Sendivogius in Sweden: Elias Artista and the Fratres roris cocti

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‭The Polish adept Michael Sendivogius had a definite influence in Queen Christina’s Sweden through the botanist Johannes Franck’s alchemical allegory “Colloquium with Mountain Gods” (1651). It describes the genealogy of generations of a royal family that finally bring forth the daughter Aurelia aurea - the perfect gold. Sendivogius’ work with boiling heavenly dew is implied and described as working “de rore coeli”. Franck also sees Sendivogius’ prophecy of a new metallic monarchy in the North as the coming of Elias Artista. In 1639, the “Fratres roris cocti” were said to have used a play on the word LVX from the sixteenth theorem in John Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica (1564) as constructed out of X – St. Andrew's cross. The Dane Olaus Borrichius noted the wordplay and explained that F.R.C. would thus be the mark of the “brothers of boiled dew” and a sign for the Rose Cross.‬

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    ‭FranckAlkemiska skrifter37–39; on Franck see Lindroth Paracelsismen 305–311.‬

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    ‭FranckAlkemiska skrifter104.

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    ‭FranckAlkemiska skrifter44.

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    ‭ÅkermanQueen Christina of Sweden86.

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    ‭Cf. BorrichiusTravel Journal365. Borrichius notes in Paris on 23 April 1664 that an Englishman had said the following: FRC does not mean brothers of the Rosy Cross but rather brothers of boiled dew; and in the same way he explained their sign (which is F.R.+) of which the cross means light by a certain anagram … and by this light they are illuminated or because light and air are used in their work: ‘Insignem quendam Anglum in conventu ubi de lapide disputabatur hîc dixisse: F.R.C. non vocandis fratres Roseae Crucis sed Fratres roris cocti item illum explicuisse illorum insigne (quod est F.R.+) quod + significet lux per anagramma certum ac si singulari luce essent illuminati aut quod luce vel aere ad opus suum uterentur’. Borrichius travelled in 1665 to Rome and met with Christina.‬

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    ‭BAV Ms. Reg. lat. 1218ff. 35–36. Cf. Åkerman Rose Cross 232–233; Sédir Histoire et doctrines 59–60. Sédir writes that the Fratres roris cocti were mentioned in Pierre Gassendi’s criticism of Robert Fludd Epistolica exercitatio in qua principia philosophiae Roberti Fluddi reteguntur (1630). Dew is mentioned there but only in passing under the heading ‘Jacob’s benediction’. Christina’s library contained Fludd’s Summum bonum and Gassendi’s collected works where the critique of Fludd is printed: BAV Ms. Ottob. lat. 2543 no. 255. Sédir also refers to Eusèbe Renaudot’s edition of the Paracelsian Theophraste Renaudot’s Quatriesme Centurie des Questions traitées aux conferences du Bureau d’Adresse (1639–1641) 59. This text on the Fratres roris cocti is the source for Veritas Hermetica and Borrichius’ journal.‬

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    ‭BAV Ms. Reg. lat 1218f. 38: ‘… la vray menstruée de la Dragon Rouge (la veritable matière des philosophes) duquel cette societé ayant voulu laisser à la posterité dans son nom des marques qui ne peuvent être efacés par le temps a retenu celuy de frère de la Rosée cuitte … la benediction de Isaac et Jacob ne contenu que ces deux matières de Rore caeli et pinguedine terrae’. The text also states: ‘Mayer l’a aussi interpreté de même’ probably an allusion to Michael Maier. Compare Borrichius’ comment on the same idea in Paris in 1664: ‘Ex ore cujusdam Fr:R:C: Ros est in rebus natur: potentissimum Solis dissolvens non corrosivum sed lux ejus inspissanda est et reddenda corporalis quae tum cocta artificiose in proprio vase tempore convenienti verum est menstruum rubri draconis i.e. Solis i.e. verae materiae philosophicae unde F.R.C. intelligendum Fratres roris cocti. Hinc in gen: benedictio Jacobi haec fuit: De rore caeli et pinguedine terrae det tibi Deus.’ In Borrichius Travel Journal 366.‬

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    ‭Cf. Forshaw‘Alchemical Reception’247–269.

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    ‭Private communication August 2001from Robert Vanloo Brussels.‬

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    ‭Private communication August 2001from Rafal Prinke Poznan. Probably the alchemist dissolved gold in aqua regia (produced by saltpetre and sulphuric acid) and let it fall out again when the nail was inserted in the solution.‬

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    ‭FranckAlkemiska skrifter11.

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