LINE OF ALCHEMICAL BELIEF AND TRADITION
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1300 1400 1500 1600
His works had great influence on later chemists because of the clear way in which he set forth his own considerable experience in practical chemical manipulations. He described for the first time the use of sulfuric and nitric acids.
ARNALDUS OF VILLANOVA (1235?--1312) wrote
RAYMUNDUS LULLUS (1235--1315) was a Minorite friar who wrote copiously on logic and philosophy.
It is very doubtful that either Arnaldus or Raymundus Lullus were really the authors of the alchemical works that were attributed to them.PETRUS BONUS wrote "INTRODUCTION TO THE ARTS OF ALCHEMY" (1330) --- an elaborate treatise on alchemical philosophy.
Note that decrees against the practice of alchemy were issued by
These condemnations led to much surreptitious writing, secrecy, use of pseudonyms, and to much imposture and charlatanry. Chemists were held in low repute, being, as a class, men of meagre attainments, except those working in the technical arts.
"It is from the time of Paracelsus that the true commencement of chemical investigation is to be dated."
- ---T. Thomson.
As the application of chemistry to medicine increases, "alchemy" becomes a less important branch of chemistry. Alchemy becomes associated with various secret orders (e.g., the Rosicrucians), and its mystical aspects become exaggerated. "Alchemists" appear who have no relation to practical chemistry. (further notes on the Experimental Reform of Alchemy)BASIL VALENTINE: A pseudonym for a certain publisher---JOHANN THÖLDE--- who issued under this name, in 1604, "THE TRIUMPHAL CHARIOT OF ANTIMONY," a description of the chemistry of antimony.
During this period, the following "alchemists" seem actually to believe in transmutation: TACHENIUS had some doubts or disbelief in Alchemy.
More and more widespread science based upon observation, measurement and interpretation (and shared freely via publication) brought about a gradual elimination of alchemy as an important activity.