Alchemy Academy archive
June 2002

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Thu, 06 Jun 2002
From: Jon Marshall


On the web site, Adam mentions a number of late 16th century
manuscripts of the Book of Lamspring

MS 16752 National museum of Nurnberg
MS P 2177 Zurich Zentral Bibliothek
MS M I92 University of Salzberg
???? University of Leiden

which, if i read correctly, have illustrations.

Does anyone know how similar any of these illustrations are to the
engravings we are all familiar with?

I'm basically thinking of trying to investigate different illustrations
of the same text, to find out how these illustrations were transformed
by differnt people.

This may be totally impossible from Australia!

jon

Subject: ACADEMY : Book of Lambspring
Thu, 06 Jun 2002
From: M.E. Warlick


Hi Jon,

I happen to be in Leiden at the moment, and could look at their
manuscript for you, if you know the number. Yesterday, I started
looking at the wonderful Voss Chem. 29. Within that one is the rather
unusual series of the woman who first launches a ship, and later
she plays with a unicorn. I don't have the folio numbers with me
at the moment, but these illstrations are reproduced in Van Lennep,
I think. Anyway, there are animals also on these pages, and I think
they might be related to the Lambspring series. Perhaps, this is
what you had in mind? I've also seen the one in Nurnberg, and can
transcribe my notes of that one to you when I return to Denver in late
June.

You can get in touch (mwarlick@du.edu) off line with me then.

Thanks!
M.E. Warlick

Subject: ACADEMY : Book of Lambspring
Fri, 07 Jun 2002
From: Jon Marshall


M.E. Warlick wrote:

> I happen to be in Leiden at the moment, and could look at their
> manuscript for you, if you know the number.

I only know of it at all because of it being mentioned by Adam in his
essay on the book

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/lambjrny.html

and no number is given. Adam any recollection?

The Voss Chem MS sounds interesting, and it would be nice to see the
illustrations, but I'm not sure whether it would be useful to me or not,
because there is always the problem of connection between 'similar'
images when in different works unless some other connection can be
established. Oh if only we could scan all the MS and have them online :)

Thanks for the offer of your notes on the Nurnberg MS, and I'll get in
touch with you offlist thanks...

jon

Subject: ACADEMY : Book of Lambspring
Fri, 07 Jun 2002
From: Adam McLean


Jon,

> and no number is given. Adam any recollection?

This article was written back in the 1980's, for the
Hermetic Journal, and I cannot remember the
source of this information. I took a look at the
catalogue of the alchemical books in Leiden
and there does not seem to be any Lambspring
there. I think we should put this reference down
to my error.

Nine of the illustrations from the Salzburg manuscript
are reproduced in

Cardini, Franco and Gabriele, Mino
Exaltatio Essentiae Essentia Exaltata.
Pancini Editore, Pisa, 1992.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Eudoxus
From: Brenton Fletcher
Thu, 06 Jun 2002

Is the character Eudoxus in the Hermetic Triumph drawn
from the mathematician of 4th century BC Asia Minor who
developed a system of 27 spheres describing the
geometry of Nature?

Brenton Fletcher.

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull reference in Yeats 'Rosa Alchemica'
From: Adam McLean
11 June 2002


Can anyone help with this question ?


W.B. Yeats wrote a story entitled 'Rosa Alchemica' in THE SECRET
ROSE (1897). Much of his alchemical lore is pastiche, but his interests
and some of his sources were surprisingly well-informed, in particular
those that relate to his interest in and reading of Basilius Valentinus.

However, elsewhere his sources and references can be more fugitive. In
particular he alludes to Raymond Lully as having 'transformed himself into
the likeness of a red cock'. Much of W.B. Yeats's superficial information
comes from Waite via 'The Hermetic Museum' and 'Lives of
Alchemystical Philosophers', but not, as far as I can see this detail.


Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull reference in Yeats 'Rosa Alchemica'
From: N J Mann
Tue, 11 Jun 2002

Dear Adam,

You're right to draw attention to Yeat's relatively superficial
knowledge of alchemy but, as my question concerning the
green dragon a while ago indicated, he picked up a lot of
material which was out of the way. By the way, do not rely
on Gorski's book *Yeats and Alchemy* since it seriously
underestimates Yeats's knowledge of alchemy at source,
and for instance confuses Yeats's copy of Hartmann's
Paracelsus with Hartmann's Boehme.

Yeats's references to Avicenna show that he certainly did not
rely upon "The Lives of the Alchemystical Philosophers" for
his information and it is clear that he also knew the Harleian
copy of "Splendor Solis" at first hand.

A lot of his knowledge came through the Golden Dawn: MacGregor
Mathers was seriously interested in alchemy and William Ayton
was actively involvedbin it; Warwick Gould notes that much of
Yeats's "alchemical learning . . . came from Ayton's stimulus and
that of his friends" (in his review of Ellic Howe's edition of Ayton's
letters, *The Alchemist of the Golden Dawn*, *Yeats Annual 5*, 279-80,
[Wellingborough: Aquarian Press, 1985]). Mathers was also
strongly influenced by Anna Kingsford, who in turn was a proponent
of Mary Ann Atwood's spiritual alchemy. In "The Green Helmet and
other Poems" Yeats confuses Ramon Lull and Nicholas Flamel
(grouping a series of poems under the collective title "Raymond
Lully and his wife Pernella"), indicating that he heard quite a lot
that did not all sink in.

Sadly word of mouth is the most fugitive of all sources for those of us
who come after, but it is most likely that this is where Yeats came by
his material in this case. Gould is producing a new edition of
"Rosa Alchemica" in a volume for the Collected Works which may
have traced a printed source.

Yours ever,
Neil Mann

Subject: ACADEMY: Lecturer/Researcher post in Amsterdam
From: Adam McLean
11 June 2002

The subdepartment "History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents" (GHF)
located at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities,
is looking for



A University Lecturer/Researcher (m/f)

History of Esoteric Currents in Early Modernity


In 1999 a new institution for teaching and research was created at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, devoted to the academic study of so-called "Western esoteric" currents in modern culture (detailed information: http://www.amsterdamhermetica.com). In this context, "Western esotericism" is understood in the technical academic sense of the word, as referring to a complex of interrelated currents that have existed in western society from the early modern period up to the present day. Accordingly, the field includes the revival of Hermetism and the so-called "Occult Philosophy" in the early modern period and its later developments; Alchemy, Paracelsianism and Rosicrucianism; Christian and post-Christian kabbalah; Theosophical and Illuminist currents; and various occultist and related developments during the 19th and 20th centuries, including the New Age movement.


Western Esoteric currents have played - and continue to play - a significant role in the religious landscape of the modern West, but have tended to be neglected by academic research. The Amsterdam subdepartment for "History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents" (GHF) combines the world's second university chair in this field with the world's first complete research group combined with an academic teaching curriculum. In this context, the history of Western esotericism is studied and taught from an empirico-historical (religiously neutral) and interdisciplinary perspective, and with special attention to the complex nature of the relation between these currents and processes of modernization, rationalization and secularization. The general goal is to make a significant contribution to the academic professionalization of the study of Western esotericism as a domain of study in its own right; a more specific goal is to demonstrate the relevance of this domain of research to our understanding of the foundations of modern Western culture and society, and hence to stimulate cross-fertilization with other disciplines interested in the latter.


From 2000-2002 the position of lecturer/researcher "History of Esoteric Currents in Early Modernity" has been held by Dr. J.-P. Brach. The vacancy results from the fact that Dr. Brach was recently appointed full professor at the chair "Histoire des Courants Mystiques dans l'Europe moderne et contemporaine" of the 5th section of the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne), Paris, as successor of Antoine Faivre.

The academic staff of the subdepartment GHF presently consists of Prof.dr. W.J. Hanegraaff (head of subdept.), Dr. O. Hammer (lecturer/researcher History of Esoteric Currents 19th-20th cent.), and Drs. M.J.E. van den Doel (Ph.D. research associate early modernity, in temporary appointment; the position for a second Ph.D. research associate, for 19th-20th cent., is presently vacant).


The position involves the following tasks:

- Research. The lecturer/researcher will be expected to initiate personal research projects in the field of esoteric currents in Western culture since the Renaissance, focusing on the earlier period (15th-18th cent.; obviously with due attention to historical roots in antiquity and the middle ages), and to publish actively in appropriate scholarly media. S/he will also be expected to collaborate in common research activities with the other staff members of the subdepartment, and with staff members of other (sub)departements of the Faculty or of other Faculties if the occasion calls for it.

- Teaching. GHF offers a 3-course "minor" Western esotericism in the context of the Bachelor's program Religious Studies (in Dutch), and a full-time trajectory "Mysticism and Western Esotericism" in the context of the Master's program Religious Studies (in English). The lecturer/researcher will be expected to teach various courses in both programs, both in lecture and in seminar settings. Within reasonable limits s/he may also be asked to participate in general courses in the context of the department Religious Studies. S/he is expected to master the Dutch language during the first two years of the appointment.

- Organization/Administration. Within reasonable limits the lecturer/researcher may be asked to be active in one or more special committees of the Faculty.


Candidates should fit the following profile:


Ph.D. (or equivalent) in a discipline of the humanities.


Specialization in, or relevant to, one or more areas of historical research belonging to the domain of "Western esotericism" in the early modern period (15th-18th century), having resulted in academic publications of high quality.


Active interest in interdisciplinary research and teamwork in the context of the humanities and the social sciences, within a research program focused on the interrelations between Western esotericism and processes of modernization.


Good didactic qualities.


Good command of Latin and English.


Salary: according to the standard norms for University Lecturers in the Netherlands, with an eventual maximum of Euro 4325,-- bruto p./m.


Letters of application, with C.V. and list of publications, should be sent
Prof. Dr. W.J. Hanegraaff, Fac. of Humanities/Dept. Religious Studies,

Oude Turfmarkt 147, NL-1012 GC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

e-mail: w.hanegraaff@hum.uva.nl

General information:


until 1 July 2002, and from 5 August to 1 September: Mrs. H. Nobach (secretary) at the same address. E-mail hermetica@hum.uva.nl


from 1 July to 5 August: Prof.dr. W.J. Hanegraaff (at the above address/e-mail address).


Deadline for letters of application: 1 September 2002.


===============================================================
Hilda Nobach
secretary Subdepartment History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents
(University of Amsterdam)

Oude Turfmarkt 143 (visiting address)
Oude Turfmarkt 147 (postal address)
1012 GC Amsterdam
tel: +31 (0)20 525 3571; fax: +31 (0)20 525 3572
e-mail: hermetica@hum.uva.nl
http://www.amsterdamhermetica.nl
http://www.amsterdamhermetica.com

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull reference in Yeats 'Rosa Alchemica'
Tue, 11 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke


> However, elsewhere his sources and references can be more fugitive. In
> particular he alludes to Raymond Lully as having 'transformed himself into
> the likeness of a red cock'. Much of W.B. Yeats's superficial information
> comes from Waite via 'The Hermetic Museum' and 'Lives of
> Alchemystical Philosophers', but not, as far as I can see this detail.

I would think that it is Yeats's own symbol of the "awakening",
and especially in this context it may allude to the English
meaning of "lull".

This symbol also appears in his "Dreaming of Bones":

Red bird of March, begin to crow!
Up with the neck and clap the wing,
Red cock, and crow!

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Adam McLean
12 June 2002


Has anyone solved the question posed on the title page of
Michelspacher's 'Cabala Spiegel der Kunst und Natur; In Alchymia' ?



On the title page it states

"by an unknown yet known Author, as the engraved seal
of the first figure does testify".

This seems to relate to the seal composed of interwoven
letters on the first emblem of the work

This appears to be composed of the letters

A G P L

With three other possibles

M E I

The 'M' may in fact be merely the bar of the letter 'A'.
The 'E' is suggested by the short middle bar on the
right upright of the 'A', however, no upper bar appears
to complete the 'E'.
We should not entirely exclude the possibility of an 'I'
suggested by the dot above the upright.

One should be here expecting a German name, 'Pagel' ,
or 'Paleg' immediately come to mind.

The British Library manuscript Sloane 3676 has a late
17th century English translation, indicates in brackets
that this was Leonardus Thurneisser, however, I can
find no corroboration of this, or see how this may relate
to the seal.

Have any German scholars solved this?

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Mike Dickman
Wed, 12 Jun 2002


If you take the P as a Greek R (ro) *as well as* a P and read the
upright on the G as a C with the left upright of an H standing in it,
the right one being the upright of the P/R/I to the right of it, if you will
also accept a reversed S, it actually reads Michelspacher.

Just a suggestion.

m

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull reference in Yeats 'Rosa Alchemica'
From: N J Mann
Wed, 12 Jun 2002


Dear Adam,

There may actually be a source for this, though I haven't been able to check
originals in the library yet. Peter Marshall in his book *The Philosopher's
Stone* (Macmillan, 2001) refers to John Cremer's Testament, the source of
several legends about Ramon Llull/Lull/Lully, and notes that:

"He further claims that Lull was able to transform himself into a red cock
at will" (297).

Yeats would have been able to read the Cremer in A. E. Waite's The Hermetic
Museum, restored and enlarged ... Now first done into English from the Latin
original published at Frankfort in the year 1678, 2 vols. (London: Elliott &
Co., 1893).


There is a version available on the web
(http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/hermmuse/) but it doesn't contain this
detail, so I can't be sure about it and I haven't been able to check. It
may be that Waite edited the document but may have mentioned details to
Yeats.

From the books I have to hand, A. E. Waite is scathing about Cremer. Waite
sees the alchemist Raymond Lully as the second of the name and writes in The
Holy Kabbalah that his "legend, enshrined in the deceitful memorial of a
so-called Abbot of Westminster, was unknown, so far as I can trace, till the
beginning of the seventeenth century" (439) and gives the following details:

Testamentum Cremeri, Abbatis Westmonasteriensis, Angli, Ordinis Benedictini
first published in Frankfurt by Michael Maier in 1618, the third tract of
Tripus Aureus, hoc est tres tractatus chymici selectissimi
and reappearing in Museum Hermeticum Reformatum et Amplificatum (1678)
which Waite translated in 1893.

Waite also wrote Raymond Lully: Illuminated Doctor, Alchemist and Christian
Mystic (1922).

Yours ever, Neil Mann.

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Wed, 12 Jun 2002


Mike is exactly right there is nothing mysterious in this sigil.
It is Michelspacher's signature.

Stanislas Klossowski de Rola

Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
Thu, 13 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke


In the preface to his _Dialogue between Mercury, the Alchemists,
and Nature_ Sendivogius mentions that the Alchemist read "the works
of the philosophers, and among others that of Alanus on Mercury,
whereby he became a philosopher indeed". In the original Latin
text it says "Librum Alani, qui de Mercurio tractat".

The only work by an Alanus I could trace is _Dicta Alani_,
first published in 1582 together with Trevisanus's
_Von der Hermetischenn Philosophia_.

Is there any other possible identification?

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Adam McLean
13 Jun 2002

I am still a bit puzzled by this seal, and whether it is merely
Michelspacher's signature.

One of the reasons for this is the fact that Michelspacher had
in 1613 printed and published some engravings which were to
astound the medical profession in 1619. These were the now
well known anatomical engravings which had many opening
out flaps so one could explore the inner structure of the human
body. These were designed by Johann Remmelin and were
published in his

Catoptrum microcosmicum, suis ære incisis visionibus splendens,
cum historia, & pinace, de novo prodit. Augustæ Vindelicorum
[Augsburg]: Typis Dauidis Francki, 1619.


MIchelspacher had already issued these engravings in 1613
without permission and without fully crediting Remmelin.
Indeed the preface of the 'Cabala: Spiegel der Kunst und
Natur' seems to be an attempt to explain this to Remmelin.

Catoptron microcosmicum.
Absolvtam admirandae partivm hominis .I:R: Inventor.
Stephan Michelspacher. Execudit. [Ulm?], 1613.

Michelspacher, Stephan: Elucidarius, tabulis synopticis,
microcosmici laminis incisi aeneis, admirandem partium hominis
creaturarum divinarum fabricam repraesentantis, catoptri,
litterae et characteres explicans : ex pinace microcosmographico
eidem catoptro excriptus, et nunc primum magno omnium
mortalium fructu luci publicae datus / Stephan Michelspacher. 1614.


It seems something similar may have been done with
the 'Cabala: Spiegel der Kunst und Natur'. The title page
has the phrase

"by an unknown yet known Author, as the engraved seal
of the first figure does testify".

Michelspacher's name appears on the title page
"in verlegung Steffan Michelspacher" that is, as the
publisher, not the author.

Had Michelspacher again found some engravings
and gone ahead publishing these without permission ?
Perhaps after the Remmelin incident his conscience
was pricking him and he wanted to recognise the
"unknown yet known author" of these remarkable
images.

The text of the 'Cabala: Spiegel der Kunst und Natur',
presumably written by Michelspacher seems to me
not entirely insightful into the content of these
allegorical images. Was he the creator of these emblems?

The engraver Raphael Custos is a jobbing engraver
of the time, not distinguished by having any alchemical
agenda, so we must suppose he worked from detailed
drawings, rather than devising the images. Michelspacher's
name appears on the engraving

"Stephan Michelspacher ex[cudit or excudebat]"

That is, as creator, inventor, or composer. I wonder if this
is really true ?

Why mention "the engraved seal of the first figure" testifying
to the name of the author, when this was already engraved on
the plate "Stephan Michelspacher ex" ?

This still raises questions for me.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
Thu, 13 Jun 2002
From: Marisa Addomine

My suggestion is that we are probably speaking about
Alanus de Insulis (Alain de l'Isle, or de Lille): Dicta Alani is
a work of his, other texts survive.

Are we speaking about the same author ?

Marisa

Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
Thu, 13 Jun 2002
From: Adam McLean

Rafal,

Could it be amongst these manuscripts ?

MS. Sloane 1255.
Dicta Alani Philosophi de lapide philosophico e Germanico
idiomate latine reddita per Justum a balbian Alostanum. f234v-239.

MS. Harley 4724.
3. The sayings of Alanus the Philosopher, of the Philosophers Stone. f.71.

MS. Ferguson 118.
1. f1-31 Secret tres noble et veritable de venerable homme
Jodocy Greuery.
[French translation of Iodocus Grewer, 'Secretum; et Alani
philosophi dicta de lapide philosophico', Lugduni Batavorum, 1599.]

Mellon Collection, Yale University Library MS. 5. [c. 1400]
21. Alanus. Rotatio elementorum.
22. Alanus. Liber alchemisticus.

Orléans MS. 1032.
4. p47 Dicta Alani, philosophi, de lapide philosophico.

Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale MS. Palat. 867 [756 - 21,2.]
3. f129-136r M. Alano di Boemia. Pratica di Alchimia, a papa
Bonifazio ottavo [in Italian.]

Modena, Biblioteca Estense MS. Latin 362.
11. Incipit rotatio elementorum secundum Alanum [de Insulis].

Venice, Biblioteca Marciana MS. Lat. VI. 215. [3519.]
10. Alani. Rotatio Elementorum.

Dresden MS. N. 174.
4. f2-7v Hie habt sich an die geticht und lere des Meisters Alani.

Leiden MS. Vossianus Chym. F. 3.
24. f206v-209v Alanus, Tractatus eximius.

Leiden MS. Vossianus Chym. O. 4.
8. f70-72v Libellus Alani.

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
Bcc: ACADEMY
From: Michal Pober
Thu, 13 Jun 2002

Dear Adam,

>One of the reasons for this is the fact that Michelspacher had
>in 1613 printed and published some engravings which were to
>astound the medical profession in 1619. These were the now
>well known anatomical engravings which had many opening
>out flaps so one could explore the inner structure of the human
>body. These were designed by Johann Remmelin and were
>published in his

In "The Golden Game" Stanislas has some small variations
regarding this information.
He says of Michelspacher: 'In 1615 collaborated on an anatomical
work, "Pinax microcomographicus, with its main author, Johann Remmelin
to whom the present work is dedicated."

>"by an unknown yet known Author".

and this he translates by one who is unknown but knowledgeable.'

My German is non-existent but there is clearly a different emphasis in
these two renderings.

Stash also notes that the titles of the 3 Latin editions, the first
published in Augsburg in 1704, contain a Rosicrucian reference:

"Rosae Crucis fraterniti dicata edita, quo hoc in materia amplius nil
desideretur": Published [and] dedicated to the Brotherhood of the Rosy
Cross; than which in this matter let no fuller statement be desired."
[S.K.'s translation]

Co-incidentally I had a brief exchange recently with Dr Karpenko
regarding one of these plates, and the way that we had used it. We
had labelled each of a series of steps based on Plate No. 3 :

Karpenko: Staircase in the cellar. There are words for different alchemical
operations written on the steps. One word is not correct: Caltination, it
should be Calcination. But what more, the spelling of all words is
problematic, as the English version ends in -on, calcination, but the
Latin spelling (and I think it should be used), ends in -o (calcinatio).
As Mr. Zadrobilek later told me, he missed multiplicatio, the crucial
step in the Great Work.

Pober: The steps are correlated to a picture which is in the adjoining
room and my fantasy is that at a later stage we may be able to re-create
the picture on the steps also. I know that the stages are 'wrong'.
BUT, they are exactly as in the picture, including all the spellings.
The picture is in Michelspracher's 'Cabala' and de Rola notes about the
steps: ' corresponding to a deliberately deceptive order of Operations' .
[In fact the next in the sequence of plates is entitled Multiplicatio.]
Probably we need to add a text which explains how and why Alchemists
did falsify or confuse information.
Or maybe, especially if it proves impossible to make the picture for [the
steps are nominally a fire-exit] then we will change them to a different
sequence - which again, as you know, could still be one of many.

Best Regards,

Michal Pober

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Adam McLean
Thu, 13 Jun 2002

Michal,

>> "by an unknown yet known Author".
>and this he translates by one who is unknown but knowledgeable.
>My German is non-existent but there is clearly a different
>emphasis in these two renderings.

I don't have access to the German at the moment, but I have a photocopy
of the 1654 Latin version. There it says.

Ignotum, attamen notum - unknown but nevertheless known [familiar]

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull and the ars magna
From: Roberto
Thu, 13 Jun 2002


I'm studying the Llull's Ars Magna and concentrating my efforts to identify
the origin of that system and the theoretical implications of its use in
other fields (alchemy, for instance). I'd like to find what Llull saw or read
to invent his wheels. Could anyone give me some hints?


Thank you

Roberto

Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
Fri, 14 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Adam McLean wrote:

> Could it be amongst these manuscripts ?

I wonder, too. None of the titles mentions Mercury - and some
are obviously copies of _Dicta Alani_.

> Mellon Collection, Yale University Library MS. 5. [c. 1400]
> 21. Alanus. Rotatio elementorum.
> 22. Alanus. Liber alchemisticus.

As Sendivogius says "Librum Alani", it may well be no. 22.

> Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale MS. Palat. 867 [756 - 21,2.]
> 3. f129-136r M. Alano di Boemia. Pratica di Alchimia, a papa
> Bonifazio ottavo [in Italian.]

This one looks most interesting - as the author is called
"Alanus of Bohemia" so Sendivogius, being in Prague, may
have known him or his unpublished texts. The reason it seems
so interesting to me is that no other alchemical author is
mentioned in the _Dialogue..._. Why would he mention
an obscure text as being read by his Alchemist rather than
one of the standard works (Paracelsus, Lull, etc.)? Could
it be a criticism or (even more probably) making fun of
a popular author who did not (according to Sendivogius)
understand anything of alchemy? The modern equivalent might
be something like "He started to read books on science, including
_The Wonderful World of Nuclear Physics", whereby he became
a physicist indeed".

> Leiden MS. Vossianus Chym. F. 3.
> 24. f206v-209v Alanus, Tractatus eximius.
>
> Leiden MS. Vossianus Chym. O. 4.
> 8. f70-72v Libellus Alani.

This last one is the closest hit, I think, as the title
seems almost identical - and the Vossianus collection
came from Prague, didn't it? The titles may obviously be
misleading so I will have to find out if it is perhaps
the same is the published _Dicta Alani_ and what it says
about Mercury.

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
Thu, 13 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Adam McLean wrote:

> I don't have access to the German at the moment, but I have a photocopy
> of the 1654 Latin version. There it says.
>
> Ignotum, attamen notum - unknown but nevertheless known [familiar]

The Augsburg first edition (1615) says:

Durch einen unbekandten/ doch genandten/ wie ihm das Signet in
diesen Figuren zeugknuß gibt

That's on the title page reproduction on VD-17 ( http://www.vd17.de ).

But the Augsburg edition of the same year and of 1616 has:

Durch einen unbekandten/ doch genandten/ wie ihm das Signet in
diser ersten Figur zeugknuß gibt

This is only from the catalogue text on VD-17 (no reproductions).

So it seems that originally the text said "signet in these figures"
and was changed to "signet in this first figure". There is, however,
nothing that might pass as a "signet" in the remaining figures,
so I think it was an editorial correction rather than to confuse
the reader/viewer/seeker.

I would guess Mike is right and the signet is one of Michelspacher
himself, while the phrase on the title page was just intended
to sound mysterious (which it still does - because there is no
logic in it if the first plate is actually signed by his name).

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
Thu, 13 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Marisa Addomine wrote:

> My suggestion is that we are probably speaking about
> Alanus de Insulis (Alain de l'Isle, or de Lille): Dicta Alani is
> a work of his, other texts survive.
> Are we speaking about the same author ?

In older literature the author of _Dicta Alani_ was in fact
identified with Alanus de Insulis (d. 1202), the scholastic
philosopher and theologian. But this attribution is most
probably wrong (as noted by Ferguson).

Adam's reply probably contains hints at the identity
of the author of _Dicta Alani_ (see my reply to him).

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Michal Pober
Fri, 14 Jun 2002

Dear Adam,

>I don't have access to the German at the moment, but I have a photocopy
>of the 1654 Latin version. There it says.
>
>Ignotum, attamen notum - unknown but nevertheless known [familiar]

The Augsburg edition of 1616 says: "...Durch einen unbekandten, doch
gewandten, wie ihm das Signet in diser ersten Figur zeugknusss gibt..."
[from The Golden Game]

But what it means in English??

Best,
Michal

Subject: ACADEMY : Mysterious seal in Michelspacher
From: Adam McLean
14th June 2002

Dear Michal,

>The Augsburg edition of 1616 says: "...Durch einen unbekandten, doch
>gewandten, wie ihm das Signet in diser ersten Figur zeugknusss gibt..."
>[from The Golden Game]

>But what it means in English??

I think you will find the German reads

Durch einen unbekandten, doch gennandten

double "nn" not a "w".

This expresses the same sentiment as the Latin

By an unknown but nameable [known or noteworthy] person

I am not sure if nennen had other meanings during
the 17th century, but I think it carries the sense of
"name" in its different shades of meaning.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
From: Adam McLean
14th June 2002

Rafal,

> Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale MS. Palat. 867 [756 - 21,2.]
> 3. f129-136r M. Alano di Boemia. Pratica di Alchimia, a papa
> Bonifazio ottavo [in Italian.]
>This one looks most interesting - as the author is called
>"Alanus of Bohemia" so Sendivogius, being in Prague, may
>have known him or his unpublished texts.


I searched for "Bonifa" in my databse of manuscripts and found
these

London, Wellcome Institute MS. 33.
1. Alemanus de Bohemia. De lapide ad Bonifacium VIII pontificem [in Italian.]

Cambridge, Trinity College MS. O.7.19.
3. f13v Bonifacio Octauo, Sacrosancte Romane Ecclesie summo
pontifici Mr Alamanus Boemus ad pedes tue sanctitatis.

Leiden MS. Vossianus Chym. F. 6.
15. f318v-325 Alamannus de Bononia, Au Pape Boniface VIII.


This is probably Arnold of Villanova's Letter or Questions to
Pope Boniface . This was included in the Theatrum Chemicum,
vol. iv. p.616,

So the 'Alanus' here is probably 'Alamanus' possibly just
the 'German' from Bohemia. Its seems that this is actually
a work ascribed to Arnold.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Which Book of Alanus?
Fri, 14 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Adam McLean wrote:

> So the 'Alanus' here is probably 'Alamanus' possibly just
> the 'German' from Bohemia. Its seems that this is actually
> a work ascribed to Arnold.

Yes - thank you. So this item may be excluded, too. Thus it
seems that the work in question may in fact be _Dicta Alani_,
maybe identical with the MS _Libellus Alani_.

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum Volume 2 ?
Mon, 17 Jun 2002
From : Lauren Kassell

Adam,

I believe that there is a reference some place in TCB to a
further volume but I'm not aware of a MSS corresponding to
the description. Do you have a volume number? Also, in case
this is a case of confusion, it is possible that the source is
Ashmole's own copy of TCB, with annotation, which if I'm
not mistaken (which I might be) is broken into two volumes.

Best wishes,

Lauren

Subject: ACADEMY : Catalogue of the Ferguson Collection
From: Adam McLean
19 June 2002

Some people will have heard of the Ferguson Collection of
alchemical books in Glasgow University library. Although
collected at the end of the 19th century and the opening
decade of the 20th, it remains the largest collection in the
world of alchemical literature.

Many people confuse this collection with the Young collection,
also in Glasgow, which Ferguson catalogued in his monumental
work 'Bibliotheca Chemica', the catlogue of which is quite widely
available.

The Ferguson collection was itself catalogued and a printed
version was issued in 1943. Unfortunately due to the shortage of
paper during the war years only 40 copies were printed, and none
of these was for sale but they were distributed to large National,
and University libraries.

The lack of accessibility to the catalogue has meant that some
scholars were not aware of this amazing alchemical resource
here in Glasgow, however, this is now remedied by a reprint
issued by Martino Publishing

Martino Publishing
Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
International League of Antiquarian Booksellers
P.O. Box 373
Mansfield Centre, CT 06250 USA
Tel 860-429-4569
Fax 860-429-4619
Email: martino@martinopublishing.com

Anyone with a serious interest in the literature of alchemy
should obtain a copy of this catalogue. The Ferguson
collection contains copies of over 90% of all printed books
on alchemy.


Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Hermetic Academy newsletter
From: Adam McLean
21 Jun 2002


The current issue of the Hermetic Academy newsletter is
now available online at

http://www.istanbul-yes-istanbul.co.uk/hermetic/index.htm

The Hermetic Academy is a Related Scholarly Organization
of the American Academy of Religion

Subject: ACADEMY : Bibliotheca Chemica
Fri, 21 Jun 2002
From: Pierre Stibia

Ferguson's Bibliotheca Chemica can be downloaded free from the
Bibiliotheque de France.

See :
Auteur :Ferguson, John
Titre : Bibliotheca chemica : a catalogue of the alchemical, chemical
and pharmaceutical books in the collection of the late James Young of
Kelly and Durris,... Volume I / by John Ferguson,...
Titre d'ensemble : Bibliotheca chemica ; 1
Publication :Num. BNF de l'éd. de Glasgow : J. Maclehose and sons, 1906

Description : XXI-487 p.
Sujet(s) :Chimie -- Bibliographie
Domaine :Chimie
Cote
Identifiant N090433

Auteur : Ferguson, John
Titre : Bibliotheca chemica : a catalogue of the alchemical, chemical
and pharmaceutical books in the collection of the late James Young of
Kelly and Durris,... Volume II / by John Ferguson,...
Titre d'ensemble : Bibliotheca chemica ; 2
Publication: Num. BNF de l'éd. de Glasgow : J. Maclehose and sons, 1906

Description: 598 p.
Sujet(s): Chimie -- Bibliographie
Domaine: Chimie
Cote
Identifiant: N090434

This virtual library is full of very interesting documents. Do not
hesitate to search on !

Sometimes, I am rather pleased to pay taxes to the French government !


Subject: ACADEMY: Lull and the ars magna
From: Roberto
Thu, 13 Jun 2002

I'm studying the Llull's Ars Magna and concentrating my
efforts to identify the origin of that system and the theoretical
implications of its use in other fields (alchemy, for instance).
I'd like to find what Llull saw or read to invent his wheels. Could
anyone give me some hints?

Thank you

Roberto

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull and the ars magna
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Sat, 22 Jun 2002

Dear Roberto,

>I'd like to find what Llull saw or read to invent his wheels.

Concerning the origin of the "Lullian wheels" you should ask Esteve
Jaulent, Anthony Bonner, Fernando Domínguez Reboiras or other Lullists.

You can find their e-mail addresses in:

http://www.geocities.com/llull_brazil/esteving.html


>I'm studying the Llull's Ars Magna and concentrating my efforts to identify
>the origin of that system and the theoretical implications of its use in
>other fields (alchemy, for instance).

Probably you know Ramon Llull was not an alchemist. But, it is true
that you can find Lullian Wheels, Lullian terminology, Lullian alphabets
and figures as mnemonic and heuristic devices in pseudoepigraphical
works on alchemy (ex: "Testamentum", "Liber de secretis naturae
seu de quinta essentia", "Codicillus", "Compendium animae
transmutationis metallorum"). There are some articles by the Italian
Michela Pereira that you should read. These are devoted to
exploring the relationships between alchemy and Lullian Philosophy:

- MICHELA PEREIRA, (1986), "Filosofia naturale lulliana e alchimia", in:
"Rivista di storia della filosofia", nº 41.
- MICHELA PEREIRA, (1990), "Opus alchemicum i Ars combinatoria :
el Liber de secretis naturae seu de quinta essentia en la tradicio
lul. Liana", in: "Randa", nº 27.

José Rodríguez Guerrero


Subject: ACADEMY: Lull and the ars magna
From: Ross Sinclair Caldwell
Sat, 22 Jun 2002

Dear Roberto,

There is a paper in the _Cahiers de Fanjeaux_ 22 (1989?) on
the very topic of the Arabic sources of Llull's circles. I cannot
remember any other details but will be happy to give you a
precise description on Tuesday when the library reopens.
The whole volume is dedicated to essays on Llull,
particularly his Provençal writings.

Sincerely
Ross Caldwell
Béziers, France

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull and the ars magna
From: Roberto
Sat, 22 Jun 2002

Thank you very much.
I do know the work of Michela Pereira and should have an
appointment with her in the next days to discuss the relation
between Llull and the pseudo-Llull. But actually my main aim is
to find some texts or indications about what Llull could have
known in order to identify the background of the lullian wheels
and the Ars magna system. I do know the work of Esteve
Jaulent, Anthony Bonner, Fernando Domínguez Reboiras
and also other resources available through www.ramonllull.net.
Neverthless I still haven't found what I'm looking for (only some
info about Boetius and the Roda da Fortuna, for instance).
Thus I'm waiting for your inputs.

About the querelle "Was Llull an alchemist or not", nowadays
I'm not able to answer, although I'm reading a lot about it and
siding silently with one of the two options. If someone would
start a discussion to show the pro and contra arguments...

Roberto

P.S. I found on internet an ancient schema told to be previous
from the Ars Magna. Could you tell me something about it?
See the attached picture.

Esquema procedente del Ars magna, de Ramón Lull. En él
aparecen los cuatro elementos (agua, aire, tierra y fuego), que
incluyen en un círculo interior la "quinta esencia" y están rodeados
por el "fuego celeste" y el "éter".


Subject: ACADEMY: Author of Novum Lumen Chymicum
From: Joern Sesterhenn
Sat, 22 Jun 2002

Who, in your opinion, is the author of the Novum lumen chymicum,
Seton or Sendivogius? K.Ch. Schmieder (Geschichte der Alchemie,
Cap.11) frankly says Setonius, Sendivogius being the editor
posthumus.

Regards,

J.Sesterhenn

Subject: ACADEMY: Author of Novum Lumen Chymicum
From: Susanna Åkerman
Sun, 23 Jun 2002

Dear Johern Sesterhenn,

The story of Seton being the Cosmopolite was added late
to the early biographies we know. Rafal Prinke can probably
establish how these have arisen from legends. I have run
up on the problem because of the following information:

Jean Vauquelin D`Yvetaux (1651-1716) has written a memoir
where he says that he in Paris 1681 met a certain Des Noyers
who in his hands have some silvercoins with gold in the
middle that has been given him by Queen Christina. Des
Noyers adds that Christina has a dussin similar coins all
transmuted and given her by Sendivogius himself. Des
Noyers must be Pierre des Noyers (d. 1693), secretary to the
Polish Queen Marie-Louise Gonzaga. He writes a biography in a
letter from Warsaw in 1651, where he claims that Sendivogius got
his projection powder from an "Englishman" called Cosmopolita,
only later identified as Alexander Seton. (Or is it before?)

Christina was only ten years old with the now fixed year of death
of Sendivogius, 1636. Pierre des Noyers instead writes that
Sendivogius died in 1646 and his tale was considered correct
when for example the Danish chemist Olaus Borrichius heard
about it in Paris, but it is today (e. g. by Rafal Prinke)
considered to be false.

Another unconfirmed story is that the Polish adept was sent to
Gustavus II Adolphus on mission from Rudolph II of Prague
(d. 1612) perhaps for his coronation in 1611. Christina may
have met des Noyers in Paris 1656 or in connection with the
Polish election for a new King 1667, in which she was a
candidate. This was at the time of her yearlong residence
in Hamburg at the time for her intensive alchemical
experimenting with the Italian heretic alchemist Giuseppe
Borri. So the stories sound halftrue.

I also now wonder what the sources say on the Cosmopolite
being Seton. For the text on Des Noyers and the transmuted
coins see D'Yvteaux's text at:

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/yvteaux.html.

Novum lumen Chemicum is first published as De lapide
philosophorum 1604.

Susanna Akerman

Subject: ACADEMY: Author of Novum Lumen Chymicum
Sun, 23 Jun 2002
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Dear Johern Sesterhenn,

As Susanna said:

> The story of Seton being the Cosmopolite was added late
> to the early biographies we know.

and then:

> He [Des Noyers] writes a biography in a
> letter from Warsaw in 1651, where he claims that Sendivogius got
> his projection powder from an "Englishman" called Cosmopolita,
> only later identified as Alexander Seton. (Or is it before?)

Yes, indeed the identity of Cosmopolita the Englishman
and Alexander Seton the Scotsman was assumed only
in 1673 by Daniel Georg Morhof (in his _Epistola ad Langelottum_).

Moreover, Des Noyers wrote (I quote from memory): "I will call
him Cosmopolita as I had not been able to discover his name."
This is not the same as "he was called Cosmopolita". Of course,
the author of NLCh ask the reader to call _himself_ "Cosmopolita".
So the whole thing is quite complicated - and actually I am
trying to do more research on this very problem.

> I also now wonder what the sources say on the Cosmopolite
> being Seton.

All earlier accounts (Hoghelande, Dienheim, Zwinger) never
call Seton by the name of Cosmopolite. My own theory is that
the Englishman of Des Noyers's and Pinocci's stories
was Edward Kelley, with whom Sendivogius indeed had some
dealings at the beginning of his career in Prague.
But the authorship of _Novum Lumen Chemicum_ cannot be
questioned, I believe.

> Novum lumen Chemicum is first published as De lapide
> philosophorum 1604.

It was published in Prague but all extant copies of
this first edition do not show the place of publication - but there
may have been two variants as some early bibliographers quote
it as published in Prague.

The authorship of NLCh was ascribed to Seton by most early
historians of alchemy, all following Des Noyers's account.
Even now some researchers continue to question it - or suggest
it was questioned by Sendivogius's contemporaries. For example
William Newman in his excellent _Gehennical fire_ (p. 6) says:

Although it is now accepted that Sendivogius was the real
author of _Novum lumen chemicum_, this was not the case
in the latter half of the seventeenth century.

He based this opinion on Des Noyers's letter - published in
a book by Borel which would hardy have been read by alchemists.
But he did not consider the fact that of over 50 editions before
the year 1800 - only one single edition (a German translation
of mid-18th c. - Franckfurt und Leipzig, 1751) was ascribed
to Alexander Seton. All the other editions were ascribed
to Sendivogius or published anonymously during his lifetime.

For a longer discussion see my article:

"The twelfth adept. Michael Sendivogius in Rudolphine Prague"
[in:] The Rosicrucian Enlightenment revisited, ed. by Ralph White.
Hudson, NY [USA] 1999, p. 141-192

or my earlier article from _The Hermetic Journal_ on Adam's site:

www.levity.com/alchemy/sendi.html

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY: Lull and the ars magna
From: Ross Sinclair Caldwell
Fri, 28 Jun 2002

Here is the information on the paper I mentioned last week.

Urvoy, Dominique _Sur les origines des figures de l' "Art"
lullien_ "Cahiers de Fanjeaux" 22 (1987), 249-259. The title of
the volume is "Raymond Lulle et le Pays D'Oc".

Urvoy presents an argument for some Arabic sources for Lull's figures.

She writes "Un lecteur pressé y voit surtout des "figures" dont l'aspect
énigmatique justifie, pour lui, la récupération ultérieure de l'oeuvre
lullienne par l'ésotérisme et l'alchimie. Mais une étude plus attentive
montre ce curieux paradoxe : l'aspect ésotérique, réel surtout dans la
première formulation, est transfiguré en une méthode parfaitement
rationnelle, sans que pour autant l'auteur renonce à sa présentation
graphique. Une de ses toutes dernières oeuvres, l'Ars consilii, est même une
ultime mouture de ces figures. Et il n'est pas inutile de rappeler que ce
texte fut rédigé à Tunis, en milieu musulman."

Urvoy notes that previous writers such as Asin Palacios and Probst have
brought up the idea of arab influence.

She goes on to say while recognizing that "l'attitude de Lulle vis-à-vis de
ses sources musulmanes est ambiguë" and that "Lulle a toujours présenté son
Art comme le produit d'une illumination," Lull's demonstrable familiarity
with and immersion in arab culture is enough to suggest that some influence
on his thought may be sought there.

In particular, Urvoy finds a diagram and method described in al-Buni's
_Shams al-ma'ârif al-kubrâ_ chapter XIX bk. II to be very suggestive, and
gives the illustration with the explanation of its use in some detail.
Briefly it consists of the 28 letters of the arabic alphabet, the mystical
significance of which had been previously elaborated, arranged in 4 circles
(ghayn alone in the centre, 9 letters in each of the other circles),
manipulated in a way anticipating Lull's circles of Art.

She goes on to describe other potential influences, such as that of
al-Sabtî, but concludes her remarks on the extent of such influence : "Ainsi
l'Art de Lulle n'est vraisemblablement pas la transposition de telle ou
telle figure ésotérique arabe, mais le résultat de la réflexion de notre
penseur sur *plusieurs niveaux d'élaboration* du schéma concentrique et de
son prolongement, la répartition par "cases"".

The rest of the paper discusses some of the ramifications of the foregoing
for understanding how Lull's logic works.

Of course Urvoy's paper is well annotated. I am not a Lullist by any stretch
and I know nothing of the field, so I can't comment on the relevance of her
argument or judge her grasp of the issues. If you would like it and the
Cahiers de Fanjeaux is not easily available to you, I would be happy to send
you a copy - I think we can arrange it somehow.

Good luck in the search

Sincerely
Ross Caldwell