Alchemy Academy archive
May 2003

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Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003
From: Jean-Yves Francine

I have the italian translation of the manuscript (I guess first published
in German).

The original title is :
Thesaurus Thesaurum à Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis
Testamento consignatus et in Arcanam Foederis repositus
Suae Scholae Tyronibus et Alumnis Fratribus
Anno MDLXXX

Jean-Yves

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Adam McLean
Date: 1 May 2003

There are a number of manuscript groups which a manuscript
entitled 'Thesaurus thesaurorum' dated 1580 might fall. Someone
copying this could have contrived, or by misunderstanding,
to associate this with the later Golden and Rosy Cross.

The first is the Rosarium of Arnoldus

There are many examples including, just to mention two,

MS X 501 in the Royal Library in Stockholm
1. Arnaldus de Villanova: Rosarius.Incipit Rosarius editus ab Alberto Magno. (Inc.): Incipit liber quidam abbreviatus verus thesaurus thesaurorum philosophorum et omnium secretorum maximum secretum de secretissima conposicione naturalis philosophie, qua omne diminutum corpus reducitur ad perfectum solificum vel lunificum.

And MS. Sloane 2325 in the British Library
7. Arnaldi de Villa Nova Thesaurus Thesaurorum et Rosarius Philosophorum. ff.22-39. [Printed among the Works of Arnold de Villa Nova, in folio, Basle 1585.]


The second is a work of Paracelsus

Leiden MS. Vossianus Chym. Q. 17.
19. f70v-74v Paracelsus, Liber thesaurorum alchimistarum
[in German. Sudhoff, 67.]

There are a few other canditates which could date to 1580.


There are other manuscript groups entitled 'Thesaurus thesaurorum',
one with a series of illustrations, but these are definitely 18th century.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003

Dear Jean-Yves,

I would be very interested to know where you found this Italian translation,
and what library the original manuscript lies in (if those details are given
in your source).

Thanks in advance

Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Fri, 2 May 2003
From: Frank Burton

Hi, Jean-Yves,

I've an Italian translation by Edizioni Agape-Prometeo of Milan (IT),
but unfortunately this version is not complete of three important
parts. The Editor, named Paolo Fogagnolo, isn't a good person, with
a very uncertain moral life. He has hidden the chapter in order to collect
disciples and involve people in pseudo-tantric practices.

In my opinion it is better to find the original, that seems to be
preserved in the Wien National Library.

In any case if your version is much more complete, please tell me. I'll
be glad to have the lost parts.

Sincerely,

Frank

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Fri, 2 May 2003
From: Frank Burton

Dear Hereward,

I would like have the same confirmation about the Manuscript. I know
that actually it seems to be preserved in the Wien National Library. I've
only a photostatic copy of the Italian translation by Paolo Fogagnolo,
Edizioni Agape-Prometheus Milano, but unfortunately it is incomplete
because the editor has cut the work (he declare himself this in the
preface) with the intention to collect in its studio more new adepts.

I think the best possibility is have the original copy from the
library and see what kind of part was been lost.

I too, think it is difficult have this date (1580), and maybe it was
added by someone.

Regards,
Frank

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Sat, 3 May 2003

Dear Frank,

Thanks for the information - I'll hop on a train to Vienna in the next
little while and check it out. I can't see anything on the online manuscript
catalogue, but that's incomplete. I wonder if this will be another wild
goose chase, like the "Leipzig/Leiden manuscript" of Michael Maier? In any
case, if there's morally dubious tantric practices involved then it should
be worth the train fare.

Regards

Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Sun, 4 May 2003

Dear Hereward,

Thanks for posting the reference from Waite. It is good
to know my memory does not always play tricks !

As I remember the staff at Freemason's Hall could not
find any reference to this manuscript. This was back in
late 70's.

As Waite says it has emblematic coloured drawings,
it must be related to the manuscript

Wellcome Institute Library MS. 4775. [c. 1725]

Thesaurus thesaurorum et secretum secretissimum.
Illustrated with numerous symbolic water-colour drawings.
+G+G+G+ In Nomine Domini Dei Omnipotentis totiusque Naturae Directoris. +++ Incipit Thesaurus thesaurorum, et Secretorum Secretissimum, in quo omnia mundi arcana latent, quodque Deus per ineffabilem suam misercordiam homini vili et abjecto, peccatorique maximo revelavit.
[Figure 1. 'Menstrui Praeparatio'. Saturn with scythe, hour-glass and wooden peg leg, confronts a dragon with three heads, each breathing fire. The dragon whose body contains the symbols of the seven planets, stands outside the entrance to its cave. Above in the sky are the Sun and Moon. Below we see a furnace with alembic distilling, and below this again is a waterbath with the flask removed and lying on the ground.
Figure 2. 'Acetum Solvens'. A man with a feathered hat shoots a faling arrow from his bow at a Lion. The blood runs from the Lion's wounded breast onto the ground from which grows a plant with three roses. Above we see a Flask with a red liquid and a lower layer of dark matter.
Figure 3. A Seven pointed star is seen in the sky each point differently coloured. It sends down yellow rays of light upon a Flask with a cover round its neck sitting in a wooden bucket.
Figure 4. Purificatio. Mercurius aquorum. On the left, Mercury in the form of a winged woman carrying a red caduceus steps into a wooden bath, while above her a cerub wind blows down upon her. On the right we see a furnace with a vessel of water boiling upon it emitting steam. Below is depicted some alchemical distillation apparatus, mounted on a furnace, paralleling the process of purification above.
Figure 5. A three headed serpent (one white, another red and the other yellow) emerges on the bank of a lake. The yellow head is seen in the act of devouring a small winged dragon. Reference is made to a texts from Genesis chapter 1 'Producant aquae reptile animae viventis'. Below is seen a distillation apparatus with three flasks one with a white, another with a yellow and the third with a red liquid.
Figure 6. A young man is in the act of whipping a naked woman rushing away to the left. On her head is the sign for venus, and in her hand she holds a flaming heart pierced with an arrow.
The young man holds fast by the wrist another figure clothed with the sign for vitriol on (his or her head). Below we see a flask set on a furnace. It has a cover upon it with holes through which a steam or fume escapes. Beside it the flask is placed in a wooden bucket of water. Below we see an alembic and collecting vessel.]


Another copy of this is probably in

Yale. Mellon MS 102. [c. 1750]
2. Thesaurus thesaurorum et secretum secrettissimum [in Latin, with series of watercoloured illustrations. See MS. Wellcome 4775.]

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Sun, 4 May 2003

Dear Adam,
For the benefit of other list members, here is the citation from Waite I
imagine you once saw:

"...the supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of
Freemasonry had somewhere once among its valuable MSS.
at the headquarters in London a work entitled:

THESAURUS THESAURORUM A FRATERNITATE ROSEAE
CRUCIS TESTAMENTO CONSIGNATUS ET IN ARCAM
FOEDERIS REPOSITUS SUAE SCHOLAE ALUMNIS ET
ELECTIS FRATRIBUS ANNO MDLXXX.
See p. 69 of the Catalogue printed under the editorship of Mr.
Edward Armitage, where it is described as a German MS.
"with emblematic coloured drawings." It was not to be found
when I made inquiries concerning it, and in its absence I can
only infer that it bears a false date, which may be of course
a transcriber's error. There is no question that the descriptive
title of Golden and Rosy Cross is not heard of till the early
eighteenth century, while the manifest activities of the
society so denominated belong, as we shall see, to the year
1777 and subsequently. The probable true date is therefore 1780."

Waite, Arthur Edward. The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross.
London: Rider and Sons, 1924, p. 70.

I'm not sure that we are necessarily dealing with a 'transcriber's
error' in this case - deliberate deception is just as possible. But
before I buy that train ticket to Vienna, I wonder if you could let
me know if your enquiries at Freemasons' Hall Library were
answered with a positive confirmation that the manuscript was
not housed there. It seems strange that it should have
made its way to Vienna.

Kind Regards

Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Figuier
From: Julie Hollingsworth
Date: Mon, 5 May

Does anyone know of an English translation of "L'alchimie
et les alchimistes"?

Thanks,

Julie Hollingsworth

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Adam McLean
Date: 5 May 2003

Dear Hereward,

Today I was in the University Library and I had a look in
the printed catalogue of manuscripts in the National Library
in Vienna.

I did not find a reference to this manuscript. However,
serendipity always leads ones eyes to something else of
interest, and I was not disappointed.

MS 15159. 18th Cent. 120 pages.
Statuta gallica summi magistri murariorum et
rosaecrucianorum 17th Jan 1795 electi multis
cum figuris.

Does anyone know of this manuscript, or am
I muddying the waters too much ?

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Mon, 5 May 2003
From: Frank Burton

Hi Hereward,

I'll be glad to have the lost parts of it.

In any case, for your best research in the Vienna Library, the
reference must be to the German version: "Testamentum
der Fraternitet Rosa et Aurea Crucis", JWR, anno 1580.

The translators for the Italian version was T. Zemella and Gudrun
Harrer. The Italian version was a fusion between the German
version of the Vienna Library and another version (Latin) preserved
in the State of Wurtenberg Library (Stuttgart).

The omitted parts are the following:

1. Arcanum ex Microcosmo - Primum ex Sanguine
2. Homunculus

Maybe also other parts were cut in the Italian version but I don't
know any more about that.

Sincerely,

Frank

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis
Date: 05 May 2003
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Frank Burton wrote:

> I would like have the same confirmation about the Manuscript. I know
> that actually it seems to be preserved in the Wien National Library.

The manuscript in Wien is discussed by Christopher McIntosh
in his _The Rose Cross and the Age of Reason_, p. 33-36, and
mentioned also on other pages. He says it is clearly based on
Sincerus Renatus and the title is "Testamentum der Fraternitaet
Roseae et Aureae Crucis".

The whole text is published in:

Archarion, _Von wahren Alchemie_, Freiburg 1967

One of the passages quoted by Christopher mentions events
in 1641 - so it cannot predate that year.

The "Thesaurus Thesaurorum..." is mentioned on the Web
in Golden Dawn contexts. For example here:

http://meleph.free.fr/alchemy.htm

it is stated that it was translated by MacGregor Mathers into
English and preserved in the archives of the Paris lodge
Ahathöor Temple No. 7 (apprently active at present?).

But it is also mentioned in the context of Cagliostro here:

http://membres.lycos.fr/cirem/travaux/arcana.htm

My French does not allow me to translate the crucial fragment,
but it seems to say that there is a similarity between
a method of rejuvenation described by Cagliostro and
by the "Thesaurus...". Here is the relevant quotation:


Une méthode de rajeunissement qui précéda Cagliostro est
contenue dans le Thesaurus Thesaurorum, un manuel complexe
utilisé par la Rose-Croix d'Or, daté de 1580, mais certainement
plus récent. Sous le titre " Comment on use de la Magie pour
changer sa nature et redevenir jeune ", on lit des prescriptions
tres similaires a celles de Cagliostro, souvent quasiment
identiques. Les deux rituels décrivent une retraite magique
de quarante jours en des termes tres similaires. Le texte
allemand demande de prendre le Lapis Medicilanis Macrocosmi,
obtenu par une alchimie de laboratoire élaborée qui peut
utiliser la terre et des gouttes de pluie, mais suggere
qu'on utilise plus facilement de l'eau de pluie.
Selon le Thesaurus allemand, il est nécessaire d'ajouter
une " pierre des philosophes " obtenue a partir de la distillation
de son propre sang ; nous avons trouvé une référence au sang
similaire chez Cagliostro. Cagliostro et le Thesaurus se réferent
également a " des grains de Materia Prima ".

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: 5 May 2003
From: Jean-Yves Francine


Dear Frank,

I have only a copy of the book, but I guess it is the same one.
It has about 265 pages and the original manuscript should be
in the Vienna National Library.

I also checked the whole online catalogue of the library, but
couldn't find the manuscript there.

So I guess one has to go there and check. Hereward, could
you tell us if it is there?

Regards,

Jean-Yves

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: 5 May 2003
From: Adam McLean

The manuscript that Rafal mentioned in the Austrian National Library is

Cod. Ser.n. 2897.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Date: 05 May 2003
From: Adam McLean

Rafal wrote

>The whole text is published in:
>Archarion, _Von wahren Alchemie_, Freiburg 1967

Archarion seems to be a pseudonym of Johannes Helmond.

One of his works was issued in Italian by Edizioni Mediterranee
and is still easily available for only 34 Euros :

Archarion - Helmond
L'Alchimia dei Rosa Croce d'Oro
La preparazione della Pietra Filosofale interiore et esteriore:
il testamento dei Rosa Croce d'Oro. Teoria e pratica
dell'alchimia esterna in relazione all'alchimia interna:
concordanze e differenze.
Vol. 1°256 pagg. vol.2° 184 pagg. 18 ill Alchimia ed Ermetismo


However, I find that I have an English version of another
work by Johannes Helmond, 'Die entschleierte Alchemy'
Rohm Verlag, Bietegheim, 1963. This was translated by
Hanswill and Brumlich and issued by Merkur publishing
of Canada in 1991, under the title 'Alchemy unveiled'.

It claims to be

"By decree of the Order of the Hermetic initiated
Gold- and Rosicrucians of 1710.
Monte Abiegno, MCMLVII, Sol 18 gemini." [1957].

This sort of dating method reminds me of one of the conceits
of Crowley, perpetuated by the later OTO people.

It seems to be to be one of those typical mid to late 20th
century speculative mish-mashes, which serve only to
confuse and confound, and certainly does not throw much light
on the alchemy we find in the original texts. To me
the author has that terrible confidence and certainty about
his insights into alchemy, that makes my eye's glaze over !
I wish I could feel so certain about interpreting the complexities
of alchemical literature. Unfortunately these are the kind of works
that get published, because they seem to provide some easy
answers.

Will the Archarion / Helmond supposed transcription of
the manuscript in Vienna prove more valuable ?

Johannes Helmond may have lifted the pseudonym 'Archarion'
from the manuscript, Cod. Ser. n. 2845, dated 1802 in the
Austrian National Library (See McIntosh, 'The Rose Cross and
the Age of Reason', page 82.)

Once again, we have to be so careful in examining the context
of modern alchemical material. Alchemy is still full of jokers
and game players. The close association with the Golden Dawn
groups that Rafal mentions should make us tread very carefully
with this material.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Painting of Paracelsus
From: Adam McLean
Date: 7 May 2003

A few days ago I came across this painting of
Paracelsus as an illustration in a book. Unfortunately,
the author did not give any information on the location
of this painting.

Does anyone have any information on this ?

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis
From: B. Krummenacher
Date: Thu, 8 May 2003

Dear Adam,

You wrote:

>Archarion seems to be a pseudonym of Johannes Helmond.
>One of his works was issued in Italian by Edizioni Mediterranee
>and is still easily available for only 34 Euros :
>Archarion- Helmond, L'Alchimia dei Rosa Croce d'Oro....

The German original is

Archarion, von wahrer Alchemie, Die Bereitung desm Steins der
Weisen im Innen und Aussen in Theorie und Praxis mit dem
Testament der Bruderschaft des Gold- und Rosenkreuzes,
Verlag Hermann Bauer, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1967"

The anonymous author was a man who lived in Vienna. His real name
was Slecartek or phonetically similar. And very interesting: He never
worked himself in any laboratory! But his wife was one of the first
participants of the first courses given by Frater Albertus (Albert
Riedel) in Germany and Austria. Therefore it is quite certain,
that he must have used the manuscript in Vienna for his
transliteration of the 'Testament'.

It would be very helpful to have the original manuscript, because
Slecartek made a transcription without practical knowledge of the
material. Perhaps somebody could get a copy of it and place it
at our disposal? Or does somebody know the exact bibliographical
data of the manuscript, so that I could order a copy of it myself?
Anyway, when I get a copy or better, digital pictures, I would make a
complete transcription of the 'Testament'.


>However, I find that I have an English version of another work
>by Johannes Helmond, 'Die entschleierte Alchemy' Rohm
> Verlag, Bietegheim, 1963.

I suppose but don't exactly know whether this book has been
written by Slecartek too. But if there would be some interest
in knowing more about this point, I could ask an earlier close
friend of the wife of Slecartek, who is still alive.

>This sort of dating method reminds me of one of the conceits
>of Crowley, perpetuated by the later OTO people.
> It seems to be to be one of those typical mid to late 20th century
> speculative mish-mashes, which serve only to confuse and
>confound, and certainly does not throw much light on the alchemy
>we find in the original texts.....

I completely agree! But nevertheless the 'Testament' is an
important alchemical book.

>Will the Archarion / Helmond supposed transcription of the
>manuscript in Vienna prove more valuable?

Surely (see above).

>Johannes Helmond may have lifted the pseudonym 'Archarion'
>from the manuscript, Cod. Ser. n. 2845, dated 1802 in the
>Austrian National Library (See McIntosh, 'The Rose Cross
>and the Age of Reason', page 82.)

Do you know more about the content of this manuscript?

Beat Krummenacher

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: 10 May 2003

Dear Adam,

I have looked at the manuscript catalogue of the Austrian
National Library but all I can see for manuscript no. 2897 is:

Autor: Albertus Magnus OP
Titel: Tractatus de nutrimento et nutribili
Signatur: 2897
Standort: 2

Titel: Liber germanicus de re coquinaria
Signatur: 2897
Standort: 1
Sprache: dt.
Systematik: 5.10

Autor: Philippus Cornubiensis
Titel: In librum primum Metaphysicorum
Aristotelis cum rubrica 'Impressiones'
Signatur: 2897
Standort: 3

Titel: Tractatus de crisi
Signatur: 2897
Standort: 4
Systematik: 10.3

Are you sure that was the right catalogue number?

Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Adam McLean
Date: 10 May 2003

Hereward Tilton wrote

>I have looked at the manuscript catalogue of the Austrian
>National Library but all I can see for manuscript no. 2897 is:
>Are you sure that was the right catalogue number?

This is the number given by Chris McIntosh in his 'Rose
Cross and the Age of Reason'.

Page 33
Footnote 29. Oesterreichische Nationalbibliothek,
Vienna, Cod. Ser. n. 2897. More conveniently available in printed
form in Archarion, Von wahrer Alchemie (Freiburg im Breisgau,
Hermann Bauer, 1967.)

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Beat Krummenacher
Date: Sun, 11 May 2003

It would be important to have the original handscript and make
a new transcription, because the transliteration by Willi Slezacek
(full name of the author of the Archarion) is not reliable!

Regards

Beat Krummenacher

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Sun, 11 May 2003

Dear Adam,

Okay, thanks... there's a copy of "von wahrer Alchemie" in the local library
here in Munich so I'm checking that out first to see if I can get more
information.

Hereward

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Mon, 12 May 2003

Dear Beat,

Sure, I'll make an exact transcription of the original manuscript.
Right now I'm gathering all the information I can so I don't waste
time at the Vienna National Library - it will take a while though,
as I have to wait in line for McIntosh's work and the copy of
Archarion's book (they're already on loan).


Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Dee conference in June - Magic and Mathematics
From: Adam McLean
Date: 13th May 2003


I thought I might mention this academic conference on
John Dee. It may not pursue any alchemical matters
and may focus more or his mathematics and cartography
as it is being held in the National Maritime Museum in
Greenwich, London.


Magic and Mathematics: The Life and Work of John Dee

Friday 13 and Saturday 14 June 2003, 10.30-16.15


For more info, see:


http://www.nmm.ac.uk/site/request/setTemplate:singlecontent/contentTypeA/conWebDoc/contentId/6466/navId/005002007001

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY: Query about illustration in Ashmole
From: Herb Wolfertz
Date: Tue, 13 May 2003

In conjunction with my studies in Alchemy, specifically, the
Alchemical Function of "Digestion," I came across a piece of
writing which made reference to a "symbolic engraving" that
can be found in Ashmole's text entitled "Theatrum Chemicum
Britannicum."

Immediately below, is a quotation, from said writing, which
describes the features of this engraving. My query is, can a
copy of this "engraving" be found at an online Website and if so,
could you please furnish me with the "Weblink" so I can review?

Thank you all in advance for your consideration and please
refer to the quotation below.

""On the title page of Ashmole's THEATRUM CHEMICUM
BRITANNICUM is a symbolic engraving. It shows a star of
22 rays with a glory behind it. On the three lower rays sits a
toad holding up a lunar crescent. Between the horns of the
crescent is a solar disk, which a serpent, head downward,
seems to be holding in his mouth. The serpent is coiled in a
love-knot, suggesting the outline of a horizontal figure 8, and
from the center of the love-knot, an eagle rises. From the eagle
65 drops of a dew descend. A Latin motto beneath reads:
"Serpents et Bufo gradiens sub terram, Aquila volans, est nostrum
Magisterium." It means: "A serpent and a toad coming up
above the earth (literally ' stepping up above,') is our Magistery.""


Subject: ACADEMY: Query about illustration in Ashmole
From: Adam McLean
Date: 13th May 2003

Herb,

Here is the relevant illustration.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : St Germain manuscripts
From: Adam McLean
Date: 14 May 2003

Someone has asked me about the works of St Germain.

I only know of the manuscript in Troyes of the 'Most Holy
Trinosophia', and the two triangular manuscripts formerly
part of the M.P. Hall collection but now in the Getty Centre
in Los Angeles.

Does anyone know of any other manuscripts associated with
St Germain ?

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003

Dear Adam,

I haven't heard of the Statuta gallica summi magistri murariorum et
rosaecrucianorum..., but I'll have a look at it when I'm in Vienna and
report back.

Hereward

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento

From: Adam McLean
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003

In 1999 the Archive fur Altes Gedankengut und Wissen,
in Sinzheim published a collection of Gold- und Rosenkreutzerorden
texts, edited by Christopher McIntosh, under the title
'Schriften der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer'. This might help
contextualise the 'Thesaurus Thesaurorum'. There is a short
foreword by Chris, but it does not mention our manuscript.

Adam McLean

Thu May 15 22:34:33 2003
Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Adam McLean
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003

>I haven't heard of the Statuta gallica summi magistri murariorum
>et rosaecrucianorum..., but I'll have a look at it when I'm in
>Vienna and report back.

Dear Hereward,

Perhaps you might also, if you have time, look at the manuscript
'Aleph' of 1802 also ascribed to the original Archarion. This is
mentioned in Chris McIntosh's earlier book 'The Rosy Cross
Unveiled', 1980. It is Cod. Ser. n. 2845.

Apparently this manuscript harks back and advocates
the pre-Copernican view of the cosmos - a rather bold
thing to do in the 19th Century !

I have taken the liberty of scanning an illustration from this
manuscript (reproduced in Christopher McIntosh's book).



One thing struck me, but it may be coincidental !

The 'Thesaurus Thesaurorum' is Cod. Ser.n. 2897, while
the 'Aleph 'is Cod. Ser. n. 2845. Could we have a run of
Gold and Rosy Cross manuscripts within this small range
of catalogue numbers ? It might be worthwhile looking at
the catalogue descriptions for the manuscripts around
these numbers.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003

Dear Adam,

In fact I have already checked the catalogue for Archarion's "Aleph" too,
and if it exists at the Austrian National Library then it is not under this
number. Here are the details of no. 2845:

Titel: Missale et lectionarium: Pars hiemalis (germanice)
Signatur: 2845
Sprache: dt.

Titel: Sequentia neumata in s. Margaretham saec.XII
Signatur: 2845ae

Titel: Tabula 'dor ynne man vind wy lange sy
swuschin synachtin unde vasnacht'
Signatur: 2845
Sprache: dt.

I have also gone through all the 2800's to no avail - they're all from the
wrong century, as Jean-Yves has already discovered. I get the feeling our
friend Christopher had relied a little too much on the 'wahrer Alchemie' of
'Archarion' (hence, perhaps, the absence of the work from his collection
'Schriften der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer'), though I am waiting to hear back
from the director of the manuscript section at the ONB on this matter. The
question of the relation of this "Testamentum der Fraternitet" to the
"Thesaurus Thesaurorum" mentioned by Waite (which, we may recall, was also
absent from its supposed place of deposition) is interesting, particularly
given the fact that both are supposedly stored at the ONB. Maybe Frank can
give us more information on what Fogagnolo actually said concerning the ONB
source of his "Thesaurus Thesaurorum"? Jean-Pascal Ruggiu at
http://meleph.free.fr/alchemy.htm seems to suggest that it is preserved at
the archives of the Ahathöor Temple, though he isn't clear on this point. By
the way, I note that the people at Chrysopée are also looking for more
information on the 'Testamentum der Fraternitet':

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/chrysopee/aide.htm

Perhaps this is an Alchemy Academy member? It would be interesting to know
if they have had any luck. And could Herr Krummenacher speak with the friend
of the wife of 'Slecartek' to find out more about his sources for the
'Testamentum'? "Von wahrer Alchemie" has just arrived for me at the Pasing
library, so I'm going to go and check it out today. I get the feeling
someone somewhere might be looking at all these e-mails and having a good
chuckle.

Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Adam McLean
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003

Dear Hereward,

>In fact I have already checked the catalogue for Archarion's "Aleph" too,
>and if it exists at the Austrian National Library then it is not under this
>number. Here are the details of no. 2845:
>I have also gone through all the 2800's to no avail - they're all from the
>wrong century, as Jean-Yves has already discovered.

Hopefully the 2800's will be references to some later catalogue
of modern period manuscripts (as often happens in libraries).

>I get the feeling someone somewhere might be looking at all
>these e-mails and having a good chuckle.

Yes this could well be true ! This title 'Thesaurus thesaurorum'
seems to have been applied to a number of different works.
I don't think we can attach much credence to views of the various
occult groups on this matter, as they are not known for their
bibliographic accuracy. I suspect their interest in this manuscript
arises from the A.E. Waite reference.

I have been in touch with R. A. Gilbert who has seen the catalogue
of the Library of the Supreme Council of the Ancient and
Accepted Rite of Freemasonry. This catalogue was drawn up in 1900
and includes the reference to a German rosicrucian MS. "with emblematic
coloured drawings", to which Waite refers. The manuscript is no
longer in the library, so we must presume it was there in 1900 but was
lost or sold before Waite looked at the catalogue sometime between
1900 and 1924, when his 'Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross' was
published. This manuscript has not found its way into the Grand Lodge
Library.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : 'Aleph' manuscript
From: William S. Aronstein
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003

That is quite an interesting illustration. The calligraphy in the
square script appears to be in Yiddish or German, by the way.
As far as I can make out, the title is "Claphis Artis" which I wager
stands in for "Clavis Artis" or "Key of the Art." And indeed the
eagle-headed serpent is in the picture is holding a key.


The subscription reads, again as best as I can make out, "
Di Materia Res Shteins Ist I. II. III. In der folg wierderklaert
was "A B C" ist."

Might be "inerfolg wiederklaert was ABC ist" -

Could this indicate, "The materia of the stone is I - II - III, and in what
follows is clariifed what ABC is."

The code on what appears to be a strongbox in the drawing
I have not begun to decipher, but it appears similar to old
Masonic ciphers. The box is a double-cube, by the way.

Finally, as I am sure you are aware, the initial presentation
of the Copernican idea was less satisfying and less convincing
from a mathematical, geometric, and astronomical point of
view than the Ptolemaic view that prevailed at that moment.

William S. Aronstein

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003

Dear all,

Okay, it looks like I need to temper my scepticism a little.
You were right, Adam - the director of the manuscript department
wrote back to inform me that the manuscripts do indeed exist,
but that there is a difference between Cod. ser. n. 2897 and
Cod. 2897. I imagined that ser. n. merely stood for serial number,
so my apologies to Christopher if he is lurking somewhere out
there in the ether. Now I'm ordering photographic copies of
both 2845 and 2897 - I'll be travelling to Vienna too in a month
or two, so I can check through all the 2800's. If the Testament
really does belong to the earlier 17th century as Christopher
suggests, then it's interesting that the tenth chapter concerns
reincarnation and something akin to necromantic practice
(at least, that is what a portion of the transcription made by
Archarion says, which Beat has kindly sent to me).

"Zehntes Büchlein: Von der Revolution, wie ein Magus eine
Seele wiederbringen kann, so nicht im Reiche Gottes, daß
solche wieder einen Körper an sich nehmen und dem Menschen
diene, wodurch sie auch zu ihrer Seligkeit kommen kann."

Not that reincarnation or conjuring spirits was unknown to
post-Renaissance magi, but I haven't come across this particular
idea before in a Rosicrucian context. Maybe someone else
has heard of such practices amongst the Gold- und Rosenkreutz?

Hereward Tilton

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003

Dear Frank,

Could you give me the exact bibliographic details for your
version of the Thesaurus Thesaurorum from Paolo Fogagnolo,
Edizioni Agape-Prometeo Milano?

Thanks in advance,

Hereward

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Fri, 16 May 2003
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Dear Hereward,

You wrote:

> question of the relation of this "Testamentum der Fraternitet" to the
> "Thesaurus Thesaurorum" mentioned by Waite (which, we may recall, was also
> absent from its supposed place of deposition) is interesting, particularly
> given the fact that both are supposedly stored at the ONB.

And Adam wrote:

> The manuscript is no
> longer in the library, so we must presume it was there in 1900 but was
> lost or sold before Waite looked at the catalogue sometime between
> 1900 and 1924, when his 'Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross' was
> published.

I am under impression that you have not looked at the appendices
of Waite's "Brotherhood" (p. 634-635), where he corrects the information
from p. 70 and says that the MS. had been misplaced and was there
again (ie. in 1924). Moreover, he describes it shortly - which
confirms Christopher's judgement that it was based on/similar to
Richter. This also shows that the Vienna and Supreme Council MSS
are probably the same texts (or variants of the same text).

What aroused my special interest is that (according to Waite),
it quotes Sendivogius - so I am joining the host of others
who are looking forward to more details if/when you
get hold of a copy or see the original.

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Hereward Tilton
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003

Dear Rafal,

Thanks for the information - here I only have some photocopies
from Waite's book pertaining to Khunrath, where I happened
to see mention of the Thesaurus. What does he say which
makes it seem that the Thesaurus and the Testamentum
are closely related?

Unfortunately I arrived at the library in Pasing at 3.30 yesterday,
and I hadn't noted that it closes at 3 on Fridays. But Beat has
a copy of the Archarion transcription - maybe he can find the
passage pertaining to Sendivogius. Otherwise I will search
it out on Monday and post the details.

Regards
Hereward

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Dear Hereward,

> What does he say which
> makes it seem that the Thesaurus and the Testamentum
> are closely related?

Here is the full text of the appendix note in Waite:

[p. 634]
X. THESAURUS THESAURORUM, p. 70. I am glad to add that the Supreme
Council MS. under this title has proved to be only misplaced, that
it is now restored to the proper shelf, and that I have had an
opportunity for its examination by the courtesy of the
Secretary-General. The body of the work is entirely alchemical,
the processes described therein being identified throughout as
those of the Rosy Cross. It recalls in this manner and otherwise
the PERFECT AND TRUE PREPARATION of Sigmund Richter. There is
a preface concerned with traditional history and the descent
of Hermetic Alchemical Mysteries from the days of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob to those of Moses and Aaron, thence to Joshua, David,
Solomon and so forward into Christian Times. The preface is
followed by certain Rules of the Brotherhood, to the number
of 35, after which there is the JURAMENTUM FRATERNITATIS.
These Laws also [p. 635] recall, though they are not identical
with those published by Richter: it must be said that they are
substantially the same; so are the modes of salutation; and we
hear also of an Imperator ruling the Order. As regards A.D. 1580,
being the date which appears on the title-page, that inference
which my note draws, a little in the dark, from the denomination
of Rosy and Golden Cross is justified, not alone generally by my
examination of the MS - but specifically by the fact that it
quotes Sendivogius, who was not born till 1566, while the NOVUM
LUMEN CHYMICUM, which passes under his name, was first printed
at Prague - but said to signify Frankfurt - in 1604.

And Christopher says [p. 33]:

An important manuscript in this connection is the "Testamentum
der Fraternitet Roseae et Aureae Crucis" in the Austrian
National Library, Vienna. This is clearly based on Sincerus
Renatus, or on the same sources from which he drew, since many
of the rules and procedures in it, such as the forms of greeting,
are identical to those described by Renatus. At the same time
there are significant changes. For example Renatus gives the total
number of breth-ren [sic! finding a misprint is a Brill book
is a rare occassion!] as 63, while the Testamentum raises it
to 77. As to the date, a note on one of the endpapers records
that the manuscript was acquired by Johann Adalbert, Prinz
de Buchau [sic] [this is Christopher's "sic"], in 1735.
We shall return to a more detailed consideration of the contents
of this manuscript shortly. [which he does on pp. 34-36]

As you see, both descriptions are so similar (as Renatus=Richter)
that they indeed seem to be at least versions of the same text.

> Unfortunately I arrived at the library in Pasing at 3.30 yesterday,
> and I hadn't noted that it closes at 3 on Fridays. But Beat has
> a copy of the Archarion transcription - maybe he can find the
> passage pertaining to Sendivogius. Otherwise I will search
> it out on Monday and post the details.

Thanks in advance - this is not urgent but of considerable
interest.

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: B. Krummenacher
Date: Sat, 17 May 2003

Dear Rafal,

Hereward wrote the following:

>Unfortunately I arrived at the library in Pasing at 3.30 yesterday, and I
hadn't noted that it closes at 3 on Fridays. But Beat has a copy of the
Archarion transcription - maybe he can find the passage pertaining to
Sendivogius. Otherwise I will search it out on Monday and post the details.<

First I have to say that I don't think that the "Archarion" by Slezacek is
only a transcription of an earlier tract with the same or a similar title.
It's a compilation of many citations drawn out of many alchemical authors
and glued together by considerations of Slezacek. The whole text really is
valuable to read, but because of the lack of practical experience by
Slezarcek he claimed some interpretations being not true. So he reveals the
"true nature of our first next matter" as bismuth, which is a
misinterpretation you only can come to knowing not the real practical
connections. Nevertheless: The book is much better than the most written in
the 20th century. There it would be very interesting to know more about the
real sources for this compilation, especially the "Testamentum" in the
addendum.

There are several passages in the "Archarion" where Sendivogius is
mentioned. Three of them for illustration (translated from the German text):

p. 18: Many have endeavored for nothing to find the true hermetical wisdom.
For before we want to exercise the art with success, we must own and know a
sufficient knowledge of the foundation of the nature, how all creatures have
emerged, and are preserved and increased according to the divine order. For
the artificial rebirth through alchemy is similar to the natural birth of
coarse-physical bodies to a high degree. This strengthens the philosopher
Sendivogius saying: "In vain works who gets started in this genuine art
without knowledge of the nature. For without light and knowledge of her it
is impossible to learn this art. For what is not in her, also is not
attained by the art."

p. 39: The quintessence or the nature light, sometimes simply named "nature"
by older philosophers ("The nature is a volatile spirit, which performs its
work in the bodies." Sendivogius) is composed of an inseparable unit of the
so-called three basic principles of the nature: the male sulphur, the
feminine mercury and the both to one being binding together corporeality
granting salt.

p. 83: "If you want to make a metal, so be metal your beginning. For from a
dog nothing is born as a dog, the nature bears, receives, increases,
improves or elevates one equal essential nature to her." (only a citation
without additional commentary).

Regards

Beat Krummenacher

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003
From: Frank Burton

Hi Hereward,

I've a photostatic copy of the book.
In the preface the relator don't talk about the original source in
detailed manner. He only talk about title and fund, but without coll.
number and other technical data.

Actually this work is under this title:

Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis
Testamento, Agape Edizioni, Milano

The original source is from these two manuscripts, according the citem
of Fogagnolo, are:

1. Testamentum der fraternitet Rosa et Aurea Crucis - J.W.R. anno 580
preserved in Vienna National Library

2. Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
preserved in Land of Wurtenberg Library.

The manner used by the relator (P. Fogagnolo) for name the original
source is not plain and/or professional, so it's really difficult
reconstruct the material.

Regards,

Frank

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003
From: Rafal T. Prinke

Dear Beat,

Thank you very much for your translations of references to Sendivogius.
They seem to be just ordinary quotations as in most alchemical
text. Nevertheless, they are of interest to me and obviously
the final verdict on the MS's dating will be quite revealing.

> First I have to say that I don't think that the "Archarion" by Slezacek is
> only a transcription of an earlier tract with the same or a similar title.
> It's a compilation of many citations drawn out of many alchemical authors
> and glued together by considerations of Slezacek.

But maybe the original was just that? Christopher clearly says
that the text of the MS is "more easily available" (quoting from
memory) in that book. I believe he did see the original - but
of course double checking is important.

Best regards,

Rafal

Subject: ACADEMY : Thesaurus Thesaurorum A Fraternitate Rosae et Aureae Crucis Testamento
From: Beat Krummenacher
Date: Tue, 20 May 2003

Dear Rafal,

You wrote:

>But maybe the original was just that? Christopher clearly says
>that the text of the MS is "more easily available" (quoting from
>memory) in that book. I believe he did see the original - but of
>course double checking is important.

In fact that would be very interesting. But because the author
(Slezacek) refers to Baron von Reichenbach (Od-theory) and other
newer hypothesis to explain alchemical processes this part of the
text must have been written in the early to mid 20th century. But I
think the "original Archarion" had been published earlier, so that
there must be significant differences. To see the
original would be helpful to check the real connections.

Regards,

Beat