Download Alchemy (Dover Books on Engineering) by E. J. Holmyard PDF

By E. J. Holmyard

Alchemy is assumed to have originated over 2000 years in the past in Hellenic Egypt, the results of 3 converging streams: Greek philosophy, Egyptian expertise and the mysticism of heart jap religions. Its heyday was once from approximately 800 A.D. to the center of the 17th century, and its practitioners ranged from kings, popes, and emperors to minor clergy, parish clerks, smiths, dyers, and tinkers. Even such entire males as Roger Bacon, Thomas Aquinas, Sir Thomas Browne and Isaac Newton got interested in alchemical matters.

In its look for the "Philosopher's Stone" that might transmute base metals into silver and gold, alchemy took on many philosophical, spiritual and mystical overtones. those and plenty of different features of alchemy are explored with huge, immense perception and erudition during this vintage paintings. E. J. Holmyard, a famous pupil within the box, starts off with the alchemists of historical Greece and China and is going directly to speak about alchemical gear, Islamic and early Western alchemy; indicators, symbols, and mystery phrases; Paracelsus; English, Scottish and French alchemists; Helvetius, rate, and Semler, and lots more and plenty more.

Ranging over millennia of alchemical background, Mr. Holmyard indicates how, like astrology and witchcraft, alchemy was once an essential component of the pre-scientific ethical order, arousing the cupidity of princes, the blind worry of mobs and the highbrow interest of discovered males. ultimately, notwithstanding, with the appearance and ascension of the medical procedure, the hopes and concepts of the alchemists pale to the prestige of "pseudo-science." That transformation, in addition to alchemy's indisputable position as a precursor of contemporary chemistry, are brilliantly illuminated during this ebook. scholars of alchemy, chemistry, the heritage of technological know-how, and the occult, plus someone attracted to the starting place and evolution of 1 of mankind's such a lot enduring and influential myths, may want to have a replica of this masterly research.

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After the attacks upon apparitions by Balthasar Bekker and Laurent Bordelon in I 694 and 17l 0, disbelief accelerated. " 25 Defoe acknowledged that Satan has assumed apparitional guise in the past and could do so again , that "the Devil had certainly power to assume ... a hum-an shape" (HD, p. 262). "That some extraordinary occasions may bring these agents of the Devil , nay , th e Devil himself , to assume human shapes, and appear to other people, we cannot doubt .. " (HD, p. 326). "But in the se modem ages of the world ," Defoe added, "he find s it much more to his purpose to work under ground ..

41 Crusoe relates 31 Defoe and the Angels how a man of his acquai n tance, who had been convicted of a mis, demean or at Kin g's Bench Court, was tempted to fly from England ra ther than face u tter ru in. Awakening one morning under grea t emotional stress, be felt a strong impulse darti ng into bis mind thus , Write a lette r to them. It spoke so distinctly to him , and as it were forcibly, that , as he has often said since, he can scarce persliade himselF not to believe bu t tha t he heard it; but he grants that he rea lly did not hear it too.

As to my own experience, " he comments, "I waive saying much of it , but that in general l never slighted these impulses but to my great misfortune: I never l istened to ancl obeyed them , but to my great advantage ... " (p. 284). To illustrate and confirm thi s type of angelic communication , Defoe had Crusoe offer several stories, of which two may have been from his own experience . The first example concerns a man who, livin g six or seven m iles from London , rece ives a strong and reiterated impulse to go to London.

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