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Thread: Arnold de Villeneuve Le Rosaire des Philosophes

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    Arnold de Villeneuve Le Rosaire des Philosophes

    Does anyone, especially the French members of this forum, happen to have (or know where to get) a modernized French version of: "Le Rosaire des Philosophes, Sur La Fleur d'Alkemis" by Arnaud de Villeneuve?

    This is the long version of the Rosary (not the condensed version) and also not the "Rosarium Philosophorum".

    It is MSS 2874 DE LA BIBL. de L’ARSENAL, XIV° SIECLE.

    The old French version starts with:

    "Ci commence le rosaire de maistre Arnauld de Villeneuve sur la fleur d'alkemie, c'est a savoir sur la grant pierre aux philozophes et commence ainsy. "

    I have been looking for such a copy for years without any luck and find it astonishing that there is no such copy, seeing that this is one of the most often referenced source used by later alchemists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Does anyone, especially the French members of this forum, happen to have (or know where to get) a modernized French version of: "Le Rosaire des Philosophes, Sur La Fleur d'Alkemis" by Arnaud de Villeneuve?

    This is the long version of the Rosary (not the condensed version) and also not the "Rosarium Philosophorum".

    It is MSS 2874 DE LA BIBL. de L’ARSENAL, XIV° SIECLE.

    The old French version starts with:

    "Ci commence le rosaire de maistre Arnauld de Villeneuve sur la fleur d'alkemie, c'est a savoir sur la grant pierre aux philozophes et commence ainsy. "

    I have been looking for such a copy for years without any luck and find it astonishing that there is no such copy, seeing that this is one of the most often referenced source used by later alchemists.
    I suppose you have already seen this:

    http://www.bnam.fr/IMG/pdf/rosaire.pdf

    This is an old French version of the 14th century "Rosarium Philosophorum" attributed to Arnold of Villanova. For those who can understand Spanish, there is an excellent modern Spanish translation made directly from the original Latin:

    https://www.amazon.com/Rosario-Los-F.../dp/8489768064

    But since it is out-of-print the copies you can find nowadays for sale are absurdly expensive.

    If I remember correctly, there is also a modern French translation in Calvet's book about the alchemical works attributed to Villanova:

    https://livre.fnac.com/a3857945/Anto...-de-Villeneuve

    You might want to check on that before purchasing, though. I know he translated several alchemical texts attributed to Villanova in that volume, but I can't remember with 100% certainty if the "Rosary" was included.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Strangely, some of the works collected in that volume have not been traditionally attributed to Villanova (like the dialogue between Maria and Aras, for example, which is actually based on an Arabic text, which itself is based on Alexandrian-Byzantine sources; I have a surviving manuscript copy of an Arabic commentary of this alchemical dialogue, found in a Turkish library; it is in the process of being translated into English.) Don't know why the editor decided to include these texts in a collection of works attributed to Villanova.

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    And to further clarify this topic of the "Rosary" attributed to Villanova...

    This text here:

    http://www.rexresearch.com/rosarium/rosarium.htm


    is NOT the "Rosary" attributed to Villanova but a 16th century text, usually known as the "Rosary of the Philosophers with figures" ("cum figuris") to distinguish it from the older work attributed to Villanova, which is not accompanied by any drawings. The folks at rexresearch.com should have done their homework better instead of contributing to further confuse these two texts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    I suppose you have already seen this:

    http://www.bnam.fr/IMG/pdf/rosaire.pdf

    This is an old French version of the 14th century "Rosarium Philosophorum" attributed to Arnold of Villanova. For those who can understand Spanish, there is an excellent modern Spanish translation made directly from the original Latin:

    https://www.amazon.com/Rosario-Los-F.../dp/8489768064

    But since it is out-of-print the copies you can find nowadays for sale are absurdly expensive.

    If I remember correctly, there is also a modern French translation in Calvet's book about the alchemical works attributed to Villanova:

    https://livre.fnac.com/a3857945/Anto...-de-Villeneuve

    You might want to check on that before purchasing, though. I know he translated several alchemical texts attributed to Villanova in that volume, but I can't remember with 100% certainty if the "Rosary" was included.
    Hi JDP,

    Thank you. The first link is the text I had quoted - it's very difficult to read because it is fully loaded with Old French words, old spellings, and some words no longer used. That is the text for which I'm looking for a modern French version.

    I have a copy of the Spanish Rosario version, but I'm not familiar with Spanish.

    The third link looks promising but leads to a very expensive book and there's no guarantee that the text is included.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Thanks FF. I wish I could read German.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    And to further clarify this topic of the "Rosary" attributed to Villanova...

    This text here:

    http://www.rexresearch.com/rosarium/rosarium.htm


    is NOT the "Rosary" attributed to Villanova but a 16th century text, usually known as the "Rosary of the Philosophers with figures" ("cum figuris") to distinguish it from the older work attributed to Villanova, which is not accompanied by any drawings. The folks at rexresearch.com should have done their homework better instead of contributing to further confuse these two texts.
    Yes, there are many different versions of books called "Rosary". The one that is most often quoted is the longer Rosary version mentioned above. Then there's a condensed version often called the "Little Rosary" (which is available in English). Then there's the one with the woodcuts, often called "Rosarium" which is a totally different text. The longer version is available in Latin, old French, German and Spanish, but most oddly, not in modern French or English. Yet it continues to be one of the most quoted of alchemical books. A modern French or English version should become a high priority for anyone wishing to translate. This book forms the basis for later texts such as those by Cyliani, the Hermetic Recreations, the Naturweg, John Palmer, Fulcanelli, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Hi JDP,

    Thank you. The first link is the text I had quoted - it's very difficult to read because it is fully loaded with Old French words, old spellings, and some words no longer used. That is the text for which I'm looking for a modern French version.

    I have a copy of the Spanish Rosario version, but I'm not familiar with Spanish.

    The third link looks promising but leads to a very expensive book and there's no guarantee that the text is included.
    I found the table of contents for Calvet's book, it confirms that it does indeed have a French translation of the "Rosary" attributed to Villanova:

    https://www.academia.edu/34300974/Le...ge._Paris_2011

    See the "TEXTES ET TRADUCTIONS DES ŒUVRES ANALYSÉES" section.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    Yes, there are many different versions of books called "Rosary". The one that is most often quoted is the longer Rosary version mentioned above. Then there's a condensed version often called the "Little Rosary" (which is available in English). Then there's the one with the woodcuts, often called "Rosarium" which is a totally different text. The longer version is available in Latin, old French, German and Spanish, but most oddly, not in modern French or English. Yet it continues to be one of the most quoted of alchemical books. A modern French or English version should become a high priority for anyone wishing to translate. This book forms the basis for later texts such as those by Cyliani, the Hermetic Recreations, the Naturweg, John Palmer, Fulcanelli, etc.
    I think you are going to be rather disappointed when you can fully read it. The author maliciously makes it look as if he is talking about gold & silver amalgams with metallic mercury. You can easily tell he is lying through his teeth, though, since he also describes such things as red liquids being involved in the operations, which are simply impossible to obtain by working with actual metallic amalgams only. The "Book of Washings" attributed to Nicolas Flamel uses the exact same tactic: trying to convince you (i.e. lure you into a road that leads nowhere but certain failure) real hard that he is talking about metallic mercury and its amalgams with gold & silver, yet he also describes such things as sublimates, "stinking/fetid" liquids and white/red "oils" involved in the operations, which are simply impossible to be obtained by manipulating amalgams only. Misleading bastards!

    Of the alchemical works attributed to Villanova that I have read so far, the most interesting is the "Mirror of Alchemy", which is very different from the text by the same title attributed to Roger Bacon. It takes the form of a dialogue between a master and a disciple. It also has an interesting brief description of a "particular" for turning silver into gold, performed with "the oil Duenech" (i.e. a form of the secret solvent.)

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