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November 2004

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Subject: ACADEMY: Bible and Alchemy
From: Maria Paola Scialdone
Date: 1 Nov 2004

Dear Academy,

Just a brief question, since in my actual books I do not find any systematic
reference to Bible and Alchemy (is there in general a dictionary which
systematically lists all alchemical interpretations of the Holy Scriptures
and/or biblical allusions in alchemy?... I am consulting the recent
Priesner's and Figala's "Alchemie: Lexikon einer hermetischen
Wissenschaft", but I do not find any direct or bibliographical answer

The question is:

I am wondering if there could be an alchemical connection or interpretation
of the two episodes of the flight to Egypt (Matth., 2 13-15) and the finding
of Moses in Egypt (2. Moses 2,5-10) in correlation to each other.
The only thing I know is that Moses is sometimes seen as the first
alchemist, who in Egypt came into contact with Hermeti(ci)sm.

Many thanks and best regards,

Maria Paola Scialdone

Subject: ACADEMY: Sendivogius
From: Rafal T. Prinke
Date: 22 Nov 2004

Dear Stanislas,

Apologies for such a late reply to your kind message with
interesting bibliographical information. I wanted to check
it in other sources before replying but, as it usually happens,
other matters interefered and I could not do that earlier.

> I have just been offered a rare Sendvogius edition published in Geneva
> in 1628.
> Novum lumen chymicum. E natura fonte et manuali experientia de
> promptum in duas partes divisum. Quarum prior XII tractatibus de
> mercurio agit. Posterior de sulphure altero natura principio.
> Authorum qui Divi Leschi Genus Amo.
> (Geneva) Jean de Tournes 1628 in-12

It is indeed an interesting edition as there seem to be at least
three variants. The one you quote is without the place of publication
but there was also one with "Genevae" - the title page of it
is reproduced in the database of books of Isaak Norris
at Dickinson College:

But I have also found in an on-line antiquarian catalogue
a description of a variant which apparently
has "Coloniae Allobrogum".

May I ask if you have purchased this book? I would like to
make a note in my bibliography that a copy of this variant
is in your collection.

Best regards,


Subject: ACADEMY: Alchemical painting - request for information
From: Adam McLean
Date: 26 Nov 2004

There is a black and white reproduction of a most interesting
alchemical painting in Canseliet's 'Alchimie', Pauvert, Paris, 1964.

It is plate 14 opposite page 24 in the book. Unfortunately,
Canseliet gives no reference as to who was the artist, whether
it was in a manuscript or was larger oil painting, or the location
of the work.

Can anyone help me with information on this painting ?

I would very much like to have a high quality colour photograph
made of this.


Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY: Alchemical painting - request for information
From: Joel Tetard
Date: 26 Nov 2004

Dear Adam,

According to the third edition published by Pauvert in 1978,
the picture of this canvas was given to M. Canseliet by Pierre
Oliver, Director of the Ecole National des Beaux Arts of Alger.

According to the date of a letter written by M. Oliver, we can
suppose the picture was given to M. Canseliet early in the 60'.

I guess this canvas is still located in Algeria.

Joel Tetard

Subject: ACADEMY: Alchemical painting - request for information
From: Adam McLean
Date: 28 Nov 2004

Dear Joel Tetard,

>I guess this canvas is still located in Algeria.

Thank you for this suggestion.

After quite a lot of searching the web I managed to find
the address of the Musee National des Beaux-Arts in
Alger. They do not seem to be on the internet and I
will have to send them a letter (in French will be best)
to request they make me a colour photograph.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY: New book in Dutch on alchemy
From: Adam McLean
Date: 29 Nov 2004

Today I received a copy of a new book in Dutch about
the alchemical work of Joos Balbian (1543-1616).

Annelies van Gijsen. Joos Balbian en de steen der wijzen
De alchemistische nalatenschap van een zestiende-eeuwse arts.
Peeters, Leuven, 2004.

It deals in some detail with a manuscript in the British
Library, MS Sloane 1255, an alchemical compendium in
Dutch, French and Latin.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY: Article on Melchior Cibinensis
From: Adam McLean
Date: 30 Nov 2004

Today I received a copy of an article from an obscure journal
entitled Archaeus.

Cristina Neagu. The Processus sub forma missae: Christian
alchemy, identity and identification. Archaeus. Etudes
d'histoire des Religions. Tome IV (2000) fasc. 1-2. p. 105-117.

In this article Neagu puts forward the evidence for a
possible candidate as author of the famous 'Alchemical
mass' and clearly dates it around about 1525.

The article clears up a point I had not taken much note
of, that there are two two references in the alchemical mass to
the 'Turks'. Neagu clearly recognises that the mass was written
around the time of the Ottoman conquest of Eastern Europe.

It is always good to find that scholars are able to research
seemingly obscure alchemical texts like this.

Adam McLean