Alchemy Academy archive
September 2004

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Subject: ACADEMY: Bernard Biebel
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Date: 31 Aug 2004

Dear Adam:

I can send you two titles:

Zacaire, Denis
Opuscule très-eccellent de la vraye philosophie naturelle des metaulx.
Notes et introduction par Bernard Biebel.
Paris, Editions de la Violette
1977,
XVI-116 p -ill., couv. ill.

Ripley, George
Les Douze portes d'alchimie. La Vision du chevalier George. Le
Traité du mercure. Introduction, notes et figures par Bernard Biebel.
Editions de la Maisnie
1979
144 p. -ill., couv. ill.


I send you a word of caution. I think his "introductions" provides a rare
perspective. He combine historical data (extracted from basic sources)
and nebulous approaches devoted to hermeticist.

José Rodríguez Guerrero


Subject: ACADEMY: Music of the Comte de Saint Germain
From: Adam McLean
Date: 1 Sep 2004

Much nonsense has, of course, been written about the mysterious
Comte de Saint Germain and his supposed relevance to alchemy.
The manuscript 'La tres sainte Trinosophie' is an amazing late
alchemical allegory, usually said to be by the Count, but this
seems uncertain.

What is certain is that he wrote some very acceptable music.

Some of these pieces for two violins, cello and harpsichord
have now been issued on a CD by a German group, Ensemble Phoenix.

http://www.fognin.net/gsg/gsg_012.htm

You can buy a copy direct from

Hahn-Engel

It cost me Euro 21 including postage, and it is well worth having
if you appreciate 18th century music, and would like to hear
some of the Count's output.

Adam McLean


Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: David M Hughes
Date: 1 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

I would recommend 'The alchemical creation of life (takwin) and
other concepts of Genesis in medieval Islam' by Kathleen O'Connor
(an unpublished PhD dissertation, UPenn 1994). Although it is a
specialized study, the discussions of alchemy as a whole, and
the extensive references would undoubtedly be beneficial.

Hope this helps.

David Hughes



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: Adam McLean
Date: 1 Sep 2004

Does anyone know the third volume of this standard work.

ROSHDI RASHED. (ed). Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science.
London & New York: Routledge, 1996.
Vol. 3: Technology, alchemy and the life sciences.

It seems to have a considerable section on alchemy. I
do not have access at the moment to a copy of this work,
and I wonder if it is a significant source for Islamic
alchemy.

Thanks,

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Date: 1 Sep 2004

Dear Adam:

It is the English version of the French work titled 'Histoire des sciences
arabes' (3 vols.) edited by Roshdi Rashed and Regis Morelon.

There are two articles devoted to alchemy.

- Georges C. Anawati, 'Arabic Alchemy', volume 3, pp. 853-885 [mainly on
alchemical writtings attribited to Avicena].

- Robert Halleux, 'The reception of Arabic alchemy in the West', volume 3,
pp. 886-902.

José Rodríguez Guerrero



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: Guy Ogilvy
Date: 1 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

Are you familiar with Seyyed Hossein Nasr's 'Science and Civilization
in Islam'? I have yet to read it myself, but it is widely considered the
most authoritative work on the subject. I understand that the chapter on
alchemy is excellent.

According to his publishers 'Nasr was born in Teheran to a family
of traditional scholars and physicians. After receiving his early
education in Iran, he went to America where he studied physics,
and the history of science and philosophy at M.I.T. and Harvard where
he received his doctorate. Nasr was Professor at Teheran University
and founder and first President of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy.
He is currently Professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington
University and author of over twenty books'.

Best wishes,

Guy Ogilvy



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: Ahmad Y. al-Hassan
Date: 2 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

The work edited by Roshdi Rashed "Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic
Science" in three volumes is a major academic work. The contributors are
well known historians of science.

Volume three contains two chapters of importance on alchemy. One chapter
on Arabic alchemy was written by the late George Anawati. Another chapter on
the reception of Arabic alchemy in the West was written by Robert Halleux.

This work was published in French, English and Arabic.The three volumes in
English are sold together and not individually. The page numbers for the
three volumes run consecutively. I obtained the English volumes 1 and 2 from
a friend, and I failed to buy volume 3. Therefore I obtained a copy of the
Arabic volume 3.

Ahmad Y. al-Hassan



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: Adam McLean
Date: 2 Sep 2004

Guy Ogilvy wrote:

>Are you familiar with Seyyed Hossein Nasr's 'Science
>and Civilization in Islam'? I have yet to read it myself,
>but it is widely considered the most authoritative work
>on the subject.

Yes I have a copy of this. The alchemical content is restricted
to the single chapter nine, 'Alchemy and other Occult Sciences',
pages 193-208.
This gives a very broad examination of alchemy.
At the risk of offending those who admire his approach, I must say
I found the opening section of Nasr's chapter on alchemy exhibits
too many of his own views on how we should view the subject.
After this introductory section in which he wants to orient us as
readers, he gets down to some solid history. Unfortunately, by that
point I felt I could not entirely trust his approach and I found it
difficult to know whether I could rely on his account. I am not
sure I would be happy to label it as the "most authoritative
work on the subject".

The book has some interesting illustrations, not least a marvellous
full page contemporary photograph of an alchemist with an alembic.
This photograph was also used by Elemire Zolla in one of his
articles, and I seem to remember he identified this alchemist as
working in Tehran in Iran.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Date: 2 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

I see you are interested in arabic sources. The Institut fur Geschichte der
Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften have recently published 20 volumes
devoted to alchemy (Collection "Natural Science in Islam", vols. nº 55-75).
Each volume includes a collection of academic texts, studies or articles
which had been published in different countries or journals between
1832-1961. I send you a full reference (the original date of publication in
parenthesis):


Chemistry and Alchemy. Texts and Studies. Collected and Reprinted. Ed. F.
Sezgin. Set of 9 vols. ISBN 3-8298-7068-X. Euro 585,00

- Vol. I. 396 pp. 2001.
Contents:
K.Ch. Schmieder: Alchemie der Araber. (1832)
R. Duval: Notes de lexicographie syriaque et arabe. (1893)
M. Steinschneider: Zur alchimistischen Literatur der Araber.(1904-06)
E.J. Holmyard: A critical examination of Berthelot's work upon Arabic
chemistry. (1924)
G. Salmon: Note sur l'alchimie à Fès. (1906)
Ed. Michaux-Bellaire: Traduction d'une note en arabe sur l'alchimie. (1907)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Chemie bei den Arabern. (1902)
E. Wiedemann: Zur Geschichte der Alchemie. (1922)
E. Wiedemann: Zur Alchemie bei den Arabern. (1922)
E.J. Holmyard: Chemistry in Islam. (1926)
D.S. Margoliouth; E.J. Holmyard: Arabic documents from the Monneret
Collection. (1931)
H.E. Stapleton: Note on the Arabic Mss. on alchemy in the Âsafîya Library,
Hyderâbâd (Deccan), India. (1932)
H.E. Stapleton: Further notes on the Arabic alchemical manuscripts in the
libraries of India. (1936)
J. Ruska: Arabische Alchemie. (1932)
J. Ruska: Alchemy in Islam. (1937)
J. Ruska: Alchemie in Spanien. (1933)
G. Goldschmidt: Die Blüte der Alchimie bei den Arabern. (1939)
J.W. Fück: The Arabic literature on alchemy according to an-Nadîm (A.D.
987). (1949-1950)
E.J. Holmyard: Alchemisten des Islams im Mittelalter. (1955)
M.Y. Haschmi: The beginning of Arab alchemy. (1961)

- Vol. II. 412 pp. 2001.
Contents:
H. Kopp: Besprechung einzelner Persönlichkeiten, welche als alchemistische
Autoritäten oder als Verfasser von Aufsätzen in den Sammlungen genannt sind.
(1869)
M. Berthelot: Quelques renseignements sur l'alchimie persane et indienne.
(1897)
R. Reitzenstein: Alchemistische Lehrschriften und Märchen bei den Arabern.
(1923)
H.E. Stapleton: The antiquity of alchemy. (1953)
A.-I. Silvestre de Sacy: Kitâb Sirr al-khalîqa li-Balînûs al-hakîm. ...
Manuscrit arabe de la Bibliothèque du Roi, no. 959 ... (1799)
L. Leclerc: De l'identité de Balinas et d'Apollonius de Tyane. (1869)
M. Steinschneider: Apollonius von Thyana (oder Balinas) bei den Arabern.
(1891)
F. Nau: Une ancienne traduction latine du Bélinous arabe (Apollonius de
Tyane) faite par Hugo Sanctelliensis ... (1907)
G. Levi Della Vida: Something more about Artefius and his Clavis sapientiae.
(1938)
J. Bowman: A lost work of Apollonius of Tyana. (1953)
D.W. Singer: Alchemical texts bearing the name of Plato. (1938-49)
J. Würschmidt: Die Schrift des Menelaus über die Bestimmung der
Zusammensetzung von Legierungen. (1925)
E.J. Holmyard: An alchemical text ascribed to Mary the Copt. (1927)
A.J. Hopkins: A study of the Kerotakis process as given by Zosimus ...
(1938)

- Vol. III. 308 pp. 2001.
Contents:
E.J. Holmyard: The Emerald Table. (1923)
J. Ruska: Der Urtext der Tabula Smaragdina. (1925)
J. Ruska: Tabula Smaragdina. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der hermetischen
Literatur. (1926)
M. Plessner: Neue Materialien zur Geschichte der Tabula Smaragdina. (1927)

- Vol. IV. 296 pp., 1 plate. 2001.
Contents:
E. Blochet: Études sur le gnosticisme musulman. (1908-1915)
L. Massigon: Inventaire de la littérature hermétique arabe. (1944)
G. Levi Della Vida: "La Dottrina e i Dodici Legati di Stomathalassa". Un
scritto di ermetismo popolare in siriaco e in arabo. (1951)

- Vol. V. 306 pp. 2001.
Contents:
J. Ruska: Arabische Alchemisten. I. Châlid ibn Jazîd ibn Mu'âwija. (1924)
J. Ruska: Arabische Alchemisten. II. Ga'far Alsâdiq, der sechste Imâm.
[Includes the text of Kitâb fî 'ilm as-sinâ'at wa-l-hagar al-mukarram with a
German translation.] (1924)
G. Bergsträsser: Review of: Ruska: Arabische Alchemisten. I-II. (1925)
M. Plessner: Review of: Ruska: Arabische Alchemisten. I-II. (1929)
J. Ruska: Ein dem Châlid ibn Jazîd zugeschriebenes Verzeichnis der
Propheten, Philosophen und Frauen, die sich mit Alchemie befassten. (1929)
E.O. von Lippmann: Chemische Kenntnisse vor tausend Jahren. (1906)
G.W.A. Kahlbaum: Review of: von Lippmann: Chemische Kenntnisse vor tausend
Jahren. (1906)
P. Diergart: Das Scheinzink bei Muwaffaq aus Herat. (1903)

- Vol. VI. 404 pp., 8 plates. 2001.
Contents:
E. Wiedemann: Zur Alchemie bei den Arabern. (1907)
A. Sayili (Ed.): Fârâbî'nin simyanin lüzûmu hakkindaki risâlesi. (1951)
E. Wiedemann: Über chemische Apparate bei den Arabern. (1909)
E. Wiedemann: Zur Chemie bei den Arabern. (1911/12)
E.O. von Lippmann: Naturwissenschaftliches aus der "Chronologie der Alten
Nationen" des Albîrûnî. (1906)
E.J. Holmyard: Arabic Chemistry. (1922)
E.J. Holmyard: Maslama al-Majrîtî and the Rutbatu'l-Hakîm. (1924)
E. Wiedemann: Zur Geschichte der Alchemie. (1912)
E.J. Holmyard; D.C. Mandeville: Avicennae De congelatione et conglutinatione
lapidum. Being sections of the Kitâb al-Shifâ'. [Latin and Arabic texts ed.
with an English translation] (1927)
J. Ruska: Über die dem Avicenna zugeschriebenen alchemistischen
Abhandlungen. (1927)
J. Ruska: Avicennas Verhältnis zur Alchemie. (1934)
J. Ruska: Die Alchemie des Avicenna. (1934)
J. Ruska: Zum Avicennatext des Cod. Vadianus 300. (1935)
A. Ates: Ibn Sina ve elkimya. (1952)
A. Ates (Ed.): Ibn Sina, Risâlat al-Iksîr. (1951-1953)
A. Adnan Adivar: Ibn Sina et l'alchimie. (1955)
H.E. Stapleton; R.F. Azo; M.H. Husain; G.L. Lewis: Two alchemical treatises
attributed to Avicenna. (1962)

- Vol. VII. 324 pp., 4 plates. 2001.
Contents:
H.E. Stapleton; R.F. Azo: Alchemical equipment in the eleventh century, A.D.
(1905)
H.E. Stapleton; R.F. Azo: An alchemical compilation of the thirteenth
century, A.D. (1910-1914)
M. Ahmad: A Persian translation of the eleventh century Arabic alchemical
treatise 'Ain as-san'ah wa-'aun as-sana'ah. (1929)
E.J. Holmyard: Kitâb al-'ilm al-muktasab fî zirâ'at adh-dhahab ... by Abu
'l-Qâsim Muh. b. Ahmad al-'Irâqî. (1923)
J. Ruska: Zu E. J. Holmyards Ausgabe des Kitâb al-'ilm al-muktasab fî
zirâ'at ad-dahab. (1926)
E.J. Holmyard: Abu' l-Qâsim al-'Irâqî. (1926)
E.J. Holmyard: Aidamir al-Jildakî. (1937)
F. Rosen: Ein wissenschaftlicher Aufsatz 'Umar-i Khayyâms. (1925)
A. Siggel: Das Sendschreiben "Das Licht über das Verfahren des Hermes der
Hermesse dem, der es begehrt."
A. Siggel: Mitteilungen über das Buch der aufgehenden Sterne des Muhammad b.
Abî 'l-Hair al-Hasanî. (1942)

- Vol. VIII. 380 pp. 2002.
Contents:
E. Wiedemann: Zur Chemie der Araber. (1878)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. (1904/05)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. XXV. Über
Stahl und Eisen bei den muslimischen Völkern. (1911/12)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. XXXII. Aus
der arabischen Handels- und Warenlehre von Abu'l Fadl Ga'far Ibn 'Alî al
Dimaschqî. (1913/14)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. XLI. Zur
Geschichte des Zuckers. (1915/16)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. LII. Über den
Zucker bei den Muslimen. (1916-17/18)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften. LV. Nachträge
zu dem Aufsatz über den Zucker. (1916-17/18)
E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte des Zuckers. (1921)
E. Wiedemann: Zur Geschichte der Alchemie. (1921)
H.E. Stapleton: Sal-Ammoniac: A study in primitive chemistry. (1905)
E.O. von Lippmann: Wann und wofür erscheint zuerst die Bezeichnung Ammoniak?
(1913)
E.O. von Lippmann: Zur Geschichte des Alkohols und seines Namens. (1913)
E.O. von Lippmann: Einige Bemerkungen zur Geschichte der Destillation und
des Alkohols. (1913)
P. Richter: Beiträge zur Geschichte der alkoholhaltigen Getränke bei den
orientalischen Völkern und des Alkohols. (1912-13)
J. Ruska: Zur Geschichte des Alkohols. (1914)
J. Ruska: Alkohol und Al-kohl. Zur Geschichte der Entdeckung und des Namens.
(1913-14)
J. Ruska: Wem verdankt man die erste Darstellung des Weingeistes? (1913)
J. Ruska: Ein neuer Beitrag zur Geschichte des Alkohols. (1913)
J. Ruska: Sal ammoniacus, Nusâdir und Salmiak. (1923)
J. Ruska: Chemische Apparatur bei den Arabern und Persern und im Abendland
am Ausgang des Mittelalters. (1923)
J. Ruska; E. Wiedemann: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften.
LXVII. Alchemistische Decknamen. (1924-25/26)
J. Ruska: Beobachtungen über Quecksilbervergiftungen bei arabischen
Alchemisten und Ärzten. (1926)
J. Ruska: Der Salmiak in der Geschichte der Alchemie. (1928)
J. Ruska: Chinesisch-arabische technische Rezepte aus der Zeit der
Karolinger. (1931)
J. Ruska: Über Nachahmung von Edelsteinen. (1933)
M. Speter: Zur Geschichte der Wasserbad-Destillation: Das "Berchile"
Albukasims. (1930)
J. Ruska: Über die von Abulqâsim az-Zuhrâwî beschriebene Apparatur zur
Destillation des Rosenwassers. (1937)
J. Almkvist: Über die Anwendung des Quecksilbers bei den alten Arabern.
(1928)
P. Kahle: Islamische Quellen zum chinesischen Porzellan. (1934)
M.Y. Haschmi: Über das Elixier. (1958)

- Vol. IX. 312 pp. 2002.
Contents:
A. Siggel: Arabisch-deutsches Wörterbuch der Stoffe aus den drei
Naturreichen ... (1950)
A. Siggel: Decknamen in der arabischen alchemistischen Literatur. (1951)
Ch.H. Haskins: The "Alchemy" ascribed to Michael Scot. (1928)
M. Plessner: Arabische Alchemie im lateinischen Abendlande. [Review of:
Singer: Catalogue of Latin and vernacular alchemical manuscripts ...] (1930)
Zwei Bücher De Compositione Alchemiae und ihre Vorreden. (1929)
J. Ruska: Die Vision des Arisleus. (1930)
J. Ruska: Sal Alembroth. (1932)
J. Ruska: Studien zu den chemisch-technischen Rezeptsammlungen des Liber
Sacerdotum. (1936)
G. Goldschmidt: Die Quellen der mittelalterlichen Alchemie. (1939)
G. Goldschmidt: Die mittelalterliche Alchemie im Abendlande. (1939)
W. Ganzenmüller: Liber Florum Gerberti. Alchemistische Öfen und Geräte ...
(1942)
W. Ganzenmüller: Eine alchemistische Handschrift aus der zweiten Hälfte des
12. Jahrhunderts. (1955)

------------------

Jâbir ibn Hayyân. Texts and Studies. Collected and Reprinted. Ed. F. Sezgin.
Set of 3 vols. ISBN 3-8298-7076-0. Euro 221,00

- Vol. I. 312 pp. 2002.
Contents:
H. Kopp: Ansichten über die Aufgabe der Chemie ... (1875)
E.J. Holmyard: The identity of Geber. (1923)
J.R. Partington: The identity of Geber. (1923)
E.O. von Lippmann: Über den Dschâbir des 8. und den sog. Geber
(Pseudo-Geber) des 13. Jahrhunderts. (1923)
E. Darmstaedter: Dschâbir und Geber. (1923)
E.J. Holmyard: Jâbir ibn Hayyân. (1923)
E.J. Holmyard: The present position of the Geber problem. (1924-25)
E.J. Holmyard: An essay on Jâbir ibn Hayyân. (1927)
E.J. Holmyard: The Arabic works of Jâbir ibn Hayyân ed., transl. (1928)
P. Kraus: Review of: Holmyard: The Arabic works of Jâbir ibn Hayyân ...
(1931)

- Vol. II. 300 pp. 2002.
Contents:
J. Ruska: Über das Schriftenverzeichnis des Gâbir ibn Hajjân ... (1923)
J. Ruska: Probleme der Gâbir-Forschung. (1925)
J. Ruska: Über die Quellen von Gâbirs chemischem Wissen. (1926)
J. Ruska: Die siebzig Bücher des Gâbir ibn Hajjân. (1927)
J. Ruska: Gâbir ibn Hajjân und seine Beziehung zum Imâm Ga'far as-Sâdiq.
(1927)
J. Ruska: The history and present status of the Jaber Problem. (1929)
J. Ruska: Dschâbir; Pseudo-Geber. (1929)
J. Ruska: Die Lösung des Djâbir-Problems. (1930)
J. Ruska: Die Aufklärung des Dschâbir-Problems. (1930)
J. Ruska: Die bisherigen Versuche, das Dschâbirproblem zu lösen. (1930)
P. Kraus: Dschâbir ibn Hajjân und die Ismâ'îlijja. (1930)
M. Meyerhof: Review of: Ruska; Kraus: Der Zusammenbruch der
Dschâbir-Legende. (1930-31)
P. Kraus: Studien zu Jâbir ibn Hayyân. (1931)
J. Ruska: The history of the Jâbir-Problem. (1931)
J. Ruska; K. Garbers: Vorschriften zur Herstellung von scharfen Wässern bei
Gâbir und Râzî. (1939)
M. Meyerhof: Review of Kraus: Jâbir ibn Hayyân. (1944)
H. Corbin: Le livre du glorieux de Jâbir ibn Hayyân. (1950)
H.E. Stapleton: Probable sources of the numbers on which Jâbirian alchemy
was based. (1953)

- Vol. III. 464 pp., 10 plates. 2002.
Contents:
M. Berthelot: Archéologie et histoire des siences. Geber. ... (1906)
E. Darmstaedter: Die Alchemie des Geber. Übersetzt und erklärt. (1922)
E. Darmstaedter: Geber-Handschriften. (1924)
E. Darmstaedter: Die "Geber"-Inkunabel Hain 7504. (1925)
E. Darmstaedter: Liber Misericordiae Geber. Eine lateinische Übersetzung des
grösseren Kitâb alrahma. (1925)
E. Darmstaedter: Liber claritatis totius alkimicae artis, dem arabischen
Alchemisten Geber zugeschrieben. (1925-1928)
J. Ruska: Über die Quellen des Liber claritatis. (1934)

------------------

Muhammad ibn Zakarîyâ' ar-Râzî. Texts and Studies. Collected and Reprinted.
Ed. F. Sezgin. Set of 2 vols. ISBN 3-8298-7080-9. Euro 158,00

- Vol. I. 428 pp. 2002 .
Contents:
J. Ruska: Al-Râzî als Bahnbrecher einer neuen Chemie. (1923)
J. Ruska: Al Râzî (Rhases) als Chemiker. (1922)
H.E. Stapleton; R.F. Azo; M.H. Husain: Chemistry in 'Irâq and Persia in the
tenth century A.D. (1929)
J. Ruska: Chemie in 'Irâq und Persien im zehnten Jahrhundert n. Chr. (1928)
G. Sarton: Review of: Stapleton et al., Chemistry in 'Irâq and Persia in the
tenth century A.D. (1928)
J. Ruska: Die Alchemie ar-Râzî's. (1935)
G. Heym: Al-Râzî and alchemy. (1937-38)
J.R. Partington: The chemistry of al-Râzî. (1937-38)
R. Steele: Practical chemistry in the twelth century. Rasis de aluminibus et
salibus. Transl. by Gerard of Cremona. (1929)
J. Ruska: Das Buch der Alaune und Salze. (1935)
J. Ruska: Pseudepigraphische Rasis-Schriften. (1939)

- Vol. II. 358 pp. 2002.
Contents:
J. Ruska: Al-Râzî's Buch Geheimnis der Geheimnisse. Mit Einleitung und
Erläuterungen in deutscher Übersetzung. (1937)
J. Ruska: Übersetzung und Bearbeitungen von al-Râzî's Buch Geheimnis der
Geheimnisse. (1935)

------------------

Ibn Umayl (fl. c. 912). Texts and Studies. Collected and Reprinted. Ed. F.
Sezgin. 306 pp. 2002. ISBN 3-8298-7081-7. Euro 67,00
Contents:
H.E. Stapleton; M.H. Husein: Report on the Mâ' al-Waraqî. (1932)
H.E. Stapleton; M.H. Husein: Three Arabic treatises on alchemy by Muhammad
ibn Umail ... (1933)
J. Ruska: Senior Zadith = Ibn Umail. (1928)
J. Ruska: M. Ibn Umail al-Tamîmîs Kitâb al-mâ' al-waraqî wa'l-ard
an-nagmijja. (1934)
J. Ruska: Der Urtext der Tabula chemica. (1934)
J. Ruska: Studien zu Muhammad Ibn Umail at-Tamîmî's Kitâb al-Mâ' al-Waraqî
... (1935-36)
J. Ruska: Chaucer und das Buch Senior. (1937)
H.E. Stapleton; G.L. Lewis; F.S. Taylor: The sayings of Hermes quoted in the
Mâ' al-Waraqî of Ibn Umail. (1949)

------------------

Berthelot, Marcelin: La Chimie au Moyen Âge. Tome III. L'Alchimie Arabe.
Paris 1893. 472 pp. Repr. 2002 . Euro 80,00
------------------

Ruska, Julius: Turba Philosophorum. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Alchemie.
Berlin 1931. 377 pp. Repr. 2002. Euro 68,00
------------------

Jâbir ibn Hayyân. Essai sur l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans l'Islam.
I. Textes choisis édités par Paul Kraus. Paris, Cairo 1354/1935. 571 pp.
Repr. 2002 . Euro 91,00
------------------

Jâbir ibn Hayyân. Contribution à l'histoire des idées scientifiques dans
l'Islam. I. Le corpus des écrits jâbiriens. II. Jâbir et la science grecque.
Par Paul Kraus. Cairo 1942-43. 285 + 427 pp. Repr. 2002 (Natural Sciences in
Islam. 67-68). Set of 2 vols. ISBN 3-8298-7072-8. Euro 132,00
------------------

Ya'qûb b. Ishâq al-Kindî. Kitâb Kîmiyâ' al-'itr wa-t-tas'îdât. Buch über die
Chemie des Parfüms und die Destillationen. Transl. by Karl Garbers. Leipzig
1948. 476 pp., 1 plate. Repr. 2002. ? 87,00
------------------


The 20 vols. set is so expensive because it was appointed to academic
institutions not to individual. But I think it can be bought one by one (I
think 60 or 70 euro per volume).

Sales information:
Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften an der
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Westendstrasse 89
D-60325 Frankfurt am Main
Germany
Phone: (069)7560090
Fax: (069)75600912
e-mail: igaiw@rz.uni-frankfurt.de



Subject: ACADEMY: Music - The alchemical Mass
From: Adam McLean
Date: 2 Sep 2004

May I bring to your attention the recent recording of the alchemical
mass of Melchior Cibinensis by Jeff Kaiser. Kaiser's music is
uncompromising contemporary being influenced, both by free form
jazz and atonal avant-garde concert music.

You can buy his CD from his web page

http://www.pfmentum.com/alchemical.html

and he generously provides large samples. I found the Kyrie
section, which echoes the traditional mass form, especially
interesting.

My apologies for interrupting the flow of the academic discussions
but I thought this reworking of the alchemical mass might be
of interest to some of the members of the Academy.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: J. Vahid Brown
Date: 2 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

ROSHDI RASHED. (ed). Encyclopedia of the History of Arabic Science.
London & New York: Routledge, 1996.
Vol. 3: Technology, alchemy and the life sciences.

For an encyclopedia article, Anawati's entry in the third volume is pretty
good. I wouldn't recommend Nasr, though; like Titus Burckhardt, he is a
Maryami (a member of Frithjof Schuon's neo-Sufi/Guenonian cult), and their
take on Islam - and history generally - is heavily colored by, if not
explicitly in the service of their Traditionalist beliefs. Given that the
Maryami position is vehemently hostile to rationalism and historical
perspectives, their works should be used with great caution if one is
attempting to use them for historical orientation. (E. Zolla is also of
this school of thought, by the way. I highly recommend Mark Sedgwick's
_Against the Modern World_, which just came out through OUP and provides a
very useful introduction to the history of Traditionalism and the
Maryamiyya.) Though not Traditionalists, H. Corbin's works on Islamicate
alchemy, as well as those by his student P. Lory, also tend towards the
anti-historical and esotericist in their approach. They are useful
nonetheless, and Lory has produced some fine editions of Jabiriana.
Corbin's _Alchimie comme art hieratique_ is the only European-language
source to really give extensive treatment, including translations, of the
extremely important alchemist Jildaki.

For collecting far-flung but important articles on Islamicate alchemy, the
series that Jose Rodríguez Guerrero provided details about are
second-to-none in usefulness. The focus in those works, though, is on
older, foundational scholarship, and they do not include recent work in
the field. I don't believe Syed Nomanul Haq or Manfred Ullmann have been
mentioned yet, but their works on Islamicate alchemy are indispensible.
Kevin van Bladel just completed a very promising thesis at Yale entitled
_Hermes Arabus_, which however is not yet available through UMI (the focus
is Islamicate Hermetica and not alchemy solely, though of course they are
very closely intertwined).

Are you looking for something in particular, Adam, or are you trying to
get a bibliographical sense of the terrain of Islamic alchemy studies?
I'd be glad to share any bibliographical resources that I might have that
would be helpful to you; just let me know what it is you're wanting to do.

All the best,

Vahid Brown



Thu Sep 02 20:56:14 2004
Subject: ACADEMY: Science in Medieval Islam
From: J. Plattner
Date: 2 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

> The book has some interesting illustrations, not least a marvellous
> full page contemporary photograph of an alchemist with an alembic.
> This photograph was also used by Elemire Zolla in one of his
> articles, and I seem to remember he identified this alchemist as
> working in Tehran in Iran.



When I have read these lines, especially about the photograph of
this Iranian alchemist, suddenly it came into my mind that even
this photograph is also included in the German version of
Neil Powell's "Die Wissenschaft der Alchimisten", page 126.
At the opposite page there is an photograph of the French alchemist
Armand Barbault, who is working with a kind of distillation apparatus.
Just a suggestion.

Regards,

Johann Plattner


Subject: ACADEMY: Classification of an alchemical text ?
From: Daniel Burnham
Date: 3 Sep 2004

Generally speaking, alchemical texts can be classified as either
'physical' or 'allegorical/philosophical/spiritual' as Adam Mclean
has done here:

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

I would like to know what the criteria are for a newly discovered
text to be classified as 'spirtual/allegorical/philosophical'
alchemy? A text discussing physical operations should be obvious
enough. But what if, for example, a new Greek (or Arabic, Coptic, etc.)
text is discovered containing a story with alchemical elements?
Is it ever possible to say that, yes, this new text can be regarded
as part of the alchemical tradition? If there is no strict criteria
for this, do any of the scholars of this list have personal guidelines
for such a classification? Another way of asking the question is:
Under what circumstances is an alchemical analysis of a text justified?
Any references or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Daniel Burnham



Subject: ACADEMY: Classification of an alchemical text?
From: Adam McLean
Date: 3 Sep 2004

Dear Daniel Burnham,

>Generally speaking, alchemical texts can be classified as either
'physical' or 'allegorical/philosophical/spiritual' as Adam Mclean
has done

This really is just my general guide for the non-scholarly
reader, and this classification on my web site is not some meaningful
attempt at identifying different classes of alchemical texts.

This division into 'physical laboratory' alchemical texts and
'allegorical/philosophical/spiritual' texts is in most cases
entirely artificial. There are books of recipes with no
allegorical contents, and there are alchemical works which
seem not to touch upon practical laboratory work, but most
texts seem to incorporate allegorical and philosophical ideas
set alongside aspects obviously reflecting laboratory work.

I doubt whether classifying alchemical texts in this broad way
can throw much light on the underlying alchemical material. It
may be more significant to classify texts into focusses of influence,
such as Paracelsist, English late 17th century, or Golden and Rosy
Cross, etc, but most alchemical texts will not easily fit such
categories.

Regarding your point about under what circumstances is an
alchemical analysis of a text justified, this is a constant problem
for me. Many people, it seems to me, are keen to expand what
we consider as alchemical to include items previously not
considered as such. This is particularly so in the realm of art
where someone suggests a painting has some alchemical content,
purely on the basis of their interpreting the symbolism as such.

It will be interesting to see what others can make of this problem
of identifying what is an alchemical text. Alchemy seems to have
rather porous or fuzzy boundaries and is surrounded by a halo of
works which various people with different and ideosyncratic
agendas have suggested are of alchemical significance.

There is, however, a substantial body of many thousands of
works which constitute the core of alchemy. Many of these works
are interrelated, quoting from each other, borrowing ideas from
each other. Thus these support each other as being alchemical works.
Defining works as alchemical in this way is perhaps is, at least,
a secure methodology and not merely a value driven one.

The problem of identifying whether a work is part of the
alchemical tradition is, it seems to me, more applicable to the
halo of works peripheral to alchemy.

The recent bibliography of alchemical works by Brüning,
'Bibliographie der alchemistischen Literatur' does not seem
to explain his methodology for including a work in his listing,
and I noticed some works in the first volume which one
might have some problems justifying as alchemical works.
I noticed immediately Brüning also misses out at least one
book which, I would think, by any definition, must be considered
alchemical.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Classification of an alchemical text?
From: Claude Gagnon
Date: 5 Sep 2004

First, I still follow for myself the old principle of the XIXth century
philologist Hermann Diels. He used to consider "alchemical" any text
combining practical recipes and magical invocations, "un infernal pot-pourri
de raison et de déraison" (E.E. Ploss, L'alchimie, essai de détermination
caractéristique, trad. franç. 1972, p.31.).

Then, I know that no bibliography can cover the alchemical domain. I am
always surprised to see how many books emerge when we try an unusual cut of
our history of knowledge. The history of numismatics, for example, is loaded
with many works referring to the philosophical stone, not always in the
metaphorical sense (works of Bolton, etc).

Best regards to all,

Claude Gagnon



Subject: ACADEMY: Cabala Mineralis
From: Gleb Butuzov
Date: 7 Sep 2004

Dear members of the Academy,

I would very much appreciate if anybody enlightened me concerning
Van Lennep's commentary on the pseudo-Simeon ben Cantara's
"Cabala Mineralis" manuscript. I gave the idea to find the book itself
(it seems to be not available anywhere), but could anybody advise,
to whom did he attribute the manuscript and why is it a mix of English
and Latin?

Thank you in advance and best regards

Gleb Butuzov.



Subject: ACADEMY: Cabala Mineralis
From: Adam McLean
Date: 7 Sep 2004

Dear Gleb,

In his introduction Jacques van Lennep draws a parallel with the supposed
Jewish source of the Flamel book. He then surveys the various Jewish
and Kabbalistic inputs to the alchemical tradition in order to
attempt to place the 'Cabala mineralis' in this Kabbalistic context.

He then draws, what appears to me to be, rather stretched links between
the 'Cabala mineralis' manuscript and Jewish/Kabbalistic ideas. I found
these totally unconvincing. For example

"God the author of all things opens the second part of the book, comparing
the Great Work to the creation of the world. He holds a compass and a branch.
According to a tradition of the kabbalah, also taken up by Reuchlin,
an association would exist with the branch of the tree of the Paradise,
the rod of Moses and the cross."

Not much to go on there I suspect, as van Lennep desperately struggles
to find some link.

There is no evidence internal to the manuscript concerning its author,
and Jacques van Lennep is obviously struggling hard to find anything
solid to say about it.

Perhaps we should instead just look at the manuscript itself.
Its series of flasks appears very like the 'Donum Dei' manuscripts.
The few words on some of the folios are in Latin, and the only
association with a Hebrew source is on the title folio which reads

"Cabala Mineralis Rabbi Simeon Ben Cantara".

The manuscript in France is entirely in Latin, apart from the second book
which has no text but it is entitled in English "The Second part of this Booke".
The other version in the British library has some English translations of some
of the Latin sentences.

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/cab_min1.html

Raphael Patai in his book 'The Jewish Alchemists', only
mentions the 'Cabala mineralis' in passing. He links it with alchemical
works using the word 'cabala' in their titles, such as Kieser's 'Cabala
chymica', 1606, Michelspacher's 'Cabal sive speculum artis..", 1615,
Grasshof's 'Cabala Chymica', 1658.

I think is best to view this manuscript not as a work of
'Kabbalistic' alchemy but entirely within the stream of
17th century emblematic alchemy. The name 'Rabbi Simeon
Ben Cantara' may have been applied to this work to give it,
like others of this period a kabbalistic aura. But equally it could have
been created by a Rabbi Simeon Ben Cantara who was immersed
in 17th century alchemy and not especially drawn to make any
detailed parallels between alchemy and kabbalah. Certainly, it
would seem to throw little light, if any, on the association
between alchemy and Kabbalah.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Lecture in Paris on operative alchemy
From: Joël Tetard
Date: 7 Sep 2004

Sorry for this message written in French !
However I hope some of you would be interrested in this lecture.
Please note I am NOT in any association with Patrick Rivière.
For further details, you had better to reach ARCADIS Editions.

Best regards,

"Pierre Stibia"

-----------------------------------------

Conférence Exceptionnelle
De Mr. Patrick Rivière
" L'Alchimie et ses différentes voies opératives au laboratoire "


Cette conférence unique sera enrichie d'une projection de diapositives
démontrant la réalité de la pratique opératoire de différentes voies
alchimiques : La voie sèche de Fulcanelli et de Basile Valentin, la voie
des Rose-Croix, la voie des Vitriols, la voie du Cinabre, la pierre de feu
etc. Un temps de questions / réponses est prévu.

Cette Conférence aura lieu le Samedi 11 Septembre 2004, de 20 h à
22 h 30, à Paris au 5, rue Paul Dukas (rue située entre l'allée Vivaldi
et l'avenue Daumesnil - métro le plus près Station Daumesnil),
dans les locaux de l' " Association Alors ".

Une participation de 5 €. sera demandée pour la location de
la salle et les frais...
Réservez votre place dès maintenant, le nombre de places étant
limité nous vous demandons de vous inscrire et d'envoyer vos
coordonnées à :

ARCADIS EDITIONS
Monsieur Pierre-Alexandre NICOLAS
Quartier la Plaine
F26750 - SAINT MICHEL S/SAVASSE
FRANCE
Tel. 04.75.71.95.82
E-Mail : arcadis.edit@infonie.fr

Vous pouvez également venir sur place à l'occasion de la conférence
pour y participer mais la salle étant petite (environ 40 places assises)
vous ne serez pas assuré d'avoir une place assise !



Subject: ACADEMY: Cabala Mineralis
From: Adam McLean
Date: 9 Sep 2004

Following up the question on the 'Cabala mineralis' manuscript
I took a look at

Raphael Patai's 'The Jewish alchemists', 1994.

This book deals with Jewish alchemists not kabbalah and alchemy as
such, but he does in a few places touch upon this, indeed he devotes
a full chapter to this theme.

In this chapter Patai makes the point that kabbalistic alchemy did
not really develop among Jewish alchemists, but rather among
Christians Kabbalists - Pantheus, Khunrath, etc.

Perhaps this indicates something about the relationship between
alchemical writings and Kabbalah. It is more that some
alchemists wished to import or overlay a kabbalistic dimension
onto their alchemical writings, rather than some Jewish Kabbalist
taking an interest in alchemy and trying to see alchemy through
their Kabbalistic perspective.

The well known work of Kabbalistic alchemy, the 'Aesch-Mezareph'
seems to have emerged out of the Christian Kabbalist Knorr von
Rosenroth's Kabbala denudata, 1677-1684.

It might be interesting to draw up a list of alchemical works which
seem to be influenced by Kabbalah, and attempt to contextualise these.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Bibliographic question - True light of alchemy
From: Rafal T. Prinke
Date: 11 Sep 2004

Dear All,

There is an entry in the on-line catalogue of the Wellcome Library
of a late edition of the Philalethian Marrow of Alchymy:

---------------
A true light of alchymy. Containing, I. A correct edition of the marrow
of alchymy, being a celebrated experimental treatise, discovering the
secrets and most hidden mystery of the philosophers ELIXIR, both in
theory and practice. II. The errors of a late tract, called, A short
discourse of the quintessence of philosophers, wherein is pretended to
be set forth, how one select person might be made partaker of it by the
Authors means, and others rightly Directed in prosecuting that Study.
III. The method and materials pointed at, composing the sophick mercury,
and transmuting elixir. In plain terms, free from all Enigma's. The like
never before emitted to the world / [Michael Sendivogius]. [Anon]
London : Printed for I. Dawkes for the author, 1709
[3] l., 97 p. ; (12mo)
Preface etc. signed Eirenaeus Philoponus Philalethes [i.e. George
Starkey]
Ferguson ii.474
---------------

The curious thing is that it is attributed to Michael Sendivogius
while it is apparently the same as the first edition (1654-55)
- that's what William Newman's bibliography in his Gehennical
fire
says (p. 262).
The catalogue entry refers to Ferguson, who indeed devoted more
than a page to discuss that book - but does not suggest any
connection with Sendivogius.

Any suggestions on the possible source of this attribution
would be appreciated.

Best regards,
Rafal



Subject: ACADEMY: Bibliographic question - True light of alchemy
From: Adam McLean
Date: 11 Sep 2004

Dear Rafal,

Here is my description of the 1709 edition you mention. This was from the
copy here in Glasgow. I included a description of the individual sections.
I also place below this my description of the 1654 edition also in Glasgow.
You will see that the 1709 has an added two sections at the end between
pages 89-97. Perhaps the compiler of the Wellcome library catalogue
thought these were associated with Sendivogius.


Philalethes, Eirenaeus.
A True Light of Alchymy. Containing, I. A Correct Edition of the Marrow of Alchymy, being a Celebrated Experimental treatise, discovering the Secrets and most Hidden Mystery of the Philosophers Elixir, both in Theory and Practice. II. The Errors of a late Tract called, A short Discourse of the Quintessence of Philosophers, wherein is pretended to be set forth, how one Select Person might be made partaker of it by the Authors means, and others rightly Directed in prosecuting that Study. III. The Method and Materials pointed at, composing the Sophick Mercury, and Transmuting Elixir, in plain Terms, free from all Enigmas. The like never before Emitted to the world...
London: printed by I. Dawks for the author, 1709.
12° [8] + 98 pages.

Other editions:
The Marrow of Alchemy,...London, 1654.

p[1] [Title page.]
p[3] Reader. [Dated "July 2. 1709."]
[Title at bottom of page] The Marrow of Alchymy, being an Experimental Treatise, discovering the secrets and most hidden Mystery of the Philosophers Elixir. Divided into Two Parts, containing Four Books, chiefly illustrating the Theory. The other containing Three Books, Elucidating the Practice of the Art; in which the Art is so plainly disclose, as never any before did, for the Benefit of Young Practitioners, and Convincing those who are in Errors Labyrinth. By Eirenaeus, Philoponos, Philalethes.
p[5]-[8] To the Courteous and Studious Reader. [Signed at end "Anonymus Philochymicus, Anagrammatizomenos, Egregius Christo."]
At bottom of p[6] Programma. [Latin verse.]
p1-13 The Introduction. The First Book. [In 83 stanzas.]
p13-22 The Second Book. [In 68 stanzas.]
p23-34 The Third Book. [In 82 stanzas.]
p35-44 The Fourth Book. [In 69 stanzas.]
p45 [New title page] The Marrow of Alchymy being, An Experimental Treatise, discovering the Secret and most Hidden Mystery of the Philosophers Elixir. The Second Part. Containing Three Books. Elucidating the Practick of the Art. In which The Art is so plainly disclosed, as never any before did, for the benefit of Young Practitioners, and the convincing those who are in Errors Labyrinth. By Eirenaeus Philoponos Philalethes. London: Printed for the Author, 1709.
p47-50 An Advertisement to the Reader [Signed at end "Anonymus Philochymicus, Anagrammatizomenos, Vix gregis Custos."
p51-64 The Marrow of Alchymy. The Second Part. The First Book. [In 93 stanzas.]
p65-75 The Second Book. [In 74 stanzas.]
p76-88 The Third and Last Book. [In 87 stanzas.]
p89-92 A Detection of the Errors of a late Tract, Entituled, A short Discourse of the Quintessence or Tincture of Philosophers; wherein is pretended to be set forth, How some one particular select Person, may be made partaker of it by the Authors means, and others rightly Directed in prosecuting that Study.
[On p92 is a rough woodcut of two swordsmen fighting.]
p93-97 The Method and Materials pointed at, Composing the Sophick Mercury, and Transmuting Elixir, in plain Terms, free from all Enigmas; the like never before emitted to the World.
p98 [Advertisement for another book from the publisher.]

-------

Here is my description of the 1654 edition.

Philalethes, Eirenaeus Philoponus.
The Marrow of Alchemy, Being an Experimental Treatise, Discovering the secret and most hidden Mystery of the Philosophers Elixer. Divided into two Parts: The first Containing Four Books chiefly Illustrating the Theory. The other Containing Three Books, Elucidating the Practique of the Art: In which, the Art is so plainly disclosed as never any before did for the benefit of young Practitioners, And the convincing those who are in Errours Labyrinth. By Eirenaeus Philoponos Philalethes.
London, Printed by A.M. for Edw. Brewster at the Signe of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard. 1654. [Wing S5278.]
8° [10] + 70 + [8]+ 61 pages.

Other editions:
The marrow of alchemy... Second part. By R.I. for Edw. Brewster. 1655. [Wing S5279.]
A True Light of Alchymy. Containing, I. A Correct Edition of the Marrow of Alchymy, London 1709.

p[1] [Title page.]
p[3]-[9] To the Courteous and Studious Reader. [Signed at end "Anonymus Philochemicus, Anagrammatizomenos, Egregius Christo."]
p[10] Programma. [Latin verse.]
p1-20 The Introduction. The First Book. [In 83 stanzas.]
p21-36 The Second Book. [In 68 stanzas.]
p36-54 The Third Book. [In 82 stanzas.]
p55-69 The Fourth Book. [In 69 stanzas.]
p[1] [New title page] The Marrow of Alchymy, being An Experimental Treatise, Discovering the secret and most hidden Mystery of The Philosophers Elixir. The Second Part. Containing Three Books, Elucidating the Practick of the Art; In which The Art is so plainly disclosed, as never any before did, for the benefit of young Practitioners, and the convincing those who are in Errors Labyrinth. By Eirenaeus Philoponos Philalethes. London: Printed by R.I. for Edw. Brewster at the Sign of the Crane in Pauls Church-yard. 1655.
p[3]-[8] An Advertisement to the Reader [Signed at end "Anonymus Philochymicus, Anagrammatizomenos, Vix gregis Custos."]
[Bottom of p viii. A verse by William Sampson about the anonymous author of this work.]
p1-23 The Marrow of Alchymy. The Second Part. The First Book. [In 93 stanzas.]
p23-40 The Second Book. [In 74 stanzas.]
p40-61 The Third and Last Book. [In 87 stanzas.]



Subject: ACADEMY: Bibliographic question - True light of alchemy
From: Rafal T. Prinke
Date: 12 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

Thanks a lot for the detailed bibliographic descriptions.

> You will see that the 1709 has an added two sections at the end between
> pages 89-97. Perhaps the compiler of the Wellcome library catalogue
> thought these were associated with Sendivogius.

I guess he may simply be quoted there and that is why his
name was inserted in the Wellcome Library catalogue.

That entry has some other erroneous points, such as:
Preface etc. signed Eirenaeus Philoponus Philalethes
while your description shows it is signed:
Anonymus Philochymicus, Anagrammatizomenos, Egregius Christo

So I will not pursue this any further.

Best regards,
Rafal



Subject: ACADEMY: Bibliographic question - True light of alchemy
From: Adam McLean
Date: 12 Sep 2004

Dear Rafal,

>That entry has some other erroneous points, such as:
>Preface etc. signed Eirenaeus Philoponus Philalethes
>while your description shows it is signed:
>Anonymus Philochymicus, Anagrammatizomenos, Egregius Christo

>So I will not pursue this any further.

Of course I only saw the copy in Glasgow not the
one in the Wellcome. With some of these seventeenth
century books one does find variations. Often there
are cancelled title pages with a new title 'tipped in'.
This is not uncommon. Books in those days were
printed but not bound up by the printer. Instead
people bought the pages and had them bound up
as they wished. Sometimes printers made a variation
say a new title page, probably in order to shift some
stock that had been lying around too long!

On the other hand, later bibliographers, in their zeal to
identify the author (the primary bibliographic object
for indexing before computers), may have tried too hard
to associate an author with a book.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Russian translation of Atalanta fugiens
From: Gleb Butuzov
Date: 13 Sep 2004

My Russian translation of Michael Maier's "Atalanta Fugiens" was finally
released by Moscow publishing house "Aenigma". The book was named
among best Russian-language publications of 2004 at Moscow book
exhibition this month (see http://aenigma.ru).

I would like to express my warmest feelings to all people who supported
me in this work with helping hand or a good advice, among whom
Adam McLean, Joscelyn Godwin, Rafal Prinke, Susanna Akerman,
Mike Dickmann and Stanislas Klossowski de Rola.

My very best wishes,

Gleb Butuzov.



Subject: ACADEMY: Zoroaster : ermetismo e alchimia
From: Adam McLean
Date: 20 Sep 2004

Does anyone have access to a copy of

Zoroaster : ermetismo e alchimia : nelle miniature di un manuscritto...
Nardini, 1989.

I have been looking for a copy of this book for some time
but it has not turned up. I wonder if anyone would be kind enough
to provide a short description, perhaps of the contents of the
book.

Does it provide the text of the original manuscript, which I believe
is in the Verginelli-Rota collection ?

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Zoroaster : ermetismo e alchimia
From: Domenico Bogliolo
Date: 20 Sep 2004

Dear Adam,

Yes I can and avec plaisir to give you the description you asked for.

For the second question, I'll look for the time necessary to
explore the collection itself which I believe is still in the
Lincei library in Rome.

With my best regards,

Domenico (Ingo) Bogliolo



Subject: ACADEMY: Zoroaster : ermetismo e alchimia
From: Adam McLean
Date: 20 Sep 2004

Dear Ingo,

I am glad to find someone with a copy of this book.

It would be interesting if you were to look at some of the
manuscripts in the Verginelli-Rota collection.This is in the

Biblioteca dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome

The manusscript in question is : -

MS. Verginelli-Rota 15, 16, 17. 17th Century.
Zoroaster des Rabbi und Juden Clavis Artis. [3 volumes.]
[In German with occasional Latin. With many coloured figures.]

You can see a full listing of the manuscripts on my web page.

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

It might be good to look at the three versions of the Donum Dei
MS. 3, 18, 52. The pen drawings of the Rosarium series in MS. 6.

also MS. 36bis. 19th Century.
Charrot. Ampthitheatrum sapientiae aeternae.
[Commentary (1898) on Khunrath's work of 1609.]


Nino Rota one of the founders of this collection was a
composer mostly known through his film music, including the
soundtracks for films of Fellini and most famously the 'Godfather'
series by Francis Ford Coppola.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Zoroaster : ermetismo e alchimia
From: Samten de Wet
Date: 21 Sep 2004

Nardini, Bruno, Zoroaster - Ermetismo e Alchemia nelle miniature di un manoscritto del sec. XVII. Convivio/Nardini Editore, Firenze, 1989.

The painted miniatures are all 17th century - but nothing is said in the commentary about their source. They are claimed to be Rosicrucian in content. The text itself - was translated from the Arabic into German in 1236. It was written on dragon skin by Zoroaster, Rabbi and Jew. The book measures 19 X 22.5 cm in size and is bound in skin.
It was found in an antique bookstore in Frankfurt by Nino Rota, who secretly cultivates Hermetic literature - and wrote the music for the films of Fellini. On his death Roto left (bequethed) the collection to his friend Vinci Verginelli, who recently donated the collection to the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome. The Complete Catalogue of the Rota Collection has been published by Verginelli.
Verginelli, Vinci, Bibliotheca Hermetica - Catalogo alquanto ragionato della raccolta Verginelli - Rota di antichi testi ermetici (secoli XV - XVIII) Nardini, Firenze, 1986. pagg. 382.
--------------------------------
The first volume contains two full page illustrations.
The second volume 23 plates, plus two black and white illustrations which I did not reproduce.
The Third Volume contains 15 plates, but only 13 are illustrated in colour. I do not know what or where the other two are.
Thus there are 40 Plates in all. 40 is a mystical number - Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, the Flood took place for 40 days, the children of Israel wandered in the deserts for 40 years, Elias - 40 days?
---------------------------
Price: Hardcover - 40,000 lira.

...oooOOOooo...
SLIDE
1 AZ. Quando avrai superato ogni cimento
2 AZ. Quando avrai conoscuito il Grande Arcano
3 AZ. La Terra sarà vinta dall'Amore
4 AZ. La Sapienza che illumina il pensiero
5. AZ. Questa le prove, donna: un mostro alato
6. AZ. Regina, che bisogno hai tu del Sire?
7. AZ. Il leone che è in te, figlio di Adamo
8. AZ. Un serpente divora il drago alato
9. AZ. L' albero, il serpe ed il vietato frutto
10. AZ. Non sbigottir, tu vincerai la prova!
11. AZ. Questa è l'arte spagirica: portare
12. AZ. Dopo aver distillato sul fornello
13. AZ. Donna, senza di te che cosa è l'uomo?
14. AZ. Ecco il saggio. Vicino alla miniera,
15. AZ. Maschio e femmina, Marte ed Afrodite,
16. AZ. Cè un albero insidioso alle tue spalle,
17. AZ. Un monaco che vive su nel tempio
18. AZ. Dal suo celeste seggio la Ciprigna
19. AZ. Tu non commetterai l'errore d'Eva.
20. AZ. Ora sei giunta. L'opera è completa.
21. AZ. In segno della sua benevolenza,
22. AZ. Se vuoi vincere il drago e dominarlo
23. AZ. Raccoglie, o prode, il succo della vigna,
24. AZ. Uomo, ogni tua passione ora si arrende
25. AZ. L'umana carne è fragile e mortale,
Human flesh is fragile and mortal,
26. AZ. Eri figlio del cielo e dell'inferno,
27. AZ. Voi non dovete scendere in miniera
28. AZ. Prima separa dalla terra il sale,
First separate the Salt from the Earth,
29. AZ. L' anima umana, in forma di leone,
The human anima, in the form of a Lion,
Sta serena di fronte all'avversario.
Il drago - emblema d'ogni tua passione -
Ora per te significa il contrario.
~
Non tenebra, ma luce; non piu l'ira
Che intobida la mente, ma l'Amore;
Non la disperazione che delira,Ma la speranza che conforta il cuore.
~
La sapienza, la forza e la bonta
Sono la tua piu vera identita.
~
30. AZ. Il primo Tentatore non si arrende
E se il drago e gia vinto dal leone,
Con le sue spire la criniera offende,
Ormai vana ogni blanda seduzione.
~
Ma questa volta il re della foresta
Affronte l'infernale distruttore,
Gli artiglia il corpo, gli addenta la testa
Riscattando cosi l'antico errore.
~
31. AZ. Sul monte che sovrasta la miniera
~
32. AZ. Mai sicura, nel tempo, è la conquista,
~
33. AZ. Ora è l'ibis precipite che assale
~
34. AZ. Due dragoni si addentano tra loro,
~
35. AZ. Ed ora, finalmente, unico e solo!
~
36. AZ. Dov'e il drago che leva alte nell'aria
where is the Dragon...
Sopra il triplice collo le sue teste?
atop the triple neck of his head...
Questa e un bestia stanca e solitaria
this is a tired and lonely beast
Che si aggira fra is sassi e le foresti
that wanders between the rocks and the forest.
Odio e paura il suo sembiante alterna
hate and fear are his alternate features.
Valeno e fuoco neo suo ventre aduna:
poison/venom and fire are gathered in his belly.
Torna sconfitta nel sua caverna
return defeated to your cave
Sotto il glaciale squardo della luna.
Beneath the icy gaze of the moon.
37. AZ. Questa è l'ultima tua transmutazione.
~
38. AZ. Sotto l'opaca veste della carneEcco l'illuminato, il mago, il santo;
E da questa visione ora puoi trarne
La nozione per tendere a quel vanto.
~
Suo padre il Sole, sua madre la Luna,
Lo ha nutrito la terra, l'acqua, l'aria,
E il fuoco gli ha bruciato ad una ad una
Le scorie di una colpa originaria.
~
In lui tre meraviglie: e l'Uno e Trino,
E Vergine ed e Madre, el'Uomo e Dio;
E in lui s'innesta il serpente divino
Che gli accese nel cuore il gran desio.
~
Forse inizio da quella Tentazione
La sua lunga e segreta evoluzione.

Samten de Wet



Subject: ACADEMY: The Verginelli-Rota Collection
From: Samten de Wet
Date: 21 Sep 2004

The Verginelli-Rota Collection of alchemical books and manuscripts

This collection was lovingly gathered by Vinci Verginelli and Nino Rota (more known as being the famous composer of the sound tracks of Federico Fellini's movies than for their alchemical interests), spending many years (and money too!) in their quest until the collection arose to a "corpus" of nearly 400 volumes of ancient hermetic books from the 16th to the 18th century, nearly 60 ancient hermetic manuscripts from the 15th to the19th century (many of them illuminated) and nearly 2,000 modern hermetic books from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Before the donation of the ancient part of the collection to the Library of the "Lincei" National Academy (Roma, Via della Lungara, Palazzo Corsini), Mr. Verginelli compiled a complete annotated catalogue , that in 1986 was printed in 1,000 numbered isses by Nardini, Florence. In fact, this catalogue provides more than the description of a rare collection, for the main interest of the catalogue lies in the erudite and passionate commentary Vinci Verginelli gave upon each item of the catalogue.

VERGINELLI, Vinci, Bibliotheca hermetica. Catalogo alquanto ragionato della raccolta Verginelli-Rota di antichi testi ermetici (secoli XV-XVIII), Firenze, Nardini editore - Centro internazionale del libro, 1986 [prima edizione in 1.000 esemplari nuerati].

Vinci Verginelli was disciple of Giuliano M. Kremmerz (1861-1930) who founded in Italy the Macia-Therapeutic Brotherhood of "Myriam", with branches in Bari (Accademia Pitagorica), Naples (Accademia Sebezia) and Rome (Circolo Virgiliano), the last one becoming entrusted with the modern part of the Collection, with the condition that in case of the dissolution of the "Circolo Virgiliano" all the books should be donated to the "Lincei" Academy.

The catalogue of the Collection Verginelli-Rota is the first Italian catalogue of alchemical and hermetic books belonging to a private collection.

Here is the exact amount of manuscripts of the collection:

4 from 15th century
4 from 16th century
11 from 17th century
17 from 18th century
22 from 19th century
2 from 20th century

I am indebted to Domenico Bogliolo, Centro Interdipartimentale per il Calcolo Scientifico (CICS), Universita' degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza", Citta' Universitaria - 00195 Roma - Italia, for the above information.
I have extracted the following descriptions of the manuscripts from the catalogue.

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MS. Verginelli-Rota 1. 15th Century.
Dixit Salomon. [Alchemical MS. in Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 2. 15th Century. Parchment.
Grimoire Magico [In English.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 3. 16th Century. 41 folios. Parchment. 138x89mm.
Premier Chapitre [...] le quel a la teste. [With 'Donum Dei' series of
watercolour illustrations.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 4. 15th Century.
Tractatula ex intentione sapientium in arte astrorum et scientiae
stellarum.
[Miscellany by Guido Bonatti (?) from Albumasar (?)]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 5. 16th Century.
[Fragments of an alchemical text in Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 6. 15th Century [1597.]
Manuel de philosophie chymique. [With pen drawings of 'Rosarium
Philosophorum' series.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 7. 15th Century [1599.]
1. Enseignemens philosophique de Jean Tachard a ses enfans.
2. Pratiqua de opera magna lapidis philosophorum extracta ex libro... De
Rouillac Pedismontani. [In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 8. 17th Century.
Albamasia sive [Magia] Naturalis et Innaturalis. [Illustrated with sigils.
Text in German. Author possibly Albumazar (?) or Herpentilo Pareja (anno
1489?)]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 9. 17th Century.
Aphorismes ou Canons de la Pierre Philosophique. [In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 10. 17th Century.
Breve compendio e prattica della pietra filosofica. [Partly in Latina and
partly in Italian.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 11. 17th Century.
Del dragone filosophico e sua purga accidentali. [Text in Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 12. 17th Century.
[A few folios with alchemical figures and short instructions in Italian.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 13. 17th Century.
[Alchemical miscellany in Latin.]
1. Commentarii in Henrici Kunrathi Amphitheatrum ab Anonymo Philosopho
doctissimo.
2. Vualerand du bus Robert, Epistola de Lapide, etc.
3. Sermo Alphidii Philosophi, etc.
4. Raymundi Lulli, quaestionis arboris philosophalis.
[With many geometric illustrations towards the end of the manuscript.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 14. 17th Century.
Serafino da Mantova. [Alchemical recipes in Italian.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 15, 16, 17. 17th Century.
Zoroaster des Rabbi und Juden Clavis Artis. [3 volumes.]
[In German with occasional Latin. With many coloured figures.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 18. 18th Century.
Georg Aurach. Libro intitulato preziosissimo dono di Dio. [In Italian. With
coloured figures of the 'Donum Dei' series.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 19. 18th Century. Parchment.
Aureus hic liber est. [Anthology in Latin and Italian of various esoteric
materials.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 20. 18th Century.
De Delook. La clef de la Pirothecnie. [In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 21. 18th Century.
Desiderabilia super aureum et lapidem preciosum. [In Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 22. 18th Century.
Gombert. Le thresor d'alchimie, ou les livres des arcanes des philosophes.
[Collection of alchemical texts in French with illustrations.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 23. 18th Century.
1. Johann Grasshoff [Johannes Grasseus, alias Chortolasseus.]
Arche ou tresor du precieux arcane des sages. Secret Artificieux des
souverains Mysteres de Nature de Jean Grossee dit autrement Cortolasse,
docteur et insigne philosophe de notre Siècle 1500. Tiré de son grand Petir
Paysan.
[Collection and anthology of alchemical writings. In French.]
2. Le petit paysan ou le lis entre les épines... Traduit de l'Allemand par
Volachie.
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 24. 18th Century.
Le tems serain ou clair jour phisique par Harprec fils de Sendivogius.
Traduit de l'Allemand en François par I.D.L.M. En l'année 1738. a Parier
(?)
[Collection of nine alchemical texts. In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 25. 18th Century.
Lemegeton or Clavicula Salomonis Rex or the Little Key of Solomon the King.
[In English.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 26. 18th Century.
Philalethes. L'entrée ouverte di palais fermé du Roy, par Philalethe.
[Followed by another 5 tracts in French translated from the English of
Thomas Vaughan or from Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 27. 18th Century.
Pratique de la végétation mineral.
[Anonymous text in French, followed by other extracts from treatises of
various origins.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 28. 18th Century.
Three ancient tracts concerning the transmutation of metals in French
verse.]
1. Jean de a Fontaine. La Fontaine des amoureux de science.
2. Jean de Meung. Les remonstrances de nature à l'alchymiste errant, etc.
3. Nicholas Flamel. Petit traicté de alchymie intitulé le sommaire
philosophique.
[p120 Text in French verse, excluding 'Il Testament attribue a Arnaud de
Ville Neuve' [Villa Nova.]]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS. Verginelli-Rota 29. 18th Century.
1. Comedia Famosa. La Piedra filosofal, de don Francisco Vances Candamo.
[In verses of eight syllables.]
2. Philosophia natural de tres Antiguos Filosofos Nomados Arteophio,
Flamel, y Synesio, que trata de Arte occulto, y de la trasmutacion de los
Metales [Translation into Spanish from the French by Pierre Arnaud.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 30. 18th Century.
[La] Verite extraite des tenebres. La revelation de la parole cachée par la
Sagesse des anciens, ou la vraye genealogie de la mere du mercure des
philosophes. [In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 31. 18th Century.
La clef du secret des secrets de philosophie... de Pierre Vicot Preste.
Work in three books entirely in French, with an extensive and precise
sommary at the end.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 32. 19th Century.
Aerologie ou Abrégé méthodique de la science des airs. [In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 33. 18th Century.
[Chemical and alchemical recipes in Italian.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 34. 19th Century.
[Chemical and alchemical recipes in French.]
Grimoire.
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 35. 19th Century.
[Les] arcanes ou Secrets de la Philosophie Hermétique dévoilés... Revue et
corrigé par Lenain. Amiens 1832. [In French.]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS. Verginelli-Rota 36. 19th Century.
Calendarium Naturale Magicum Perpetuum Profundissimam Rerum Secretissimam
Contemplationem, Totiusque Philosophiae Cognitionem Complectens. [In
Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 36bis. 19th Century.
Charrot. Ampthitheatrum sapientiae aeternae. [Commentary (1898) on
Khunrath's work of 1609.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 37. 19th Century.
Christophe Claudet. La Sagesse des Anciens. [In French, with 40
illustrations (of mediocre workmanship) of 'Crowning of Nature' series.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 38. 19th Century.
De la creation du monde materiel. [In French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 39. 19th Century.
Eliphas Ben Zahed. Le Tarot. [In French, with plates.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 40. 19th Century.
1. Jean d'Espagnet. L'ouvrage secret de la philosophie d'Hermez. [In
French. From work anno 1651?]
2. Nicolas Valois. Traité de Philosophie. [In French. From work anno 1420?]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS. Verginelli-Rota 41. 19th Century.. Jean d'Espagnet. La physique
detablie. [Text in French collated with Latin.]
2. [Anonymous] La philosophie Hermetique - Philosophie Hermetica. [Text in
French collated with Latin.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 42. 19th Century.
Jean Pierre Fabre. L'Abregé des secrets chimiques, où toute la nature en
general et en particular est decouverte. [Translation into French from the
work of Fabre entitled 'Compendium Secretorum Chymicorum' pages 336-499 of
the Latin edition of Fabre 'Opera Reliqua'.]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS. Verginelli-Rota 43. 19th Century.
1. Gerard of Cremona. Geomanzia Astronomica. [Italian translation of the
'Geomancie Astronomique de Gerard de Cremone... traduit par le Sieur de
Salerne', Paris, 1669.]
2. Gerard of Cremona. La geomanzia e nomanzia cabalistica degli antichi
coll'ora del pastore, Parigi MDCLXXXVII.
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 44-50. 19th Century.
Lettres d'Eliphas Lévi au Baron Spedalieri. Volumes III-IX (I and II
missing) from 1863 to 1866. [In French. Most likely a copy.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 51. 19th Century.
Eliphas Levi. Lettres à Charrot. [In French. Most likely a copy.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 52. 19th Century.
Le precieux don de Dieu. [In French. With watercoloured illustrattions of
the 'Donum Dei' series, by Albert Poisson.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 53. 19th Century [1827.]
Johannes Reuchlin. De arte cabalistica. [In three books in Italian 'dal
Dottor Fisico Antonio Avella'.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 54. 19th Century.
Philippe Rouillach. Traité du Grand Oeuvre des philosophes.
[Contains other alchemical works entirely in French.]
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MS. Verginelli-Rota 55. 19th Century.
Via veritatis unicae, hoc est: elegans, perutile et praestans Opusculum
Viam Veritatis Aperiens. [Translation of an anonymous work entitled 'Chemin
de l'unique verite, etc'.]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS. Verginelli-Rota 56. 20th Century.
Ercole Quadrelli. Excerpta ex alchymiae scriptoribus.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
MS. Verginelli-Rota 57. 20th Century.
Giuliano Kremmerz. Autograph fragments of a 'Conversazione' with Kremmerz
of the 'Accademia Pitagori de Bari', on 17th February 1921.]

Samten de Wet