Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,751 words)

1. From vital chaos to the gas of chemists

The concept that air is a weighable substance consisting of various gases gained acceptance only in the course of the 18th century. Until then it had been considered one of the four Aristotelian elements and was neither heavy nor light, as long as it remained in its natural place. In his Ortus Medicinae (Amsterdam 1648; Ger. Aufgang der Artzney-Kunst, Sulzbach 1683), the Flemish Paracelsist …

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Meinel, Christoph and Bleidick, Dietmar, “Gas”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019614>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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