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Alchemy texts archives - Rudolf II

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Date: Fri, 22 Aug 97
From: ARMELLE HUDELOT

Dear forum members,

I'm looking for informations about the Rudolf II period in Prague and
particulary about the relation between the emperor and alchemy.
If anyone could help it would be very much welcome.
Thanks in advance


Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997
From: Michal Pober

dear armelle hudelot,

the simplest answer is to come to prague between 29th august
and 2nd september to the conference: PRAGUE, ALCHEMY and
the HERMETIC TRADITION [and to preferably stay a little longer]
the program can be accessed through adam's web-site, or i can
send you a copy direct by e-mail if you want.

there will be over 200 there who are dedicated to the same line
of enquiry and the city has a multitude of rudolf related events, of
which the most relevant to your enquiry are the alchemy section of
the huge exhibition 'rudolf II and prague' and an exhibition in the
old town sqare entitled opus magnum - which can also be accessed
through adam's site.

best,
michal

please contact me direct if i can be of any more help on this.
if you can't come to the conference, after 6th september.

michal@terminal.cz


Date - Sun, 07 Sep 1997
From - mike dickman

Armelle

About the best reference to date that I know of is the recent catalogue of
the Opus Magnum exhibition currently running in Prague, the references
being the following:

Opus Magnum: Kniha o sakralini geometrii, alchymii, magii, astreologii,
kabale a tajnych spolecnostech v Cesych zemich, Trigon, 1997 (and it - very
kindly! - has an English translation at the end of the entirety of the
text and illustration captions - Who could ask for more!)

The catalogue to the Rudolf II exhibition that is just about to end in
Prague also has invaluable insights, but not, I think, as accurate as these.

Have fun!

Regards,
m


Date - Mon, 8 Sep 1997
From - William Hollister

Armelle

A while ago you asked about Rudolf II, the Hapsburg emperor. There are two
books on the subject that as far as I know have yet to be matched or
updated significantly. If there are any better sources, I'd like to know
about them.

R.J.W. Evans' "Rudolf II and his World" (Oxford 1973) is a very detailed
bibliography of everything available up until publication. By weaving
together the intellectual currents of the time with the scant original
sources about Rudolf Evans managed to describe a royal figure that is
contrasts sharply with the melancholic emperor in Gustav Meyrink's
fantasies.

Evans makes few conclusions about Rudolf, but the sum total of all the
literature about him makes one wonder if he were not just the man who wrote
in 1605, "I know that I am dead and damned; I a am a man posessed by the
devil," but a brilliant speaker of five languages devoted to preserving a
"multicultural" monarchy defined by scientific truths.

A more recent book, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann's "Aspects of Art, Science, and
humanism in the Renaissance" (Princeton 1993), discusses some of the subtle
relationships between the art of Arcimboldo and Hoefnagel and contemporary
scientific discoveries. Art Historians seem to be as shy of natural science
as many modern day "alchemists." Kaufmann is an art historian, yet he
brings new respect to the field.

Mike Dickman mentioned two other books. The catalogue of The Prague Castle
Rudolf II exhibition seemed to leave some of the same empty pages as the
exhibition. Everything is catalogued, numbered and dates are
cross-referenced. Yet I walked out of that exhibition with no new
understanding of the personage of Rudolf II. The exhibition was huge, and
it was nice to see the works of so many artists and scientists grouped
together, catalogued and described for the first time since the Swedish
army (Czech Mercenaries?) carted the best pieces to Stockholm in 1648.

A caption concluded that Rudolf was a terrible leader with extremely
refined taste -- I wonder if that is all that can be concluded since Evans'
book came out.

The Opus Magnum catalogue, likewise, leaves little said about Rudolf.
Vladislav Zadrobilek's book has other objectives, namely tying Bohemian
Hermetic traditions to those of western Europe in was that might help
future King James Is and Neville Chamberlains do their homework. The book
calls attention to the work of Bavor Rodovsky of Hustirany, among others in
a gorgeous volume that is worth its price ( about 100 USD).

I'd like very much to know about Rudolf II and what he understood of the
people around him....

William Hollister


Date - Mon, 08 Sep 1997
From - mike dickman

Armelle

Me again... I just thought of the following as well: tapes were made of our
entire conference in Prague as well as of the Rosicrucian one in Kutna Hora
two years ago. These would be available from Sound Horizons, Audio-Video,
Inc., 250 West 57th. Street, Suite 1517, New York NY10107, USA. There is
also a CD-Rom entitled 'Bird of Paradise: Rudolf II's Curiosity Cabinet and
Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens' available from

avant.bozell@pha.pvtnet.cz

which is an official accompanying doc to the Rudolf Exhibition I mentioned
yesterday.
Hope all this helps!

Regards


Date: Mon, 8 Sep 97
From: Armelle Hudelot


To William Hollister and Mike Dickman

Thank you both of you for the informations about Rudolf II.
I haven't found much on Rudolf II yet.

- Monarque et mécène, Rodolphe II by Fucikova, Bukovinska and Muchka,
Le Cercle d'Art, Paris, 1990 (A translation from a book printed by Artia,
Prague, 1988) : Art history of the period is the main concern, many paintings
analysis are coming from DaCosta Kaufman books. The authors are
speaking about astronomia and chemistry but never about astrologia
and alchemy. (The distinction only occured during the XVII century after
the death of Bruno) I think the authors try to overshadow the most
interesting part of the Rudolf II period maybe because they ignore what
is alchemy and have many prejudices about esotericism.

Two books seems interesting but I haven't found them yet.
- Rodolphe II, l'empereur insolite, by Philippe Erlanger, Albin Michel,
Paris, 1971.
- Les langues occultes de la Renaissance: essai sur la crise
intellectuelle de l'Europe au XVI siècle, by Pierre Béhar (Rudolf II, Dee,
Fludd, Kepler, Nostradamus)

I'm looking forward to know what was the exact status of alchemy at
Rudolf II court, how this science had influenced the art production at this
period and during the following centuries until nowdays. I'm especially
thinking about the works of Josef Sima.

Armelle


Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997
From: Michal Pober

>>From - William Hollister

>The Opus Magnum catalogue, likewise, leaves little said about Rudolf.
>Vladislav Zadrobilek's book has other objectives, namely tying Bohemian
>Hermetic traditions to those of western Europe in was that might help
>future King James Is and Neville Chamberlains do their homework. The book
>calls attention to the work of Bavor Rodovsky of Hustirany, among others in
>a gorgeous volume that is worth its price ( about 100 USD).

William - according to my trusty calculator and taking 33 crowns to
the $ as the exchange rate it works out at $56.696969697.
only 1800 copies were printed of which 300 are not for sale.
in an interesting czech way it is difficult to buy....the room in which it
is sold at the exhibition is at the very topmost point, through a door
which is almost hidden behind a display case. only those who have
completed the initiatory experience of the exhibition will find it. and
forget coming back later just to buy the catalogue...the fierce guards
will not let anyone back in who has not paid for their admission...

if anyone is interested in buying this fine book 'blind' i will be happy
to arrange it for them, as long as copies are available, but so far i
have not been able to discover a printed book rate for mail so the
postage may be costly. i will do more research on that subject.

referring back to william's comments on the exhibition - my experience
of it was [and it closed on sunday, though opus magnum will be
open through the 30th sept.] that it was much too neat and tidy and
the segregation and arrangement of items too orderly to represent
the nature of rudolf's strange and complicated persona. my imagination
of his collections is that they were immensely disorderly and cluttered,
mixing what we would think of as priceless treasures with kitschy baubles
in an undiscriminating manner.

in a lot of the information it appeared that there was an attempt to
'sanitise' rudolf and to gloss over the wild and esoteric aspects of his
life and interests. incidentally the 'average' czech citizen identifies
scantily with rudolf. however the section on alchemy and sciences was
extremely informative, contained some jewels, including a number of
arcimboldo paintings and books from bibliotheca philosophica
hermetica with descriptions that did justice to the subjects.

when all is said and done he was a Hapsburg and a 'foreigner' and
is dismissed by many as a crazy loon. he is certainly not revered
in the same way as charles IV who presided over the prior upsurge
of alchemy in the czech lands and was the previous emperor of the
holy roman empire who made prague his seat.

on the other hand all czechs are familiar with the many players on the
stage of rudolf's court. the names of kepler, tycho brahe, rabbi loew,
dee, kelley, sendivogius et al are all current in czech consciousness,
partly through the 'old czech legends' by jirasek which is read by all
czech children at the age of 10 or 11.

best,
michal



Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997
From: Michal Pober

>>From - mike dickman
>Me again... I just thought of the following as well: tapes were made of our
>entire conference in Prague as well as of the Rosicrucian one in Kutna Hora
>two years ago.
>These would be available from Sound Horizons, Audio-Video,
>Inc., 250 West 57th. Street, Suite 1517, New York NY10107, USA.

mike: good info, except the previous conference - The Rosicrucian
Enlightenment Revisited - was in Cesky Krumlov....

and a footnote - an additional speaker who was not on the original
programme because he was intending to be elsewhere was Dr Sadek. his
presentation on Rabbi Loew and many aspects of the kabbalah of the time
received rave reviews and it was recorded by the above company.

best,
michal


Date: Tue, 9 Sep 97
From: Armelle Hudelot


>on the other hand all czechs are familiar with the many players on the
>stage of rudolf's court. the names of kepler, tycho brahe, rabbi loew,
>dee, kelley, sendivogius et al are all current in czech consciousness,
>partly through the 'old czech legends' by jirasek which is read by all
>czech children at the age of 10 or 11.

Michal,
What you said here is very interesting for me as I'm trying to link some
paintings from Josef Sima to the rudolfian period and especially to
alchemy. Who is Jirasek ? Could Joseph Sima, born in Jaromer and later
studying in Prague around 1900-1920 have heard of it ? I would like to
know what could mean alchemy in the mind of a young czech citizen around
this years.
Maybe you could be helpful too on this particular point : one of Sima's
paintings is untiltled "Crow" and I'm wondering about the meaning of this
word in czech langage (Krov), if there is anything to see with alchemy or
any philosophical implication.

Armelle


Date - Tue, 09 Sep 1997
From - Kay Chandler


> From - William Hollister

> R.J.W. Evans' "Rudolf II and his World" (Oxford 1973) is a very detailed
> bibliography of everything available up until publication. By weaving
> together the intellectual currents of the time with the scant original
> sources about Rudolf Evans managed to describe a royal figure that is
> contrasts sharply with the melancholic emperor in Gustav Meyrink's
> fantasies.


Dear William,

> R.J.W. Evans' "Rudolf II and his World" (Oxford 1973)

Is this the book that describes Rudolf as having kept a pet lion with
the same astrological ascendant as himself??

Kay Chandler


Date - Tue, 09 Sep 1997
From - Kay Chandler


> From: Armelle Hudelot
> What you said here is very interesting for me as I'm trying to link some
> paintings from Josef Sima to the rudolfian period and especially to
> alchemy. Who is Jirasek ? Could Joseph Sima, born in Jaromer and later
> studying in Prague around 1900-1920 have heard of it ? I would like to
> know what could mean alchemy in the mind of a young czech citizen around
> this years.
> Maybe you could be helpful too on this particular point : one of Sima's
> paintings is untiltled "Crow" and I'm wondering about the meaning of this
> word in czech langage (Krov), if there is anything to see with alchemy or
> any philosophical implication.


Armelle,

Just thinking about "Crow" as a black scavenger bird, similar to the
vulture in those two respects. The scavenger takes something despised
(carrion or garbage) and finds value in it (as food) and converts it
into something useful (energy, life)-- in that sense Crow fits very
well with the alchemical process.

Another thought about Crow is that in Greek mythology he was sacred to
Apollo (as most oracles were) and would bring messages from the
underworld or hidden realm. How many crows appearing and where and
which direction they flew, and how noisy or not they were all had
meaning!

I would love to see that painting!

Kay


Date - Tue, 09 Sep 1997
From - Kay Chandler


William (and others),

I did some research on Rudolf II some years ago and have lost my notes!
I remember from my reading that he suffered from a degenerative nerve
disease that affected his brain. He was also somehow involved in the
religious-political power struggle that was going on at the time and
sought to establish Roman Catholicism in the country (it had been
eastern orthodox)--- so to fill the coffers to finance all his interests
he was hopeful that the alchemists could produce gold and come up with a
cure for his disease. That leaves out a search for the "Stone". I
think his practical interest in alchemy perhaps made him vulnerable to
charlatans and impatient with philosophers.

I also remember from my reading that he kept a great number of
astrologers in his court -- and that he would not get out of bed until
he heard a good horoscope for the day. Does this sound familiar at all
from the books you refer to?? I wish I hadn't lost my notes...

Kay


Date - Wed, 10 Sep 1997
From - George Leake

A number of people have been asking for sources on Rudolf II, the great
patron of alchemists of 16th century Prague.

The best fictional treatment I've seen of him is in two of the novels of
John Crowley (_Aegypt_ and _Love & Sleep_). We have the John Crowley
archive here at the rare books library at UT Austin, but after a brief
investigation I found that Crowley does not keep research notes.

Another angle which might be of interest to some scholars might be cultural
events at his court. I have heard through musicology circles there was a
pianist who interpreted the paintings of a court artist musically using a
special experimental harpsichord with added keys tuned to quarter tones.
Each color and shade of color, according to the theory, had a respective
tone or series of tones or chord. I'm not sure how issues of space and
visual composition were translated, but there you are. The book two of my
colleagues have mentioned to this end is:

TITLE: The Arcimboldo effect : transformations of the face from the
16th to the 20th century / (by Pontus Hulten ... et al.).
PUBLISHED: New York : Abbeville Press, c1987.
DESCRIPTION: 402 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm.
NOTES: Includes index.
Bibliography: p. 373-379.
SUBJECTS: Arcimboldi, Giuseppe, 1527-1593--Exhibitions.
Painting, Italian--Exhibitions.
Painting--16th century--Italy--Exhibitions.
Mannerism (Art)--Italy--Exhibitions.
Grotesque in art--Exhibitions.
OTHER AUTHORS: Hulten, Karl Gunnar Pontus, 1924-
ISBN: 0896597695
OCLC NUMBER: 15223426


George Leake


Date - Wed, 10 Sep 1997
From - Michal Pober


>From: Armelle Hudelot
>What you said here is very interesting for me as I'm trying to link some
>paintings from Josef Sima to the rudolfian period and especially to
>alchemy. Who is Jirasek ? Could Joseph Sima, born in Jaromer and later
>studying in Prague around 1900-1920 have heard of it ? I would like to
>know what could mean alchemy in the mind of a young czech citizen around
>this years.
>Maybe you could be helpful too on this particular point : one of Sima's
>paintings is untiltled "Crow" and I'm wondering about the meaning of this
>word in czech langage (Krov), if there is anything to see with alchemy or
>any philosophical implication.


dear armelle,

[abstracted from the back-cover of an english language translation of 'old
czech legends', pub. 1992, forest books, london and massachussets in the
unesco collection of representative works]
jirasek was primarily a historical novelist and playwright, often compared
to walter scott and henry sienkiewicz.
"jirasek's old czech legends rank amongst the greatest artistic works of
the period of 'national awakening'. written in the early 1890's, in an age
of patriotic upsurge and romanticism, they reflect a glorification of the
czecgh past, tempered by a sense of melancholy. for a people still under
the yoke of the austro-hungarian empire, jirasek's legends offered the hope
of ancient prophecies foretelling the dawn of a glorious new age of czech
indepenndence."

czechoslovakia did finally achieve a short-lived [1918-39] independence
which was not only a time of unprecedented economic expansion and
prosperity, but can also be viewed as the third golden period of alchemy in
the czech lands; the first in the 14th century under charles IV, the second
under rudolf and the third the period which saw the founding of universalia
by pierre de lasenic [originally petr kohout], jan kefer and others in
1927.
[for more information about universalia see the web-page which can be
accessed from adam's site]

at this moment i know nothing about sima apart from what you have said of
him. i will do some research as soon as i re-emerge into the world.
however it appears likely that he was indeed exposed to these kinds of
influences, given the time period that you mention.
what i have been able to do is a little linguistic research and the word
that you mention 'krov' which indeed looks like crow, has no similar
meaning in czech. i.e. it is *not* the name of a bird. [it actually has a
meaning related to attics...] german i don't have so i have no idea if
that's a possible source.

however to return to the possibility of an alchemical meaning - the obvious
one is the raven, representing the nigredo. the czech word for raven is
havran.
by an interesting synchronicity there is a museum in prague which is
jointly dedicated to jirasek and mikulas ales, a famous artist of the same
period. this museum is located in the star palace, the home of frederick
and elizabeth, the 'rosicrucian' king and queen of bohemia immediately
prior to the battle of the white mountain in 1620 which precisely led to
the 300 years of habsburg rule over the czech lands. further there is a
stunning picture by ales in this exhibition of a raven. unfortunately the
museum is currently closed for reconstruction or i would rush out there
immediately and give you a more precise description of this picture which i
carry in my head only as a powerful but imprecise image.

jirasek's book became required reading in every school syllabus. apparently
the communist hierarchy felt that historical nationalism would provide some
kind of distraction to contemporaneous frustrations...

the question that i really cannot get a handle on is whether there is any
way that the artist you're writing about and his work relate in any way
back to rudolf II, other than in the most general way that peiople here do
have a high degree of knowledge about the distant past - often more than of
the immediate past.

i hope this is of interest - looking it over it seems rather diffuse.
perhaps we should take future discussion off the forum unless some really
significant alchemical connection emerges?
you can e-mail me at : michal@terminal.cz

best

Michal Pober


Date - Wed, 10 Sep 1997
From - Michal Pober

Kay wrote:-
>I think his practical interest in alchemy perhaps made him vulnerable
>to charlatans and impatient with philosophers.

here you're really on the money...
the modern equivalent is our conference attendee who succumbed to the
absurd lure of the street money changers in prague - perhaps the vultures
you were referring to in your other message - and discovering that he had
bought bulgarian money was still hopeful that it might have *some *
value...

>I also remember from my reading that he kept a great number of
>astrologers in his court -- and that he would not get out of bed until
>he heard a good horoscope for the day. Does this sound familiar at all
>from the books you refer to?? I wish I hadn't lost my notes...

there is a multiplicity of information available about rudolf. you can see
him in any way you want to. there are stories of him of the utmost
absurdity. as i mentioned in a previous post, imo discrimination was
definitely not his strong suit.
but rather than dwell on his eccentricities and his fevered state of mind i
really believe that it is of far greater interest to acknowledge his
patronage of many of the most significant thinkers and scientists and
alchemists of his day. the very least we can say about him was that he
truly encouraged many who were at the cutting edge during his age.

you also mentioned his attempt to replace eastern orthodoxy with roman
catholicism. here you're wide of the mark geographically. eastern orthodoxy
was virtually non-existent in the czech lands; what did exist was a strong
protestant tradition originating with jan hus, an outstanding czech hero
who preceded luther.

rudolf was notably tolerant in religious matters - one reason that he was
generally accepted by the people despite his identity as a catholic
habsburg. he passed various edicts which were unusually favourable [for
this period] to the jewish population of prague and while the meetings
between rudolf and rabbi loew which are described, for instance, by
jirasek - rabbi loew summoned to the castle and on the orders of the
emperor producing abraham and his sons, or rudolf visiting rabbi loew's
'humble abode' and discovering inside a palace which rivalled his own - are
clearly legendary, there is one meeting between the two which was recorded
by an eyewitness two days after the event. this was to say the least an
extremely unorthodox encounter, so much so that i once attended a lecture
on the maharal at which the speaker categorically stated that such a
meeting was unthinkable. given rudolf's attraction to esoteric knowledge it
also seems unlikely that he could ignore the foremost cabbalist of his age
who was in his own backyard.

anyway, what i am really trying to suggest in the above is that there is a
lot of deep and fascinating information out there about rudolf and to allow
the focus to be distorted to focus exclusively on the weird and
dysfunctional aspects of rudolf's persona is to adopt a tabloid approach to
the subject and to give ammunition to those who would discredit all of the
singular wondrous aspects of rudolf's reign.

and now i'm going to keep quiet on this topic...
best,
michal


Date - Thu, 11 Sep 1997
From - Kay Chandler

Dear Michal Pober,

>give ammunition to those who would discredit all of the
> singular wondrous aspects of rudolf's reign.

THAT IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING I WOULD NOT WANT TO DO!!!
I wasn't aware that there were any people like that out there in the world!
I am fascinated by all I have heard and read about Rudolf. Just the number
of stories about him is amazing! I recount the colorful bits because
they stuck in my mind and I really wondered where I got them (what book
I had read). Thank you for your comments and insight. I have more
reading to do on the subject of Rudolf II, I think!

---Kay


Date: Fri, 19 Sep 97
From: Armelle Hudelot

Dear Michal,

Thank you for all the informations that you last email is containing. It will surely be helpful.

>czechoslovakia did finally achieve a short-lived [1918-39] independence
>which was not only a time of unprecedented economic expansion and
>prosperity, but can also be viewed as the third golden period of alchemy in
>the czech lands; the first in the 14th century under charles IV

Could you tell me in a few words what were the major events related with alchemy under Charles IV. (I'm just starting to explore the history of Prague and i'm still ignoring a lot...)

>the word that you mention 'krov' which indeed looks like crow, has no similar
>meaning in czech. i.e. it is *not* the name of a bird. [it actually has a
>meaning related to attics...]

I will tell you what were my ideas about the painting "Crow". First I'm convinced that Sima's painting is a symbolic portrayal of the Opus Magnum (there is Novalis bird on the picture whici is quite abstract). So the title could have two meanings related with alchemy and esoteric sciences. Sima might have wanted to indicate to ways to understand the painting. First, the more easy one, Crow for raven, symbol of the nigredo. If it would had been the only signification Sima would have untiltled the painting : Raven or Corbeau (as he generally uses titles in french). But he gave the name Crow which is phonetically similar to "krov" (attics, truss). How interesting when you know that the truss, in the taoist I Ching (Yi King) is T'ai Ki, the truss at the origin of the origin, similar to the Yin and Yang principle. This philosophia is very closed from the one of alchemy, and Sima always said that he was looking for the unity of the universe.
(I hope this is not to much confuse, it is difficult for me to express all this in english, french would be better...)

>by an interesting synchronicity there is a museum in prague which is
>jointly dedicated to jirasek and mikulas ales, a famous artist of the same
>period.

Does Mikulas Ales had been related his paintings to alchemy ? I know nothing about him.

>the question that i really cannot get a handle on is whether there is any
>way that the artist you're writing about and his work relate in any way
>back to rudolf II, other than in the most general way that peiople here do
>have a high degree of knowledge about the distant past - often more than of
>the immediate past.

Well, I would just like to show how a city full of history and magic like Prague could have influenced artists. In the case of Sima, who was living in France since 1921, his interest in alchemy must have come from Prague. As I thaught that the rudolfine period was the only alchemic period in Prague, I wanted to relate to this one. The thing is too that others paintings of Sima show, I suppose, the correspondances between macrocosm and microcosm, which is a theory who was famous at the court of Rudolf II... I will certainly go and see about universalia on the internet)

Well I must say that when I started to study Sima's work a year ago I didn't know that he would take me so far in esotérism and especially alchemy, (a domain where I was ignoring everything and I'm still ignoring much), especially if some one knows that Sima's painting are always related by art historians to a poetic art and never an alchemic art...

I hope you will find my quest on Sima interesting.

Best regards.
Armelle


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997
From: Michal Pober

dear armelle,
i've had your message queued waiting to reply to for the longest time. also
william and i had a discussion of some of the points that you and stuart
had raised. he was going to cover some of the topics and i others. then he
left suddenly and now i'm leaving suddenly but i at least will definitely
get back to you after the beginning of december.
i can't speak for william because he's not back yet.
sorry about the lack of continuity...
best,
michal


Date: Fri, 31 Oct 97
From: Armelle Hudelot


Anyone interested in Rudolf II period, Agrippa, Dee, Nostradamus, Fludd and Kepler,
read the book from Pierre Béhar, "Les langues occultes de la Renaissance",
Desjonquères, Paris, 1996. It is very interesting.

Armelle


From: Greg
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997


Hi Armelle,

I know next to nothing about Rudolf II.
I'm quite interested in Agrippa - he had a powerful imprinting influence on
the realm of magick and a deep understanding of esoteric psychology.
Fludds diagrams are a constant source of inspiration - I love that kind of
stuff.
John Dee is a most interesting figure famous and infamous. I am also
interested in Kelly's alchemical texts...

Where to begin?

Regards

Greg


Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997
From: Adam McLean

When I was in Prague recently attending the Alchemy Conference, I met Michael
Havas, a film maker who had devised a multimedia CD-Rom, entitled
'Bird of Paradise: Rudolf II's Curiosity Cabinet'.

I have managed to purchase a small batch of these for resale through my
web bookstore.

http://www.alchemywebsite.com/bookshop/CD-Roms.html


Contents:
· 148 images acquired from more than 20 leading European cultural institutes,
museums and libraries.
· 25 video sequences
· 148 spoken (recorded ) contemporary quotes in each language version
[English, French, German, Italian and Czech]
· an original "world first" recording of 12 fugues from Michael Maier's 'Atalanta fugiens'
by ARS CAMERALIS
· richly detailed factographical notes
· an alphabetical index.

Bird of Paradise was selected by the Prague Castle administration as an official accompanying programme for the 'Rudolf II and Prague' exhibition.

HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS:
The audio section of this CD-Rom can be played on any CD player, or through your computer's CD-drive. The multimedia section on this CD-Rom can only be used on a PC running Windows - it will not run on a Macintosh computer. The multimedia section requires a PC 486 or higher, 8 MB RAM, graphic card VGA, sound card Soundblaster compatible, CD-Rom double speed, operating system Windows 3.1 or Windows 95.


Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997
From: mike dickman

Read Maier... especially Joscelyn Godwin's 'Atalanta' and ahem!... (my)...
'Cantilenae' (the 'introduction' may be skipped with much profit)... Maier
was Rudolf's physician-alchemist for a period of time. The fact of his
connections to the Fludd and Shakespeare circles only adds to his strangeness.

m