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Alchemy And Authority In The Holy Roman Empire

Author: Tara Nummedal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226608573
Size: 59.76 MB
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What distinguished the true alchemist from the fraud? This question animated the lives and labors of the common men—and occasionally women—who made a living as alchemists in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Holy Roman Empire. As purveyors of practical techniques, inventions, and cures, these entrepreneurs were prized by princely patrons, who relied upon alchemists to bolster their political fortunes. At the same time, satirists, artists, and other commentators used the figure of the alchemist as a symbol for Europe’s social and economic ills. Drawing on criminal trial records, contracts, laboratory inventories, satires, and vernacular alchemical treatises, Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire situates the everyday alchemists, largely invisible to modern scholars until now, at the center of the development of early modern science and commerce. Reconstructing the workaday world of entrepreneurial alchemists, Tara Nummedal shows how allegations of fraud shaped their practices and prospects. These debates not only reveal enormously diverse understandings of what the “real” alchemy was and who could practice it; they also connect a set of little-known practitioners to the largest questions about commerce, trust, and intellectual authority in early modern Europe.

The Business Of Alchemy

Author: Pamela H. Smith
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883571
Size: 49.88 MB
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In The Business of Alchemy, Pamela Smith explores the relationships among alchemy, the court, and commerce in order to illuminate the cultural history of the Holy Roman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In showing how an overriding concern with religious salvation was transformed into a concentration on material increase and economic policies, Smith depicts the rise of modern science and early capitalism. In pursuing this narrative, she focuses on that ideal prey of the cultural historian, an intellectual of the second rank whose career and ideas typify those of a generation. Smith follows the career of Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682) from university to court, his projects from New World colonies to an old-world Pansophic Panopticon, and his ideas from alchemy to economics. Teasing out the many meanings of alchemy for Becher and his contemporaries, she argues that it provided Becher with not only a direct key to power over nature but also a language by which he could convince his princely patrons that their power too must rest on liquid wealth. Agrarian society regarded merchants with suspicion as the nonproductive exploiters of others' labor; however, territorial princes turned to commerce for revenue as the cost of maintaining the state increased. Placing Becher’s career in its social and intellectual context, Smith shows how he attempted to help his patrons assimilate commercial values into noble court culture and to understand the production of surplus capital as natural and legitimate. With emphasis on the practices of natural philosophy and extensive use of archival materials, Smith brings alive the moment of cultural transformation in which science and the modern state emerged.

The Secrets Of Alchemy

Author: Lawrence Principe
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226682951
Size: 33.12 MB
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An accessible history of alchemy by a leading world authority explores its development and relationship with myriad disciplines and pursuits, tracing its heyday in early modern Europe while profiling some of history's most colorful alchemists and describing the author's recreation of famous alchemy recipes.

British Weather And The Climate Of Enlightenment

Author: Jan Golinski
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226302067
Size: 22.86 MB
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Enlightenment inquiries into the weather sought to impose order on a force that had the power to alter human life and social conditions. British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment reveals how a new sense of the national climate emerged in the eighteenth century from the systematic recording of the weather, and how it was deployed in discussions of the health and welfare of the population. Enlightened intellectuals hailed climate’s role in the development of civilization but acknowledged that human existence depended on natural forces that would never submit to rational control. Reading the Enlightenment through the ideas, beliefs, and practices concerning the weather, Jan Golinski aims to reshape our understanding of the movement and its legacy for modern environmental thinking. With its combination of cultural history and the history of science, British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment counters the claim that Enlightenment progress set humans against nature, instead revealing that intellectuals of the age drew characteristically modern conclusions about the inextricability of nature and culture.

Gehennical Fire

Author: William R. Newman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226577142
Size: 12.10 MB
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Both the quest for natural knowledge and the aspiration to alchemical wisdom played crucial roles in the Scientific Revolution, as William R. Newman demonstrates in this fascinating book about George Starkey (1628-1665), America's first famous scientist. Beginning with Starkey's unusual education in colonial New England, Newman traces out his many interconnected careers—natural philosopher, alchemist, chemist, medical practitioner, economic projector, and creator of the fabulous adept, "Eirenaeus Philalethes." Newman reveals the profound impact Starkey had on the work of Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, Samuel Hartlib, and other key thinkers in the realm of early modern science.

The Awful End Of Prince William The Silent

Author: Lisa Jardine
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060838353
Size: 32.85 MB
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An account of the 1584 shooting of the Protestant Prince William of Orange by a French Catholic, assessing the struggle of the Netherlands to overthrow Catholic rule, and its implications for other heads-of-state fearful of assassination.

Chymists And Chymistry

Author: Lawrence Principe
Publisher: Chemical Heritage Foundation
ISBN: 9780881353969
Size: 39.87 MB
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This volume brings together papers presented at an international conference at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in 2006 by over twenty eminent researchers. The collection features work on the perennial issues of symbolism, textual exegesis, transmutation and the danger of fraud, as well as treatments of the intersections of alchemy with fine art, theology, archaeology, and gender. Chymists and Chymistry offers readers a wealth of new scholarship on this intriguing topic and glimpses of the exciting frontiers in chymistry waiting to be explored.--Publisher.

When Students Have Power

Author: Ira Shor
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022622385X
Size: 69.36 MB
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What happens when teachers share power with students? In this profound book, Ira Shor—the inventor of critical pedagogy in the United States—relates the story of an experiment that nearly went out of control. Shor provides the reader with a reenactment of one semester that shows what really can happen when one applies the theory and democratizes the classroom. This is the story of one class in which Shor tried to fully share with his students control of the curriculum and of the classroom. After twenty years of practicing critical teaching, he unexpectedly found himself faced with a student uprising that threatened the very possibility of learning. How Shor resolves these problems, while remaining true to his commitment to power-sharing and radical pedagogy, is the crux of the book. Unconventional in both form and substance, this deeply personal work weaves together student voices and thick descriptions of classroom experience with pedagogical theory to illuminate the power relations that must be negotiated if true learning is to take place.

The Mercurial Emperor

Author: Peter Marshall
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446426645
Size: 11.83 MB
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In the late 16th century the greatest philosophers, alchemists, astronomers, painters, and mathematicians of the day flocked to Prague to work under the patronage of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, an emperor more interested in the great minds of his times than in the exercise of his immense power. Rarely leaving Prague Castle, he gathered around him a galaxy of famous figures: among them the painter Arcimboldo, the astronomer Tycho Brahe, the mathematician Johannes Kepler, the philosopher Giordano Bruno and the magus John Dee. Fascinated by the new Renaissance learning, Rudolf found it nearly impossible to make decisions of state. Like Faust, he was prepared to risk all in the pursuit of magical knowledge and the Philosopher's Stone which would turn base metals into gold and prolong life indefinitely. But he also faced threats: religious discord, the Ottoman Empire, his own deepening melancholy and an ambitious younger brother. As a result he lost his empire and nearly his sanity. But he enabled Prague to enjoy a golden age of peace and creativity before Europe was engulfed in the Thirty Years' War. Filled with angels and devils, high art and low cunning, talismans and stars, The Mercurial Emperor offers a captivating perspective on a pivotal moment in the history of Western civilisation.

Danubia A Personal History Of Habsburg Europe

Author: Simon Winder
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374711615
Size: 71.38 MB
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A charmingly personal history of Hapsburg Europe, as lively as it is informative, by the author of Germania For centuries much of Europe and the Holy Roman Empire was in the royal hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off—through luck, guile and sheer mulishness—any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere—indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without the House of Hapsburg. Danubia, Simon Winder's hilarious new book, plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, royalty, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Full of music, piracy, religion and fighting, it is the history of a strange dynasty, and the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna. Readers who discovered Simon Winder's storytelling genius and infectious curiosity in Germania will be delighted by the eccentric and fascinating tale of the Habsburgs and their world.