic, astrology, and Christian cabala.

He was instrumental in spreading this new blend of Hermeticism outside the borders of Italy. Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus , Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, — cast alchemy into a new form, rejecting some of Agrippa's occultism and moving away from chrysopoeia.

Paracelsus pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine and wrote, "Many have said of Alchemy, that it is for the making of gold and silver.

For me such is not the aim, but to consider only what virtue and power may lie in medicines. His hermetical views were that sickness and health in the body relied on the harmony of man the microcosm and Nature the macrocosm.

He took an approach different from those before him, using this analogy not in the manner of soul-purification but in the manner that humans must have certain balances of minerals in their bodies, and that certain illnesses of the body had chemical remedies that could cure them.

John Dee 13 July — December, followed Agrippa's occult tradition. Although better known for angel summoning, divination, and his role as astrologer , cryptographer, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I , Dee's alchemical [86] Monas Hieroglyphica , written in was his most popular and influential work.

His writing portrayed alchemy as a sort of terrestrial astronomy in line with the Hermetic axiom As above so below. Proponents of the supernatural interpretation of alchemy believed that the philosopher's stone might be used to summon and communicate with angels.

Entrepreneurial opportunities were common for the alchemists of Renaissance Europe. Alchemists were contracted by the elite for practical purposes related to mining, medical services, and the production of chemicals, medicines, metals, and gemstones.

Although most of these appointments were legitimate, the trend of pseudo-alchemical fraud continued through the Renaissance. Betrüger would use sleight of hand, or claims of secret knowledge to make money or secure patronage.

Legitimate mystical and medical alchemists such as Michael Maier and Heinrich Khunrath wrote about fraudulent transmutations, distinguishing themselves from the con artists.

The terms "chemia" and "alchemia" were used as synonyms in the early modern period, and the differences between alchemy, chemistry and small-scale assaying and metallurgy were not as neat as in the present day.

There were important overlaps between practitioners, and trying to classify them into alchemists, chemists and craftsmen is anachronistic. Sendivogious taught his technique to Cornelius Drebbel who, in , applied this in a submarine.

Isaac Newton devoted considerably more of his writing to the study of alchemy see Isaac Newton's occult studies than he did to either optics or physics.

Other early modern alchemists who were eminent in their other studies include Robert Boyle , and Jan Baptist van Helmont. Their Hermeticism complemented rather than precluded their practical achievements in medicine and science.

The decline of European alchemy was brought about by the rise of modern science with its emphasis on rigorous quantitative experimentation and its disdain for "ancient wisdom".

Although the seeds of these events were planted as early as the 17th century, alchemy still flourished for some two hundred years, and in fact may have reached its peak in the 18th century.

As late as James Price claimed to have produced a powder that could transmute mercury into silver or gold. Early modern European alchemy continued to exhibit a diversity of theories, practices, and purposes: "Scholastic and anti-Aristotelian, Paracelsian and anti-Paracelsian, Hermetic, Neoplatonic, mechanistic, vitalistic, and more—plus virtually every combination and compromise thereof.

Robert Boyle — pioneered the scientific method in chemical investigations. He assumed nothing in his experiments and compiled every piece of relevant data.

Boyle would note the place in which the experiment was carried out, the wind characteristics, the position of the Sun and Moon, and the barometer reading, all just in case they proved to be relevant.

Beginning around , a rigid distinction began to be drawn for the first time between "alchemy" and "chemistry". This move was mostly successful, and the consequences of this continued into the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

During the occult revival of the early 19th century, alchemy received new attention as an occult science.

In the 19th-century revival of alchemy, the two most seminal figures were Mary Anne Atwood and Ethan Allen Hitchcock , who independently published similar works regarding spiritual alchemy.

Both forwarded a completely esoteric view of alchemy, as Atwood claimed: "No modern art or chemistry, notwithstanding all its surreptitious claims, has any thing in common with Alchemy.

Hitchcock, in his Remarks Upon Alchymists attempted to make a case for his spiritual interpretation with his claim that the alchemists wrote about a spiritual discipline under a materialistic guise in order to avoid accusations of blasphemy from the church and state.

In , Baron Carl Reichenbach , published his studies on Odic force , a concept with some similarities to alchemy, but his research did not enter the mainstream of scientific discussion.

In his lineage, many researchers, including Emmanuel and Charles d'Hooghvorst, are updating alchemical studies in France and Belgium.

Several women appear in the earliest history of alchemy. Michael Maier names Mary the Jewess , Cleopatra the Alchemist , Medera , and Taphnutia as the four women who knew how to make the philosopher's stone.

The first alchemist whose name we know is said to have been Mary the Jewess c. The laboratory water-bath, known eponymously especially in France as the bain-marie , is said to have been invented or at least improved by her.

The tribikos a modified distillation apparatus and the kerotakis a more intricate apparatus used especially for sublimations are two other advancements in the process of distillation that are credited to her.

Due to the proliferation of pseudepigrapha and anonymous works, it is difficult to know which of the alchemists were actually women.

After the Greco-Roman period, women's names appear less frequently in the alchemical literature. Women vacate the history of alchemy during the medieval and renaissance periods, aside from the fictitious account of Perenelle Flamel.

Words similar to it have been found in most ancient languages, with different meanings, but conceivably somehow related to alchemy.

Alchemy Article Media Additional Info. Article Contents. Print print Print. Table Of Contents. Facebook Twitter.

Give Feedback External Websites. Their secretive experiments, usually involving heat and the mixing of liquids, led to the development of pharmacology and the rise of modern chemistry.

The word then passed from Latin to French before coming to English. Some other words derived from Arabic also retain the al- in English, such as algebra , algorithm , and alcohol ; in fact, the transformative liquid that was constantly being sought through experimentation by alchemists is another word with the Arabic al- prefix: elixir.

This power to transform things for the better, real or imagined, led to figurative meanings for alchemy and alchemist. The History of Alchemy The medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy that focused on the attempt to change less valuable metals into gold, to find a universal cure for disease, and to discover a means of prolonging life indefinitely is called alchemy.

It was practiced in much of the ancient world, from China and India to Greece. Alchemy migrated to Egypt and was later revived in 12th-century Europe through translations of Arabic texts into Latin.

Medieval European alchemists made some useful discoveries, including mineral acids and alcohol. The revival led to the development of pharmacology and to the rise of modern chemistry.

The gold-making processes of alchemists were finally discredited, but not until the 19th century. Examples of alchemy in a Sentence She practiced her alchemy in the kitchen, turning a pile of vegetables into a delicious salad.

The company hoped for some sort of economic alchemy that would improve business. Recent Examples on the Web One only has to look to the mortgage crisis to see how financial alchemy can go wrong.

For instance, Isaac Newton , best known for his study of gravity and his laws of motion , also wrote more than a million words of alchemical notes throughout his lifetime, historians have estimated.

In March , the Chemical Heritage Foundation bought a 17th-century alchemy manuscript written by Newton. Buried in a private collection for decades, the manuscript detailed how to make "philosophic" mercury, thought to be a step toward making the philosopher's stone — a magical substance thought to have the ability to turn any metal into gold and give eternal life.

Curator of rare books at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, James Voelkel said the text was likely copied from an American chemist named George Starkey.

The Latin text — whose title translates to "Preparation of the [Sophick] Mercury for the [Philosophers'] Stone by the Antimonial Stellate Regulus of Mars and Luna from the Manuscripts of the American Philosopher" — will be available online for those interested to peruse.

It is clear why alchemy was doomed to fail: it was based on a misunderstanding of basic chemistry and physics.

Alchemists based their theories and experiments on the Aristotelian assumption that the world and everything in it are composed of four basic elements air, earth, fire and water , along with three that were called "essential" substances: salt, mercury and sulfur.

Today we know that the universe is made up of atoms and elements. Since lead and other metals are not composed of fire, air, earth, and water, it's not possible to adjust the percentages of those elements and turn them into gold.

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Aus Europarl Parallel Corpus - English. Alchemy definition is - a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life. Alchemy Game is very addicting and interesting; those who love puzzle games will enjoy it for sure! However, if you are more into sport games and games which involve football I recommend you to play hacked Happy Wheels, however if you want to try some crazy/funny game visit allinternetideas.com Alchemy (from Arabic: al-kīmiyā) is an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and protoscientific tradition practiced throughout Europe, Africa, China and throughout Asia, observable in Chinese text from around 73–49 BCE and Greco-Roman Egypt in the first few centuries CE. Alchemy was the name given in Latin Europe in the 12th century to an aspect of thought that corresponds to astrology, which is apparently an older allinternetideas.com represent attempts to discover the relationship of man to the cosmos and to exploit that relationship to his benefit. Alchemy definition, a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned principally with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold and with finding a universal solvent and an elixir of life.
Alchemy

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