No. 15. Stahl - The Philosophers' Stone
Transcribed by Rafal Prinke
Georg Ernst Stahl [1660-1734] was born into a wealthy and privileged family. He was able to study medicine at Jena and graduated in 1684. He rapidly became an influential doctor through being appointed as personal physician to Duke Johann Ernst II of Sachsen-Weimar. A few years later he was made professor of the medical faculty at Halle, and when his reputation was firmly established, he became the court physican to King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.
His Fundamenta chymiae is a masterful investigation into the nature of substance, applying the clarity of philosophical thought, of analysis and classification to the entire field of chemistry. He took an especial interest in alchemy, and turned his sharp mind to a "historical and experimental enquiry into the subject of the Great Work, or Philosopher's Stone".
Here Stahl provides a clear, insightful survey of the different approaches taken towards the making of the Philosophers' Stone, and he analyses the writings of the various authors and summarises their processes. Thus he draws especially on the work of the 17th century alchemists Sendivogius, Grummet, Kunkel, d'Espagnet, Philalethes, and Becher, providing us with an excellent and clear survey of what was understood about the Philosophers' Stone at that time.