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Monkeydude
12-12-2009, 01:40 PM
Hi, My name is Mathias Meldgaard, and i'm new to this forum

I'm currently writing a major project for school about alchemy (main focus around Roger Bacon's gunpowder)

I'd like to know more about the methods the alchemists used in general, but also compared to modern day methods. I would also like to know more about their importance to "founding" of science.

It would be a great help for me.

Awani
12-12-2009, 02:46 PM
Hi there, welcome!

Do you want to know about the practical side, the spiritual side... or in general?

:cool:

Monkeydude
12-12-2009, 03:06 PM
Hi there, welcome!

Do you want to know about the practical side, the spiritual side... or in general?

:cool:

I think i'd like it in general, but maybe also a little practical, depending on what that includes. Not so much spiritual, as it's not in focus in my project.

Salazius
12-12-2009, 04:01 PM
Welcome.


methods the alchemists used in general, but also compared to modern day methods. I would also like to know more about their importance to "founding" of science.

Some trials and errors, a lot of study. Fusions, distillations, evaporations, circulations, extractions, cooking &c &c ... for example were the general methods of the alchemists.

horticult
12-12-2009, 04:53 PM
You can spice your project, in old England you have to hand your urine so their guns have enough of powder to expand imperium /well, democracy in todays newspeak.../.
Maybe there were also another countries with similar methods, seek&write.

solomon levi
12-12-2009, 05:33 PM
Have you checked this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Gunpowder-Alchemy-Bombards-Pyrotechnics-Explosive/dp/0465037186

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471751545/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0792325737&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=06C637B89GSAYB5GF0M2

I'm sure you've already read wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder

http://www.chemistryexplained.com/A-Ar/Alchemy.html

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13910346/Alchemical-Revelations-History-of-Alchemy

Comparison of methods - alchemists would often mine their own minerals,
distill rain water, work through many laborious washings, grindings and
heating (calcination), dissolving and evaporating to crystals, very concerned
with purity.
Today, everything is made in mass, very high temperatures...
Alchemists saw minerals and metals as living beings, and their methods
reflect their concern with keeping them alive, not killing the seed
by extreme heat or exposure to corrosive acids, etc. They would go to
great extents to avoid killing their materials. Modern science is not
concerned with that, so they use the quickest methods to produce the
greatest quantities.

Many of the elements were discovered by alchemists. Their processes
(like distillation) laid the ground for modern chemistry.

Monkeydude
12-13-2009, 02:22 PM
What about the more spiritual sides of their methods then? I think i read somewhere that the early alchemists connected science with religion, but with time they changed their view on science and separated religion and science.

Awani
12-13-2009, 03:18 PM
Yes and no... difficult to know the ancient history... too many books were burned.

Hermeticism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism) is a spiritual alchemy system I guess... I don't like to separate the two as they are different yet the same (kind of like Yin-Yang in my opinion).

Important texts:

Emerald Tablet (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17)

The Corpus Hermeticum (http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/herm/index.htm)


Have a look in Resource (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=21) section of these forums, many links to pdf, websites and such.

:cool:

Zephyr
12-13-2009, 03:40 PM
I believe that "Boyle" is the the guy you want to look up to indentify the precise point where Alchemy and Chemistry were separated: the spiritual from the material...
*Z*

Monkeydude
12-15-2009, 12:17 AM
I need some primary sources for my project. Do you know any good quotes i could use, describing their methods or the hermetic traditions?

Awani
12-15-2009, 01:51 AM
Do you know any good quotes i could use, describing their methods or the hermetic traditions?

There is no quick trailer version if you want to explain alchemy in an essay.

But I guess you could quote this:

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h18/deviadah/emerald_tablet_new_trans.jpg (http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showthread.php?t=30)


You mentioned Bacon, this is his translation:


Translation from Roger Bacon's edition of Secretum Secretorum made c 1445

1)Trouth hath hym so, and it is no doubt,
2) that the lover is to the heigher, and the heigher to the lower aunsweren.
The worcher forsoth of all myracles is the one and sool God, of and fro Whom Cometh all meruelous operacions.
3) So all thynges were created of o soole substance, and of o soole disposicion,
4 ) the fader wherof is the sone, and the moone moder,
5) that brought hym forth by blast or aier in the wombe, the erthe taken fro it,
6) to whom is seid the increat fader, tresour of myracles, and yever of vertues.
7) Of fire is made erthe.
7a) Depart the erthe fro the fire, for the sotiller is worthier than the more grosse, and the thynne thynge than the thik. This most be do wisely and discretly.
8) It ascendith fro the erth into the heven, and falleth fro heven to the erthe, and therof sleith the higher and the lower vertue.
9)And yf it lordship in the lower and in the heigher, and thow shalt lordship aboue and beneth, which forsoth is the light of lightes, and therfor fro the wolle fle all derknesse.
10) The higher vertue ouer-cometh all, for sothe all thynne thyng doth in dense thynges.
11a) After the disposicion of the more world rynneth this worchyng.
13) And for this prophetisyng of the trynyte of God Hermogenes it called Triplex, trebil in philosophie, as Aristotle seith. - source (http://www.sacred-texts.com/alc/emerald.htm)

:cool:

Ghislain
12-15-2009, 10:55 AM
I am glad I read this post :) . Sometimes one needs a little direction.
Thanks Dev'

Mathias

Try, "Mendeleyev's Dream: The Quest for the Elements".

In this book, Paul Strathern, the award-winning novelist and expositor of complex
ideas, unravels the dramatic history of chemistry through the quest for the
elements. Framing this history is the life-story of the 19th century Russian
scientist Dmitri Mendeleyev, who fell asleep at this desk and awoke after
dreaming of the Periodic Table - the template upon which modern chemistry is
founded, and the formulation of which marked chemistry's coming of age as a
science. From ancient philosophy, through medieval alchemy to the splitting of
the atom, this is the true story of the birth of chemistry and the role of one man's
dream. Source: (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mendeleyevs-Dream-Elements-Paul-Strathern/dp/0140284141)

Ghislain

Monkeydude
12-15-2009, 02:29 PM
Today i got Roger Bacon's book "On the nullity of magic" where he describes the process of making gunpowder, which i guess i will quote, since i followed the same methods when i was in the lab, making gunpowder.