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Alchemy And Authority In The Holy Roman Empire

Author: Tara Nummedal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226608573
Size: 61.23 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.

Alchemy And Authority In The Holy Roman Empire

Author: Tara Nummedal
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780226639727
Size: 30.36 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 3067
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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: 34.40 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.

Inventing Chemistry

Author: John C. Powers
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226677621
Size: 57.40 MB
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In Inventing Chemistry, historian John C. Powers turns his attention to Herman Boerhaave (1668–1738), a Dutch medical and chemical professor whose work reached a wide, educated audience and became the template for chemical knowledge in the eighteenth century. The primary focus of this study is Boerhaave’s educational philosophy, and Powers traces its development from Boerhaave’s early days as a student in Leiden through his publication of the Elementa chemiae in 1732. Powers reveals how Boerhaave restructured and reinterpreted various practices from diverse chemical traditions (including craft chemistry, Paracelsian medical chemistry, and alchemy), shaping them into a chemical course that conformed to the pedagogical and philosophical norms of Leiden University’s medical faculty. In doing so, Boerhaave gave his chemistry a coherent organizational structure and philosophical foundation and thus transformed an artisanal practice into an academic discipline. Inventing Chemistry is essential reading for historians of chemistry, medicine, and academic life.

British Weather And The Climate Of Enlightenment

Author: Jan Golinski
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226302067
Size: 56.99 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.

The Secrets Of Alchemy

Author: Lawrence Principe
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226682951
Size: 65.97 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.

The Awful End Of Prince William The Silent

Author: Lisa Jardine
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060838353
Size: 15.22 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: 33.47 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.

Alchemical Belief

Author: Bruce Janacek
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271050136
Size: 19.10 MB
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"Explores the practice of alchemy in the context of the religious and political tensions in late Elizabethan and early Stuart England, and the use of occult knowledge to demonstrate proof of theological doctrines"--Provided by publisher.

Alchemy Tried In The Fire

Author: William R. Newman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226577023
Size: 47.69 MB
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Winner of the 2005 Pfizer Prize from the History of Science Society. What actually took place in the private laboratory of a mid-seventeenth century alchemist? How did he direct his quest after the secrets of Nature? What instruments and theoretical principles did he employ? Using, as their guide, the previously misunderstood interactions between Robert Boyle, widely known as "the father of chemistry," and George Starkey, an alchemist and the most prominent American scientific writer before Benjamin Franklin as their guide, Newman and Principe reveal the hitherto hidden laboratory operations of a famous alchemist and argue that many of the principles and practices characteristic of modern chemistry derive from alchemy. By analyzing Starkey's extraordinary laboratory notebooks, the authors show how this American "chymist" translated the wildly figurative writings of traditional alchemy into quantitative, carefully reasoned laboratory practice—and then encoded his own work in allegorical, secretive treatises under the name of Eirenaeus Philalethes. The intriguing "mystic" Joan Baptista Van Helmont—a favorite of Starkey, Boyle, and even of Lavoisier—emerges from this study as a surprisingly central figure in seventeenth-century "chymistry." A common emphasis on quantification, material production, and analysis/synthesis, the authors argue, illustrates a continuity of goals and practices from late medieval alchemy down to and beyond the Chemical Revolution. For anyone who wants to understand how alchemy was actually practiced during the Scientific Revolution and what it contributed to the development of modern chemistry, Alchemy Tried in the Fire will be a veritable philosopher's stone.