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Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998
From: Robert Word

A friend of mine named Hans Nintzel some time past was looking for a
book called "The Secret Fire" by Cyliani. Does anyone know whether or
not such a book ever actually existed, or was Hans misinformed?


Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998
From: Adam McLean

This may be confused with Cyliani's well known book 'Hermes devoile' [Hermes
unveiled] which though written in 1831 has recently been reprinted and is easily
available in its French edition. Hans Nintzel had this translated into English
and issued it in his R.A.M.S. series in the 80's

It would be good to track down this "Secret Fire" of Cyliani, if it exists. I looked for it
some years ago, at Hans' instigation, but could not locate a copy in any library or
specialist collection on alchemy. If it was published in French one would expect it
to be in the Bibliotheque Nationale. It is, to my knowledge, not in the Bibliotheque
Nationale, though I only looked at the old catalogue. Perhaps a copy has been
lodged there recently. If it was not published, there may still be a manuscript copy,
but I have not been able to locate this in the various collections and libraries I have documented.


From: Joel Tetard
Date: 1 July 1998

Concerning the so-called Cyliani's "Secret Fire", the whole story seems
rather confused :

When "Hermes dévoilé" was published for the first time in 1832 by Felix Locquin
(16 rue Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris), the name of the author was not
give : only a mysterious "Ci..." was written on the front page.

When the second edition was printed in 1915 by the well known editors
Chacornac, the name of Cyliani appears for the first time on the cover.
According to Canseliet (see p.35 in "Le Feu du Soleil", by Robert Amadou,
Pauver, Paris 1978, ISBN 2.7202.0088.3), this name was given by Pierre Dujols.

However, in his "alchimie expliquée sur ses textes classiques", Canseliet said
he did NOT know who gave this name ...

Recently, Geneviève Dubois wrote that the name of Cyliani appeared in 1834,
i.e. two years after the first edition of Hermes Dévoillé, in a book written by
Monsieur de Manne, "Nouveau Recueil d'ouvrages anonymes", at page 157
under the n° 727. Unfortunately, G. Dubois did not give the title of this book
written by "Cyliani"...

I will try to contact Mme. Dubois asking for further information about this
matter.

Hermes Dévoillé
1st edition : 1832, Ed. Felix Locquin
2nd edition : 1915, Chacornac
3nd edition 1975, Editions Traditionnelles
4nd edition, by Bernard Husson, in "Deux traités alchimiques du XIX siècles.
Cours de philosophie hermétique ... par L.-P. François Cambriel et Hermes
dévoilé ... par Cyliani. Editions des Champs-Elysées, Paris, 1964.


Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998
From: Joel Tetard

I just received confirmation from Mrs Genevieve Dubois :
"Hermes dévoillé" is the only one book which could be attributed to Cyliani.

The title "Secret Fire" seems rather to refer to Pontanus's "Epitre sur le Feu
secret".

For an English translation of this short but important book see

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

Regards,
Joel


From: Adam McLean
Date: 3rd July 1998

Joel Tetard wrote:

>The title "Secret Fire" seems rather to refer to Pontanus's
>"Epitre sur le Feu secret".

It may also be a reference internal to Cyliani's 'Hermes dévoillé'.
Throughout the book Cyliani refers to the different forms of fire, and
in many places mentions the 'Secret Fire' without giving, of course,
any precise definition.

It may be that someone wishing to understand Cyliani's text and
being frustrated by not having any definition of the 'secret fire', may
have believed that there was some other book by Cyliani on the
'Secret Fire' explaining this is a more open and less hidden way.

Incidentally 'Hermes dévoillé' contains an excellent account of
his transmutation, very traditional, echoing the transmutation stories
of the late 16th and 17th centuries. If I have time later today I will transcribe
this and post it out in the Research Notes. A few paragraphs later,
the book seems to draw on the Flamel legend as Cyliani
aquaints his wife with his success in the work and demonstrates
a further transmutation before her.

Adam McLean