Heavens On Earth. From the Tabula Smaragdina To the Alchemical Fifth Essence

in Early Science and Medicine
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Abstract

Alchemical writings of Arabic origin introduced into the Latin natural philosophy of the twelfth century a cosmological issue that was at variance with Aristotelian cosmology: the idea of a subtle substance that stood at the origin of the four elements and encompassed heaven and earth. In this article, I consider the links of this notion with Hermetic and Stoic thought; its association with the technical process of distillation; its emergence in some philosophical texts of the early thirteenth century; and finally its full development in two fourteenth century alchemical treatises, the Testamentum attributed to Raimond Lull and the Liber de consideratione quintae essentiae written by John of Rupescissa.

Heavens On Earth. From the Tabula Smaragdina To the Alchemical Fifth Essence

in Early Science and Medicine

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