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December 2002

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Subject: ACADEMY : Some questions about Maier's Atalanta
From: Gleb Butuzov
Wed, 4 Dec 2002

At the moment I'm preparing my Russian translation of Maier's "Atalanta" for
publication. When writing short commentaries to the first half of this work,
I have met some difficulties, and I would be most grateful if anybody could
help me with any useful hint.


1.Who is Ansel de Bood (Discourse 3)?



2. Who is Levinus Semnius, some mysterious author of "The Book of the
Hidden Miracles of Nature" (Discourse 4)?



3. In the Discourse 7 Maier speaks about some "Aurora", chapter 5, but I did
not succeed to find quoted passage neither in of Paracelsus' "Aurora of the
Philosophers", nor in "Aurora Consurgens". Is there some other "Aurora"?



4. Who is Emigamus (Discourse 12)?



5. In the Discourse 15 Maier mentions some unlucky alchemist, whose "death
came very opportunely to put an end to his shame and Folly". Does he speak
in general about those who mix angel magic and alchemy, or implies some
person in particular?


Any help is highly appreciated.

Gleb Butuzov.

Subject: ACADEMY : Leonard of Maurperg
From: Marisa Addomine
Mon, 2 Dec 2002

Dear Rafal,

I am trying to navigate the Web with further ideas. I hope I can find
something useful. I can tell you that different spellings of Maurperg
were used in the past (one of them is Meilberg) and I am trying to use
them.

I found the same passage you sent to me, surfing in the net.

Let's hope to be lucky.

Kindest regards,

Marisa Addomine

Subject: ACADEMY : Some questions about Maier's Atalanta
From: Adam McLean
4th Dec 2002

>1.Who is Ansel de Bood (Discourse 3)?

Anselmus de Boodt 1552-1632. A minerologist and physician from Bruges.
There is a paragraph about him in Helena de Jong's Bibliography.

>2. Who is Levinus Semnius, some mysterious author of "The Book of the
>Hidden Miracles of Nature" (Discourse 4)?

This will be Liévin LEMMENS latinised to Lemnius.

Les occultes merveilles et secretz de nature... exposées en deux livres... et nouvellement traduictes de latin en françois, par I[acques] G[ohorry] P[arisien]...
Paris: pour Galiot du Pré. 1574

He wrote a number of works mostly medical I think.

He does not seem to be mentioned in Debus' 'The French
Paracelsians'.
There is a paragraph about him in Helena de Jong's Bibliography.

>3. In the Discourse 7 Maier speaks about some "Aurora", chapter 5, but I did
>not succeed to find quoted passage neither in of Paracelsus' "Aurora of the
>Philosophers", nor in "Aurora Consurgens". Is there some other "Aurora"?

De Jong notes this as Aurora consurgens in Artis Auriferae, I, p 217. Have
you checked this edition. The chapter arrangement may be different from
the 20th Century von Franz English edition. I feel sure De Jong would have
checked that reference.

>5. In the Discourse 15 Maier mentions some unlucky alchemist, whose "death
>came very opportunely to put an end to his shame and Folly". Does he speak
>in general about those who mix angel magic and alchemy, or implies some
>person in particular?

De Jong suggests this is Julius Sperber.

Hope this helps,

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Eudoxus
From: Steve S
Sat, 07 Dec 2002

Is the character Eudoxus in the Hermetic Triumph drawn from
the mathematician of 4th century BC Asia Minor who developed
a system of 27 spheres describing the geometry of Nature?

Where can I get more info about the system of 27 spheres
describing the geometry of Nature?

Steve

Subject: ACADEMY : Eudoxus
From: Adam McLean
08 Dec 2002

It has been a convention in the alchemical tradition to ascribe
books to historical figures or use these to voice certain views
in dialogues in alchemical texts. The names of Plato, Aristotle and other
classical philosophers have been drawn into this. Or consider the
example of Democritus whose name was associated with
some alchemical texts from the later post-Christian era Greek
period.

Even in our own time we see this convention still having life.
In the past few years we have seen the publication of books
purporting to come from the pen of Fulcanelli (active in the
1920's and 30's). Its a fine old tradition related to the invention
of 'adept' figures. It can only confuse those who have not read
their way deeply enough into alchemical literature.

As regards the 27 spheres describing the geometry of Nature,
this is probably not an alchemical question but one from the
history of Mathematics. I have studied mathematics when I was
young, and I recall that Eudoxus was able to construct a series of
spheres that seemed to account for the movements of the planets.
Eudoxus investigated the mathematical representiation of curves
and I remember that there is a class of curves still named after him.
Fascinating but all a bit far from our subject of alchemy.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Weidenfeld, Phaedro and Aemylius Parisanus
From: Giulio Vada
Sun, 08 Dec 2002

Is there anybody who can help me? I am looking for an English or French
translation of the following texts:

- Johann Seger von WEIDENFELD.
De secretis adeptorum, sive de usu spiritus vini Lulliani libri IV...
12° Hamburgi: Nicolaus Spieringk for Gottfried Schultze 1685

- Georg PHAEDRO.
Opuscula iatrochemica quatuor. I. Praxis medico-chemica. II.
Halopyrgice, sive pestis medica-chemica curatio. III. Chirurgia Minor.
IV. Furnus chymicus. In quibus non solum difficiliorum & insanabilium
morborum ratio curandi chemica proponitur, sed etiam ipsa
præparandorum arcanorum doctrina, & characteristicæ, sive coelestis
physicæ elucidatio perspicue demonstatur. Partim nunquam antehac
edita, partim nunc latinitate donata... curante J.A. Schenckio. 8°
Francofurti 1611

- Aemylius PARISANUS.
Nobilium Exercitationum libri 12 de subtilitate. Parts [1]-4
4° Venetiis: Deuchinus (part 2-Brogiollus), (part3-Iunctus) 1623[-43]

Thanks in advance!

giulio

Subject: ACADEMY : Weidenfeld, Phaedro and Aemylius Parisanus
From: Giulio Vada
Sun, 08 Dec 2002

- Johann Seger von WEIDENFELD.
De secretis adeptorum, sive de usu spiritus vini Lulliani libri IV...
12° Hamburgi: Nicolaus Spieringk for Gottfried Schultze 1685

This is readily available as an English translation was issued
in 1685. I think Weidenfeld was in London at the time. It has
been reprinted by Roger Kessinger and is available in an
inexpensive edition.

http://www.kessinger-publishing.com

As far as I know PHAEDRO and Aemylius PARISANUS,
are not available in English or French editions


Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Some questions about Maier's Atalanta
From: Aaron Crim
7 Dec 2002

In answer to question #3: Jakob Boehme is the author of a text called "The
Aurora". Unfortunately I'm pressed for time and can't check the dates right
now, but I think they coincide.

Aaron

Subject: ACADEMY : Some questions about Maier's Atalanta
From: Gleb Butuzov
Sun, 8 Dec 2002

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for your input. I'm well acquainted with J.Böhme's "Aurora oder
Morgenröte im Aufgang", and I do not remember the passage which Maier is
quoting in his his work. Chronologically it is possible ("Aurora" was
published in 1612), but chapter 5 (and chapters before and after that) is
dedicated to the nature of angels. I general, this work stands somewhat afar
from the Maier's subject, despite later Böhme became concerned with
alchemical quest.

Best regards.

Gleb.

Subject: ACADEMY : Weidenfeld, Phaedro and Aemylius Parisanus
From: Joern Sesterhenn
Sun, 8 Dec 2002

Can sombody give a short summary of what is known about
Seger von Weidenfeld?

References are welcome too.


Joern Sesterhenn

Subject: ACADEMY : Some questions about Maier's Atalanta
From : Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Mon, 9 Dec 2002

Dear Adam,

You are absolutely right. Maier, in Discursus VII refers to the author
of Aurora Consurgens. However he does NOT quote him. He is in
fact citing Hermes and in brackets writes (ut Author Aurorae cap. 5
testatur) The relevant passage of the whole sentence reads thus:

"De hac aut simili Hermes (ut Author Aurorae cap. 5 testatur)
ita scribit: consyderavi avem sapientibus venerabilem, quae volat,
dum est in Ariete, Cancro, Libra aut capricorno: Et acquire
eam tibi perennem meris ex mineris & montanis petrosis:
De eadem Senior in Tabula, ubi gemina visitur, volatilis &
sine pennis, quorum una rostro alterius Caudam invicem tenet
ne facilè separari possint."

Now bearing in mind that alchemical authors do not quote
passages in the modern fashion one should read the fifth,
the sixth and the seventh parable in Aurora: to find the digressive
ideas connected therewith. I would caution all scholars against
the often desperate enterprise of finding such exact references
as Gleb hoped to find that is not the spirit in which these texts
are written.

All the best

Stanislas Klossowski de Rola

Subject: ACADEMY : Zosimus
From: Adam McLean
19 Dec 2002

I am currently trying to understand the material that comes
down to us under the name of Zosimus.

The main source of this (in recent times) is of course
Berthelot's 'Collection des Alchimistes Grecs' Volume III.
In reading through the large number of pieces there ascribed
to Zosimus, I am a bit confused by the diversities of style
and the jumbled texts. For example, the book on the letter
omega, suddenly after reaching a proper conclusion,
continues with some paragraphs, obviously belonging
to another work. Of course, this will probably be due to the
garbled nature of the original manuscripts (which I think
date to the 10th or 11th centuries).

Has anyone made a study of the Zosimus writings, or
know of any articles which analyse and try to identify
what can be attributed to 'Zosimus' and what were
later additions written under this name. A large number
of the texts seem to be recipes of a rather unenlightening
nature, with a small core of more philosophical writings.

It would be good if I could see more clearly what can be
closely attributed to Zosimus, this key early figure in alchemy.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Zosimus
Thu, 19 Dec 2002
From: Cis van Heertum

You mention Berthelot as the most recent source, but Zosimos has
also been published even more recently, in the Les Alchimistes Grecs
series by Michelle Mertens (Paris, Les Belles Lettres 1995); cf
also Letrouit's contribution in the recent BPH Venice catalogue; pp. 85-104!

I hope this is of some use to you,

all the very best,

Cis

Subject: ACADEMY : Zosimus
Thu, 19 Dec 2002
From: J Vahid Brown

I don't have it at hand, and you probably already know
of it, but there is a good study and translation of
Zosimos' work on the letter omega, with a lengthy
introduction, extensive notes, and parallel
Greek-English text:

Jackson, Howard M. _On the Letter Omega: Zosimos of
Panopolis._ Missousla, MT: Scholars Press, 1978.

Hope this is helpful,

Vahid

Subject: ACADEMY : Zosimus
Thu, 19 Dec 2002

I am just reading _The Golden Builders: Alchemists, Rosicrucians and the
First Freemasons_ by Tobias Churton. He devotes a section to Zosimus and
seems to have derived his information from _The Egyptian Hermes_ by Garth
Fowden (1986, Cambridge University Press). His comments are just a general
survey of Zosimus, but he does mention two things that may be of interest.
One, it appears that Zosimus has freely used material or is simply restating
material from the Corpus Hermetica. Two, of all the treatises the 'authentic
commentary on the letter OMEGA' is Zosimus treaty on _spiritual_ alchemy.

Sincerely,


Subject: ACADEMY : Zosimus
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Thu, 19 Dec 2002

Concerning works ascribed to Zosimus in greek manuscripts
you should read:

- JEAN LETROUIT, (1995), "Cronologie des alchimistes greques",
in: Didier Kahn; Sylvain Matton (eds), "Alchimie, art, histoire
et mythes", pp. 11-94, cf. pp. 22-37 (Works by Zosimus).

Letrouit establishes a few general observations about the works
attributed to Zosimus and false attributions.

You can find a really useful critical edition (Greek-French) of
some alchemical works by Zosimus in:

- MICHÈLE MERTENS, (1995), "Les Alchimistes Grecs.
Tome IV. Zosime de Panapolis", Les Belles Letres, París.

Mertens devotes 112 pages to an extensive historical introduction
about Zosimus, his life and his works in Greek, Muslim and Latin sources.

Concerning the work entitled "Letter Omega" or "Discourse Omega"
I warn you about plentiful defects in Berthelot's "Collection des
Alchimistes Grecs". I think, if you need information about
Berthelot's deficient edition, you should read:

- E. O. VON LIPPMANN, (1914), "Entstehung und Ausbreitung
der Alchemie", Berlin, pp. 647-658.

- R. HALLEUX, (1979), "Marcellin Berthelot, historien de l'alchimie",
in: "Comptes rendus du 104e Confrès national des sociétés
savantes (Bordeaux 1979). Sciences", Paris, fasc. IV, pp. 169-180.

- M. MERTENS, (1995), pp. CVI-CIX.

However, you can find a critical edition in: -

M. MERTENS, (1995), pp. 2-10.

In addition to this study you can find an excellent critical revision in: -

JEAN LETROUIT, (2002), "Hermetism and Alchemy: contribution
to the study of Marcianus Graecus 299 (=M)", in:

C. Gilly & Cis van Heertum (eds.) "Magia, Alchimia, Scienza dal
'400 a '700. L'influso di Ermete Trimegisto", Centro Di, Florence,
t. I, pp. 85-109.

Best wishes,

José Rodríguez Guerrero.

Subject: ACADEMY : Basil Valentine and A. Cockren
From: Brian Cotnoir
22 Dec 2002

In Archibald Cockren's book "Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored"
p87-93 he gives an extended quote from Basil Valentine entitled
'Of the Spirit of Mercury.' I recognise this as being the first
chapter from Valentine's work "Revelation des Mysteres des
Teintures des Sept Metaux." The spelling and grammar in the
quote given by Cockren suggest an early English translation.
Does anyone know from which text Cockren was quoting?

Thank you
Brian Cotnoir

Subject: ACADEMY : Antisternium
From: Mark Niemoeller
21 Dec 2002


In A. E. Waite's THE HERMETIC MUSEUM on page 185 is the
word "antisternium". I have searched a fair amount and can't
find this word anywhere else. Can anyone give me a definition/history?

Here is the context:

"If you take the substance, which contains our Stone, subject it to a S.
Mary's Bath in an alembic, and distil it, the water will run down into the
antisternium, and the salt, or earth, remain at the bottom, and is so
dry..."

Thanks,
Mark

Subject: ACADEMY : Basil Valentine and A. Cockren
From: Adam McLean
23 Dec 2002

This is probably from :

Valentine, Basil.
Basilius Valentinus, A Benedictine Monk, Of natural &
supernatural things. Also, Of the first Tincture, Root, and
Spirit of Metals and Minerals, how the same are Conceived,
Generated, Brought forth, Changed and Augmented.
Translated out of High Dutch by Daniel Cable. Whereunto
is added Alex: Van Suchten, of the Secrets of Antimony.
Translated out of High Dutch by D.C. a Person of great
Skill in Chymistry.
London, Printed, and are to be sold by Moses Pitt at the
White Hart in Little Britain, 1670. [Wing B1019.]

I don't have access to a copy of this at present so I
cannot confirm the quotation.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Antisternium
From: Adam McLean
21 Dec 2002

>in an alembic, and distil it, the water will run down into the
>antisternium, and the salt, or earth, remain at the bottom, and is so
>dry..."

I think this is a term for that part of the alembic still head into
which the condensing waters collect. The still head usually
has an out-bulging part into which the pipe passes to the
receiver. This overhanging part collects the condensed liquid
and it then flows towards the outlet pipe. This may come from
the Latin or Greek for breast bone.

Adam McLean

Subject: ACADEMY : Antisternium
From: Chris Pickering
Mon, 23 Dec 2002

Although I am not certain, I suspect that the antisternum
is the spout.

From sternere = to throw down. Presumably the anti (=ante)
merely indicates that it is at the front of the vessel.

Chris Pickering