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June 2005
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Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 5 June 2005

Dear Rafal,

I would say that this book could be considered as both
being antiquarian and esoteric.

Dr. Gottlieb Latz was a German physician who spent
much of his life deciphering the meaning of the
Emerald Tablet. Hence his "Die Alchemie",
first published in Bonn, Germany in 1869.

His book was as you wrote made again available in
German and was too translated into English by Dennis
W. Hauck.

Here are some indications about the contents:

CHAPTER CONTENTS
The Ancient Science of Alchemy
The Emerald Tablet
The Three Titles of the Emerald Tablet
The Age of the Emerald Tablet

And here is a link:

http://www.alchemylab.com/latz.htm

With best regards,
Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Sharon White
Date: 5 June 2005

Dear Rafal,

I have a 2003 edition of the book of Gottlieb Latz here.
It has ISBN 3-89836-342-2,

Kommet Verlag GmbH, Köln, www.kometh-verlag.de.

It contains 1039 pages and I found it once on a restseller table.

Best regards,
Nicole



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Sharon White
Date: 5 June 2005

Dear Adam, Jean-Yves and Nicole,

Thank you for your replies. Yes, I have seen the fragment on
www.alchemylab.com from Dennis Hauck's translation of
a longer fragment on the Emerald Table. That's why I thought
(which you have now confirmed) that it was not historical
and wondered into what category it can be placed.

Nicole, as you have a copy:

>I have a 2003 edition of the book of Gottlieb Latz here.

what is your opinion? How does it fit in the context of
other 19th c. esoteric authors/currents? I understand
Latz was a doctor of medicine so perhaps there is
a trace of German romantic school of medicine there
(the extended title says it was written "für Aerzte").

Best regards,

Rafal



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
From: Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Date: 6 June 2005

Dear Adam,

I am fascinated by the scholarly tendency to throw out the proverbial
baby with the bath water when one deals with the so-called historicity
of alchemy. I do respect all the efforts of our fellow researchers but
then my question is where does one draw the line?

Do we wish to "innerstand" alchemy i.e to decipher its codes? If so we
should indeed utilize for that purpose all the resources of modern technology
and scholarship but we must remember that the legends and the fantastic
identities of its "spurious" authors are very much a part of the entire
fabric. In seeking to debunk its legends one is always at risk of undermining
the whole structure and dismembering a lifeless corpse from which the
very mystery of the spirit that kept it alive has altogether vanished.

Whatever its true origins the Emerald Tablet was , and still is, for any
true son of Hermes the epitome of the Great Work. I have not read Latz's
book but I met Dennis Hauck who kindly sent me his book and I feel you
are being somewhat harsh in your judgment.

That said, while we are at it I would welcome a discussion on what the
current official scholarly position is on the Emerald Table and I would
be happy to see if such knowledge satisfies more than one 's innate
insatiable curiosity for the subject.

All the very best always,

Stanislas Klossowski de Rola



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
From: Adam McLean
Date: 6 June 2005

Dear Stanislas,

>but then my question is where does one draw the line?

Well, surely, drawing the line is the work of scholarship.
On one side of this line is the mere belief that something is so
and on the other is a consensus based on evidence. I do not
see any value in dropping our scholarly standards, for then do
we just accept the belief-driven views of writers? I for one
don't want to shape my perspective on alchemy on someone
else's belief system that I am unable to criticise. What is the
point of basing ones life on fantasy and untruths?


>In seeking to debunk its legends one is always at risk of undermining
the whole structure and dismembering a lifeless corpse from which the
very mystery of the spirit that kept it alive has altogether vanished.


I don't think this is true at all. For example, I find the Flamel Book
of the Hieroglyphics symbols fascinating. It does not in any way
detract from the value of the work for me to realise that it emerged
out of the late 16th century and not from a 14th century Nicholas
Flamel. The works of Basil Valentine remain important in the
history of alchemy, even when one realises that they were not
written by some monk and hidden in a pillar of a cathedral in
Erfurt.

As an example of how putting a work in its proper context, has
not denigrated or damaged it in any way, consider the Corpus
Hermeticum. During the early 17th century there was a fiery debate
about the dating of the Hermetica, were they pre- or post-Christian?
Now hundreds of years later we still turn to the Corpus Hermeticum,
and they are just as valued writings as they were back in the
17th century, but they are seen in their proper context. This has
not damaged the writings, but given them their true place in the
stream of history.

>Whatever its true origins the Emerald Tablet was , and still is, for any
true son of Hermes the epitome of the Great Work. I have not read Latz's
book but I met Dennis Hauck who kindly sent me his book and I feel you
are being somewhat harsh in your judgment.

Surely it is important to base our view of the Emerald table on
what can be known about it, not what can be imagined about it.
Dennis Hauck's book draws on Latz's fantasy history, the product
of his ideosyncratic beliefs. Dennis obviously can read German,
but why in his book is there no mention of modern scholarship?
Julius Ruska's seminal work on the Tabula Smaragdina does not
get a mention. Was Dennis unaware of the existence of Ruska's work?
If so, it demonstrates that he has little scholarship. If he was aware
and yet chose to ignore this examination of the sources of the
Emerald table, surely that tells us something about the perspective
Dennis Hauck was taking on the Emerald Tablet. Unfortunately it is
these mass marketed popular titles that shape people's views. I
sometimes find myself almost despairing when I see the same
old nonsense is still being perpetuated.

>That said, while we are at it I would welcome a discussion on what the
current official scholarly position is on the Emerald Table

Of course, and the value of a scholarly discussion is that one can question,
examine the evidence, and try and contextualise the work correctly,
and not rely on someone else's beliefs. If one abandons a scholarly
approach then one has no way of deciding whether one person's view
is more relevant than that of another, and then we might as well accept that
alchemy is an ancient science from Atlantis, or brought to earth by aliens
from the second planet of Sirius.

If you read Dennis Hauck's book closely you will see that he links,
in chapter 22, Hermes with UFO experiences. I don't think I was being
unduly harsh. His book reveals itself as what it is. It does not need
my deconstruction.

Best wishes,

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
From: Cis van Heertum
Date: 6 June 2005

Dear Stanislas Klossowski de Rola,

No doubt the 'discussion on what the current official scholarly position
is' of the Tabula smaragdina will profit from Carlos Gilly's entries on
manuscript and printed editions in S. Gentile/C. Gilly, Marsilio Ficino
e il ritorno di Ermete Trismegisto/Marsilio Ficino and the return of
Hermes Trismegistus, Florence, Centro Di, 2001 (2nd. Rev. ed.), pages
196-206.

Best wishes,

Cis van Heertum



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Sharon White
Date: 6 June 2005

Dear Rafael,

I can not really answer your question. I only read the first few
chapters of the book of Gottlieb Latz. I liked the way Dr.
Latz made connections between Alchemy and Medicine but then
the book became strangely esoteric with a form of numerology
which I found rather confusing. But this could also easily be
a lack of knowledge of myself.

With best regards,
Nicole



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 6 June 2005

Dear Adam, Stanislas, Cis, Nicole and all,

I fully agree that Tabula Smaragdina (TS) deserves an
academic interest.
I dare to call it the Credo of alchemists, and by the
way one of my standpoints is to consider that scholars
need alchemists (and alchemists possibly need
scholars) as well as some scholars can be alchemists
and vice versa.

Anyway here is Isaac Newton's translation of TS:

1. Tis true without lying, certain & most true.
2. That wch is below is like that wch is above & that
wch is above is like yt wch is below to do ye miracles
of one only thing.
3. And as all things have been & arose from one by ye
mediation of one: so all things have their birth from
this one thing by adaptation.
4. The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,
5. the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth its nourse.
6. The father of all perfection in ye whole world is here.
7. Its force or power is entire if it be converted
into earth.
7a. Separate thou ye earth from ye fire, ye subtile
from the gross sweetly wth great indoustry.
8. It ascends from ye earth to ye heaven & again it
desends to ye earth and receives ye force of things
superior & inferior.
9. By this means you shall have ye glory of ye whole
world & thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
10. Its force is above all force. ffor it vanquishes
every subtile thing & penetrates every solid thing.
11a. So was ye world created.
12. From this are & do come admirable adaptaions
whereof ye means (Or process) is here in this.
13. Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the
three parts of ye philosophy of ye whole world.
14. That wch I have said of ye operation of ye Sun is
accomplished & ended.

A valuable synthesis about TS is in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Tablet

Its textual history could be a starting point for
further studies:
The oldest documentable source for the text is the
Kitab Sirr al-Asrar, a pseudo-Aristotelian compendium
of advice for rulers authored by Abd al-Qadir
al-Jilani in around 800 AD. This work was translated
into Latin as Secretum Secretorum (The Secret of
Secrets) by Johannes "Hispalensis" or Hispaniensis
(John of Seville) ca. 1140 and by Philip of Tripoli c.
1243.

In the 14th century, the alchemist Ortolanus wrote a
substantial exegesis on "The Secret of Hermes," which
was influential on the subsequent development of
alchemy. Many manuscripts of this copy of the Emerald
Tablet and the commentary of Ortolanus survive, dating
at least as far back as the 15th century.

The Tablet has also been found appended to manuscripts
of the Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss al-Thani (Second Book of
the Elements of Foundation) attributed to Jabir ibn
Hayyan, and the Kitab Sirr al-Khaliqa wa San`at
al-Tabi`a (Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art
of Nature), dated between 650 and 830 AD.

An other exciting page is of course :

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

With best regards,

Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Date: 6 June 2005

>The oldest documentable source for the text is the
>Kitab Sirr al-Asrar, a pseudo-Aristotelian compendium

I think the oldest documentable source for the tabula smaragdina is
not 'Kitab Sirr al-Asrar' but a famous work entitled 'Kitâb sirr al-halîqa'
(sometimes called 'Kitâb al-`ilal') attributed to Apolonius of Tiana.
The Tabula appears at the end of this work and it seems to be a compendia
or summary of halîqa's cosmology.

You can find the Arabic text in an excellent a critical edition :

U. WEISSER, (1979), Buch über das Geheimnis der Schöpfung und die
Darstellung der Natur (Buch der Ursachen) von Pseudo-Apollonios von
Tyana, edited by Ursula Weisser, Institute for the History of Arabic Science,
University of Aleppo.

There is a great commentary of halîqa's theories of matter by Pinella
Travaglia. It provides a lucid analysis of the Tabula:

PINELLA TRAVAGLIA, (2001), "Una Cosmologia ermetica.
Il Kitâb sirr al-halîqa / De secretis naturae", Liguori Editori, Napoli

'Kitâb sirr al-halîqa' was translated into Latin by Hugo de Santalla at
the begining of 12th century. You can find a critical edition of the Latin text in:

FRANÇOIS HUDRY, (1997-1999), Le De secretis nature du Ps. Apollonius
de Tyane, traduction latine par Hugues de Santalla du Kitæb sirr al-halîqa.
Édition et présentation par Françoise Hudry, in: Chrysopoeia, 6, pp. 1-154.

Other arabic works had copied parts of 'Kitâb sirr al-halîqa', including the
final sentences called tabula smaragdina. Yabir Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss could
be an example.

See: PAUL KRAUS, (1942) "Jabir Ibn Hayyan. Contribution á l'historie des
idées scientifiques dans l'islam. Jabir et la science greque", Impresiones
de la I. F. A. O., El Cairo, pp. 270-303.

The Tabula arrives to European countries in three different versions. Of course,
the accurate version is that of Hugo of Santalla. But it was not very popular
in alchemical circles, because it seems to be more philosophical than
alchemical.

See: JEAN-MAR MANDOSIO, (2004), La Tabula smaragdina nel Medioevo
latino, I. La Tabula smaragdina e i suoi commentari medievali, in:
Paolo Lucentini et al. (eds.) Hermetism from late antiquity to humanism,
Brepols Publishers, pp. 681-696.

The second version appears in the pseudo-Aristotelian Secretum Secretorum
translated by Philip of Tripoli arround 1230-1240. It is the treatise that you
report. However the Tabula does not appear in John of Seville's translation
dated 12th century. Roger Bacon takes this work and wrote a manipulated
version of the Tabula, very popular in some alchemical authors. There is a copy in:

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Tanner 116 (edited by Steele, 1920, pp. 115-117).

See: IRENE CAIAZZO, (2004), La Tabula smaragdina nel Medioevo latino, II.
Note sulla fortuna della Tabula smaragdina nel Medioevo latino, in: Paolo
Lucentini et al. (eds.) Hermetism from late antiquity to humanism, Brepols
Publishers, pp. 697-713.

The third version appears in the alchemical work entitled Liber hermetis de
alchimia (sometimes called Liber rebis or Liber dabessi). It seems to be a
translation by Plato of Tivoli dated around 1140. It was the most popular
version in alchemical texts during Middle Ages.

See: A. COLINET, (1995), Le livre d'Hermès intitulé Liber dabessi ou Liber
rebis, in: Studi Medievali, 36, pp. 1011-1052.

Sorry for my long message...

Regards,
José Rodríguez



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Vahid Brown
Date: 6 June 2005

Dear Adam,

You wrote:
>The works of Basil Valentine remain important in the history
>of alchemy, even when one realises that they were not written by
>some monk and hidden in a pillar of a cathedral in Erfurt.

Where can I learn more about this legend? I can find only the scantiest
reference to this in the works that I looked through this afternoon,
and the introduction (by L.G. Kelly) to the English Renaissance
Hermeticism series reprint of the Triumphant Chariot of Antinomy
makes no mention of this (nor do Thorndike, Holmyard...).

I'm working on the history of this motif - of claiming to discover texts
in pillars or underground - and would appreciate any references for
this with regard to the writings of Basil Valentine.

Many thanks,

Vahid Brown



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
Message-Id: From: Vahid Brown
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear Jean,

With regard to the "Textual History" of the Emerald Tablet that you quoted
from wikipedia, note that Jilani, while the author of a work entitled
Sirr al-Asrar, is *not* the author of the Sirr al-Asrar in question.
They are totally different works with nothing shared between them but
the title (though the ps-Aristotelian work is not usually "titled" sirr al-asrar
in the Arabic recensions, though it often bears that phrase in a subtitle).

While parts of the Sirr al-Asrar/Secretum Secretorum are indeed quite
old (Kevin van Bladel has an article in press arguing that some of it even
originated in middle Persian Sassanian literature), the version of the
text that includes the Emerald Tablet is mid-twelfth century, and so
is *not* the oldest documentable source for the text.

Vahid Brown



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Beat Krummenacher
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear Rafael,

To only see in the book of Dr. Latz a perhaps "naive-romantic-antiquarian
but perhaps occult/esoteric" work is not the whole thing.

As mentioned by others, you find personally tinged interpretations of some
important alchemical treatises in his book, which might be interesting for an
historian, because Latz obviously had a good knowledge of the alchemical
literature. But Latz only added that part of his work, because he wanted to
present the most important of his sources together with his individual
interpretation.

But there is another important part of the book, I would say the reason why
Latz has written his work. Latz derived from his extended literature research
an identification of the so called "Arcana" of the alchemists, in that he
attributed specific chemical substances to some of the best known "Arcana"
mentioned in many alchemical boooks. And based on his "discovery" he claimed
to be able to produce himself the "high medicines of the alchemists". After
having identified and produced "his Arcana", he started to use them in his own
practice in some way.

So the work of Dr. Latz is a good example of a researcher not seeing in
alchemical texts only allegorical, mythological, esoteric or other "mind
oriented games", but the advise to practice with matter. For Latz alchemy was
a "science" to prepare remedies out of specific raw materials useful to treat
his patients. That standpoint is completely fitting with what alchemy always
has been: A practical science (if you really read carefully the literature and
do not read things into it which the authors never minded).

From a deeper understanding, Latz's interpretation unfortunately was wrong, in
that he used common chemicals, minerals and salts instead of philosophical
matter, which the latter is the only basis of all true arcana. He did not know
the methods, how common matter can be transformed into philosophical matter,
so that all "his Arcana" cannot be compared with the arcana of the alchemists.
But nevertheless - from a more chemical point of view - his contributions are
an important "historical mark" for the trial to approach alchemy on a
practical basis.

Regards,

Beat Krummenacher



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Adam McLean
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear Vahid Brown,

I will try and locate some of the original sources for the Basil
Valentine story. My memory fails me at the moment. Meanwhile I
wonder if you know the story of Wenceslaus Seilerus, which may draw on
the Valentine story. This is included in:

Becher, John Joachim [1635-1682]. Magnalia Naturae: or, the Philosophers-Stone
Lately exposd to publick Sight and Sale. Being A true and exact Account of the Manner
how Wenceslaus Seilerus The late Famous Projection-maker, at the Emperours Court,
at Vienna, came by, and made away with a very great Quantity of Pouder of Projection,
by projecting with it before the Emperor, and a great many Witnesses, selling it, &c.
for some years past. Published at the Request, and for the Satisfaction of several
Curious and Ingenious, especially of Mr. Boyl, &c. By John Joachim Becher,
One of the Council of the Emperor, and a Commissioner for the Examen of this
Affair... London, Printed by Tho. Dawks, His Majesties British Printer, living in
Black-fryers. Sold also by La. Curtis, in Goat Court on Ludgate hill, 1680

This involves a pillar.

"But it happened afterwards, That, a great Tempest arising, The whole Church, as
especially this decayed Pillar, was so shaken and spoiled, that to prevent its falling
down, the Abbot was necessitated to order it to be demolished....when the Pillar
was almost all pulled down, They found therein a Copper-box, of a reasonable
bigness, which the old Father presently snatched up and carryed it into his Cloyster,
and immediately opened it....

You can read the whole of this on my web page

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


Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Adam McLean
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear Vahid Brown,

If you have access to a copy do take a look at Basil Valentine's Last
Will and Testament, also published in French in 1651.

Valentine, Basil.
Basilius Valentinus Friar Of the Order of St. Benedict His last Will and Testament.
Which He himself, being alone, hid under a Table of Marble behinde the High-Altar
of the Cathedral Church, in the Imperial Citie of Erford; leaving it there to be found
of him, whom Gods Providence should make worthy of it. Wherein he sufficiently
declareth the wayes he wrought to obtain the Philosophers stone, and taught them
also to his fellow Collegians, all of them attained also to the having of the Philosophers
stone: whereby not onely the leprous bodies of the impure, and inferior Metals are
reduced unto the pure and perfect body of Gold and Silver, but also all manner of
diseases whatsoever are cured in the bodies of unhealthfull men, and kept thereby
in perfect health unto the prolonging of their lives.
London, printed anno Domini, MDCLVII [1657]. [Wing B1015.]

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Emerald Tablet
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear José,

Perhaps some other French speaking authors are worth
quoting. As far as the Tabula Smaragdina is concerned, I would
like to mention, besides Henry Corbin and Pierre Lory, especially,

Monod-Herzen G.E., L'Alchimie Méditerranéenne. Ses Origines
et son But. La Table d'Emeraude.
Paris, Adyar, 1962,
216 pp. + 7 pl. dont 4 dépliantes en fin de texte, br.

With best regards,
Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Test introduction to Theatrum Chemicum
From: Rafal Prinke
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear Academy,

I have just put the introduction and tables of context
to the electronic _Theatrum chemicum_ temporarily here:

http://main2.amu.edu.pl/~rafalp

It will eventually be put at the digital library
but before I do that, I shall be grateful for any
comments, corrections or suggestions.
Note that the tables of contents already work
and you can follow the links to particular pages
in the WBC library.

Best regards,

Rafal



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: jean-yves artero
Date: 7 June 2005

Dear Beat,

Here is an additional hint about Hauck's approach to Latz' work:

http://www.alchemylab.com/arcana.htm

"The medieval alchemists believed that the Emerald
Tablet described the action of seven chemical
compounds known to the ancients as the arcana or
"great secrets." The arcana were the divine secrets of
creation, the basic archetypes after which all things
were patterned. The chemical arcana were the compounds
that expressed these eternal truths in the physical
world. The properties of these compounds symbolized
the highest philosophical truths, as well as
demonstrating basic physical principles."

Otherwise Hauck himself asked Alchemy Forum about
Latz' book significance:

"Fri Jul 12 09:39:24 1996
Subject: 1324 Arcanum Experiment
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 14:30:55 -0700
From: Dennis William Hauck
I have translated the work of the eighteenth century German alchemist,
Dr. Gottlieb Latz, and am fascinated by his innovative lifelong work
with the Emerald Tablet, in particular, his deciphering of a chemical
formula from early Latin versions. He posits that the seven chemicals
described in the Tablet are components of the Arcanum Experiment,
the single laboratory experiment which openly demonstrates all the
principles of alchemy. In particular, he references two compounds
called "Pulvis Solaris" and "Liquor Hepatis." Is anyone familiar with
these terms and know their formula? From my progress
so far in the translation, it seems that the Pulvis contains "sulfur
auratum" and red mercuric oxide. The Liquor seems to be composed
of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. However, I think there may be
other ingredients or impurites involved in the original formula that
are not available today. Anyone have any ideas?"

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/frm1350.html

With best regards,
Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Vahid Brown
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Adam,

Many thanks, this is very helpful. Happily, both of the texts you
mention are available online through Early English Books Online,
an absolutely priceless resource.

http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home

(You need a subscription or access through a subscribing library.)

If you or any other of the learned listmembers know of obscure works
that involve this motif, I would be most grateful for such information
and will of course credit you for bringing them to my attention in
any publications based on this research.

Thanks again,
Vahid

P.S. - Incidentally, both the Sirr al-Khaliqa and the Sirr al-Asrar include
this discovery motif, as do many other items of Arabic "Hermetica."
The early Islamicate alchemist Ibn Umayl utilizes this motif, putting
forth his Ma` al-waraqi as the elucidation of Egyptian symbols discovered
inscribed on tablets in a secret chamber. A number of other instances
of Arabic alchemical works "discovered" in this way are collected or
described in Ruska's classic work on the Tabula Smaragdina. - VB

***

Valentine, Basil.
Basilius Valentinus Friar Of the Order of St. Benedict His last Will and
Testament. Which He himself, being alone, hid under a Table of Marble
behinde the High-Altar of the Cathedral Church, in the Imperial Citie of
Erford; leaving it there to be found of him, whom Gods Providence should
make worthy of it. Wherein he sufficiently declareth the wayes he
wrought to obtain the Philosophers stone, and taught them also to his
fellow Collegians, all of them attained also to the having of the Philosophers
stone: whereby not onely the leprous bodies of the impure, and inferior
Metals are reduced unto the pure and perfect body of Gold and Silver,
but also all manner of diseases whatsoever are cured in the bodies of
unhealthfull men, and kept thereby in perfect health unto the prolonging
of their lives.
London, printed anno Domini, MDCLVII [1657].


Becher, John Joachim [1635-1682]. Magnalia Naturae: or, the
Philosophers-Stone Lately exposd to publick Sight and Sale. Being A
true and exact Account of the Manner how Wenceslaus Seilerus The late
Famous Projection-maker, at the Emperours Court, at Vienna, came by,
and made away with a very great Quantity of Pouder of Projection,
by projecting with it before the Emperor, and a great many Witnesses,
selling it, &c. for some years past. Published at the Request, and for
the Satisfaction of several Curious and Ingenious, especially of
Mr. Boyl, &c. By John Joachim Becher, One of the Council of the
Emperor, and a Commissioner for the Examen of this Affair...
London, Printed by Tho. Dawks, His Majesties British Printer,
living in Black-fryers. Sold also by La. Curtis, in Goat Court
on Ludgate hill, 1680.



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Adam McLean
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Vahid,

>Incidentally, both the Sirr al-Khaliqa and the Sirr al-Asrar include
>this discovery motif, as do many other items of Arabic "Hermetica."
>...A number of other instances of Arabic alchemical works "discovered"
>in this way are collected or described in Ruska's classic work on the
>Tabula Smaragdina.

This clearly demonstrates how much alchemy is a literary tradition
and how alchemical writers drew on and reshaped ideas they found
in earlier writers. There is a coherence to such alchemical ideas
which means that they can be investigated in much the same way
as is done with other domains of human endeavour.

I do hope you will be able to make a study of this motif and eventually
publish it in some form.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Rafal Prinke
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Vahid,

>If you or any other of the learned listmembers know of obscure works
>that involve this motif, I would be most grateful for such information
>and will of course credit you for bringing them to my attention in
>any publications based on this research.


Another example, probably (almost certainly) modelled on
that of Basilius Valentinus, is the treatise on prima materia
by Vincentius Koffski, first published by Benedictus Figulus
in _Thesaurinella olympica_ (Frankfurt 1608), reprinted
separately in 1681 (Gdansk/Danzig), 1682 (German translation
of Figulus, Frankfurt), separately 1699 (Strassburg) and in 1786
with commentaries and additional pseudepigraphic material (Nurnberg).
There is also a late 16th c. manuscript in Vienna (apparently
dated to 1566-1599) containing also other texts which are
not included in Figulus, thus suggesting he had not written
it himself.

All editions have a preface stating that the author was born
in Poznan, then was a Dominican friar in Gdansk and wrote
his treatise there, dating it 3 May 1488, and hiding it
in the wall of the monastery. It was then discovered
by the prior named Paul on 14 August 1588 (the Vienna MS
has 1585).

I edited the Polish translation of the treatise in 1985
(is it really 20 years ago?!) and argued there may have been
something to the story. Now, being so much older and wiser,
I am quite convinced it was based on the story of Basilius
- unless the Vienna MS antedated Thoelde, then it may
have been the other way round (or they may have been
independent, after all - drawing on those in Arabic texts
you referred to.

Best regards,

Rafal



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Adam McLean
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Jean-Yves Artero,

Thank you for this reference from the old Alchemy Forum.

>He [Latz] posits that the seven chemicals described in the
>Tablet are components of the Arcanum Experiment, the single
>laboratory experiment which openly demonstrates all the
>principles of alchemy.

I think this exemplifies the absurdity of taking such a person
as a source for information about alchemy. Here Ladz describes
an experiment which, to the best of my knowledge, was not part of
the alchemical tradition. It would appear to be merely an experiment
of his own imagination. He also finds seven chemical substances in
the Tabula Smaragdina, which anyone taking a even a cursory glance at
this text realises are not described there. This is a clear example of
someone reading what they want into a text.

Dennis Hauck takes up Ladz's ideas and runs even further away
from the reality of alchemy in his book on the Emerald tablet. In
the chapter describing this 'Arcanum experiment' he makes some
telling statements.

"To Egyptian alchemists, the arcana were the psychophysical secret
ingredients in their experiments and the Arcanum Experiment was the
name applied to the single laboratory experiment that openly
demonstrated all the principles of alchemy..."

He then digresses into tarot cards and absurdly connects them
with alchemy, seemingly through the word 'arcana'

"The Hermeticists epitomised the arcana chemicals in tarot cards
and attempted to "work" with them in psychological and spiritual
terms... Although the chemical arcana were associated with the
tarot for some time, no one in modern times connected them to
the Emerald tablet, until an obscure German alchemist [Ladz]
worked it out in the mid-nineteenth century."

Later we depart an even greater distance from reality.

"In researching the surrealistic visions of the alchemists, I
found descriptions of the subject of their experiment, the
mysterious First Matter, which fit remarkably well with the
properties of the morphing force I identified at the root
of many paranormal events."

This opens us up to a journey through the alchemical
significance of UFOs and crop circles.

Enough said !

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Boehme and Rosicrucianism
From: Leigh Penman
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Academy,

I have just been reading Susanna Åkerman's 'Rose Cross Over the Baltic'(1998),
an exceptionally interesting work. On p.89 of this book, the author makes
reference to 'several attempts by the followers of Jacob Boehme' to confuse
the reception of Rosicrucianism by involving themselves in the controversy.

Does anyone know exactly which followers of Boehme Åkerman might be
making reference to here, and how they involved themselves in the Rosicrucian
furore?

This also might be an approriate forum (following Will-Erich Peuckert) to
discuss the impact of Rosicrucianism 'proper' on Boehme (if any!)

Thanks for any help,

Leigh



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Leigh Penman
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Vahid,

I am not sure if this is relevant, but recently I have been working on
apocalyptic and millenarian prophecy in Germany 1600-1630, and
there is a famous prophecy about the coming of a messianic Calvinist king,
printed in Prague in 1621.

The prophecy tells that all Christendom will be united under this king by
around 1626, but mysteriously enough, the prophecy was attributed to
Johann Huss (c.1370-1415; 'Viva manus Hussiana me praeparavit') and
was supposedly discovered in a silver box bearing a clockface (Uhrenkasten)
in the Library of St. Jakob in Prague.

Clearly, the prophecy was meant to refer to Frederick V!

This prophecy was immortalised in a broadsheet 'Gruendtliche Offenbarung
und eigentliche Abbildung / einer geheimen denckwuerdigen Prophecey/
welche in diesem 1621. Jahr/ zu Prag bey S. Jakob in der Bibliothek/
auff und in einem kleinen silbern vergueldten Laedlein oder Kaestlein
gefunden worden.' [Prague?] 1621. (VD17 23:233780Z)

See this page for an image of a 1624 reprint!

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/images/prophecy_broadsheet.jpg

In the actual sheet, the story of discovery occupies only a very small
paragraph (the first), however a description of the (suitably elaborate and
suggestive) box in which it was found, replete with references to Huss,
etc takes up quite a bit of space.

It's not hermetic, and it was not found in a pillar (nor underground) but
I think that this prophecy ties into the same tropes of rediscovery of
knowledge that mark the Valentine incident and its imitators. The link to
Huss was a clear attempt to to anchor the prophetic vision to the Bohemian
reform movement of two centuries earlier, thereby imbuing it with more
prophetic 'authority' for the contemporary Bohemian audience.

All the best,

Leigh


Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Alfredo Felix-Diaz
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Adam,

Concerning Hauck you wrote:

> He then digresses into tarot cards and absurdly connects them
> with alchemy, seemingly through the word 'arcana'...

His chemical experiments and UFO connections seem as off-the-track to
me as they do to you. But connecting the Tarot cards to alchemy seems
accurate. Even Fulcanelli in "The Dwellings of the Philosophers"
suggests that the Fool trump is our mercury or pilgrim that goes thru
21 phases to become the Philosophers Stone.

All the very Best,

Alfredo



Subject: ACADEMY: Gottlieb Latz
From: Adam McLean
Date: 8 June 2005

Dear Alfredo,

>But connecting the Tarot cards to alchemy seems accurate.

I am totally shocked that you should say this.

NO, I repeat NO, alchemical text has ever mentioned tarot.

Tarot is a card game that became elevated in the late 18th century
by a misguided writer to the status of a book of esoteric
knowledge.

This mistaken conception was taken up by the French occult
revivalists in the 19th century, then penetrated the Golden Dawn
and now we have the tarot we know today. But this has nothing
to do with alchemy. Tarot has a lot to do with modern esotericism,
new age ideas and so on, and the imagery is a delight. But no
alchemist ever saw it as more than a game of cards.

I am surprised you even thought there might be some connection, but
to describe this as an accurate assessement !

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 9 June 2005

Dear Academy,

Here is an excerpt of the first paragraphs of Eugene
Canseliet's preface of his French edition of Basile
Valentine's Twelve Keys, Editions de Minuit, Paris,
1956.

"Olaus Borrichius, Danish chemist, botanist and
philologist, through a post-mortem writing, briefly
states in his study (conspectus) of Basile Valentine,
"monk of the Benedictine Order, very well known author
nowadays, but who only came to fame among scientists
at the end after his death, while the latter writer
consider a clap of thunder as the origin of the
opening of a column of the Erfurt temple which was
broken by the middle where his manuscript was till
then hidden". He (Olaus) at once expresses his doubts:
"But these events, anyway, which were also spread in
the open, through the intermediary of pictures, don't
rely upon any certainty".

Here is a Latin corresponding footnote and original
statement: "Benedicti ordini Monachus, notissimus
scriptor hodie, sed qui diu a morte sua doctis tandem
coepit innotescere, aperta,ceu perhibent, per ictum
fulminis columna Templi Erfurttensis, in cujus medio
diffracto scriptum hejus hactenus delituerat. Sed &
haec, utcunque, in vulgus etiam Typorum ministerio
sparsa, nullius certa ninuntur
auctoritate. (Olai Borrichii, Conspectus Sciptorum
illustrorum Libellus posthumus, Havniae, 1697, p.30,
xxxxiv;).

With best regards,

Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Vahid Brown
Date: 9 June 2005

Dear Leigh,

That's a wonderful example, and one I hadn't known of before - thanks!
There's a very close cognate in the same period in England, in the
prophecies issued by one Christopher Love, a Presbyterian minister who
was executed in 1651 for conspiring against Cromwell. Love's prophecies
became extraordinarily popular reading, being printed hundreds of times
in England and the colonies, no less than twenty editions coming out in
the 1790s in New England alone. In his preface, and I quote from an
edition put out the year of his death, Love writes:

"I do not mean now, that any new prophet shall arise; but the Lord by his
Spirit shall cause knowledge to abound among his people, whereby the
old prophecies shall be clearly understood. And I die in that thought, and
really believe that my calculations are right, on the Revelation of St. John,
and the prophecy which St. Jerome copied off and translated out of the
Hebrew language, as it is written on *Seth's pillar* in Damascus, which
pillar is said to have stood since before the flood and was built by Seth,
Adam's son, and written by Enoch the prophet; as likewise the holy
precepts whereby the patriarch walked before the law was given to Moses,
which were also engraven on the said pillar, whereof many Jews have
copies, in their own language written on parchment, and engraven on brass
and copper."
(The strange and wonderful predictions of Mr. Christopher Love, minister
of the Gospel at Laurence Jury, London, 1651, pp. 6f.)

Love then immediately launches into a list of prophecies, which begins:
"Great earthquakes and commotions by sea and land shall come in the year
of God 1779. Great wars in Germany and America, in 1780," and so on.

The antediluvian pillar is one of the most common forms of the motif that
I am tracking, and stretches all the way back to ancient Babylonian texts
(cf. Berosus). This form of the motif is found in the earliest Masonic
Constitution, the so-called Cooke Manuscript, where antediluvian patriarchs
are said to have raised two pillars inscribed with the liberal arts and
masonic sciences, discovered after the Flood by none other than Hermes and Pythagoras.

The version whereby mysterious texts are found in special boxes is also
quite widespread. Many mss. of the important "Key of Solomon" are prefaced
with this discovery motif.

Anyway, thanks again,

Vahid



Subject: ACADEMY: Boehme and Rosicrucianism
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 9 June 2005

Dear Leigh,

Susanna Åkerman's 'Rose Cross Over the Baltic'(1998)
is one of the books I am still missing!

Perhaps you could too have a look to 'The Alchemy of
Light' by Urszula Szulakowska (2000) which one I was
already able to read:

Page XVII, "Khunrath placed his cabbalism within a
christological framework, so much so, that his main
concern from 1595 was not alchemical theory, but
pietistic Christian theology, anticipating, perhaps,
the alchemical mysticism of Boehme".

Page 20: "Lullian geometries influenced some of the
engravings in Khunrath's Amphitheatrum, as well as
illustrations produced for Oswald Croll, Johann
Mylius, Boehme and other alchemists".

Page 179: "An extraordinary development of Fludd's
cosmology of the divine eye of God was produced by the
illustrator to Boehme's collected works in the
Amsterdam edition of 1682 published by Gichtel nearly
sixty years after his death".

Etc.

With best regards,
Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Boehme and Rosicrucianism
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 9 June 2005

Dear Leigh,

Susanna Åkerman's 'Rose Cross Over the Baltic'(1998)
is one of the books I am still missing!

Perhaps you could too have a look to 'The Alchemy of
Light' by Urszula Szulakowska (2000) which one I was
already able to read:

Page XVII, "Khunrath placed his cabbalism within a
christological framework, so much so, that his main
concern from 1595 was not alchemical theory, but
pietistic Christian theology, anticipating, perhaps,
the alchemical mysticism of Boehme".

Page 20: "Lullian geometries influenced some of the
engravings in Khunrath's Amphitheatrum, as well as
illustrations produced for Oswald Croll, Johann
Mylius, Boehme and other alchemists".

Page 179: "An extraordinary development of Fludd's
cosmology of the divine eye of God was produced by the
illustrator to Boehme's collected works in the
Amsterdam edition of 1682 published by Gichtel nearly
sixty years after his death".

Etc.

With best regards,
Jean


Subject: ACADEMY: Basil Valentine legend
From: Leigh Penman
Date: 10 June 2005

Dear Vahid,

I was unaware of the Love prophecies, which sound brilliant. I was
also unaware of the Key of Solomon motif, thanks for pointing that out.
At some stage I want to look at how earlier continental prophecies of
Paul Felgenhauer, Paul Graebner and Andreas ab Habernfeld (also
Hoberweschel/Haberweschel/Hobervesl, etc) were rediscovered and
employed in England between 1640-1700. There might be more
strange stories of pillars, boxes and underground chambers involved there!

I must admit that I find the idea of rediscovery of knowledge portrayed
as a physical act of discovery to be quite fascinating. It is amazing to see
that it has existed for so long (Babylonian times!!). I am reminded of the
story in Ezechiel 8:7ff

Also, the grotesque myth surrounding the supposed "treasure of
Rennes-le-Chateau" involves the rediscovery of parchments hidden
in a 'Visigothic pillar' that supported the altar in Sauniere's church.
(Holy Blood & the Holy Grail, 1981, p5). Sauniere was supposedly
renovating the church at the time, much like the 'brother of the 3rd
succession' who rediscovered Rosencreutz's tomb when renovating
the 'haus Sanctus Spiritus' of the RC. While the entire Rennes business
is an entirely farcical affair, it is interesting to note the presence of
the 'rediscovery' motif.

All the best,

Leigh



Subject: ACADEMY: Boehme and Rosicrucianism
From: Susanna Åkerman
Date: 10 June 2005

Dear Leigh,

I was referring to Fridrich Grick who wrote a dozen RC pamphlets under
the names Irenaeus Agnostus and F. G. Menapius. Grick is described as
a Boehmenist by Hans Schick in his Das ältere Rosenkreutzertum
(Berlin, 1942). For an updated view of this see Carlos Gilly, Cimelia
Rhodostaurotica (Amsterdam, 1995) on Frick. Also Boehme had a
burrial-stone with the Rosicrucian sounding inscription "Aus Gott geboren,
In Jesu gestorben, Mit den Heiligen Geiste gesiegelt", i. e. ... In Jesu
morimur etc. of the Fama. Gilly may also explain this fully in his
coming Bibliographia Rosicruciana (autumn 2005?)

Susanna



Subject: ACADEMY: Boehme and Rosicrucianism
From: Leigh Penman
Date: 14 June 2005

Dear Susanna,

Many thanks for the information. Grick is a fascinating, although often
ignored personality. I will consult the Schick book in due course, but I
am having trouble finding Gilly's reference in the Cimelia Rhodostaurotica.

Concerning Boehme and the Rosicrucian motto, I recall Dr. Gilly presenting
evidence that Abraham von Franckenburg was responsible for the monument
on which it appeared. An engraving of the monument itself can be seen here;

http://www.esoteric.msu.edu/jpg/Boehme's_Leben.jpeg

As for the long awaited Bibliographia Rosicruciana, I have noticed that
Frommann-Holzboog have pushed the release date back to 'Ende 2005'.
Unfortunately it looks like we will have to wait a few more months
before Dr. Gilly begins to unveil the mysteries of the Rosy Cross!

Thanks again for your assistance,

Leigh



Subject: ACADEMY: Information on some 16th century personalities required
From: José Rodríguez Guerrero
Date: 26 June 2005

Dear all:

I would be much grateful to anybody, who can provide me information
about those 16th century names (ca. 1560-1570):

- Florianus Danici coschwitz (var. Koschwitz )
- Lucas Barthodius (var. Bartholdius)
- Valentinus Koslitius Boleslavensis
- Gerhardus Spina
- Guglielmi Rascalonei Uormaciensis

Regards,

José Rodríguez



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Brian Cotnoir
Date: 26 June 2005

I am trying to find the 1541 Latin version of the Tabula smaragdina.

In 'Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Ermete Trismegisto', only an
English and Italian translation are given. Any idea where I might
find a copy? Unless the version given along with the vitriol emblem on
page 205 is the 1541 Latin version.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Brian Cotnoir



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 26 June 2005

Brian,

Perhaps you could try 'De Alchimia', Chrysogonus Polydorus, Nuremberg 1541:

http://www.morgane.org/smaragdina.htm

Regards,

Jean


Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 26 June 2005

Brian,

Here is another reference:

De alchimia. Geber. De investigatione perfectionis metallorum [...].
Nuremberg, Johannes Petreius 1541

First edition of the Latin translation of the 'Tabula smaragdina' with a
commentary by Hortulanus, added to Geber's 'De alchemia' together
with a few other texts.

The Tabula is also very frequently included in other editions of
Geber's works.

http://www.ritmanlibrary.nl/c/p/pub/on_pub/pat/pat_pri_B3.html

Regards,

Jean


Subject: ACADEMY: Information on some 16th century personalities required
From: Peter Forshaw
Date: 26 June 2005

Dear Jose,

Gerhardus Spina is most likely Gerard Dorn, as both 'Dorn' and
'Spina' translate as 'thorn' ... I think Didier Khan mentions this in
the article he wrote on Dorn published in Joachim Telle (ed),
Analecta Paracelsica.

All the best,

Peter



Subject: ACADEMY: Maier's Arcana translated into French
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 26 June 2005

Dear Academy,

Here is a link to the new French language edition of
Arcana Arcanissima, which was previously announced.
It is now available.

http://www.beyaeditions.com/arcanes%20tres%20secrets.htm

Regards,
Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Ahmad Y. al-Hassan
Date: 27 June 2005

Dear Academy,

The remark by Jean that "the Tabula is also very frequently included
in other editions of Geber's works" reminds me of another link between
Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber) and the Tabula. Although it is well known
that the Tabula was given in Apollonius's book Sirr al-khaliqa (The
Secret of Creation) and Jabir acknowledged that, yet according to
al-Razi, al-Fihrist, and more recently to Ruska and Kraus, the Arabic
text of The Secret of Creation appeared after Jabir's time, during the
reign of the Caliph al-Ma'mun (AD 813-833). Jabir gave the Arabic
text in his Kitab al-ustuqus al-thani that was published by Holmyard
in 1928, and who published also an earlier article in 1923 giving
the Arabic text of Jabir and a Latin translation, and he found them to
be quite close to each other.

According to Ruska in his book Tabula Smaragdina the earliest
translation of the Tabula into Latin was that of Hugo Sanctelliensis in
the 12th century. Ruska further remarks that the translation of Hugo
did not have any lasting influence and that there was another later
Latin translation from Arabic sources that was utilized by Albertus
Magnus in the 13th century. This translation according to Ruska is
not from The Secret of Creation. And since the Tabula was known
by two Arabic texts only, that of Jabir and of The Secret of Creation,
this lead us into concluding that the text used by Albertus Magnus
could have been that of Jabir (Geber). This argument may give some
sense to the remark by Jean given above. The question is quite
interesting and is worthy of a serious investigation.

Ahmad Y. al-Hassan



Subject: ACADEMY: New book on Hermes and Hermeticism
From: Adam McLean
Date: 27 June 2005

I have just received notice of a new book (in German).

Florian Ebeling.

Das Geheimnis des Hermes Trismegistos. Geschichte des Hermetismus.

München: Beck. 2005.


He contributed towards a interesting seminar on the reception
of the idea of Egypt in Europe.

http://www.febeling.de/aegyptenrezeption/seminar0405/

Perhaps his book is attempting to examine the reception of
Hermes in European culture. I wonder if any of our German
readers have read this book and can appraise its value.

Adam McLean



Subject: ACADEMY: Information on some 16th century personalities required
From: Rafal T. Prinke
Date: 27 June 2005

Dear José,

> I would be much grateful to anybody, who can provide me information
> about those 16th century names (ca. 1560-1570):

> - Valentinus Koslitius Boleslavensis

His name points to Kozlice/Köslitz near Boleslawiec in Silesia.
Alternatively, it may be Boleslav (town or district) in Bohemia.

> - Guglielmi Rascalonei Uormaciensis

This one is mentioned in Melchior Adam's _Vitae Germanorum Medicorum_
of 1620. He was a physician in Heidelberg:

http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/camenaref/adam/adam2/adamvitae2.html

He is also mentioned on one (or more?) epitaph (Gedenktafel) from
a Heidelberg cemetery:

http://de.geocities.com/boriskoerkelweb/studies/morata/Heidelberg/heidelberg.html

And his medical thesis defended at Heidelberg University:

Medicae Dispvtationis Cvivsdam Derenvm Calcvlo Capita [Microforma] :
In publica Medicinae & Philosophiae peritissimorum Hominum diatriba /
[Praeside Cl. Viro D. Petro Lotichio Secvndo Medicinae Doctore].
Per Guilielmum Rascalonum Gallo Ruthenum proposita, & ad
defendendum suscepta. Heydelbergae Anno M.D.LIX. Die Avgvsti XXVI.
Horis mane solitis in Auditorio Medico.

Best regards,

Rafal



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 27 June 2005

Dear Ahmad,

I fully agree with you. The idea that Geber ( Jabir) is a possible source
of the European consideration of Tabula Smaragdina (TS) is widely spread.
For instance John Eberly in his Al­Kimia, The mystical islamic essence
of the sacred art of alchemy (2004) states that " the earliest translation
in Arabic of the TS by Hermes Trismegistos is attributed to Jabir
Ibn Hayyan " (introduction, page 5).

Now I came across the French edition of The History of Arab Sciences,
under t he direction of Roshi Rashed (1997).

In an article about The Western reception of Arab alchemy, Robert
Halleux reminds us about the Balinus origin of the writing and adds
that his cosmological encyclopedia could have been elaborated during
the VIIth century (page 147). His reference is here Weisser (1979/1980).
He further writes that Hugo Sanctelliensis translated the Secret of Creation
in Tarazona between 1145 and 1151. He also deals with another version
used by Albertus Magnus and Arnold of Villanova which was
reportedly published by Dorothea Waley Singer & Robert Steele (1927).

In the same book there is an other article on Arabic alchemy by Georges
Anawati. He elaborates on TS (page 117) but is referring first to
Holmyard, then Ruska (1926). According to him, the Tabula was well
known in the Middle Ages, at least in two Latin versions.
He too refers to Balinus, and his Kitab al ilal and reports that the
author probably lived in the time of al Ma'Mun (813-833) ­ here he
is not agreeing with Halleux ­ and adds " as al Razi already wrote ".
According to him among the sources of this book one can find some
elements of the Book on the nature of man by the Christian and
Neoplatonist Nemenius of Emese ; but his final opinion is that
" some recent studies are conducting to the idea that this work is far
more ancient ". One of his in fine references is Corbin (1986).

Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Information on some 16th century personalities required
From: José Rodríguez
Date: 28 June 2005

Dear Peter,

Thank you very much for your kind answer. It is really useful for me.
I think I have read this article several times and I overlooked your
reference. Now I see Didier Kahn mentions the Spinaeus surname
and, yes, it seems to be Gerard Dorn.

Regards,

José Rodríguez



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Ross Caldwell
Date: 29 June 2005


Regarding the Arabic TSS, where can I see the original Arabic
(print and/or online)?

A second question. From the Arabic texts, has it been determined
whether they are translations (i.e. from a language such as Greek or
Syriac), or are original compositions in Arabic?

Thanks,

Ross Caldwell



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: J. Vahid Brown
Date: 29 June 2005


Dear Mr. Caldwell,

You can see the Arabic TS in either U. Weisser's edition of the Sirr
al-khaliqa or Zirnis' thesis on the Ustuquss al-Uss, which includes a
non-critical edition of that text at the end of the thesis.

Weisser, Ursula, ed. Buch ueber das Geheimnis der Schoepfung
und die Darstellung der Natur (Buch der Ursachen) von Pseudo-Apollonios
von Tyanna (Sirr al-khaliqa wa sana'at al-tabi'a: Kitab al-'ilal).
Aleppo: Institute for the History of Arabic Science, University of
Aleppo, 1979.

Zirnis, P. The Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss of Jabic ibn Hayyan. Unpublished
PhD thesis, New York University, 1979.

As to whether the Tabula smaragdina is an original Arabic compostion
or represents a translation, this is not a settled issue. Weisser argues
for a Greek original to what she identifies as the short recension of the
Sirr al-khaliqa, but I don't recall at the moment whether this argument
includes the TS or whether she classes the TS with the "long"
recension (she calls these A and B; anybody remember off hand?).
Short of a Greek ms. turning up someday, this question is not likely
ever to be settled definitively.

Vahid



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Jean-Yves Artero
Date: 29 June 2005

Dear Ross,

I am very sorry to be disappointing at this stage:

"The oldest documentable source for the text is the
Kitab Sirr al-Asrar, a pseudo-Aristotelian compendium
of advice for rulers authored by Abd al-Qadir
al-Jilani in around 800 AD. This work was translated
into Latin as Secretum Secretorum (The Secret of
Secrets) by Johannes "Hispalensis" or Hispaniensis
(John of Seville) ca. 1140 and by Philip of Tripoli c.
1243.

In the 14th century, the alchemist Ortolanus wrote a
substantial exegesis on "The Secret of Hermes," which
was influential on the subsequent development of
alchemy. Many manuscripts of this copy of the Emerald
Tablet and the commentary of Ortolanus survive, dating
at least as far back as the 15th century.

The Tablet has also been found appended to manuscripts
of the Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss al-Thani (Second Book of
the Elements of Foundation) attributed to Jabir ibn
Hayyan, and the Kitab Sirr al-Khaliqa wa San`at
al-Tabi`a (Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art
of Nature), dated between 650 and 830 AD."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Tablet

Perhaps an other source I already pointed out is
Monod-Herzen (L'alchimie méditeranéenne).

Jean



Subject: ACADEMY: Tabula smaragdina
From: Ross Caldwell
Date: 30 June 2005

Dear Vahid,

Thank you for these sources. There is a copy of Weisser's book
in Paris, which I may be able to look up when I am there in August.

Best regards,

Ross