Cultura & Literatura
All About History

All About History History of Alchemy

All About History is the stunningly realised new magazine from the makers of How It Works and All About Space. Featuring beautiful illustrations, photos and graphics depicting everything from ancient civilisations to the Cold War, All About History is accessible and entertaining to all and makes history fun for the whole family.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Edições

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1 minutos
welcome to history of alchemy

For an apparently defunct subject, alchemy has had a vast impact on the modern world. On one hand, its spiritual theories have been informing religious thought since the 3rd century, culminating in the overwhelming influence they’ve had on the reconstructed esoteric and magical movements of today. On the other, its relentless curiosity, specialist equipment and experimental methodology made it the early crucible of many of the sciences, notably chemistry, but also physics and pharmacology. Despite science’s understandable reluctance to acknowledge it, alchemical ideas have, directly or indirectly, led to breakthroughs in the understanding of gravity, electromagnetism, atomic theory, medicine and even quantum mechanics. Now, as modern academics put its illusive, elusive language under the microscope, they’re discovering that alchemy, far from being the bumbling precursor to science or alternative philosophy…

9 minutos
secrets of the alchemists

In 1666, renowned English mathematician, astronomer and natural philosopher, Sir Isaac Newton, observed light entering a prism, and from this experience he made a brilliant discovery about light and colour; that white light is made up of a spectrum of several colours. He was fascinated with light, and believed that it had a close relationship to the concept that the early modern scientist knew as ‘the vegetable spirit’, which was an idea that Newton coined. Newton was constantly awed by the beauty and complexity of nature. Over time, he concluded that the massive variety of life and processes that occur in nature, such as growth and decay, meant there must be some driving force making it all happen. He believed that the ‘vegetable spirit’ was that force, and he thought it…

2 minutos
legendary alchemists

Thomas Norton Thomas Norton, who lived from c.1433-1513, was the disciple of another famous English alchemist called George Ripley. As an alchemist, Thomas was supposedly successful in creating the elixir of life not once but twice, only to have it stolen from him on both occasions; however, he is most well-known as an alchemist for writing the Ordinal Of Alchemy. Hermes Trismegistus Hermes Trismegistus is often considered to be the founder of ancient alchemy. Although he was most likely a mythical figure, he was believed by many to have lived at the same time as Moses. Other theories about his mysterious origins depict him as a god descended from the Greek god known as Hermes. The early 14th century treatise De Mineralibus, attributed to Albertus Magnus, is the first Western text to mention…

1 minutos
materials and methods

All alchemists frequently used their furnaces to heat metals and other substances, but they also literally tried to test every single other process they could think of, some of which seem quite absurd today. This was primarily due to their lack of understanding about the true nature of metals. For instance, Geber believed that matter could be changed into its perfect form by mixing it with a pure, perfect substance. Essentially, alchemists considered this method as the fermentation of gold by leavening it with base metals in order to achieve their goal. Other common processes used were pulverisation, solidification, distillation, sublimation, mortification and calcination. The furnace fire was used for methods like calcination, which broke down solid substances into powder, but heat was not always utilised. Alchemists distilled many different…

1 minutos
secrets and symbols

The Dark Sun One of the lesser-known alchemical symbols, the Dark Sun, or sol niger, is symbolic of change, essential to the goals of transmutation that alchemists worked towards. It can also be linked to the blackening of matter, or even putrefaction. This image is from the Splendor Solis, a 16th-century German book of colourful watercolour images with symbolic significance, relating to alchemical processes and ideas. Though the images date from later in alchemy’s Medieval history, their style is reminiscent of much earlier alchemical images. The Four Elements This symbolic emblem from the 17th century shows the four key elements – air, water, earth and fire – at its edges. Alchemists believed that if they could master the different aspects of the four elements, they could create whatever they wished to make, including…

4 minutos
the secret history of alchemy

Many early alchemical techniques and devices paved the way for the scientific revolution Alchemy, the Noble Art, is an ancient practice that has taken on myriad forms over the centuries. Alchemists of all nations have sought to transform base metals into glittering gold. They have delved into secrets of immortality and tried to create panaceas that would cure any illness. By combining the correct ingredients they believed that they could even create life itself. With mystical insights into the nature of reality alchemists have sought to reshape the world into a more perfect form. For alchemists the world was alive with spiritual forces that, with the right knowledge and set of tools, could be commanded. Metals lived, could be killed, and be resurrected by masters of the art. From India, to China,…