Brill’s New Pauly

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(1,253 words)

[German version]

A. Nature of alchemy

A. had a ‘scientific’ and a spiritual aspect that are interwoven with each other. The scientific goal was the perfection of base metals which in practice mostly amounted to attempts to transform base metals (transmutation) into gold or silver. The spiritual goal was the ‘redemption’ of matter and, connected with this, the purification and perfection of the alchemist's soul. In ad…

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Weyer, Jost (Hamburg), “Alchemy”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 12 April 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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