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Turba Philosophorum

Turba Philosophorum

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THE TURBA PHILOSOPHORUM. .

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" Xon&on GEORGE REDWAY 1896 .. THE CHIEF READINGS OF THE SHORTER CODEX. ASSEMBLY OF THE SAGES CALLED ALSO THE BOOK OF TRUTH IN THE ART AND THE THIRD PYTHAGORICAL SYNOD AN ANCIENT ALCHEMICAL TREATISE TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN. AND EXPLANATIONS OF OBSCURE TERMS BY ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE TRANSLATOR OF "THE HERMETIC AND ALCHEMICAL WRITINGS OF PARACELSUS.*// ALCHEMY THE TURBA PHILOSOPHORUM . PARALLELS FROM THE GREEK ALCHEMISTS.

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and.PREFACE. the less corrupt of the two. for in in Latin . Unfortunately. clearer. which differ considerably from one another. There are two codices or recensions of The Turba Philosophorum. originally written compiler or editor. wrote either in Hebrew or Arabic however. work. not only at the present day. It is not. the . the Arabic of and Syriac manuscripts treating early chemistry are in numbers in the considerable preserved various libraries of Europe. but they are both 2094035 . *lpHE Turba Phiksophorum is indisputably the most ancient extant treatise on Alchemy in the Latin tongue. but it was not. the present editor has neither the opportunity nor the qualifications for undertaking such a task. has been familiar only in its Latin garb. the many respects it can scarcely be regarded as an original composition. but seemingly during the six or seven centuries when it was quoted as an authority by all the alchemical adepts. of course. on the whole. What is called in the following pages the second recension. certain that is the original irretrievably lost. is appreciably shorter. so far as can be ascertained. and have only been imperiectly explored.

forming " Essai sur la Transmission de Science follows Antique au Moyen Age. to illustrate the striking analogies between the Greek Hermetic writers of the fourth It is to this century and the Turba. connects with the Greek Science. in a state. course pursued. Preface. the editor has occasionally substituted that of the alternative and has in most cases indicated the version. those ancient whom all the Latin literature makes . bad The because it seemed desirable to give the work in its entirety. that Latin rightly Alchemy. Monsieur Berthelot's invaluable text and translation of the Byzantine Alchemists has been largely made use of. longer recension has been chosen for the text of the following translation. are also enabled to identify. some of clearly indicated in a chapter to his which are very devoted part la of the and subject. owe great scholar and scientist that we the discovery of these analogies. to certainty. for the and that with perfect sages. first We time. Berthelot's researches. Alchemy because which preceded Arabian the latter was itself derived from Greece. The variations of the second recension are appended usually in foot-notes.ii. but where the reading of the text is so corrupt as to be quite untranslatable. referred which to has an always been Arabian source." It from M.

" are instances in point. and . the adepts of the school of Democritus." tions of the also in There are some translawork existing in German and some French. and the other writers preserved in the Byzantine collec- they are Zosimus. we now know Panopolite. The chief printed versions of The Turba Philo- " sophorum. the tion." the Bibliotheca Chemica Curiosa. as it is the most ancient." and that of the smaller collection entitled " Artis Auriferae Tractatus." and in the " Tro's Anciens Traictes de la Philosophic Naturelle. in One English version manuscript is known to the present editor. versions contained in Salmon's " Bibliotheque des Philosophes Alchimiques. treatise on Alchemy. M. Berthelot. infers that the in phorum Greek influence found was not a derived The Turbo.Preface. Philoso- direct influence. rendered. and is therefore the most valuable. requent and reverent allusion that . but was mediately through channels which are now unknown In any case the Turba summarises the author's preceding Geber. are those of the Theatrum Chemi" cum. however. iii. however. which exists in the Latin language. Those in the latter language are specially remarkable for the very slender in way The which they represent the original. from the French. and it will be found in the British Museum amongst the treasures of the Sloane It is collection.

While they are of a considerably later date. such as the Theatrum Chemicum and Mangetus. contain colloquies. has been found useless for the purposes of this translation. also that the editor has collected a consider- that the great collections of " " able amount of material concerning this curious work. they at the same time belong to the early It may be added period of Latin Alchemy. It may be added Alchemy. ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE. and enigmas which pretend to elucidate the mysteries of The Turba Philosophorum. Preface.iv. . which the limits of the present volume preclude him from utilising. commentaries.

there seems no reason to suppose that the compiler intended to connect Pythagoras with alchemical traditions through Aristeus. TAKEN FROM AN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPT CODEX. Beyond the similarity of the name. the sophist of the time of Antoninus. * I testify that my An ancient gloss describes Arisleus as the son of M. which are found volume of the Bibliotheca Chemica. Berthelot supposes him to be synonymous with the Aristenes of the second recension (Eleventh Dictum) Abladus. B . for to the Words and the of the Sages. and the fact that most names are mutilated in the Turba. : same being as here follows ARISLEUS.* by the grace of begotten of Pythaa disciple of the disciples goras. MOKE PERFECT THAN ANY EDITION PUBLISHED HERETOFORE. learning from the seat of knowledge.THE TURBA PHILOSOPHORUM. unto all who come after wisheth health and mercy. The Epistle of Arisleus. concerning the purport of this the Benefit of Posterity. prefixed Book. thrice great Hermes. in the first and of the Exercitationes on the Turba.

by Pythagoras Philosopher. who said :f The Greek make no mention describes * alchemists of the Byzantine Collection of Pythagoras. instituted concerning . that their for words might be a foundation posterity. the Kitab-al-Firhirst. He then commanded council. t The attributed to this sage are freely French version of Salmon has the following distinct " : variations The beginning of the book.The Turba Philosophorum. dis- who were now greatly increased. had a greater gift of God and of Wisdom any one after he had a mind to assemble his ciples. The book also called the Third Pythagorical Synod. Pythagoras. master. to of highest Iximidrus. that Master is collecting the opinions of the scholars.* the master of the wise and chief of the Prophets. and had been constituted the chief persons throughout all regions for the discussion of this most precious Art. and the tradition which him as an adept of the Hermetic Mystery must be referred to an Arabian origin. where alchemical writings quoted. in which Arisleus has gathered together the sayings of the introducing among the scholars. more prudent the the Turba of the Philosophers. Italian. and the true Geber. than was granted to Therefore Hermes. to the treatises of El Habib. be the first speaker.

and to have put them. humidity and density Occult Philosophy." The same French Translation interprets this obscure " The passage as follows beginning of all things is a it is perpetual. he follows mainly the text of the second recension. as follows passions thereof are known and understood only by {hose to whom a : knowledge of the Sacred Art is given. infinite it nourishes and certain nature But this nature and the times of decocts all things. in his collected. Eximidrius. to begin the discourse. coequalling and that the visible natures. and are kept If the within bounds by the air.* Now. : * . and which the universal nature nourishes and decocts. I instruct you that the stars are igneous.The Turba Philosophorum. the chief variation " " Occult the original being that instead of Philosophy " reads the vegetable stone. corruption and generation are." B2 . of the air did commanded &c. with their births and decay. ." The second recension varies the last " The actions and passage. which all things. The First Dictum. 3 IXIMIDRUS saith of : I testify is that the a Certain beginning Nature. the terms by which it is attained unto. his But Pythagoras scholar. all is things perpetual. own words." The French translator seems to have summarised the recensions which he had extent. however. are times wherein the ends to which that nature brings them are beheld and sum- moned. to some Here. as it were.

Have not water remarked how tenuous you is drawn up into the air by the action of water to the heat of the Sun. The fire. when it observe that the Sun rises in overcomes the air by its and that the warmth penetrates heat.4 The Turba Pliilosophomm. assuredly the Sun would overcome the air. the forth air did not breathe those winds whereby creatures are generated. which thus If the helps the water against itself? of water did not nourish the air by such tenuous moisture. and the humidity its own humidity. the Sun by its heat would certainly destroy all in kept check by the air. But God has provided the separating air. . But the Sun is Sun own heat. from the upper to the lower parts of the air? presently If. not exist to separate the flames of the sun from living things. lest that which should be burnt the heaven He has created Do you not up. then. then the Sun would consume all creatures. which thus conquers because it unites the heat of the to its that lives.

extracts moisture from the water. The air. even as thou knowest . joins these together by its between the concording medium humidity of water and the heat of . by means of which the air conquers the fire itself. which also becomes spirit and life to all creatures.The Turba Philosopher um. disposed in such manner by the will of God. which will become a wind. and a coruscation appears when the heat of All this. however. there necessarily issues something tenuous. but the water is cold and moist. And thus placed to establook ye all how there shall arise a spirit from the tenuous because the heat the "vapour of the air. 5 therefore. Thus. fire and water there are is enemies between which no consanguinity. being joined to humour. is the Sun touches and breaks up a cloud. The TURBA saith: Well hast thou described the fire. For the heat of the Sun extracts something tenuous out of the air. for the fire is hot and dry. which is warm and moist. fire the air is lish peace.

For according to the mutation of the con* A similar comparison is used in the Arabian Crates. for the work is improved thereby. it grows it warm and becomes cold. its elongation of the rarefaction is when. represents that the Crates. The when inspissation is thereof takes place in heaven by the divided Sun air is . by the in is exaltation of the Sun becomes warm and in heaven. moreover. influence of the four and the same treatise.* which neither warm nor cold. the rarefied. concerning it. It is probableTurba in its original form antedated the Book of . The Second Dictum. where it is Book of enjoined that the operation of the philosophical fire regulated after the upon the philosophical matter should be same manner as Nature regulates the seasons . The air is inspissated. still older expositions of alchemical philosophy as using the same illustration. do magnify the air according to the mighty speech of Iximidrus. is Spring. It comparable with the complexion of the distinction of time. and saith : EXUMDRUS I it is also made thin .6 The Turba Philcsophorum. and thou hast believed the word of thy brother.

Piezo. and given account of what thou knowest to be therein. the spissitude of the four elements reposes in the earth for the spissitude of . sated when the Sun the Whereat TURBA said : Excel- lently hast thou described the air. The Third Dictum.* for weight rules all things. to press or squeeze Compare also the Greek verb down. ye Turba. that body. and then cold supervenes upon men. .The Turba Philosophorum. weight is not found except all in And know. * The original is pietas et ratio. but the technical use of the term pietas by the it Hebrew or Arabic original seems obviously to connect with the sense of the Hebrew Paz. therefore. ANAXAGORAS saith : I make known those things is that the beginning of all which God hath created weight and proportion. 7 stituted disposition with the altering distinctions of the soul. is inspisis removed from it. and the weight and spissitude of the earth is manifest in proportion but . so is Winter altered. The air. signifying compactness.

because fire is is warm and . Verily the more inspissated than are the rest. while warm and dry now that which is warm and dry is more rare than the warm and moist. the spissitude of together with received from the air. They say unto him Which element is of less rarity than air ? He answereth Water. the fire. falls spissitude into water . therefore. since : : cold and moisture inhere therein. therefore.8 fire The Turba Philosophorum. Have you not observed how the spissitude of the four elements is conjoined in earth ? The same. the spissitude also of water. is the most rare of the four elements and is most worthy to possess the rarity of these four ? He answereth : Fire is the most rare among all. and . But it air is less rare than fire. and reposes in earth. Which. fire increased by the spissitude of air. falls into air. moist. and thereunto cometh what is rare of these four. is more inspissated than all. Then saith the TURBA : Thou earth is hast well spoken.

O Sons of the Doctrine. and that which is cold and dry is of less rarity than that which saith is cold and moist. there- make : perfect our discourse. the description of these four natures. They reply Direct every one to take up our speech in turn.The Turba Philosophorum. is he greater than his fore. as also things warm and cold. g every cold humid a is of less rarity than warm humid. therefore. He of less rarity than water ? answereth : Earth." the two descending elements Olympiodorus On the Sacred Art. . for from the apex of ye the world he shall not find an intention therefore. PYTHAGORAS : Well have ye provided. fire the male and the female. What. own ! Let us. Blessed. O *"You have been of four elements. Pandolfus ! Speak thou. .* out of which God hath created all things. . told . because it is is cold and dry. that the ancients discoursed it Know that is by means of these four elements that humid and dry things are constituted. The two ascending elements are and air are earth and water. fall Two [elements] rise up and two down. who comprehends what have declared. Then do they say unto him: Thou hast spoken truly. .

which is under the earth. water and earth. to wit. moreover. They answer he : Thou : hast said well complete. to constituted a peacemaker between fire. But PANDOLFUS saith : I signify to- posterity that air is a tenuous matter of water. that it which should be plunged into the and it. water and saith it dividing these. the air hidden in the If water. namely. hostile things. thy speech. is.TO The Turba Philosophorum. that is to say. The Fourth Dictum. it. continueth in the But is The air which the hidden is water under the earth sustains earth. that water. therefore. lest another. preventssaid water the earth from being overflowed by lest . they destroy one : The TURBA gave an illustration hereof. the earth would not remain above the humid water. and that it is not separated from remains above the dry earth. you would be If . The province of the air fill up and to make between diverse separation things. and it is therefore. It this air did not exist.

as I have signified to you. it Egg. for therein four things are conjoined the visible cortex or shell represents the earth. the shell likened to the skin which covers the . clearer to n is those who do not under: stand. Philosophorum. But a or white part. and the albumen.as described symbolically. is water of the sea. is . namely. contains the yolk corresponds to that * The The allegory of the philosophical egg can be traced to the Greek alchemists. is fire. &c. is the water. the Armenian stone. &c.* very thin inner cortex is joined to the outer cortex. the separating medium between earth and water. native sulphur. He . representing. The shell is likened to the earth. which It is composed of world. The oily part is. that air which divides the earth from the water. title. it has been named copper. It is four elements. The white of the egg divine water. is lead. symbolical.The Turbo. The it yolk (? copperas. the white and the yolk are the flesh. answereth An egg an illustration. the stone of copper. is A short treatise is still extant the under this and another on the Nomenclature of described as the Mystery of the Art. because is the image of the the stone which is not a stone. mercury. and the watery the breath. the chicken) But the egg. water of alum. yolk also of the egg cortex which the represents fire . . being cold and dry iron. or air. &c. tin. is is sometimes itself after the similitude of a seed seed part .

and But the point of the Sun. is in the centre of the and this is the chicken. the upper air is more rare and subtle. therefore. and that which separates air. that which separates things frigid. the sun would . four excepted. all philosophers in this most excellent art have described the egg as an example. rise in a moment over the whole earth. and the same the water is from the fire. other air which separates the water from the fire. Conse- quently. water. yolk.12 The Turba Philosophorum. are four things earth. the earth from the water. But they are both one namely. air. for which reason the all Sun does not ascend over the zones of the earth in a single hour but if it were flat. . these fire. being nearer to the fire than the lower air In the egg. which same thing they have set over their work. The Fifth Dictum. But the lower air and thicker than the upper air. ARISLEUS is saith : Know that the earth a hill and not a plain.

because it fire is tenuous and light. 13 PARMENIDES briefly. sustains all things which are ruled by fire. saith : O Arisleus ! Thou hast spoken He answereth : Is there us anything the Master has left which bears witness otherwise ? I Yet testify that God is one. O . answereth : the disciple of LUCAS. and that the head of all things after Him is earth and fire. being ponderous and gross.The Turba Philosophorwn. but the earth. The Sixth Dictum. and rules all things on earth. I testify unto you that all things which God hath created are from these things which have been created out of them return four natures. having never engendered or been begotten. DEMOCRITUS. and the into them. Now. You speak only about and each one of four natures you observes something concerning these. Thou hast well spoken. and all things take place as God hath predestinated. LUCAS saith: . In these living creatures are generated and die.

The Seventh Dictum. of which one is neither Whether the age indicated is that of the Indian and Babylonian adepts does not appear. but being youth he should keep silence.14 The Turba Philosophonim. The TURBA answereth : When will give he attains to that age* he no his small satisfaction. since thy knowledge was derived from Lucas. Lucas. . It seems to indicate that the TURBA PHILO- SOPHORUM represents a tradition hostile to the tradition of . in LOCUSTA saith : All those creatures which have been described by Lucas are two only. when dealing with the four Then saith ARISLEUS natures O ! : Democritus. it is presumption to speak among those who are well LUCAS acquainted with thy master answereth: Albeit Democritus received ! the science of natural things. but the entire episode is remarkable when it is borne in mind what great importance evidently attached to the Democritic school of Greek * alchemy. that knowledge was derived from the from me philosophers of the Indies and from I think he the Babylonians surpasses those of his own age in this learning.

except by piety. which are sight. 15 known nor for it is : expressed. which is not known. what is this thing which is neither felt. remains silent throughout the rest of his the deliberations. Crowd of the Philosophers. because in this world it is discerned by reason without the clients thereof. O hearing. a wholesome odour cannot be separated by reason from one which is except through the sense of smell. in fact." . accordingly. Then he : It is that seen. and hearing only which can discriminate between a good and bad word ! Similarly. Philosophorum. it know you not that distinguish is only sight which can white from black. not seen or felt. For " those of own age " the second recension reads " his contemporaries.The Turbo. who. smell. therefore. taste. subtly. and. nor smooth from rough unless Democritus. taste. and touch. thou wilt describe State. nor known. nor can sweetness be discriminated from bitterness save by means of fetid. figures merely as a promising tyro. if completed. PYTHAGORAS saith Thou hast entered upon a subject which.

as such. by touch. is neither seen is that the creature which nor perceived by reason alone. but is answer : Thou hast spoken he : truly and excellently. and. seeing nothing. or of the stars. which light is so ordered that to vision. or described f Saith he : except by reason and piety. of which reason Nature confesses that God is a partaker.16 The Turbo. is same living the Sun. They felt. or of fire. all which are derived from the light of the Sun. except the light of the moon. and the more subtle than all other which is natures. Know that this creature. beings may attain But if this subtle light were removed. the world. . hath a light. Philosophorum. that is to say. yet hast thou omitted to treat of that particular thing which is not known. The TURBA answereth : hast well spoken. which causes all creatures to give light. they would become darkened. And I will now give a further explanation. Are ye then in such haste ? Know Thou cognised in none of these five ways is a sublime creature.

and is as B . which now are mortified by thou wilt confer upon us a folly. this For God And know that the sublime creature before mentioned has no need of the light of this Sun. because the Sun is beneath that creature. they have taken from the light of God. boon !* great thing * The shortened version oi the second Recension literally offers some conspicuous variations. This light. The TURBA answereth hast excellently described what thou hast related. Consequently the all Sun is rarer than inferior : creatures. good Master. Know is also that the created world and of two dense things two rare things. 17 has appointed the Sun to be the light of the world. And Thou if. thou shalt utter any- whereby our hearts may be vivified. which is more subtle and more lucid.The Turba Philosoplwnnn. which is more subtle than their light. by reason of the attenuated nature of the Sun. which is more lucid than the light of the Sun. but nothing of the composed in dense is the sublime creature.

is perceived it is known by by none of these. and earth. to the end that it may light the world. as well as in the sciences thereof. PYTHAGORAS saith all : I affirm that God existed before things. and known. the other not seen and is not described. But there a third connected nature. &c. The Eighth Dictum. that when God was alone. all I Philosophers. because He himself more rare than the Sun and all inferior creatures. till towards the close. who made the light which is the Sun. What ensues is by the help of the five senses. substantially the same as the text. which consists of two dense things and two rare. at which no one can God. Him But was nothing." . . . Understand. for heaven. air. which this is is seen. Know that the Sun is more subtle than all creatures. Now. reason . save is by piety and it is reason . out of which things He afterwards arrive save by the will of follows " : Two natures alone are described by Lucas. He created four things fire. and is that which contains perceives whatsoever in heaven or earth. and with at first. felt. which is as follows : As to that nature which . the same is sublime reason and piety only. one of which is neither known nor is realised. water.T8 The Turba Philosophorum. as He was know. declare this in order that I may fortify your opinion concerning these four ye that elements and arcana. and is God Most High. Nothing of the is dense is in the sublime creation.

which posand moisture air. Consequently. are created out of two ? And he Out of TURBA saith: Master? : : the elements of * In the fire and air are the Book oj Balances. that is to say.warmth and humidity earth. the four ele- He created afterwards ments. because He from the creatures extracted from water should multiply and increase. . .The Turba Philosophorum. which is cold and dry. that they might dwell in the world and perform His judgments before all. therein. He some of which were produced from a single element. diverse creatures. which has . By the help of sesses cold . which contains heat and dryness water. But the TURBA Which. is one of the genuine Arabian works of Geber.* The Which are these. both the sublime predesall that beginning and the tinated inferior. O And he: They are the angels. He : caused the four qualities to issue from the ancient worlds dryness. . cold. The combination namely. there : with this dictum the four elements a passage which has some analogy " After God had created all things of . 19 created all others. moisture. heat. and of these elements produced ." . then. whom He created out of fire. out of which created what He willed. fire. these elements God created the superior and inferior worlds.

and earth. But the other answereth : I notify to you that God hath further made . beasts. and stars composed. air. which is air. air. And they Master. out of water. which are life to the dead. moon. But the TURBA saith : Distinguish these divers crea- . namely. and some of these are created vegetables . which is water. because they are created from one substance. sun.20 The Turba Philosophorum. creatures out of three and out of four out of three are created flying things. and rejoice our hearts with thy sayings. while the sun and the stars are created from a comless position of fire saith : And and what air. some out of fire. continue thy dis: course concerning these three. and earth. moon. which is dense than two. the second of the rarer things. and stars. whence this is also composed of creation of concerning Then he two. and the second of the denser things. The TURBA the : Heaven ? God created the Heaven out of water and air. lucid than Hence the angels are more the sun.

Whereat the TURBA. and air. Art The treatise of Olympiodorus the Sacred observes that Adam was the issue of the four elements. And he : Beasts are created out of earth . But out and of On is. and tain fire ? fire. air. while all brute animals are from earth. and air. saith Let us assume that a fire. I And affirm that they conWhence is that they : He have answerelh is : Out of the heat . and water.* that * fire. and . and among vegetables which have a are created out of water. Yet in vegetables there is no fire. water. fire. spirit. flying things out of fire. And he : the truth. except in things which spirit have and soul. but the elementary fire is concerning which you were in doubt not produced. because all flying things. for they are created out of earth. air. does reside in Ye have spoken vegetables. and fire. of four his sons elements our father Adam were created. with : your reverence's pardon. of the air which for I concealed therein signified that a thin fire is present in the air. tures 21 one from another. air.The Turbii Philosophorum.

but is no disjunction of that which is Death consists simple. The substitute for his true * name signifies light and fire. Understand. because anything formed out of two. substance which lacks fire eats. or sleeps. does not seem to have been discussed by Greek. because in all things which have a spirit fire is that which eats. igneous earth. and therein is contained the spiritual man. whose name no one knoweth except Nicotheos. Syriac. three. the alchemist himself acknowledges to be undiscoverable. further. by identified with death. water. for it is one. or four components must disintegrate. or Arabian alchemists. is The definition of death there the disjunction of the composite. and all likewise earth. Zosimus narrates that the art of alchemy was revealed to mortals by . how thing which God hath created out of one essence dies not until the Day of Judgment. But the carnal Adam of Zosimus signifies material humanity in general. whom he libraries of There are similar references is in Zosimus. and that mysterious personage. that no complex drinks. and sanguineous earth. Underevery- ye that are wise. The nature of the angels. in the separation of the soul from the body.* terms him virgin earth. and this is death. carnal earth.22 The Turba Philosophorum. stand. and the question whether either they eat and sleep. making reference to the Ptolemy.

do not eat. each having his opinion. seeing thou assertest that fire is that which eats ! 'And he : Hence ye doubt. but out of the thinnest The of very thin fire of that which . ceive. it is to them that the tradition of . Isis to Horus. nor sleep. 23 is it. is most they simple neither and eat.The Turbo. are not created out of thick fire. the art must be referred as to a primary source and it was they also who wrote the primeval books of alchemy. angels. ye would not deny these things. but if ye truly knew the elements. Philosophorum. our faculties are able to per- by God's assistance we have the fallen angels. therefore. drink. that the angels. The TUKBA answereth : How Master. for And the TURBA Master. but thick fire. being created of fire. who desired to possess her. I agree with all whose judgment it is that simple fire eats not. It will be remembered that magic was also one of the mysteries In the discourse of unfolded by the same intelligences. and ye are become opponents. then. the Mother of the Gods appears as a prophetess who obtained initiation into the mysteries of alchemy from the great angel Amnael. . : exceedingly thin. being created.

exhausted thy sayings. O Master. since it is with the object instructing future generations that thou hast summoned us together from our countries. I suppose. reward thee for the sake of thy disof ciples. I think that no explanations will be more useful than definitions of those four elements which thou hast taught None of you us to attain. since envious men in their books have it And he: If separated that.24 The Turba Philosophorum. or otherwise I will put . to avoid omissions for the sake of future genera- becomes tions. The definitions in : TURHA answereth Should it your disciples pass over anything. ignorant that all the Wise have propounded God. you. And he : are. please you. the recompense fail ! of which the : thou wilt not to receive from Judge Seeing to come ARISLEUS hast saith that thou gathered us together for the advantage of posterity. I will begin the disposition here. but our faculties of hearing and of sight are unable to May God carry such great things.

and things contrary were commingled.The Turba Pkilosophorum. for the key.! nor ignored by the Sons of the it is Doctrine. The Ninth Dictum. by Hermes. water. by the four elements.* saith : Whereat TURBA think it Place it where for will you will be clearest he : future generations. having said unto them Be. earth. with the four other elements. EXIMENUS : saith : God hath created all things by his word. where it place it will not be recognised by the I And foolish. . and they were made. by the height anl the depth. water * The necessity of concealing the Art is one of the herself is chief anxieties of the Greek alchemists. air." says nothing clearly to any [unDemocritus in the Epistle of Synetius to Dioscorus. the perfection and the end. t The this reader will not fail to observe the artless way in which passage betrays the whole dialogue as a literary composition. to secrecy of us to reveal been required initiated] person. by " An oath has Anubis. Isis sworn by heaven and earth and hell. and by the bowlings of Kerkoros. which He coagulated. and fire. it 25 the at the end of the book. for we see that fire is hostile to water.

things created heaven and the throne thereof. is more than I have stated each of these natures ture. and both are hostile to earth and air. earth and sea. Had they been created out of one element. because they were created out of diverse elements. they lose their own natures. become neither cold nor hot . moon.26 The Turba Philosophorum. Now this di- versity subsists in all creatures. for all their natures have been made diverse by God. so also the humid being mixed with the dry becomes neither dry nor . which indeed are various. being here mingled. Yet God hath united them peacefully. But the . with things that are in the sea. and stars-. so that they love one hostile to another. they would have been But diverse elements agreeing natures. the sun. are all of these four elements. Out therefore. the angels. because the dry being mixed with the humid and the cold combined with the hot. fire. and diversity also the creations. is of diverse nais and by a legion of diversities the nature of each diverse. and not alike.

and government. God further completed his creation by means of increase. These are earth and water. 27 humid. and thence proceed creatures which never attain to perfection. which yield naught. they agree. and when the four elements are not comis accomBut being mixed. nor are their opera- known. food. earth and water now tions force . no desire of men meditate very carefully. Sons of the Doctrine. namely. save in the former elements. are perceptible to the sense of touch and vision. not without purpose have I described to you the disposition of these four elements. And the . from their own natures.The Turba Philosophomm. But there are two other elements which are neither visible nor tangible. departing plished. they become Over these let us another thing. But when the four elements are commingled. whereof the place is never seen. except they be left by night to putrefy and become visibly corrupt. for in them is a secret arcanum two of them . life. t mingled. and of these the operation and virtue are well known.

the alchemy. . Another passage describes it as the Gold is said to transform only with explains that lead and copper. essential substance. like man. that and I have now discoursed. exhaust copper. that no from true made except our Do not therefore. but also in the Greek. he TURBA : Master. but it must be remembered that it is one of the Hermetic Methods to describe the processes of the great this not * work in the language of cosmology. Book of Crates says that copper. we Then will give heed to your words. t and hence is composed of the is four elements. and only in the Latin mediaeval writers. For example. Among the earliest au- a spirit.* your brains and your money. : speak. the Byzantine fragment entitled The Nomenclature of the Egg affirms that the egg is the image of the world. Know. and applies to a stage of the alchemical process. The philosophical copper all a subject of continual reference throughout thorities. that unless you turn the aforesaid copper! into At this point there appears to be a sudden transition from cosmology to alchemy. tincture present. lest ye fill I will give your hearts with sorrow. has It appears from the same treatise soul. is that the term symbolical. I will speak only useful words will which ye all is follow as spoken. you a fundamental axiom. if you well.28 The Turba Philosophomm. The Lexicon of Chrysopeia white copper is crude sulphur. and body.

is According to Synesius. silver. break it up. an alloy of gold and t Numerous preparations for will be found in the Collection of whitening and reddening Ancient Greek Alchemists. again in the Book of Synesius. and washing. t until a Tincture} results. . imbuing. the Philosopher. that which so permeates and scaks into a substance as to change its nature. the process of whitening is a calcination. verily. M. deprive it of its blackness by cooking. and that which pro- duces a superficial colouring. J The Greek Lexicon of Chrysopeia distinguishes two species of tincture. Berthelot has pointed out that is the use of the term nummus by the Latin alchemists of the a misconception reference is meaning of anterior writers. Then * rule it. It is invariably an operation with copper. the copper. the recipe in the twentyparagraph of the Natural Questions of Democritus. The to Asem. and making yellow tion. The book addressed by Democritus to Leucippus says that the alchemical work comprises the process of making white and making yellow (red). the Combination of the White Preparation Address of Isis to Horus. as.The Turba Philosophorum. white. until the same becomes white. ye Burn therefore accomplish nothing. as also the softening and coction of the mineral of an igneous regenera- copper. addressed to Dioscorus. and 29 make visible coins" and then afterwards again turn it into redness. for in the first example. and elsewhere in many places.

* Take. Know therefore. identified with It is aeriform water. into gold. azure water. and you Next immerse the said tablets in the Water of our Sea. also said that copper is water of silver. is apparently to the closing of the mouth of the . (arsenic) into silver. after preparation. t Pelagus. ARISLEUS this work to saith: is that the key of the art of Coins. it also primal sulphur. cited by Olympiodorus in the Treatise on the Sacred Art. and he enumerates the contradictory names which have been assigned to it in alchemy. after over a gentle fire it is covered. becomes eternal Interpreting later writers. When transforms the male It is and afterwards water. Rulandus says that it is the philosophical solution of two perfect bodies. the body which I have shewn reduce it to thin tablets. The Tenth Dictum. * In this instance the term appears to be used as the the thin strips into which it equivalent ot tablets or lamina later is alchemy frequently directs a metal to be cut before subjected to a given treatment. The reference vessel.t which is permanent Water. which. J The Book ofEl-Habib is says that the virtue of eternal It is water that of a spiritual blood.30 The Turba Philosophorum. and water of sulphur. set it until the tablets are melted and become waters or Etheliae. boiled. quotes Zosimus in definition of the sea as the hermaphrodytic element.! and.

The Turba Philosophorum. same with Permanent Water. then. until it be deprived of blackness. Mix.* which is the Leaven of Gold Cook the and the Flower thereof. which also is Permanent Water. Then rub it. 31 which are one and the same thing. in pounding lest you become weary. where it is many persons prepare it by means of sulphur. mix with the Gum of Gold. and cook until Use patience it becomes red Ethelise." . This. and the whiteness appear. cook. Imbue the Ethelia with its own water. until the same becomes red. Cook it. stir like to Saginatum. is Burnt Copper. Burnt copper is elsewhere the same author as " the metal rendered blooddenned by colour (in view of whitening) and tinged within and without. and simmer in a gentle fire until Brodium it is produced. and the become variegated. coins which has preceded from it. Etheliae until Then in its water of be coagulated. and a process with sulphurated iron is quoted with high approbation from Democritus. which is * is A short excursus On the Diversity of Burnt Copper preserved noted that among the writings of Zosimus. which we call the Flower of Salt. therefore.

32 The Turba Philosophorum. that unless complexions and compositions. and make the white red. PARMENIDES that saith : Ye must dealt know volu- envious men have minously with several waters. ye rule the Nature of Truth. or blackness. seeking after to deceive knowledge. ye improperly and effect nothing. The Eleventh Dictum. stones. and it becomes a most subtle powder. For in them they putrefy and are generated. Know ye. the consanguineous with the consanguiits neous. which . and the act first with the first. because Nature is ruled by Nature. because natures will meet their natures. letting these stand for the grease. taking copper and lead. all and metals. and harmonize well together further. the water is consumed. aspire Leave. until the water be dried Continue the operation until all up. all these. and tin for you who the liquefaction. follow them. therefore. out of this our copper. always with it. and rejoice. brodiums.

The Turbo. and take D . manifold and superfluous things. it same. ye may know putrefies what and what renews. fore. and how these natures should be united one to another and made at peace. set your hands to the work. disaster. reduces to nothing. since there will follow nothing but harm. what neighbours it naturally has. and Nature contains Nature. how also after love enmity and corruption intervene. Consider. and how they love each other. If indeed. there- the teaching of the Wise. ye know not the Natures of Truth. and sadness. Leave. do not approach the work. it. noticed the facts in this Art. and finally herself renews repeats. until they become gentle in the fire in similar fashion. Philosopliorum. that the Nature of Truth. turns it into dust. therefore. and frequently produces the Therefore look in books. 33 destroys it. how they have declared the whole work in this Nature rejoices in Nature. Having. what savour it possesses. therefore. In these words there is shewn forth unto you the saying : whole work.

In one of the of is treatises belonging to the school of Democritus the sign of Cinnabar follows the term. or in which does not burn . The body Magnesia mentioned Synesius and Dioscorus. according to the Greek Epistle of Synesiusi like imparted to their souls. ye also that gold is not turned into redness save by Permanent Water. are the inspiration of the Turba Philosophorum. and to the later adepts. | The formulas which are so frequently repeated in the : Turba Philotophorum Nature rejoices in Nature : Nature . it becomes red. to The Magnesia of Alchemy that treatise. I tell itself into you that it turns the sea red and the colour of gold. and on the Metallic Body of Magnesia.* Mercury. According to Synesius it signifies the mixture of substances. remark applies equally to the Greek Alchemists. which readily assumes any colour that is it. and place it upon our Copper. body of Sulphur make the same when if ye proceed to coction. because Nature rejoices * is Know in Nature. when it becomes white. quicksilver. for Mercury whitens all bodies and attracts it digests them by coction. nature white. it becomes gold. t and this who is not common Magnesia. and takes complete possession of them. And if ye cook still more. Zosimus has a special treatise with reference to the method by which it is in the discourse of whitened.f in Kuhul.* coagulate in the Magnesia. wax.34 The Turba Philosophorum.

* literally These alchemical Grand Antiphons in O are either borrowed from the Greek alchemists. If. it be manifested externally. we glorify and that [species] .The Turba Philosophorum. ! which overcame and conquered natures. magnify nothing Consequently. is that spiritual nature to which fire God thereof can give what cannot. 35 Reduce. or are formed writers on the model of precisely similar exclamations in those " O. than which is more precious like in the true smallest tincture. therefore. O those celestial natures. will of multiplying the natures of truth by the God O that potent Nature. until it become red. therefore. and washing. and caused its natures to rejoice and be the glad !* special and This. imbuing. cooking. most happy and : ! Sovereign Matter. overcomes nature ruled by Nature : This that truth : Nature contains Nature : Nature is are derived literally from the Greek Alchemists. or the in the is degree to be found. until the hidden nature appear. Supreme Wonder O." &c. therefore. the same by means of cooking into a humour. . seven times imbue the same with water.

And as it visibly overcame the surface. which those investigating wisdom For when it is liquefied with bodies. you must destroy those that are mixed. For it overcomes those which are mixed. all Know consumes answereth * : all things. The Turba Thou hast spoken excellently all Sulphur. but this does not appear so plainly in earlier and especially in Greek Authors.36 The Turba Philosophorum. ye seekers after Wisdom. love. . joined to the other Know also. the If ye highest operation is effected. knew the truth. endures if the fire. even so it mastered the either interior. And if one be volatile but the other endure the fire. The later writers never weary of affirming that they are not the substances commonly so called. that ! while you are tingeing the cinders. that one matter overcomes four. Mercury. and changes them to its own colour. that the vapours have whitened the surfaces. and Salt figure in Hermetic liter- ature as the most indispensable principles of the Magnum Opus. what great thanks ye would give me Learn. therefore. and our Sulphur* alone further. they will certainly whiten the interiors.

The Turba Philosophorum.
well,

37

Parmenides, but thou hast not demonstrated the disposition of the
to posterity, nor
!

O

smoke
is

how

the

same

whitened

The Twelfth Dictum.

LUCAS

saith

:

I

will

speak at this

time, following the steps of the ancients. Know, therefore, all ye seekers after

Wisdom,

that this treatise

is

not from

the beginning of the ruling !* Take quicksilver, t which is from the male,

and coagulate according to custom. Observe that I am speaking to you in
accordance
with custom,

because

it

has been already coagulated. Here, therefore, is not the beginning of the
ruling, but
*

I

prescribe this method,

A
is

further insight into the artificial character of the

book

afforded at this point.
is,

designed to be conveyed
other

that in

The meaning which is common with many
in

alchemical works, the instruction begins
for the

the

middle of the process
of the uninitiated.
t It

more complete confusion
this connection that the

should

be noted

in

attribution of the seven metals to the seven

found in the Turba.

Thus, quicksilver

is

planets is not never spoken of

as Mercury, nor gold as Sol, &c.

38

The Turba Philosophorum.

namely, that you shall take the quicksilver from the male, and shall either

impose upon copper, and it

iron,

will

tin, or governed be whitened.*
is

White Magnesia

made

in the

same

way, and the male is converted with But forasmuch as there is a it.
certain
affinity

and

the

iron,

between the magnet therefore our nature

rejoices.t

Take, then, the vapour

which the Ancients
to take,

commanded you
its

and cook the same with

own body until tin is produced. Wash away its blackness according to custom,
and cleanse and roast at an equable fire until it be whitened, But every body
whitened with governed quicksilver, for Nature converts Nature. Take,thereis

Magnesia, Water of Alum, Water of Nitre, Water of the Sea, and Water whiten with smoke. J Whatof Iron
fore,
;

*

The second

recension
is,

reads

:

"Ye

shall
it

upon copper, that
whitened."
t

governed

iron,

and

shall

impose be

The

alternative reading is: " Therefore Nature also

rejoices in Nature."
J

as intermediary between the

Hermes, as quoted by Olympiodorus, defines smoke warm and the dry.

The Turbo, Philosophorutn.

39
is
it

soever ye desire to be whitened whitened with this smoke, because
is

itself

white,

and

whitens

all

things.

it be and become coagulated excessively white.* Roast this white copper till
it

smoke

Mix, therefore, the with its faeces until

said

germinates
the

of

itself,

since

the

Magnesia
suffer

when whitened does not
spirits

to

escape,
to

or

the

shadow
because

of

coppert
all

Nature

contains

appear, Nature.

Take, therefore,

ye Sons of the

Doctrine, the white sulphureous nature, whiten with salt and dew, or with the

Flower of White
*

Salt,+ until

it

become
become a

The

alternative reading

is

:

" until

it

shall

white coin or tablet."
t

The shadow

of copper

is

the flower of copper,

i.e.,

M.

Berthelot explains, protoxide, verdegris.

The

epistle

of Democritus to Leucippus explains that a metal without

shadow
burning

is

a brilliant metal.

Zosimus says that the act

of

is

called the destruction of the shadow.

Pelagus

defines the

shadow of copper as the black tinge which it produces in silver. Democritus also gives a recipe for the removal of the shadow from copper.
J

The second

reads Sol throughout for Sal, but

recension in the edition of Mangetus it is a printer's error.

40

The Turba Philosophorum.

And know ye, that excessively white. the Flower of White Salt is Ethel
from
boiled
Ethelia.
for

The same must be
days,
till

seven

it

shall

become
it

like gleaming marble, for when has reached this condition it is a

Arcanum, seeing that mixed with Sulphur is Sulphur, whence an excellent work is accomvery
great

by reason of the affinity between them, because natures rejoice in meeting their own natures. Take, therefore, Mardek and whiten the same with Gadenbe,* that is, wine and vinegar, and Permanent Water. Roast and coagulate until the whole does not
plished,

liquefy in a fire stronger than its own,

namely, the former

fire.

Cover the
but
let it

mouth

of the vessel securely,

be associated with

may
*

its neighbour, that it the whiteness kindle thereof, and

beware

lest

the

fire

blaze up, for in

to explain

Though Martinus Rulandus endeavoured honestly all the barbarous terms of Alchemy in his laborious lexicon, and though he was evidently well

acquainted with the Turba, he omits both Mardeck and

Gadenbe.

you nothing. saith : Master. because beginning of the ruling you require the white. until coagulation take place. Wise have wish they will to be wholly you speak as spoken. because one thing makes it but many operate therein. therefore. and that follow you who do not if shut in with darkness.who Art of Coins. which in each and every grade of your work is The changed into another nature. this case it 41 and in this will profit the becomes red prematurely. PYTHAGORAS saith : We is posit another government which not from another . and it is more quickly conThis. Afterwards coagulate the same until you attain the red. but one thing only. TURBA the briefly. is sufficient those . The Thirteenth Dictum. for verted from nature into nature. For ye need not a number of deal with the things. Know fire Let your that when it is coagulated we call it the Soul.The Turba Philosophorum. be gentle in the whitening.

The shorter recension reads : " concerning the harin mony f of the elements. appear every when embracing for this reason. it root. to which the said thing is not vainly compared. . and also not a stone common and precious hidden and concealed. the thing which they have described in so many ways follows and attains its companion without magnet follows the fire. savour there also. that only one.42 The Turba Philosophorum. this Science and may have cerning is enjoined in their books conthe composition of natures in which agree together. causes And its this same to thing. being a stone. ." According to the second recension. And know. according as it is governed in every regimen. albeit to sight they are as Know. nor to a matrix.* diverse as possible. companion without colours many it. nor to a seed. . that the said one thing enters into regimen. and is found everywhere. that whatsoever the envious name. the subject question causes many colours to appear in complexion. but all differs in ye seekers after Wisdom. for it is also like unto these. even as the iron. which follows! fire.

is the symbolical encephalous stone which is not a stone.The Turba Philosophorum. This stone. However this may be. the despised thing which most precious. because it is therefore. of one name is and many names. is a process upon the stone Alabastron by means of vinegar. 43 yet known by everyone of of is . more precious . appears that the stone Alabastron. without it Nature never operates anything. either before or after the operation with vinegar. The inquirer after the uncommunicated secret it may take his choice among it does not follow that the Lexicon a correct exponent of Zosimus. yet its name is we have called it by many names on account of the excellence of its nature. is the Mythraic Mystery. and is common salt. the unknown thing which is is known by indicated all. saltpetre. therefore. a device of the Greek alchemists. and they were fond of recurring to . The preparation The perplexities of it. which the the Spume Moon. a variety of natron. the thing given and not given by God. which has remained un- known is to all later Hermetic lexicographers Alabastron defined to be the calx obtained from eggshells. not a stone. and these substances. the Turba at this point are.* The TURBA answereth : O ! Master ! wilt thou not * mention some of those Zosimus explains that the uncommunicated mystery which no one among the prophets has dared to divulge by word. By the Lexicon of Chrysopeia in the By/antine Collection that earliest dictionary of alchemy. one. but has revealed only to the initiates.

t The second recension has a preferable reading : " shall find the stone formed.t This. It will be found in the discourse of of Greek origin. late it in the vessel until it shall become of a cinder. For ye shall find the stone broken. taking care that the humidity does not escape from the vessel but coagu. that same gum. and already imbued with its own water. and afterwards coagulate it with milk. therefore. Break up. and that which flies from the fire and alone whitens copper. after the manner that milk coagulated. Synesius. therefore. the White Stone. White Copper." The symbolical use of milk in alchemy is. I which is from the all * stone which we call The second is recension adds : " that is. and is the stone out of which also colours appear. Cook also with Spume Luna and regulate. like so much of the terminology of the Turba. which imbue with " : its Ye own water. Take.44 The Turba Philosophorum.* Then pound the calx in the mortar. is the by all names." most . for names And he: It is the guidance of seekers ? called White Ethelia." J The second recension says Gum of Scotia. which assimilates the work and drinks it. therefore.

many colours will appear to you. moreover. that if you take white quicksilver. philosophically and not literally but the treatise on the is Nomenclature of the Egg says that the white of egg gum. Mercury. &c. Then imbue with permanent and the more the colours vary all the more suffer them to be heated. Out is of this when it broken up. but if not. and do as ye are bidden. and becomes a stone. Know. 45 and mix with cinder of calx. scoriae. the same stone. The term is much used in alchemy. The Turba Philosophorum is not very clear on the subject of the philosophical gum. and with the which you know. . water. until it be pounded. and without regard to the Lexicon. but it is as clear as the Greek Alchemists. for the Lexicon of Chrysopeia defines gum as the yolk of the egg. moistening with permanent water.The Turba Philosophorum. speaking . and is found in Zosimus. roast in a fire stronger than faeces the first fire. which you have ruled. speaking also philosophically. Then look and see whether it has become a powder. among other things. is coagulated. breaking up with a gentle fire. Rulandus gum with Ferment. but without explanatory context. misprint for But identifies probably a philosophical Scoria. therefore. or the Spume of Luna.

indeed. thou hast spoken without envy. that sulphurs are contained in sulphurs. &c. and humidity ! God also deliver in humidity. Then he Ye must know. and a body. : is this And he Humidity is when venom penetrates I * humidity ? a venom. ! have Tell uttered something like unto this therefore. : t A Formula of the Greek Alchemists theriac Sulphurs are mastered by Sulphurs. t The TURBA answereth : The us. if any ambiguity occur to you in our discourse. is it In the second recension the name Assuberes. ruling the same until a white and coruscating stone shall be produced. and so ye find your purpose. The Turba Philosophorum. from envy of O Assembly the Wise.46 herein. and for the same may God saith : ACSUBOFEN* reward thee ! PYTHAGORAS thee. O what Acsubofen. like Petrus Bonus all seems with the sovereign remedy authors to have had a destructive as well as and. . The Fourteenth Dictum. I The and poison of the stone are favourite subjects of discourse among early Latin Alchemists. even as became thee. : saith : May ACSUBOFEN. do as ye are bidden. envious. Master.

may be compared with a similar recipe for the purple tincture. when the soul enters into the interior of the body and holds the body together and tinges I will it. fixed by M. Concerning this. because it is equal thereto. the envious have said When one flies and : the other pursues. repeat my words in Tyrian Take the Animal which is dye. and subtlety.The Turba Philosophorum. Berthelot as belonging to the tenth or eleventh century. which occurs at the beginning of the Natural and . and in no wise permits the soul to be separated from the body. then one seizes upon the other. 47 tinges it with an invariable colour." and Arabian alchemy contains to the venenum ignis. because Nature has laid equal. The Greek and this is recurring continually in equivalent the Byzantine Alchemical collection. sulphureous mixed sulphur is produced a most precious colour. after the hold of its manner of an enemy. and afterwards they no longer flee. worded in the language of the Tyrian dye. and they destroy one For this reason.* a constructive aspect. A Syriac treatise. out of the another. because of its violence many references is ios. which varies not. " the elixir resembles a says that poison . * This process. nor flees from the fire.

it for several until the most precious Tyrian colour shall come out from it to the surface. until it be imbued with all its shall humour. and to dry. as is customary. But if you wish to obtain the Tyrian tincture. The use of sea water is specified in one of the Democritic treatises. urine plays an important * part. with I ! Myftic Questions of Democritus. since all water is a Tyrian colour.48 The Turba Philosophorum. and cease not to imbue it. take the humidity which that thing has ejected. Observe how describe the regimen to you Prepare it with the urine of boys. adding that tincture whereof the colour was disagreeable to you. Then it and place cook with that same marine water* it until become dry. until it shall become earth. t The second recension reads : " until it shall become moistened. after which evaporate the moisture. therewith gradually in a vessel. t Afterwards moisten with that humour. and rule the same with a gentle fire. dry gradually. In this. also." . its called Kenckel. days in Then leave its own vessel. in which there will be a little colour. to cook.

and with permanent clean water.t cook which imbibe its own moisture . according to the rule of sight mix the same with permanent water sufficiently. it. as ye know to be sufficient. and decoct with a gentle fire." : water of talc. with dye it alternately. But if ye wish to bring it to the Tyrian colour. therefore. you that a colour will thence appear to you the like of which the Tyrians have never made. until the blackness altogether shall depart from Decoct. 49 water of the sea. and : The second recension reads The alternative reading is " with water of snow. E . water of desiccated calx . in its own humour until it clothe itself with a red colour. the sea is it which until thou hast prepared. so that it may be tinged. Then wash with the water of . be a the And still if ye wish that it should more exalted shall colour. and it be easily pounded.The Turba Philosophorum. and do I tell this day by day. and mix. place gum * in the which ye t permanent water. imbue the same with continual* water. and decoct until rust absorb the water.

saith : O all ye seekers after Wisdom. water which is of the nature of cold. afterwards desiccate in the sun. The second for wool. the conceptions of Greek Alchemy. until it and steep wool* therein extract the force of the tincture from the water. restore to the aforesaid water Then and the black Tyrian colour is intensified.e. until it be clothed with a most precious Tyrian colour. is must be followed one. your intent in the said water . is one only. Seek. therefore.t There is * i. the one way. Take. recension substitutes Luna for Lana. But know that ye do not tinge the purple colour except by cold.50 The Turba Philosophorum.. are all " The furnace is one. FRICTES this Art. The Fifteenth Dictum. know that the foundation of on account of which many have perished. therein place what is in the vessel for days and nights. there- fore. the one matter. Moon t The one nature. and one is also the way which . also that the Philosophers have called the force which proceeds from Know that water the Flower.

for ! whichye would die if ye knew it I swear you that if kings were familiar with it. whereas with fools it is more common than anything. and the ONE engenders the OTHER. is stronger than in and more sublime the opinion of philosophers. nature charms nature . Nature rejoices nature . spirit ! how she presides over all ! comes is all. .The Turba Philosophorum. none of us would ever attain this thing. furnishes blood to the OTHER. us it But for is reverence. 51 all one thing which natures. but the explanation by no . proceeding by chemical from itself with pain and great labour. O Frictes ! And he : It a very sharp vinegar. The Greek Assembly of is the Philosophers explains that the philosophical vinegar obtained by the coction of oil the Stone." says the Atsembty of the Philosophert.* which makes " The ONB work. Woe a thing which we unto all ye fools ! How to ignorant are ye of this Art. nature triumphs over nature nature masters nature and this not for one such nature opposed to another such. O how this nature changeth body into O how admirable is Nature. but for process * one only and same nature." The Serpent Ourobobot. . It appears to be an which rises is to the surface during the process. and overPYTHAGORAS saith Name : this Nature.

Take the same incom- bustible water (of sulphur). that . Prove it by reasoning and examining (? with fire) until it you see that it becomes incombustible. Berthelot supposes a reference to the Mercurial Water. and tinges with a spiritual and invariable tincture. which is indelible. which is inimical to cold. and becomes one therewith it turns the same into a spirit. also. nor rust can be made. the sulphur rises to the surface. nor blackness. Be careful. The Greek Alchemists give the following recipe for : the production of incombustible sulphur Take unburnt Sulphur. the Wise have said Rule gently until the sulphur becomes incombustible. boil till .* The Wise means * clear. Know. further. therefore. pour on flower of salt. ye place the body over the fire without vinegar. without which vinegar.52 The Turba Philosophorum. it will be burnt and if And know. of the fire. M. neither whiteness. And know ye that when it is mixed with the body. dilute as . nor redness. until no longer burns. that is to say. the first humour is cold. diluted in the urine of a person who has not reached puberty then taking an equal quantity ot brine. and then it becomes incombustible. : Accordingly. gold into sheer spirit. that corrupted. it is contained therein.

but after the perfection of the this. to redness. thereit most intense whiteness. that the beginning of the whole work is the which succeeds the whitening. and the son of this Adam thus described it. so that it becomes a coin of Cook. and the best point of their Art. For con- verts vinegar body. 53 already shewn to those who possess reason the dispositionof this Art. the stone until and then be disintegrated. finally work . Accordingly they venerate it and name it in the beginning of their book. Philosophorum. and by the will of Gcd. if ye cook well and deprive of blackness. is. which men have they mentioned. Now. Know also. . I have shewn to you. fore. which. that a little of this sulphur burns a strong body. there follows a complete perfection. dissolve and temper with water of the sea. it into a cinder.The Turbo. the divine mystery. by means of vinegar. is changed into a stone. O disciples of This is in the case of the incombustible sulphur. and also whitens burns the the body.

whereby I vinegar. My prayer was heard. might arrive at the knowledge of this one thing. Turba. says it is infused into the Hermes. knew pure The Sixteenth Dictum. how thrice-great Have ye not seen Hermes infused the red into the body. than all natures. the disposition of the one thing. more and more honourable. Have ye not seen. He shewed me clean water. that no tincture can be produced without Lead. therefore. and it was changed into an invariable colour ?* Know. while I prayed also to God that he would teach books so that I me what it is.54 this The Turbo. O the required virtue. " body. which possesses saith: SOCRATES Know. that the first virtue * is vinegar. and I swear to you by God that I have searched for a long time in precious. the same body is changed into an invariable colour ? reads : The second recension " thrice-great that so often as . Philosophorum. which is more perfect. the more was I illuminated. crowd of those that still remain of the Sons of the Doctrine. and the more I did read books.

Kuhul. and cook again in a very bright spissitude of the body * fire is until the destroyed. Lead which is made out of the stone called Kuhul t let it be of the best quality.The Turba Philosophorum.e. iron. is from lead that the three copper. Then all . . therefore. and is. which he explains by the appearances it possesses in common with a number of other simple bodies and metallic alloys. Panopolite. Zosimus. M. or Koheul. is to be found in Syriac alchemy it the equivalent of alcool and sulphurated antimony in the form of an impalpable powder. accurately Kohol. renders all unchangeand able. Rulandus explained by The Alcohol mentioned by M. is from Alcool of wine. in Part of any body separated from that which the pure impure. which if it be infused bodies. of the The significance is term Kuhul. different Berthelot seems to be fact.. may be cited in confirmation of this point he says : All substances were recognised by the Egyptians as for i. Berthelot tells us that lead was regarded by the Egyptian alchemists as the generator of the other metals and the first matter of transmutation. 55 and the second is the Lead" of which the Wise have spoken. Take. and let it be cooked till it becomes black. tinges them with an invariable colour. into pound the same with Water of Nitre until it is thick like grease. Zosimus or On the Substances t and Non-substances of Art. other bodies are derived. it produced by lead alone. more . the . is the to be Lead of the Philosophers. and tin.

above until the stone be- comes clean. care. same once more with water until it become tin by lique- Again cook until it be deprived of moisture. and exceedingly white. and with sea and rain water for 21 days. lest ' humour is burnt lead. the water being it rejected. again with salt water for 20 days. recension reads for " Afterwards pound it 29 days. therefore. and in the fragment on the Philosophical Egg it is tabulated as a name of the white or philosophical albumen. however. But know drinks that when it it becomes dry its it up what remains of because swiftly. Cook the of nitre faction. process dew is mentioned in connection with a of whitening. and the an important part in the In the Natural and Mysterious Questions Great Mystery. and 10 days with fresh water. abounding in precious Pound metal. Berthelot suspects the additions of a later hand." with dew. and become dry. it afterwards with dew and the sun. Kindle. but here M. . and rain water ros philosophorum certainly plays been referred to the dew of the alchemists.* when ye shall find the same like to a metallic stone. Thus we : The second salt.56 The Turba Philosophorum. and yet again with fresh water for 10 The explanation of all Rosicrucian mysteries has days. Take it be burnt. for 10 days with salt water. of Democritus.

Berthelot indentifies orpiment with the arsenic itself of the ancients. Now. I have discovered for you the female therefore. all the disposition of the which afterwards follows being no more than women's work and child's play. call it 57 the incombustible sulphur. assisted by the male. orpiment. the the Mix. therefore. who reappears as Peter Theoctonicos. for in receiving the is because she strength of the male. in like manner. but there is a fifteenth century translation from Latin to Greek of the Semita Recta. receives a tingeing spirit from the female. that the arcanum of the work of gold proceeds out of the male and the female. therefore. but I have shewn you the male in the lead. ascribed to Albertus Magnus.The Turba Philosophorum. in which it is found. also. for 150 days. taking care lest the vinegar be changed into smoke and perish continue this coction .* with the orpiment female rejoices in lead. I have demonstrated white lead. The word does not occur in the Greek writers. and cook till it becomes thick. * But the male M. . while. Know. Mix them. Pound same with the sharpest vinegar.

all ye seekers after Otherwise Zenon. seeing already dry.58 The Turba Philosophorum. and pound with Ethelia and very sharp vinegar . but it yet remains to treat concerning the reddening * ! Know. ZIMON* saith : O Turba of Philosophers and disciples. and they spiritual. notified to Now. place in a glass vessel. again imbue I with vinegar. therefore. the woman by whom is ac- complished the most great arcanum. and leave throughout the night. now hast thou spoken about making into white. have which is you the power of orpiment. for they will laugh. is It is the Ethelia of vinegar which placed in the preparation. Do not shew these unto the evil. whereby also spirits possession of bodies. cook for seven days. But if ye wish that it it to put is on mud (colour). by which things God perfects the take work. together. . taking care lest the arcanum smoke away. according to the second recension. become The Seventeenth Dictum.

rule the tingeing natures. lastly. . therefore. ye red. the red. . to cook in spring. this 59 Art. that . divided into four seasons season is of a frigid comthis is Winter the second and plexion. to dissolve in winter. observes If thou dost com: mence by making perfect white.The Turba Philosophorum. and is of the complexion of . In this manner. namely. therefore. in given this example. and !* redden the white the year the first is Know. that cannot white. and solid. make unless ye whiten. Having. there is the fourth. also. is of the complexion of air. because the two natures are nothing other than red and Whiten. but if ye err. wherein is fruits are matured. therefore. and to gather and tinge the fruit in autumn. ye are to rule your natures. which Autumn. to coagulate summer. fire . the yellowing will be perfect. blame no one save yourselves. The TURBA answereth : Thou * hast treated the matter extremely A commentary introduced into the text of Zosimus on Virtue and Interpretation. and this is Spring then follows the third. which is summer.

Rubric. which is the modern name of minium.. enumerated by M. . The second recension reads : " becomes a mighty among spirits. . And he : I will speak of making lead well red. but a spiritual composite. therefore. combine lead therewith. but some oxydes t spirit of iron. t the male and the female are conjoined there is not produced a volatile wife. etc. equally.* Take Master the the copper which take the at ordered you of to his beginning book. cinnabar. let if gold be roasted with them. becomes a So when tingeing spirit in spirits. not only vermillion.60 The Turba Philosophorum. and cook it until it becomes thick congeal also and desiccate until it becomes red. add." .. ye rule well. Here certainly is the Red Lead of which the wise spake copper and lead become a precious stone mix them . . including. realgar. another teaching of this kind for the sake of posterity. The various substances of which conare founded under the names Minium. Berthelot. alchemists etc. in addition to the sur-oxyde of lead. From the composite turned into a red spirit is produced the beginning * of the world. for this.

which is of our work. the great mystery.The Turba Philosophorum. and they find certain things. for in the context of the passage just cited we find the following words : That which tinges in a tinctures water. and things tinged is Divine The gum of gold is mentioned fragment attributed to Agathodemon. but it is none other than permanent water. and how few there are who find Know that this gum is not ameliorated except by gold alone. out of which our precious stone is generated. MUNDUS saith seekers after this TURBA The Art must know that to the : the Philosophers in their books have described gum in many ways. For there be very many who investigate these applications. yet they cannot sustain the * labours because they are dimi- It appears from Zosimus on The Detailed Exposition of the Work. 61 Behold called this is the lead which we have ! Red Lead. and without which nothing is effected The Eighteenth Dictum. that with the addition of a little [philosoAnd phical] gum any species of body may be tinged. when Mundus in identifies Gum with Permanent Water he is agreement with the same authority.* after this O how many it ! are the seekers gum. .

But the applications which are made out of the gum and out of the honourable stone. when committing these things to writing that the same might gold not perish. Consequently. part of the most intense white gum .62 The Turba Philosophorum. lest every one should become acquainted therewith. and having become familiar to fools. and the arcanum existing therein. have not set forth in their books the manifest disposition. tincture. Take. which has already nished. therefore. Know ye that our gum is stronger than gold. and are they sustain the never diminished. the Philosophers. for I unto you the applications of this gum. and all those who know it do hold it more honourable than gold. held the labours. therefore. will explain Understand. the same would not sell it at a small price. because out of gum with a little we buy much. therefore. for without it the gum cannot be improved. is for Philosophers more precious and more sublime than pearls. Our gum. my words. yet gold we also honour. one .

and cook until it be dried. mix these por- and cook for forty days. without which it cannot be improved . Philosophorunt. Then mix and cock it it with milk of the that till moisture be dried up in the composite. mix the same with the equipped with all manner of colours. mixed dried. and cook strongly until the whole force of the water is gum which perish . part of the body of gum. then sprinkle with water of dew. and the entire body be deprived . tions with milk of ferment. one part of the gall of a fish and one . and until it become dry evaporate the moisture by heat. When these things have been done. which afterwards mix with milk of the root of grass. afterwards extract it. 63 one part of the urine of a white calf. Then with rainwater. Also imbue with per- manent water. congeal by the heat of the sun till they are Then cook the same. until the milk fail . and again cook moisten it until it be dry. fig. Having done these things.The Turbo. and desiccate until it become of the most intense dryness.

Then dismiss for Let it remain in that tritura- tion or decocting until the spirit penetrate the body. and the body Observe the is changed into a spirit. is to be understood not of previous speakers in the Assembly. This. have concealed The Nineteenth Dictum.64 of its The Turbo. and ye will find that which ye purposed. which the Philosophers in their books. vessel. until the dryness thereof be kindled. which occurs twice in this dictum. while ye imbue the same by cooking. humidity. For by this regimen the corporeal. lest the composition spirit is fly made and pass off in fumes. These things being accomplished. open the vessel. therefore. Now. namely. the Greek Alchemists. DARDARIS saith : It is common knowledge that the Masters* before us have described Permanent Water. it behoves one who is introduced to this Art to attempt nothing till he is familiar with the power of this Per* The reference to the Masters. is the arcanum of gum. but of the older philosophers. Philosophorum . therefore. . forty days.

" F .* For these. the body the incorporates the spirit incorporates the body into tinged spirit. invariably this Water. and may indispennot enter into this Art. and contrition. arcanum * The second recension adds : " and the spirit into body. because nothing is effected without the Permanent Water. 65 manent Water. The force thereof is a spiritual blood. commixture. transform each other spirit. and the whole regimen. whence the Philosophers have called it Per- having pounded it with the body. manent Water. He. sable regimen. as the Masters before me have explained to you. by the will for. there- not understand its Permanent Water. ! therefore. of God it turns that body into spirit. Remember. being mixed together and reduced to one. . like blood. it to in behoves us use famous Permanent who does fore.The Turba Philosophorum. And know ye. that whatsoever hath spirit and the same hath blood also this as well.

Then he : Master. ye have PYTHAGORAS discoursed excellently !* answers : Seeing that they are philosoO Belus. them He answereth : It is disciples ? in honour of their Master. many denominations have been has no nature.66 The Turba Philosophorum The Twentieth Dictum. * self the following distinction " . junction with us. no falsehood flees the fire. its Nevertheless. they have frequently described Permanent Water. BELUS saith : O disciples. makes him. and the making of The whole of this Dictum recalls a passage in It is for these Zosimus. or is uttered. Take that stone which is not a stone. I refer to aphroselinon. lest I should make them equal with him. that unknown thing which is known to everyone. On Virtue and Interpretation reasons that my excellent master. . . but according it is called the being which white smoke. so that whether do not say absolutely speaking. that precious thing which has no value. PYTHAGORAS saith : Then in con- Those who. same time name given to its one. it. which has many names and has no name. at the . that polymorphous object which is without form. or white copper. I money value its nature is one." For this stone is not a stone. Democritus. and while it it is exceedingly precious. why hast thou called phers. ought not to be termed disciples. have composed this book which is called the Turba.

some of whom have . weights. sold for coins by lapidaries who are called saven . albeit under many names but in the modes after which they have conjoined . some have named it Spume * of Luna .The Turbo.t some have : distin- t The second recension reads " Green Lion. founded upon its colour. it.* with bodies tion it is by yet others its descriphas been further varied." Sputum Lunse does not seem to be a term which it found favour with Latin alchemy. the foolish should recognise designated Certain wise after men have it to namely. they agree with the hidden truth. compositions. because . termed by other some it is called the Stone of the most intense Spirit of Brass. Behold. and that lest it is called by many names. what is ! said concerning this A report has gone despised thing abroad that the Hidden Glory of the Philosophers is a stone and not a stone. and accordingly is . 67 the White and the Red in many ways. one fashion. not to be mixed it the Green Stone . and regimens. according the place where it is generated others have adopted another. Philosophorum.

there is a prescription concerning which falls from the moon when where it it is referred to as describing it is waning. and yet others have declared it to be that which is is thousand titles. " That which already received of which the best is a : brought forth out of quicksilver with the milk of volatile things. of mercury. On Virtue and Interpreta" that from Hermes tion." Rulandus. PANDOLFUS said so saith : O Belus. says Hermes." So also others have called it the Heart of the Sun. has produced out of metals. supposed not only to reflect the likeness of the made from dew by Moon. " you will find it with me and with Agathodaimon. it it guished astronomically or arith- metically.68 The Turba Philosophorum. Berthelot supposes this passage to volatilisation Turba recalls mythology of but to be " Lapis Arabicus. In fact. Moon.. The Twenty -first Dictum. very curious to note that Rulandus. Note also the Selenite. Aphroselinum." M. and how has the quality of resisting the fire. ." and he is to be found. thou hast much concerning the despised It is wanting in the Lexicons. In Zosimus. the foam of the &c. who quite frequently quotes the Turba. seems seldom to have troubled himself about the significance of its bizarre terms. allegorise upon the But the expression in the the passage of Synesius.

and not from the as Zosimus himself New Testament.t water mundane because. is more precious or purer than the Sun. verily. in his dictum on the subject of calx. Treating. it the despised thing which is most and so on through a number of contradicting denominations. except in it so far may have drawn from that source." The symbolism of the venom of the philosophers : is also found in Zosimus. ye seekers after is Wisdom. of that per- manent water life. . commenting upon Democritus. The Philosophers have constituted this short dictum the principle of the work for reasonable And know ye that no body persons. 69 stone* that thou hast left ! nothing to be added by thy brethren I Howsoever. not betray any- where the hand and although the reference to the despised stone suggests the stone which the builders have rejected. concerning the uncommunicated mystery of the encephalous stone. the idea is derived from Zosimus. and that no tingeing venomt * is gene- The Turba Philosophorum does of a Christian compiler. Nature contains Nature. teach is posterity that this despised stone all a permanent water. Philosophers have stated that Nature rejoices in Nature. and know. f J The second recension reads " clean water.The Turba Philosophorum. the Greek adept calls precious. and Nature overcomes Nature.

rated without the He. Alchemy.70 The Turba Philosophomm. Know also that our coin when it becomes fore. who attempts to make and has fallen into venom of the Philosophers without these. red. there- who knows the hidden of the Arcanum answereth Philosophers. and recovered after having undergone the same process several times. already revealed. treated with oil ot natron. says an M. Berthelot. is called gold to . Berthelot in his Essay on the Transmission of Ancient Science its without explanation of significance. the of bodies. A quotation from Mary (the : first) in Zosimus On the Measure of Yellowing runs thus Copper when burned with sulphur. Zosimus. Sun and its shadow. and the venom of serpents. the therefore. the rouille of metals. it figures as the name of an adept. But he who has tinged the venom of the wise out of the Sun and its shadow* has arrived at the highest Arcanum. * it is of virtue According to the spirit separated from the substance of a On Virtue and Interpretation. body. In an ancient alchemical entitled The Code of Truth. The : Cambart him is the Thou hast TURBA even now intelannotation specific The Greek word signifies. already errs. becomes an excellent gold without shadow. he. t This oriental term is referred to by M. that pit wherein his sadness remains. and it is not found in any of the Lexicons of treatise. .

ligibly described this stone. but take care not to make use of this except it be pure and clean . let it it be cooked till it whitens. extracting. in which case ye have ruled excellently well. until it becomes Kuhul. But rule it thus for the white. Let it stay there from evening till morning. is far if it be black. t very great Then cook gradually. and pray God sight of this that He may grant you the stone. but furnace. place in a vessel of burnt clay. which is a great arcanum. . finally place it in its vessel.* and the same is mixed and pounded with wine. for the whitening of Magnesia: " Then. to take Return. to the He saith : I direct you description. an occult and honourable arca- num." t It does not appear that the conception of the Philosopher's Stone as a medicine of metals and of men familiar to was Greek alchemy. therefore. if it has become a see and. which is White Magnesia.The Turba Philosophorum. closed up with of Moses gives the following process * The Chemistry Taking Magnesia and an equal quantity of Cappadocian salt. it better to cook it in a glass-maker's Hide this mystery. for comprises everything which concerns whitening by decoction. yet 71 thou its hast not narrated its regimen nor composition. black stone.

and imbue with the gum that remains. Cook strongly.72 The Turba Philosophorum. therefore. of a crocus. which the stone Atitos. therefore. therefore. of which favoured sight of God there are many is accounts. and a certain extract of an unguent. fixed exalted alum. gold of the Indies whose root is one. blackness. Pound the same. permanently for 40 or 42 days. will I complete that which I have * The authenticity of this sign is is extremely doubtful. until its colour turns into that which ye desire. so often must it be desiccated and again humectated. After these days God will show you the principle (or beginning) of this stone. or T? . with its confections. make sense The second recension confirms this view. which are the said flower of copper. that is. and the marginal note which editions does not help it out. . appended to most printed It is no doubt really a misis reading of the word Hoc.* cook the four. Now. And know ye that so often as ye imbue the cinder. that is. which blackness see that it does not remain longer than forty days. which of the required to sentence immediately following.

the matter be cerated. the wax until it imbibes therefore. 73 begun.! be more intense than the former. and only introduced to provide a meaning.* Know the to rule also that work of it perfection of this precious stone is the with of the residue of the the medicine. and when it is desiccated it coheres. . ! Blessed are ye I will ye understand repeat to But. which being desiccated. Cook. * The original is the conjectural is emendation given in the text has no authority. t The substituted. if God will look kindly on us. reading of the second recension has been owing to the corrupt state of the longer text. and true earth imFinally. if not. bibe them all. and to part preserve the two other parts for imthird buing and cooking alternately till the Let the fire required colour appears. the you perfection of untranslatable.The Turba Philosophorum. place the same the earth extract its on a hot flower fire until and be if satisfactory. let the gluten of gold. imbue the rest of the work seven times until the other two- thirds be finished.

and no one . wherein is the true tincture. explain to us what the instructing Pandolfus has stated. and close the mouth of the vessel effectually. Then he : O all ye seekers after this science. THEOPHILUS intelligently saith: Thou hast spoken and elegantly. Saith the TURBA Let your discretion. and art : held free from envy. is Take the clean white. and beware of the wicked The Twenty-Second Dictum. imbue sand therewith. Now. and be not envious. therefore. which is a most great arcanum. will appear to you. the arcanum of gold and the art of the coin is a dark vestment. that you your ! God and show not this great arcanum.74 The Turba Philosophorum. as you have often been told. For that which ye seek of it by the favour of God. the work. therefore. so do I conjure you by sure Master. until it drink up the whole. which is the stone of Tyrian colour. I have fulfilled the truth. which sand made out of the stone seven times imbued.

The Turba Philosophorum. until it is drawn out into plates . experiments. cook the former part of the venom. The TURBA : Thou hast truly spoken. 75 knows what the narrated frequent in Philosophers have books without their reading. Divide. certain others . but preserve the other to pound and imbue the same. and albeit some have dealt with it intelligibly which and it well. have treated answereth obscurely thus some are more lucid than others. with one of which liquefy the copper. therefore.* This unintelligible passage : recension is better rendered in the " Cook with the former part of the venom . the venom into two equal parts. and of the Wise. and it changes as a fluxible water. cook again with to seven in its * first own water for 42 days . cook two to seven in two. because the boritis of the Wise liquefies the copper. And he : I announce to posterity that between boritis and copper there is an affinity. For that questionings they have concealed is more sublime and obscure than it is possible to make known in words.

A late French Lexicon observes that the name was applied by Philosophers to their Mercury when it had reached the extreme black stage. with the other portion.76 finally. open the vessel. that is to say. is directions found in each version. For when it is congealed it becomes a very great arcanum. and ye shall find copper turned into quicksilver. Ac- cordingly. It is the Laton which must be The word is of Oriental origin. the very great putrefaction which extracts (or contains in itself) the very great until it arcanum. and it reduces earth to water." ebibat does not agree with the subsequent Rulandus. cook it continuously until it be congealed. shall Saith the TURBA : But donee duas * have absorbed both. that becomes a matter like mucra. according to the White Stone after the black state. and do this seven times. therefore. Lastly. therefore. . This. Boritis. Then imbue it with the Permanent water which I directed you coagulated stone until it to reserve.* cook. wash the same by cooking until it be deprived of its blackness. and become as copper without a shadow. its *s and cook it many times until colours manifest. The Turba Philosopherum. whitened. the Philosophers have called this stone Boritis.

77 TheoAnd lie: It is to be known philus that the same affinity which exists between the magnet and iron. not with the hands. when ye will find it it water whiter than milk blackness by cooking . also exists assuredly between copper and Return to thine exposition. ! O If. otherwise.The Turba Philosophorum. deprive continue the cooking until its whole nature be disintegrated. and cook for forty days. in the one part of the water cook it for eleven. and white pound strongly by cooking. as the flower of salt in its But splendour and coruscation : but strongly close the mouth of the vessel. until the de. therefore. until the water become thin. of all * The second recension reads : " Take quicksilver mixed with the male. there will thence result the very great arcanum in the following fashion. forty days. Take quicksilver. dividing this water into two parts. ye permanent water.* Magnesia and mix with the male. until there be a white flower. rule copper and permanent water as I have directed." .

wash the same with water. be accomplished. namely. which I have given you. and the . cook. all ye Sons of the Doctrine. and leave in its own vessel.78 The Turba Philosophorum. be found and is wholly broken up (or becomes wholly clean). weight of the humidity shall fail. that is to say. the other part which I counselled you to preserve. until by decoction and by water it be pounded and become like imbue it. imbue also with the residue of the water. Understand. For the Iksir pounds (or contains) itself. colour which the Philosophers have magnified shall truly appear. . until there appear a crocus. The Twenty-third Dictum. a syrup of pomegranates and until the therefore. that there exists an affinity between the magnet and the * The name substituted by the second recension is Bellus. until it filement clean. that which Theophilus saith : CERUS* hath told you. But if ye wish that the whole arcanum. perish.

Berthelot observes that the reference is to sublimed mercury or the sulphur thereof. that I And he : I testify why say nothing but what is true . recension adds : The second " Between the copper and water of the Philosophers. iron. This affinity and combination is given to them in the space of one hundred days.The Turba Philosophorum. while the copper is fitly ruled for one hundred days :* what statement can be more useful to you than that there is no affinity between tinf and The TURBA answerelh : quicksilver ?! Thou hast ill spoken. as well to state that the Greek Lexiconof Chrysoptia explains that tin alchemically is cinnabar. seeing that all . cinnabar is sublimed vapour obtained by coction in cauldrons. " The nature According to the alternative version of the one does not agree with the nature of the other." t The definition may not be important. all ye Turba. are you incensed against me ? Fear the Lord. that your The TURBA Master may believe you answereth : Say what you will. perhaps. is \ : to obtain the semen of the male secretly. 79 by the alliance of composites existing between the magnet and the iron. Here M. And he : ! I direct is which * you to take quicksilver. but it and that is." says Horus." " " The proper end of the whole art. in the male potency or strength . having disparaged the true disposition.

8o The Turba Philosophorum. which it are made one. . nitre until it become as a liquefied coin. therefore. [two] and its companion. become also that in the time of forty-two days the whole is changed into earth . but the second is is for cleansing that which already burnt. of which one is for liquefying and cook- become a ing the body. and all body be purged from and defilement. until grated. cook the masculine together with the vapour. Then take the water which you had divided into two parts. certain place will : Hence Horus says in a Join the male and the female. and cleanse. Then cook until it be congealed and become like to tin. until each shall be coagulated and stone. which is Then wash with water of quicksilver. Know by cooking. its times." &c. nothing can Nature Olympiodorus On the Sacred Art. its cook the same with body until it becomes a fluxible water. for process of reunion. charms Nature. without this succeed. Imbue the stone seven be disinteearth. liquefy the same until it become as true water. and you find that which is sought . when it is a most things are male and female. as a fact.

water reserved by you until you attain your purpose. . And BOCASCUS: Thou speakest the truth. until a stone is produced . But you * The name in the second recension is Boratis. G . Rule the same by cooking and pounding. until it becomes a most excellent crocus. liquefy. as the Philosophers have ordained. companion we have Cook it. but do not become envious. and therefore ! hast spoken I follow As it may please you. the great arcanum stone which is out of two things. BOCASCUS* well. for that is not the part of the Wise. imbue. I direct the Sons of the Doctrine. therefore. and afterwards congeal. Know name also its that unto water desiccated with given the therefore. and imbue with the residual of crocus. then rule the stone with gluten of gold and syrup of pomegranates until it be broken up.The Turba Philosophorum. Take lead. and. saith : Thou : O Belus. 81 that is to say. thy steps answereth He and thus. The Twenty-fourth Dictum.

etherised it spirit. darts towards the upper fire. as I have said. it reaches a Until it wisdom." Fabrication of the All. way and a suitable is roasting. it is difficult to retain.t * coagulate quickwith its equal. a rare substance. descends and ascends. as you have been frequently ordered. has attained this condition. . above all which termed dried and easily volatilised. it Having become an hemisphere of the state of .! Otherwise: " Rule frequently. to the subject. Return. therefore. until. have already divided the water into of which you have and it has become as water. until it . two parts.82 The Turba Philosophorum. " With its printer's choice body. cinnabar obtained by the dry It is that one met with rarely. with one liquefied the lead. therefore. \ and is mortal. it is a . employed in the testing of souls. the same be dried and have become earth then pound with the water reserved until it acquire a red colour." t The Greek alchemists claim to have accomplished the fixation of Mercury by by which means of the Body of Magnesia. And he : Ye who wish must mix to it silver. cook. avoiding the action quitting its role of fugitive.* The TURBA answer-eth : Thou hast done nothing but pile up ambiguous words. An : unassigned fragment of the Byzantine collection has the following poetical reference to the fixation of Mercury " Mercury is obtained in like manner with artificial cinnabar. that I refer to is." says the second recension between compari and corpori. Zosimus understands molybdochalchos.

because ye have found the whole quicksilver to be coagulated by in it itself. I counsel .* If your vessel until it ye understand. and. do not be inferior to him. 83 Afterwards cook it diligently until both become permanent water." . and then poundt until it becomes a crocus like to the colour of gold. cook this again. cook be coagulated." t recension merely says : " Place it once more and pound. since thou speakest ! the truth For thou hast illuminated thy words.The Turba Philosophorum. and place what is necessary. The second The second in its vessel. But let be coagulated. this be desiccated with its own water until it equal vapour. And they : It is said because thou praisest him for his sayings. that I And he : I know can utter nothing but that which he hath uttered however. posterity to * make bodies not : bodies. The Twenty-fifth Dictum. recension reads " Let the whole be coagulated into quicksilver. MENABDUS for saith: May God reward thee the regimen.

through which bodies are coloured if I . try on the subject of the last substance is well known. bodies become not bodies.* regimen the composite prepared. and incorporeal things become bodies. If ye diligently pound * the things in the fire and digest The Byzantine fragment upon The : Egg contains this statement Philosophical " Unless bodies lose their corporeal state. assuredly. 82." quoted by Olympiodorus in terms which " Except correspond literally with the text of the Turba : you convert corporeal substances into incorporeal. and unless bodies again is assume their corporeal state.] f Zosimus. and by means of this there is extracted our secret Ethelia. and the hidden part of this For by is its nature is extracted. and unless you make be two bodies achieved. or black lead. understand this regimen. concludes that Body of Magnesia is molybdochalchos.t the woman also with the man." into one body. the commenting upon Mary. but these incorporeal things bodies. that which desired will not be attained. The confusion of old chemis[See note on p. With these bodies accordingly join quicksilver and the body of Magnesia. no desired result will The " divine " Zozimus also quotes fashion. and But Mary is incorporeal substances into corporeal. Hermes in precisely the same and he observes elsewhere is that to convert and transmute incorporeal. to impart body to the The Body of Magnesia.84 The Turba Philosophomm. .

! And know that no body can tinge itself unless its spirit be extracted from the secret belly thereof. which also overcomes. they 85 clean and fixed things." which seems a preferable t Alternatively. and being coloured it colours. For when ye gently pound fiery quicksilver and cook it as required.t this reason unless it it does not colour things be coloured." things when once it has been itself ." " all bodies. a fixed nature* and colour. subject to every tincture. (or join to) the Ethelias. while the quicksilver is bodies. when * it becomes a body and soul withis. For breaks. that quicksilver is a fire burning the become And know ye breaking up. the more the body is disintegrated. and constrains the fire. \ The second all spirits. " one according to the second recension.The Turba Philosophonim. and the more it is mixed and pounded with the body. recension says that " all it holds and colours because Ethelia tinges tinged. ye will possess Ethel. mortifying and attenuated and beshall dili- comes living. which does not flee from the fire. That reading. with one regimen.

The spirit is the useful part. Zosimus copper does not tinge. When. <&c. but it tinges by its combinaeffect that Democritus to the tion with other bodies. but that copper burnt by means of oil of natron. t said. and have extracted a most tenuous (subject). the tingeing element. The Four Metallic Bodies. ye have ruled the body of copper. The purifying influence of fire preserves the spirit when the operation has been conducted according to the rules of Art. spirit. who follows Democritus. if this combination be wanting.86 The Turba Philosophorum.* out the tincture. How then. and having undergone this treatment repeatedly. f In his treatise cites On Virtue and Interpretation. and before the copper has been tinged. seeing that a dense thing does not tinge a tenuous. becomes more " beautiful than gold. which is a spiritual out of which colours have manifested. that first it Hence has the man unless copper does not be tinged. can one succeed in tingeing objects made subject to the action of " fire ? . then the latter is changed into a tincture by from it which wise tinge it is coloured. but a tenuous nature colours that which enters into a body. And know that those four bodies which you spirit is This distinction between the soul and the recognised by Zosimus. however. Copper does not tinge so long as it preserves an unique essence. The soul is the primitively sulphureous and caustic nature.

envy he : Know that the colours which shall ! O appear to you out of it are these.* but the condensed is a conjoined vapour. Then and beware of matter. the joined with the humid. O Sons of the Doctrine. and constrains." . have conjoined two bodies. The Twenty-Sixth Dictum. opinion. ZENON saith: I perceive that you. for sulphurs are contained by sulphurs. and rightly by these things Nature rejoices in Nature.The Turba Philosophorum. Know. 87 are directed to rule are this copper. and then to * The second recension reads: "The condensed and condensed being the humid are these two tinctures. and the humid is the water of sulphur. and that the tinctures which I have signified unto you are the condensed and the humid. that it behoves you to allow the composition to putrefy for forty days. O crowd of the Wise. which your Master by no The TURBA means ordered you to do ! answereth : Inform us according in to this your own Zenon. and overcomes.

beware lest you extract the same hastily. and the coin of the vulgar shall be then is the Ixir composed imposed out of the humid and the dry. For this venom is. a tincture extracted out of many and imposed upon coins. and then it tinges with an invariable tinc. and imposed upon * coins reading :I is its tincture. remain. on the second black red. are composing the Ixir. ture." . t were." | The second recension reads: "And the soul shall things. and cook. Know also that is it is gold.* finally. like The preferable : " Crocus unto sericus. the same as an Ixir. Next join to a fire of dung. as it lingers. the purple colour will appear to you the ferment . therefore." t The second recension substitutes in : " Beware lest it you extract the spirit haste. birth and life. on the third like unto a dry crocus. lor perchance will perish.88 The Turba Philosophorum. when these colours shall appear to you On : the first day black citrine. because it is a soul extracted out of many things. for it wherein there body But when ye called a Extract. five sublimate times in a vessel.

joined. Philosophorum. bizarre terms of the Turba did not is find favour with Alchemists is difficult . Efflucidinus a special instance in point. said almost certainly that no later author made its use of Moreover. I is And The most Western It in the second recension Chambar. in splendour. t the second recension. be observed that the envious have to called the venerable stone Efflucidinus. no vocabulary mentions it. Accordsaid the Masters have that between them there exists the same desire as between male and female. it to speak with complete authority. the Stone J The comparison of in splendour to gleaming marble is found. GREGORIUS* it is to saith : O all ye Turba. he would sustain the tediousness of cooking until he gained his purpose according to the will of God. from which it rebut it is death to the bodies it is extracted. being introduced to this Art. therefore. and if any one. but may be it.The Turbo. should know these natures. from which ingly. among other of the Greek . is 89 life to those things with which it is moves evil.t it and they have ordered until its it be ruled in coruscates like * marble The name Antimony. The Twenty -Seventh Dictum.

therefore. vinegar. and especially his Detailed is Exposition of the Work." . Then with it it he you is must know that Willingly . transport. When ye see it repeatedly cook and imbue shall until assume the aforesaid become hidden colour. Show. when it will become gold of a Tyrian colour. and it a coruscating stone with a marble. It behoves you. until it when to rule it direct you becomes red. the same divine water. and Then re- peat the process. " Mark the Philosopher. having cited Stephanus.go they : The Turba Philosophorum. in O all ye investigators of in Zosimus. the great mystery. I brilliancy like ye see thus. that which tinges tinctures and tinged is substances. what : it is to posterity. then there a great mystery. which. alchemists. however. gold. because is it when into it is cooked till it becomes earth. it it turned red colour. which is like unto marble. seized with a divine on the subject of white sulphur is : the preparation become like unto marble. he : Now. where. therefore. and water. becomes remains be congealed. disintegrated is and a thus. he this quoting If Democritus." proceeds And " again. the copper commingled until let ruled Finally.

if Know also ye rule it ignorantly." " until the hidden colours shall appear. this Art. * work. and the reference seems to be to the division of Otherwise The the water indicated in an earlier part of the colloquy.|| how ye make : Observe. reproduced and even in Hermetic poems. imagined that he had made a mistake. and ye shall imbibe themt several times until the divide into colours which are hidden by no body that appear unto you. anecdote of the alchemists." t opprobrious term is omitted by the second recension. Philosophorum. the conjunc- " a small quantity. until . certain knew a person who commenced this the work." |l A common with many variations. it ac- quires some degree of redness take the remainder* of the then water which the envioust ordered you to two parts. natures of who. when the redness was somewhat slow in appearing. and so relinquished the therefore. to pound it and turn into earth. and operated truth. J The second Otherwise : recension substitutes " sand. .The Turbo. 91 this when ye have observed that Stone is coruscating. such as Norton's Ordinal of Alchemy. ye I shall see nothing of those colours.

whereupon be thought to be bad. breaks up. and will if ye effect it without the weight. for when it has entered into the said body." according : to the second recension. ." " intenser in congelation. to test the perfection of and next into powder.* having em- braced his spouse. it death will take place. passes swiftly into her body. The Twenty-eighth Dictum. but earth when it is turned to make the same intense. it turns it first into earth. liquefies.92 The Turba Philosophorum. * The second That is.! and it imbue until God shall extract the colours for us and they appear. and if ye find it impalpable as water. congeals. tion. Hence. which take in the hand. it is then most excellent. and disintegrates the same. I order that the fire should be gentle in liquefaction. t recension reads " the male. the redness does not delay in coming. Finally. the very great force and : I am O nature of this water. for the punic dye. GUSTOS saith Turba ! at all ye surprised.

93 otherwise. ye shall find all But that has been promised by us. ye rule our If. when they thus directed you to cook in a gentle fire. it will profit you nothing. Greeks indifferently. that Nature rejoices in Nature. till it becomes a coin-like Then he: They meant our copper and our permanent water.The Turba Philosophorum. the TURBA answer eth : Father. on the copper with our water. In either case. the en- vious* created no they commanded white quicksilver. And know that if ye use any substance other than our copper. and rule with our water. other hand. nor at all certain that the envious had less wisdom than the wise. by reason of the affinity which they know to exist between the * is The distinction between the Wise and the Envious is it a little difficult to follow. or the wise less envy than the envious. repeat the cooking until it is brought to the required condition. and affirmed that there should be produced the said coinlike stone. they were all . and to rule the same with obscurity when us to take lead and little dew and the sun stone. concerning which the Wise have also observed.

as became thee . I will also : DIAMEDES saith Thou hast O confirm thy words. without which they would not so swiftly unite. ungrudging manner. and be held together so that they may become one. Saith the TURBA: Why do the envious direct us to take the copper which we have now made. seekers after this doctrine. for Gustos. and so also with is This reference omitted from the second recension. the nature of these two is one. that is to say. Know. spoken in an Moses*.94 The Turbo. Philosophorum. Therefore. passing over the hardness of the elements which the wise desire to remove. and roasted until it has become gold ? The Twenty-Ninth Dictum. mals * . copper and permanent water. already. O ye that man does not proceed except being most from a man . or vice versa. that only which is like unto themselves is begotten from brute aniflying creatures. for between them there is a mixed affinity. Moses may be a misprint . this disposition precious in their eyes. two bodies.

therefore. save with her own nature. Thus they succeeded by means of the In fact. man in man.The Turba Philosophorum. but make use of venerable Nature. and the dog procreates the dog. without having recourse to other (unsuitable) substances.* See. and having succeeded by the divine assistance. for out of her Art cometh. Nature charms nature. exalting you towards the truth." Horns. . and * " When standing of these things by creation is thou hast attained. consider able to bring forth and generation as a whole. and man gold serves for the increase of gold. is Should it happen that & creature produced contrary to nature. the lion begets the lion. my child. for Nature is truly not improved by Nature. and the same hath no consistence. Isis to employed have previously sows man. who yourselves omit prolixity. and like things Now hath the generally for the reproduction of their like. it is a monster which is engendered. even as I substantial nature in triumphing over the matter in the preparations. that ye do not neglect the precepts concerning her. that is to say. I 95 in have treated these matters com- pendious fashion. seeing that thou thyself art not improved except in thy son. to the underway of a preliminary. so also mystery been revealed. said that wheat begets wheat. and know that man man. The adepts having participated in the divine power. illuminated by the fruit of the prayers of Isis. made preparations with certain metallic minera. and nature triumphs through nature.

f frag- The second recension reads " : A true son is begotten. . t How exceeding * precious the nature of later The allegory ot the Serous Fugitivus abounds in alchemy. such as the Twelve Chapters of Ostanes: "They have defined this Stone by saying that it is permanent water earth . less Know also that un- you it. the In some treatise ascribed to Hermes. Rulandus attributes it to &c. therefore." . The fugitive role of Mercury is referred to in the Greek ment on The Fabrication of the All. and is found also in old Arabian treatises." Speculum Majus of Vincent de Beauvais it appears as a synonym of Mercury. is rule ye will obtain nothing. hard stone and soft stone. the Red Servant the matter from which the Philosophers extract their Mercury. seize hold of this Nature and Join. yet the son nearer is still. the swift and the stable the thing which makes and is made. is According to other lexicons. that male. Art produced between them matter unto these foreign is . neither powder nor anything else is is that it is conception sufficient for us. for near. which must therefore be the marriageable son mentioned in the text above. who son to the red slave. . add no things. which of course is an obvious symbolism. which having been done.g6 The Turba Philosophorum. .* in marriage with his fragrant wife. out of no other. the flying slave. as already cited. burning fire and frozen It is running water and fire dead .

you are of this art ! therefore. and beware burning them lest ye evaporate them by in too strong a fire. again suffer to die then give it rest. that 97 red slave.The Turba Philosophorum. what is thy will ? And he : Place Citrine with his wife after the do not conjunction into the bath kindle the bath excessively. This passage is the fountain-head of the is whole symbolism of the alchemical marriage. whererestore unto it it upon the sweat thereof. which H . unto you who fear not God. the King is the spiritual water which gives moisture to the female. us. cause them to remain their shall in the bath until body. lest they be deprived of sense and motion . therefore. thou hast publicly revealed this disposition 1 will ! He answereth : Woe even shed more light upon it. become a certain unity. you envious towards your brethren ? They answer : We do not flee except from fools tell . but there are many meanings. Venerate the king and his wife. without ! which the : regimen cannot endure BACSEN saith Diomedes.* and * According to Rulandus. . . and the colour thereof. for deprive He may Why.

afterwards red. until they become black. therefore. I have still performed and that briefly. saith: Thou I O Diomedes. but ! yourselves. Cook them. then white. Behold. . it is God who hath concealed the truth from you Blame not. but stand. if O seekers ye. but and the innumerable It spoken do not see that hast concerned. and finally until a tingeing venom do not burn them. so that if my duty. therefore. if after this Science. pictorial emblems which illustrate Latin Alchemy. the Wise. is produced. for if God knew that ye possessed a faithful mind.98 The Turba Philosophorum. most certainly he would reveal unto you the truth. ye remain ignorant. I have established you therein. BACSEN well. always with royal personages. happy are ye under- not. Compare the Sponsus and Sponsa of the Chemical Nuptials of Christian Rosy Cross. does not appear to be trace- able to a Greek source. since you know not when you may have need of these things. which improve the king and his wife. and have extricated you from error ! The Thirtieth Dictum.

Corsufle is the head. Under neither form is the term to be found in Rulandus himselt. It signifies impurity of bodies. and it is not found in the collections of Arabian or Syrian alchemy published t by M. The speaker also is different. and have confused it with Tell manner to of names. a definition which does not correspond either with the text of the Turba.e. explain that Corsufle. which might be a mutilated version produced in a German printing office. The Rulandus and that lexicographers after it must be roasted alchemy who followed of a long interval. therefore. that Corsufle is a com- posite.. Then he : ac- me. however. According to the second recension. and I swear by thy father that this is the head of the work. cording thy opinion in these matters. though he was well acquainted with the Turba. is the Sulphur of the Philosophers fixed at the Red Stage. Berthelot. Carsufle. therefore. namely. or with the The origin of the word is subsequent vocabularies. Nephitus. to future seekers after this Art. the obscure. includes Cor Fuffla. and not the beginning of the work.The Turba Philosophorum. . i. O Bacsen. 99 thou hast demonstrated the disposition of Corsufle* to posterity Of this same Corsufle the envious have spoken ! in many all ways. BACSEN saith : I give notice.t for the true beginning hereof cometh after the completion. His dictionary. the crown. or as they sometimes wrote it.

tin. because when it arrives at perfection it tinges the whole body. and also the name that of lead. iron. copper. until colour be deprived of The and become Ixir. O : Bacsen The Thirty-First Dictum. PYTHAGORAS saith How does the discourse of Bacsen appear to you. and some among the others may discourse con- cerning the residual matters. since he has omitted to name the substance by : ! its artificial it. as. The TURBA answereth : Thou ! hast spoken the truth. answereth: Thou ! hast spoken O Pythagoras And he : Ye have also spoken well. for example.ioo The Ttirba Philosophorum. BONELLUS saith: According to thee. The Thirty-Second Dictum. O Pythagoras. gold. it TURBA well. oh Pythagoras he : Corsufle being composition. seven times. those of coin. all things die and live . names ? And its they Name And therefore. they have applied to it all the names of bodies in the world.

to consume that matter with fire boldly until it shall become a have mixed cinder. that matter will be made strong. it when know spirit. in fire until the spirit of that becomes dust like unto one dead body returns and then in his tomb. even as a man becomes stronger after resurrection and younger than he was in this world. Therefore it behoves you. unto it God will restore both the soul and the spirit thereof. that ye excellently well." . when it has been left for nights. that nature which is left by nights. and the weak- ness being taken away. The second " Therefore that nature from which the humidity has been removed. when it becomes a These things being done. 101 by the will of God. it . and after corruption will be improved. for that cinder receives the * and is imbued The text is : recension reads corrupt and unintelligible.* tomb. it unto something then turned and (again) is left left for certain nights. because that nature from which the humidity is removed.The Turba Philosophorum. as a man in his powder. O ye Sons of the Doctrine. is like to one dead and then that nature is wanting . does indeed seem that is like is dead .

cooking some of them to a cinder. ye will know that I speak the truth. even from the life. similarly. But if ye understand what has already been said. air. Consider. The case is the same with those who compose the images of the ancients. has a body and a as soul.IO2 The Turba Philosophorum. and hence I have ordered you to burn up the body and turn into a cinder. which after men cometh God is their and similarly the copper is inspired by the humour from which that same . while others they grind with their hands. for if it proceeds from the smallest things in the world. therefore. for the inspiration of many much things will ye rule it subtly proceed from it. It is thus because copper like man. the philosophers cannot combine medicines for the sick slaves until they also turn them into powder. with the fairer humour until it it assumes a previously possessed. ye Sons colour than O of the Doctrine. that artists are unable to paint with their they convert own tinctures until them into a powder .

afterwards broken and imbued. becomes The Turba answereth: Show. to future generations after what ner it becometh better than it manwas ! . when ye must roast it in a fire more intense than the former. is Hence. as the envious it is have termed it. that consumed with fire and times. iterated when copper better philosophers add. until it shall be coloured and shall become like blood . larly. 103 copper receiving strength and augmented the is like multiplied other things. the more is it thickened until it becomes a stone. then the more cooked. cooked. when it is our first copper. and because God extracts many things out of one thing. since He hath created nothing which wants its own regimen. and those qualities by which its Simihealing must be effected. it several than it was. A nd he : I it will is do so willingly it is because augmented and multi- plied. but it is really an egg It is tending to become a metal. O Bonellus.The Turba Philosophorum. becomes water . therefore.

Do you not see that sperm from the blood unless not produced be diligently cooked in the liver till it an intense red colour. and so obtain your pur- pose. after has acquired which no change takes place in that sperm ?* It is the same with our work. when it is placed on into coins and changes them is it gold. NICARUS saith: this arcanum * ye have made The TURBA. common Latin found also in the Greek writers. combustion. and afterwards be putrefied until it shall become a spiritual sperm. for unless it be cooked diligently until it shall become a powder. ye shall be princes people of your time. and among . which is suggested by the to all in fact. and adepts. public.104 in The Turba Philosophorum. But if ye arrive at the conclusion of this regimen. according to the Divine pleasure. is. of the progress of the Now The comparison work to the development above reference. among the The Thirty-Third Dictum. there will in no wise proceed from it that colour which ye desire. is ol the embryo.

in Comarius. after the manner of leaven.* if up our copper with one For the these. And he : I counsel pos- terity to take the gold which they wish to multiply and renovate. Berthelot traces the original notion of the fermentation of metals to the sophistication called diplosis. " Recipes designed for the accomplishment of a imitation are also more profound met with. when they divide But he : It behoves them part. said copper. Not the whole. nevertheless. tell us. to burn Distinguish." The many places by fermentation of metals the Greek writers: " It comparable to is mentioned is necessary that this water. He fore. then to divide the water into two parts. " that the true metal was in reaiiy multiplied by an operation fermentation. who says that the test of is fire nourishes the material as the embryo nourished in the mother's womb. by . And they : the water. or at any rate sought to make others believe. * M.The Turba Philosophornm. therefore. but there diplosis" are traces that the Egyptian goldsmith believed. for example. is called the ferment of Gold. there. the alliance of gold or silver with a more or less considerable quantity ot some less precious metal . dissolved in that water. ordered us to clear away the darkness therefrom do thou. 105 answereth And But he: they : : Thus did the Master order. this was the operation of It is found in the Leyden papyrus. should deter- mine the fermentations destined to produce the like.

and. ferments a great mass of paste." literal * by innumerable Latin alchemists.106 The Turba Philosophorum. by cooking they are the red congealed. and appears. and pound Take in the urine of a calf until the nature means in of the like. then and place therein for forty days until the whole shall putrefy. The Thirty-Fourth Dictum." . which is like to the redness of copper.* the regal Corsufle. in the metallic tact. As a same manner that the leaven of dough. finally. But then it behoves you to imbue seven times with the residual water. like For the same in manner are cooked and liquefy ye rule well. they are turned into dry earth kindle a fire . water as . used little a small quantity. For this somewhat bizarre reading the second : re- cension substitutes " It seems needful to lay stress upon some matters which have been already mentioned. all the moisture being dried up. and its colours appear. after the body to be tinged. BACSEN dicta saith : On account of thy the Philosophers said beware. crumble. so This notion morsel of gold ferment all the dry is repeated in terms essential and also will this matter. until they absorb all the water.

is And and water times until pounded. . have kings sought. 107 converted. : how it extracted. and receives a force which is equal to the hostility of the fire. The TUREA Explain to posterity what the nature is. for the true nature has been hidden in the is of the Corsufle belly saith : of the Corsufle. it And he : A tingeing spirit which hath from permanent water. save only to whom God has granted it. poured upon it seven it absorbs the whole It is humour. and hath coloured with an This. who tells us that in Egypt the divine art of operating on minera belonged to the Kings. And is they Shew. Putrefy the same diligently until it becomes a powder. but not found. : which is and he coruscates. " It was different in the days of Zosimus. Philosophorum. and the alchemists of the Nile no more worked in their own interest than theminters of coin. The increase of the King's riches was the only end in view. therefore. which the fire overcoming hath introduced into the receptive belly of spiritual Nature.The Turbo.* But indelible colour. therefore. of a colour like burnt blood. then it is called rust. coinlike.

io8
the

The Turba Philosophorum.

TURBA
Bacsen.

saith

:

Finish your speech,
he
:

O

And

I

direct

them

to

whiten copper with white water, by

which also they make

red.

Be

careful

not to introduce any foreign matter. And the TURBA: Well hast thou

spoken, O Bacsen, also has spoken well

!

have

spoken

well,

and Nictimerus Then he: If I do one of you

continue.
The Thirty-Fifth Dictum.

But ZIMON

*

anything to be said by another ? And the TURBA Since the words of Nicarus and
:
:

saith

Hast thou

left

Bacsen are of

little

good

to those

who

seek after this Art, tell us, therefore, what thou knowest, according as we And he : Ye speak the have said.

ye seekers after this Art Nothing else has led you into error but the sayings of the envious, t because what
truth,
all
!

O

and

for this

reason the priests

who were
the

acquainted with

the mineral secrets did not dare to disclose
*

them
is

publicly.

In the second recension

name

rendered

Zeunon.
t The second recension has an important variation " The words of the Egyptians have led us into error."
:

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

109

ye seek
price.*

is

sold at the smallest possible
If

men knew

this,

and how

great was the thing they held in their

hands, they would in no wise sell it. Therefore, the Philosophers have glori-

venom, t have treated of it variously, and in many ways, have taken and applied to it all manner of
fied that

names, wherefore, certain envious persons have said It is a stone and not a
:

stone, but

a

gum

of

Ascotia,

con-

sequently, the Philosophers have conFor this cealed the power thereof.
spirit

which ye seek, that ye
is

may

tinge

therewith,

concealed in the body, and hidden away from sight, even as

the soul in the
*

human
many

body.t

But ye

This passage recalls

statements to the same

effect in the

Greek alchemists,

as, lor

example, that the

end

is

not to be obtained by money, " for the Lord

God

has delivered the same gratuitously, by reason of the beggars and the despairing." But this passage from the

Byzantine Assembly of the Philosophers an interpolation.
t

is

in part at least

The second
Otherwise
:

recension

reads

:

" that useful

and

abject thing."
I

" Therein

is

the spirit which you seek,
life

which

tinges, vivifies, gives

health and

to bodies."

no

The Turba Philosophorum.

seekers after the Art, unless ye disintegrate
this

body, imbue and pound

cautiously and diligently, until ye extract it from its grossness (or grease), and turn it into a tenuous and

both

have your labour in vain. Wherefore the Philosophers have
impalpable
said
spirit,

Except ye turn bodies into notbodies, and incorporeal things into bodies, ye have not yet discovered the But the TURBA rule of operation.
:

saith

:

Tell,

therefore,

bodies

are
:

turned
are
till

posterity how into not-bodies.
fire

And
and

he

They

Ethelia

pounded with they become

a

powder.* not take
tinuous

And know
place

that this does

by an exceedingly strong decoction, and conexcept
contrition,
fire,t
recension

performed
not with
reads
:

with

a moderate
*

hands,!
Ethelia
is

The second
until
it

"

When

pounded

becomes dust," but

it is

t The counsel of Olympiodorus is must burn with moderation and gentleness,

evidently corrupt. similar : " The fire
lest

should escape in smoke and be lost," And, again that this Art is not practised by means of a fierce

the vapour " Know :
1

fire.

'

is

alchemists say that the Mzgnum Oput J Some Latin a work of the hands, which others deny, and a very pretty

The Turba Philosophorum.

in

with imbibition and putrefaction, with exposure to the sun and to Ethelia.

The

envious caused the vulgar to err in this Art when they stated that the thing is common in its nature and is sold at

a small price. They further said that the nature was more precious than all natures, wherefore they deceived those

who had
the

recourse to their books.

At

same time they spoke the

truth,

and therefore doubt not these things. But the TURBA answereth : Seeing that
thou
the
believest

the

sayings

of

the

envious, explain, therefore, to posterity
disposition
he
:

of

the two
to

natures.

And
is

I

testify

you that Art

requires two natures,

for the precious

not produced without the

common,
in

diversity of opinion has risen

up among interpreters
first

consequence.

The

partisans of the

view, denying the

metallic object of the Art, affirm that the mystery of the

manual operation was the mystery of animal magnetism. The Turba in the passage above, and in other
places,
is

have

signified, here following

against the use of the hands, whatever that may " Think not

Olympiodorus:
is

thou, as do some, that
sufficient
;

manual action

of itself and alone

there

is

also required that of Nature, an action

superior to man's."

On

the Sacred Art.

The second recension substitutes " The Philosoits phers. and one contains the Thus our stag finds no path to escape. O all ye investigators of this Art. because both in decoctions. . and that the whole body of Magnesia is liquefied as water. And in the TURBA The whole work fore. is significant. and for then the vapour contains own equal." says the second recension. thereis them the disposition of the vapour. Demonstrate. behoves you. to follow the sayings of Victimerus. and that they have been purified. And lie When ye shall perceive that the natures have become to : water by reason of the heat of the fire. vapour and the sublimation of water. wherefore the envioust call either are joined vapour. although flight be essential to * f " Of the elders. other. in way." a variation which.* when he said to his disciples to : Nothing else helps you save sublimate the water : and vapour. common without the precious.H2 nor the It The Turba Philosophorum. its have been made vapour. therefore. then all things rightly.

and its colour varies. it is congealed with it. . then. when the one falls. and falls into sickness. and it alienates lest it flee. and dies by rust and putrefaction it . that favourable colour its may befall itself is a and spouse . its it beauty but when is was. They makes them have also called wanting perlution . thus our work. Philosophers have called the spirit and the soul vapour. which the envious have concealed. it the black humid man and forasmuch as in humidity and dryness.The Turba Philosophorum. so fly. But it the blackness and redness appear. is nothing else there are both . that finds has no opportunity to . and it no place to escape for hence all are made permanent. it. placed it not as For this reason. although it is desirous to escape servitude then when flight. has not a it is free it follows its spouse. it and extracts its perties which elect. God nature from the prohas infused into His it. the therefore. being hidden in the body. 113 The one keeps back it the other. with it coins. gold. properly speaking.

without contrition of hands. until the whole become water. And know formerly ye. The TURBA answereth Thou hast spoken excellently. : The Thirty-Sixth Dictum. but by others stone. ye have not yet found the work. that unless ye sublime the O substances at the commencement by cooking. because these two become four. that the copper was called sand. then a stone. AFFLONTUS.114 The Turba Philosophorum. called vapour. in humidity become water. .* I the Philosopher. if ye cause them to be * regimen. indeed. ye investigators of this Art. but vapour and water. the names vary further. and I say that the work the envious have vapour composed out of two. and without envy. saith: notify to you all. nature and Know every that the The name in the second recension is Assotes. Let Zimon next follow. and. answereth Demonstrate : The TURBA water is ! And of it he : out two . wherein are and spirit dryness and humidity.

because the part which is light and spiritual rises to the top. M. the contrition of decoction. by some that he was a man ancient among who philosophised in Egypt. that unless ye have turned all into powder. and a powder.The Turba Philosopher urn. when his soul An Explanation and Oom- . ye have not yet pounded them completely. Now this is the contrition of the is which but Philosophers. Know also. Cook until them. or that he is the good genius of Egypt." &c. in a vision equivalent to this. and if ye are acquainted with the natures. and a short account " It is stated of him is given by the same writer. by others a mysterious angel. * Wherefore is Agadaimon* the makers of Agathodaimon included among gold in one of the earlier sections of the Byzantine collection. that not sublimated sinks down. well 115 complexionated. He is quoted by Olympiodorus (On the Sacred Art). they therefore. namely. successively become converted. that which becomes a spiritual powder and this rises to the top of the vessel. but that which is thick and heavy remains below in the vessel. Berthelot points out that there was an the most ancient is that he Egyptian divinity who bore a name Zosimus beheld Agathodaimon ascended to the third degree. is not of hands.

then sublimate the same six or seven times the water shall descend. to be stated.* ye shall not attain to It is. the work. when the water has been mentary of Agathodaimon upon the Oracle of Orpheu* extant in the Greek collection. and impose until own vessel . * is The second recension reads : " unless ye turn both into water. that And know when the water has become has if it powder water then been ground is diligently.n6 saith : The Turba Philosophorum. But ye ask. how ? the made a powder note that the intention of the Philosophers is that the body before which before it falls into the water is not water is the said water water. and It is may become water mixed with the other they become one water. for the body to necessary be so possessed by fire therefore. the flame of the that it is dis- integrated and becomes weak with the water. Cook the copper gentle in its until it be- come a and impalpable body. ." . that unless into ye turn the thing mentioned water. therefore.

ye seekers after ye take this pure body. which cannot become permanent with- out companion. names. our copper without ye will what ye thing desire. think that this hearing of water of the clouds. and that Sand of Many Names which Hermes ordered to be washed frequently. that the spirit. which in he introduced body. all ye seekers after Art. the Igneous. Had they read our books they would know that it is permanent water. by no means ses because no foreign nor does anybe pure. Art. thing enter unless it fore. But this is the water which its the Philosophers have called Water of Gold. But until the fools. Therethis enters therein. so that the blackness of the Sun might be removed. one water anyone he draws nigh to de- . dismiss the multitude nature is of obscure .The Turbo. wherewith it is made one. 117 added to the water. is whole be- water. Philosophorum. Good Venom. that unless is. this the solution of the all And know. if for the err. comes water.

And O all ye Sons of the Doctrine. the Philosopher explains that while all mercury is one. when mixing Magnesia. When ye see that the said water is about to become black." and ray of honey is from cinnabar. and cook with a gentle fire until it liquefy. until it drink of the vinegar and honey. speak a little The TURBA he : Speak. ye know that the body is already liquefied. and cook for forty days. and loses his life. Therefore. there are still a variety of sorts. place it in its vessel. struction. and that which . Place again in its vessel.* * up the moisture But certain There is an exceedingly curious reference to honey in the Discourse of Synesius. BONELLUS concerning answereth : saith : I will Magnesia. but dismiss what foreign. and he quotes Hermes: " the " The ray of honey is white. it becomes water by the will of God. The Thirty-Seventh Dictum.118 The Turba Philosophorum. is The is question being what is the difference between the mercury which obtained obtained from arsenic. and all become water therein ! For the heat of the water acting thereupon. keep is this one nature. the mouth of which close carefully.

wherethis is fore they yellow. pour very sharp vinegar upon it. which in the special connection is of course obvious. Hence the envious have said : Wash the Magnesia with soft water. the blackness being removed. 119 persons uncover it. and Virus. in either case. the stone becomes dry to the touch. in later days the term was used to signify the philosophical dissolvent. until. Therefore. are words . is given by M. absorbs the forty for then it completely humour of the decoction. the Latin equivalent.The Turba Philosophorum. and deprive of its blackness. wash the same. become and cook diligently. until it earth." have said : Let the venom that * M. say. Berthelot explains honey signifies mercury. but it does not follow that this is the significance As which was invariably attached to it by the philosophers. Subsequently. a fact. which the Philobe sophers have ordained should washed with permanent water. and the humour perish. But our copper. Then it is called copper. the ultimate perfection of pure water appears at the end of days. Berthelot. The The Greek * following explanation los. or once in every ten nights. and leave it to be soaked therein. once in each week.

that the and regimen does not take place except by water. what ye look for shall in no wise take place. it behoves you to add those things which are needful. and. meant certain properties or specific virtues of bodies. whether of healing or hurting. be divided into two parts. with one of which burn up the body. the medical action of calx of gold the magnetic virtue communicated to iron by the magnet. all ye seekers after this Science." Hence the term signified the power and not the operation. . O Bonellus ! If it please thee. and with the other putrefy. The TURBA answereth: Thou has spoken excellently. . otherwise repeat it a second But he Shall I indeed repeat . or if the operation. : these and like things The ? O all ye in- which had exceedingly diverse meaning among the ancients. finish that which thou art saying time. And know. unless that which improves be present in the said thing. and sandarac . Virus. therefore. according to Pliny. then this in all its phases. that ye may thereby obtain that which you purpose. such as the odour of copper. Therefore. wherefore.I2O The Turba Philosophorum. ivory. los also signified in a special way the oxyde of metals. they say that the thing which ye seek whole work is it one.

when Zosimus. So Olympiodorus is : "In the negative body par excellence. wash with water. place with the first part of the water in the vessel. cook fur- days be accomplished." says The Diversity of Burnt Copper. cook for forty days. it was also with alchemists of in the nature of a general axiom. cleanse seven times. all these are the scoria and cinders of Mary. and when the water is used up leave it to putrefy in its faeces. * Again. take our copper . so long as may seem desirable But the envious called this composition when it is turned to your purpose. that which the oracles of the demons have revealed. that which called black lead. and it become a stone having no moisture." . The whole mystery is in the scoriae. But that which remained when it had been whitened they called sufficiently white and ordained that it should be ruled t with permanent water. and have said with vinegar and nitre. Then cook until nothing remains except ther until its This done. purify from all uncleanliness. blackness into that which : is sufficiently Rule the same black. vestigators of this 121 Art.The Turba Philosophorum. that which the Egyptian prophets desired to know.* vessel. fact. and though the remark has a particular application.

and cooking Ixir until the stone should become like unto marble its splendour. nor opposition of to substances . indeed. fire until it : became The TURBA answereth Show forth unto posterity it by these things. ye must then pound and wash it seven times with permanent water. however. But when ye see it thus. multiplicity. pounding. the truth-speaking Philosophers had no other intention than that of liquefying. Notwiththe most great Arcanum. make the black However. the envious again said Cook the same with vapour until the stone becomes in : coruscating by reason of its brilliancy. own . by reason of the variation its what they intended And he : They called of colours. it is. Accordingly. it is necessary only copper white and then red. again pound and congeal in its water. is there In the work. neither variety. until ye extract its own con- finally. they called the same sufficiently red. Ixir satis.122 The Turba Philosophorum. standing. they ordained that it should be ruled with water and red.

But ye do in *The Greek alchemists assumed a special virtue but it dew. But I ordain that you rule the same with * dew and the sun. was not apparently so much inherent in the moisture itself. saith Maria. according to the second recension. Wherefore. and out with sulphur. in the Pational and Mystical Questions. In Latin alchemy. virtue apart from the vital presence and activity of the solar rays. Democritus. making red. as possessing an inherent water of heaven : sun. there until appear to you that For are I your purpose signify unto kinds two of whitening and of making red. of mixed forth there comes a great work. 123 cealed nature. you." . but humour sulphur in like humour. sulphurs are contained in sulphurs. as in the rays of the morning sun with which it is chiefly connected. however." &c. Neither alchemically or otherwise was the night dew ever considered beneficial. dew appears under another aspect. and it does not seem to have played so important a part in the symbolism o* the adepts Mosheim and t others have supposed. the references to dew as are not very frequent. says " Whiten this : arth with sea water or sweetened saumur.The Turba Philosophorum. " in Or. of which one consists in rustt and the other in contrition and decoction. or with the I mean by exposing it to dew and the There seems no special reason why this should not be understood literally. In the Turba Philotophorum.

and the body perish with the other things which are in the vessel. he tells us. liquefaction t Otherwise. and I bear witness to all thy words The TURBA saith : Tell us if there be any ! service in the speech of Bonellus. EFFISTUS saith: Consider. of making a separation from the waters lest the poisons get at you. EFFISTUS saith : Thou hast spoken most excellently. t The Thirty-Eighth Dictum.124 The Turba Philosophorum. so that those initiated in this disposition maybe more bold and certain. ye investigators chief of the when he wished Philosophers. over a gentle fire until its vessel." . Beware. combine with humour which is per- manent in set water. Take. " the body and soul which are in the vessel shall quickly perish. the stone of gold. all of this Art. however. how Hermes. spoke and demonstrated to mix the natures. O Bonellus. not need any contrition of hands.

until is it again becomes dry. red. and of imbuing. Agadaimon has very properly treated of cooking." . I O Effistus briefly inform us further. " for which t The second recension substitutes cause there must be frequent pounding and imbuing. Then leave until the water dries. testify And that to posterity the dealbation doth not take place save by decoction. The : description accompanied in each case by a citation from the Turba. arcanum until is the beginning but do this many two-thirds of the water and colours manifest unto you. answereth : The TURBA Thou ! hast Yet.The Turbo. perish. 125 it takes place. becomes black . In the first grade. and made earth. the matter . t * The Greek equivalent of Decoction identifies the process with that cooking which is so often ordained in all alchemical experiments. then let the fire be more intense than before.* Consequently. he : spoken excellently. and the sand and water are combined. in the is second. understand that here of the times. When . one with another . white and in the third. together with the special furnaces and appliances required. In the New Light of Arnoldus de Villa Nova three grades of the operation are described. Philosopherum. this is done. of pounding.

126
ethelia.

The Turba Philosophorum.

Yet I direct you not to pour on the whole of the water at one time,
lest

the Ixir be submerged, but pour

it

in gradually,

do this be exhausted. Now concerning this the envious have said Leave the water when it has all been poured in
:

pound and dessicate, and several times until the water

f

and

it

will

sink to the bottom.

But
it

their intention is this, that while the

drying, and when been turned into powder, leave

humour

is

has

it

in its
it

glass vessel

for

forty

days,

until

passes through various colours, which the Philosophers have described. By
this

method of cooking the bodies put on their spirits and spiritual tinctures, and become warm.* The TURBA answereth

hast given light to us, O Effistus, and hast done excellently ! Truly art thou cleared from envy
:
;

Thou

wherefore, let one of you others speak as he pleases.

*

The second
and the

recension

reads
hot,

:

" bodies

become

spirits,

spirits are

made

and they tinge."

The Turbo, Philosophorum. The Thirty-Ninth Dictum.

127

ye seekers after this Art, ye can reach no useful result without a patient, laborious,! and
saith :*
all

BACSEN

O

solicitous

soul,

persevering

courage,

and continuous regimen.
fore,

He, therepersevere in

who

is

willing to

this

disposition, and would enjoy the result, may enter upon it, but he

who
must
for

learn over speedily, not have recourse to our books,
desires
to

they impose great labour before they are read in their higher sense,
once, twice, or thrice. Therefore, the Master saith: Whosoever bends
his

back

over

the
his

study
leisure

of

our

books, devoting
*

thereto,
called

The
The

speaker

in

the

second

recension

is

Admion.
t
like exhortation is

literature of the adepts.

met with everywhere in the " Patience and delay are indisHaste, indeed,
is

pensable in our magistery.
part in this magistery."

of the devil's

Rotary of the Philosophers, And " It is again, impossible for this to be known by the seeker unless he learns it from God, or from the instruction of a
master.

Know

also that the

way

is

very long

;

therefore

are patience and delay needful in this our magistery."
Ibid.

128
is

The Turba Philosophorum.

not occupied with vain thoughts, but fears God, and shall reign in the

Kingdom without

fail

until

he

die.*

For what ye seek is not of small price. unto you who seek the very great and compensating treasure of God

Woe

!

ye not that for the smallest purpose in the world, earthly men will give themselves to death, and what,
therefore, ought they to do for this most excellent and almost impossible
offering
?

Know

Now,
divine

the regimen

is

greater

than

is

perceived by reason, except
I

.

inspiration. through met with a person who was
*

once
well
The
ex-

as

The
is

fear of

God has always been

regarded as

essential to the success of the true alchemist.

planation

to be sought in the fact that the operations of

nature were a region of

awe and wonder

to early experi-

alchemists regarded no operation as possible without the divine concurrence, and Zosimus

ment.

The Greek

" Abide at thine own fireside acknowledging but one God and one Art; do not deviate in search of another God; for God will come to thee, He who is present everywhere.
says
:

.

Rest thy body, and hush thy passions ; so, governing thyself, thou shall call unto thee the Divine Being, and the Divine Being will come to thee. . . .
.
. .

When

thou shalt

know

thyself, then
;

shalt thou

know

also

the only

God

existing in thee

and acting thus thou

shalt

attain truth

and nature, rejecting matter with contempt."

The Turba Philosopherum.

129

as acquainted with the elements I myself, but when he proceeded to rule this disposition, he attained not to

the joy thereof by reason of his sadness and ignorance in ruling, and excessive
eagerness, desire, ing the purpose.

and haste concern-

Woe

unto you, sons

of the Doctrine

!

For one who plants

trees does not look for fruit, save in

due season

;

he also who sows seeds

does not expect to reap, except at harvest time. How, then, should ye
desire to attain this offering

when ye

have read but a single book, or have adventured only the first regimen ? But the Philosophers have plainly stated that the truth is not to be
discerned

except

after

error,

and

nothing creates greater pain at heart than error in this Art, while each

imagines that he has almost the whole
world,

and yet finds nothing in his Understand hands. Woe unto you the dictum of the Philosopher, and how he divided the work when he
!

said

pound, cook,

reiterate,

and be
K

For when ye behold the Ixir turned into .130 The Turba Philosophorum. have admonished you not to be weary thereof. heating. and yet there is one regimen. cooking Ethelia. they would not so often repeat their words. cooking. are there names. and in order that the mixed body may be pounded and cooked diligently. it to you with suffices me to speak in this manner. many Here. as they have done. Imbue and cook it until it shall become as I have ordained that it should be ruled by you namely. to complexionate venom then cook many times. whitening. thou not weary. the It is needful rightly. And if men knew that one decoction and one contrition would suffice them. assimilating. pounding. and until ye perceive that the Ixir is clad in the garment of the Kingdom. making rust or redness. therefore. impalpable spirits. Having darkened the matter their words. he signified commingling. But when thus he divided the work. and do not grow tired of the decoction. and tingeing. roasting.

" . previously referred to. and. same living Hence we have ordered you to read frequently. O Bacsen ! And he: Do in thy * clemency shew therefore. forth the same ! Latin alchemists made use ot the symbolism of Tyrian dye when describing the Red state of the Magistery.The Turba Philosophorum. The Kenckel. JARGUS saith : Thou thou. for reading is Read. they will forthwith explain any ambiguity occurring herein. The second recension reads " then : shall ye com- prehend the sayings of the Philosophers. ponder diligently over the things which we have narrated. moreover. is apparently an Eastern term designating the Crustacea from the shells of which the dye f was anciently obtained. therefore. but that which is is uttered with the lips the speech. hast left obscure a part of thy discourse. Jargus. repeatedly. 131 Tyrian colour.* then have ye found that which the Philosophers discovered If ye understand my before you. The Fortieth Dictum.t words (and although my words be dead. a dead speech. yet is there life therein for those who understand themselves).

yet I do : : * The second recension reads " It is necessary to use a water which becomes inspissated in proportion as it is cooked.* until you the said copper shall put on rust. that it may be cooked and pounded true without wearying until the stone is made. so much the more sprinkle. . saith O Whatsoever thou hast Jargos. and pound with Egyptian vinegar. But. Cook. subsequently. and. it is our work (or body) which must be combined with the body of Magnesia. Afterwards. nor is it the tin of the vulgar . of this art. is true. he answereth : And The copper of which thou hast before spoken is not copper. it is ye investigators necessary to have a water by which it is the more you cook.132 The Turba Philosophomm. that stone must be pounded in its vessel with the water of nitre. The Forty-First Dictum. ZiMONt uttered. placed in liquefaction until all destroyed. which is the foundation of our work. therefore." t In the second recension the name is Cadmon.

The Scala Philosophorum speaks of "our perfect tyriac and rotund stone. 133 not see that the whole Turba hath rotundum. and the one thing. -. then cooked until become one the envious have said body. t There is a variation in the second recension " : I signify to future generations that the verts copper into four is from rotundum which con- one thing. And Willingly : it is necessary to take one part of our copper." . opinion concerning saith I O Zimon to ZIMON that notify posterity rotundum turns into four is of derived out elements. it. the therefore.The Turba Philosophorum.* thine ! spoken concerning Then he Speak. explain for future generations the method of ruling. part of the pure three parts of copper of Magnesia commingle in this curious with is to The term rotundum used manner be understood of the Stone.t The TURBA answereth : Inasmuch as thou art speaking. but of : he Permanent Water three them be mixed and they be thickened and stone." the four elements being concordantly exalted in the quality of the temperate stone. * : Take one then but . concerning which let parts .

mixed with male close the vessel. when they prepared the matters and conjoined is spouses mutually in love with other.134 rectified of The Turbo. leads this But when subject further into error ye read in the books of the Philosophers ! that Nature is one only. O all ye Sons of the Doctrine. Philosophomm. thus. vinegar. and that she overcomes all things : Know that they Do are one thing and one composite. words ! and how obscure . because the Philosophers. in earth is it what until and cook continuously becomes earth. observe . ASCANIUS saith: Too much talking. ye not see that the complexion of a man formed out of a soul and body . behold there ascended each from them a golden water answereth : When the The TURBA thou wast treating ! of the first work. must ye conjoin these. it. lo ! thou didst turn unto second thou are ! How amthy biguous hast made thy book. also. The Forty-Second Dictum.

The he : TURBA Stir answer eth Do this. brought to nothing. therecongealed into earth fore. and in a special way it was the First Matter of the Philosophers. The mineral stone is made from the humid. : phers observes " The first The Rosary of the Philotomatter of bodies is not the is mercury of the vulgar. and mortified in the conversion. until the male and the female become Ethel. until they go to destruction the quicksilver it and are corrupted. and they are destroyed. But conjoin the male to which are vapour* and quicksilver.The Turba Philosophorum. for he who the female. and this is accomplished by means of our white and red water. changes * them into spirit by means The matter of all Latin alchemists regarded vapour as the first things. . but when the quicksilver conceives the copper." But this unctuous vapour was the mercury of the philosophers and wise men. It is needful that bodies should be converted into such an unctuous vapour. but an unctuous and humid vapour. And up war between copper and quicksilver. and the metallic body from the unctuous. because when the copper conceives coagulates it. . 135 dis- Then he : I will position of the : perform the first work. the body of the copper until it becomes a powder. a fight between them destroy . the copper is stir up.

and next lime which tinges The TURBA answer eth : every body. therefore. Know also that burning every body also mortifying " : 1 more than does * fire. ye extract a pure. spiritual. The Forty-Third Dictum. quicksilver is fiery. makes them red. and have introduced the conjunction. when by diligent cooking ye pound the body.136 The Turba Phflosophomm. and by sublimation of Ethelia. posterity what is soul therefrom. And he : It is a natural is sulphureous thing* which called by the names of all bodies. frequently treated of the regimen. tinges every body. The second recension reads is sulphur of nature. Inform. that body. and subof Ethel. because." . t found in alchemical According to the second recension : "much has been said of the regimen but of the conjunction little.' later concerning which much writers. by which bodies become not bodies through continual cooking. t yet I proclaim : DARDARIS saith Ye have to posterity that they cannot extract the now hidden soul except by Ethelia.

The Tttrba Philosophoruin.

137

bodies,

and that every body which is mingled with it is ground and delivered

over to be destroyed.
fore,

When,

there-

ye have diligently pounded the bodies, and have exalted them as

produced that Ethel nature, and a colour which is tingeing* and not volatile, and it tinges
required, therefrom
is

the copper which the Turba said did not tinge until it is tinged, because that

which

tinged tinges. Know also that the body of the copper is ruled by
is

Magnesia, and that quicksilver is four bodies, also that the matter has no
being except by humidity, because it is the water of sulphur, for sulphurs are contained in sulphurs. The TURBA
saith:

Dardaris, what sulphurs are
!

O

inform

posterity
:

And

are

souls

which

are

Sulphurs hidden in four

he

bodies, and, extracted by themselves, do contain one another, and are

naturally conjoined. For if ye rule that which is hidden in the belly of sulphur

with water, and cleanse well that which
"Otherwise
:

" not fleeing from the fire."

138
is

The Turba Philosophorum.

hidden, then nature rejoices, meeting with nature, and water similarly with its
equal.

ye also that the four bodies are not tinged but tinge.* And
dost thou not say like the ancients that when they are
the
:

Know

TURBA

Why

I state tinged, they tinge ? And he that the four coins of the vulgar populace are not tinged, but they tinge
:

copper,
tinged,

and
it

when

that
the

copper
of

is

tinges

coins

the

populace,

t

The Forty-Fourth Dictum.

MOYSES

saith

:

This one thing of which

thou hast told us, O Dardaris, the Philosophers have called by many

names, sometimes by two and sometimes

by three names

!

DARDARIS answereth
for

:

Name

it,

therefore,

posterity,

And he : The one setting aside envy. is that which is fiery, the two is the
*

According to the second recension, "they tinge a

fifth."

According to the second recension, they are not " except copper, which then tinges the coins of the tinged,
t

vulgar."

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

139
is

body composed

in

it,

the three

the

water of sulphur, with which also it is washed and ruled until it be perfected.

ye not see what the Philosopher affirms, that the quicksilver which
tinges

Do

gold

Cambar ?
dost thou

quicksilver out of DARDARIS answereth : What
is

mean by
says
:

this ?

For the
from
Orpi-

Philosopher

sometimes
from

Cambar and sometimes
ment.
is

And

he: Quicksilver of

orpiment

Cambar

is

of Magnesia, but quicksilver sulphur ascending from the mixed*

composite.
that
putrefy, and
spirit

Ye must,
with
diligently

therefore,
fiery

mix
a

thick thing

venom,
until

pound
is

be produced, which

hidden in

that other spirit ; then is made the tincture which is desired of you all.
The Forty-Fifth Dictum.

But PLATO

saith

:

It

O
*

Masters,
Some
it is

when

behoves you all, those bodies are

abbreviations in the printed editions obscure

the passage.

According to the second recension
it is

:

" Some-

times

Cambar and sometimes

Orpiment, but here

140

The Turba Philosophorum.

being dissolved, to take care lest they be burnt up, as also to wash them
with sea water, until all their salt be turned into sweetness, clarifies, tinges,

becomes tincture of copper, and then Because it was goes off in flight necessary that one should become tingeing, and that the other should
!

be tinged, for the spirit being separated from the body and hidden in the other spirit, both become volatile. Therefore the Wise have said that
the gate of flight must not be opened for that which would flee, (or that

which does not flee),* by whose flight death is occasioned, for by the conversion of the sulphureous thing into

a

spirit like

unto

itself,

either

becomes
aeriform

volatile, since

they are

made

But the Philosophers seeing that which was
spirits prone to ascend in the air.
it

is

needful to understand that

Quicksilver

Cambar

is

Magnesia," &c.
*

The reading

namely,
flight."

of the second recension " Close the door on the volatile,

is

clearer,
it

lest

take

incorporeals steadfast in the fire. until become bodies. nevertheless they are made one. because by them we rule the whole work.* They them and to a the as body they for like unto the bodies from which extracted. bodies by not-bodies. but the other hot. namely.The Turba Philosophorum. iterated these to a body like to the non-volatiles. statement of the But Philo- the is tingeing to and that which agent be tinged are refers made spirit spirit. were the same were then sopher that digested. in it to a concealed another that humid Know spirits is also one of the humid is is cold. one tincture. because they are * In the second recension the passage reads thus : : " Concerning these the Philosophers also said They fled not with flying things. Therefore." . into that from and put them which they could not iterated escape. we prefer these two bodies. and although the cold humid not adapted to the warm humid. 141 not volatile made volatile with the volatiles. and yet were they made flying.

which is not possible in any body. mingling the hot with the humid. con- sequently. For but spirits in every wise avoid bodies. and the cold with the dry. take those which are not volatile and wash the body with the join them .142 The Turba Philosophorum. the earth into water. Know. convert fire. similarly flee from bodies . those. corporeals. that Nature overrejoices in comes Nature. ATTAMUS saith : It is to be noted that the whole assembly of the Philosophers have frequently treated concerning . therefore. and conceal the fire in the depths of the water. therefore. Nature Nature. incorporeal until the ceives a non-volatile incorporeal rebody . conjoined with volatiles. but the earth in the belly of the air. Nature contains Nature. These things. water into fire into air. fugitives are restrained by inIncorporeals. being done. also. these excepted. The Forty-Sixth Dictum. which do not flee are better and more precious than all bodies.

rubigo. 143 Rubigo. : then. it for the redness of rust associated in their idea with other forms of red matter. therefore. sulphate of mercury. sulphate of arsenic. for calumniated. therein rubefaction in the second work. and rust philosophical became a part of the Great Mystery. Why.* tious Rubigo.The Turba Philosophonim. MUNDUS treated * saith: Thou of hast already sufficiently this Rubigo. The oxydes of iron. O oxide While it term properly in signifies the rust or of metals. sulphate of . but to make rubigo is to whiten in the work. this Rubigo by true name. however. because it is from gold The TURBA answereth alone. the oxydes of lead. is sulphureous gold as in water . is a ficti- and not a true name. And he : it is not by Rubigo is accord- ing to the work. was used many senses by the alchemists. in which the Philosophers ordained that the flower of gold should be taken and a proportion of former gold equally. have the Philosophers referred it He answereth : Because to the leech ? water is hidden is the leech fore. The TURBA answereth: its Name. The Forty-Seventh Dictum.

citrine smoke. identical with mercury . therefore. identical . ye effect spirit nought. tions that venom is not ! because subtle spirits have made it into a tenuous spirit. This. the Ancient Philosophers thought that he who turned gold into venom had arrived at the purpose. we have also white smoke. Now I say nothing. is a avoiding the fire and a ponderous it smoke. perhaps. were all enters the body more or less confounded under the names * of rubigo. of venom. therefore. It is not. ye Sons of the Doctrine.* which when antimony. but he this who can do not profiteth all unto you. surprising that fire what was above and the furnace. have tinged the body and burned it with venom. &c.The Turba Philosophorum. I will Attamus speak. and thus in various stages of its history we have all things the mystery of the alchemy discoursing of that specially philosophical smoke which is identical with scoriae. and will instruct future generaa body. and hence on the authority of the Greeks involves the whole art . minium. which asserts will venom the Philosopher But tinge every body. should concern itself considerably with the smoke in which it so often ended. that unless ye reduce the thing by fire until those things ascend like a spirit.

The Turba Philosophorum.* Philosophers have Take a black and conjoining all said penetrates it entirely. Understand. or incombustible sulphur. or the body Kuhul. which is orpiment. therewith break up the bodies and torture them till they be altered. 145 and makes the body rejoice. The : spirit . as ye know. red smoke. ponderous smoke of the Turba. or roasted calx." L . or the Spume of Luna. PYTHAGORAS unto all saith : We must affirm you seekers after this Art that the Philosophers have treated of conjunction (or continuation) in various upon you to make constrain the body of quicksilver Magnesia. smoke of extreme subtlety. I But enjoin any of these. a Philosopher would not say so. for with yellow sulphur . The Forty-Eighth Dictum. but these varieties are sufficient to and lastly the show * that smoke was as important to the alchemists as to the votaries ot " my Lady : Nicotine. Many others might be named. or alum which is out of apples." Otherwise " the nature rejoices therein. of which the Latin Geber discourses . But if there was any singular regimen ways. as ye know.

and sometimes in the singular. and * lead. also. for when it is an exceeding strong composition. and yellowing an igneous regeneration for some of these ." . being mixed with quicksilver and sulphur. therefore. whitening is a calcination. as the Philosophers have observed in their books. Magnesia is whitened with quicksilver. for. is ye also that Magnesia.146 The Turba Philosophorum. and Kuhul. the first congelation is of tin. (substances) calcine themselves. are nothing else but water of sulphur. they pursue one another. calx. but when it is reddened you must congeal red water. But the second is com- " There are other denominations. copper.* Accordingly. in order to test us and see whether we are intelligent. you must congeal white water therein. that when sophers. that sulphur. the regimen is not one. and alum which all from apples. Hence you must not dismiss that Magnesia Know without the quicksilver. and generate themselves. (other some) reBut the Philosopher has designated them under several names. sometimes in the plural person. which is one of the composed it is called ten regimens established by the PhiloKnow." says Synesius in " Thus his letter to Dioscorus.

while the regimen is nothing but the sublimation of quicksilver and its union with the body of t Or. ! one thing * and congelation are Take. 147 posed with water of sulphur. with the conjunction. of quicksilver in the nothing else and the sublimation of is body of Magnesia f . contact. not have dealt sparingly concerning ye composition and contact. It must be known for certain that nothing of the work can be bought. heretofore. think that the composition can be bought.* Some. and of sulphur. however." . the Philosophers have from demonstrated in their books that the is impure water of sulphur sulphur only. and that the science of this Art than vapour water." The second recension reads : " It is magnesia. reading this book. "with sulphur and the water thereof. therefore. also. and of quicksilver. The Forty-Ninth Dictum. but. but compo: BELUS saith O all sition. a part nothing but vapour and water.The Turba Philosophoruni. ye Philosophers. and no sulphur is produced without the water of its calx.

148 The Turba Philosophorum. which tinges every body. we have found the same which thou hast received O from the ancients Therefore ! And PYTHAGORAS I : have assembled you together. then. t According to the second recension: "the clean water which is from sulphur is not derived from sulphur . t How. that you might remove any obscurities which are in any books. for the one sulphur is made out of several sulphurs. from the one composition and a part out of ferment of gold. composed of several things. says sententiously ment is reproduced literally by the Rosary of the Philo- sophers. ancient Latin treatise which passes as the work " The ferment of gold is even as ferment of the bread is bread." The stategold.* and on these impose pure water of sulphur. Master. : * The of Morien. And to is he : Willingly. yet hast not shown its work ? And he: In our books. why a potent arcanum. is the potent (or revealed) arcanum PYTHAGORAS hast thou O Belus. O Master ! It is noted that pure water which from sulphur is not composed of be but is sulphur alone. answereth called it : This.

shall I compose these one ? things that they may become And he : Mix. but is composed of several things which make up one sulphur. Therefore our like Philosophers are made to the physicians. O Belus. 149 G Master. I The TURBA answereth wish. which are conjoined in a to for fire the same contend. that you would also shew the disposition of this potent arcanum alone. balsam of gum." * For this last sentence the second recension substitutes : " and friendship is made constant. : O ! Belus. and other like things. that strives with which the fire with that things suitable which does not strive." . because of the are warm venoms cooked in the physician a gentle. notwithstanding that the tests of the physicians are more intense than those of the Philosophers.The Turba Philosopliorum. that a little sulphur burns many strong things. incomburent fire !* Surely ye perceive what the Philosophers have stated concerning decoction. therefore. and the humour which remains is called humid pitch.

"which signifies reduction to the condition of an impalpable powder. they term a fiery venom. quicksilver. (Collection des Anciens Alchimistes Grecs. The same idea was attached later on by the Latin adepts to their term alcoolisation. spume of Boletus (i. into and the thickness of it gold. signified originally filings. When. Int. which meant (16. he : And two I tions that this proclaim to future generaarcanum proceeds from that is compositions. thus expressing the idea of the extreme attenuation of matter. sulphur also..e. But after it sulphur and magnesia. has been reduced call it they of water. when sulphur it con- tains sulphur. however. PANDOLPHUS dost * saith : If. 211. of sublimation Another species distilla- was called stalagma. O Belus.. The Fiftieth Dictum. filtration. is reduced and conjoined into one. Berthelot informs us. thou of describe the sublimation* the The Greek term which alchemists of the Byzantine collection made use of as the equivalent of sublimation. because which a potent (or open) arcanum ascends from those things it is ye know.. the Philosophers have called it water. as M.) tion by vapourisation or . to say.150 The Turba Philosophorum. a species of fungus). 210).

is Sandarac realgar in the Greek MSS. second recension is unintelligible. there proceeds from the Cambar that quicksilver which is called Ethelia. but there is another Cambar in sulphur* which Belus hath demonstrated to you. M. * Zendrio. it confounded under the same sign as arsenic. When the same has been sublimed. yet in these words there is a little ambiguity. O Pandolphus And he: The : ! philosophers have ordered that quicksilver should be taken out of Cambar. is The same authority reminds us that the name applied at the present day to an entirely different composition. See then that the quicksilver is sublimed in tabernacles. and albeit and extract the same from Cambar. Do thou show it forth. as indeed is quite plain from the Lexicon of Rulandus. Berthelot also tells us that it was confused anciently with minium and cinnabar. for out of sulphur mixed with sulphur. thou excellent thing ! And TURBA therefore. derived . to or Sanderich." t The reading is in the . the obscurity of which I will remove.t : According the second recension " there is another sulphur. they spoke truly. 151 sulphur wilt for future accomplish an the generations. many works proceed.The Turba Philosophorum. Orpiment.

also. being is ruled by its regi- men is (for ten things). soul and its Mix. Therefore. Chuhul. Copper. Magnesia. Accordingly. . from colophon. its the perfection of all white nature appears. philosophers have said that. find your design accomplished. body is thick. investigators. Marteck. Magnesia. which spirit is tincture. it is For. tingeing spirit from the same. and many other names. it left its has thickened ponderous bodies. devoid of shadow and blackness. and therewith a clean humid spirit has ascended. it behoves you to destroy the thick body until ye extract a its is spirit. nor therein. Concerning this. " * " Throughout the second recension. the wise have said that copper has a soul and a body. it there any shadow Then White the envious* have called lead from Ebmich. Ebsemich. Philosophers " or the Wise. and not known to the ancients under this designation.152 The Turba Philosophorum. the spirit extracted therefrom with light sulphur until you." are substituted for this term. Now. or Kuhul. when truly whitened.

Saith the TURBA : Speak. it For sides.! concerning which the * t Otherwise." the second recension " when the to According : fire is increased and the vessel sealed effectually. you would destroy this obscurity. The Fifty-First Dictum. to therefore. first to burn coppert in a gentle fire. lest the body of the copper and its flying spirit be extracted. save the this Thou hast. " the humidity. But if its regimen regimen of were commenced from the beginning. body an therefore." . and its tingeing spirit be extracted. the body of copper be destroyed. I In the second recension the name is Morfoleus. so far as he : may please you. like that required in the hatching of behoves you to burn it with its humidity lest its spirit be burnt. And It be- hoves you. and let the vessel be closed on all eggs. composed ambiguous description for readers. con- cerning it this posterity.The Turba Philosopherum. so that its colour [? heat] may be increased. saith : Thou ! hast narrated last O Pandolphus. investigators of this Art. 153 HORFOLCOS* nothing.

ye investigators of this Art. said one. which further they have termed Ethelia. so that what formerly was volatile sul- phur * is now made sulphur : not-volatile. a fiery venom. be the name of altered Blessed then hath inspired the Wise with the idea of turning a Him who body into a spirit having strength and colour.154 The Turba Philosophorum. that every body is dissolved with the spirit with which it is it without doubt spiritual thing. unalterable and incorruptible. that when are all become all bodies made things not- but not-bodies bodies. with which becomes a similar spirit and that every fire. And know. some have bodies. is which has a tingeing colour of spirits. Otherwise " which flower of copper they have called our water. said : envious have Take quicksilver out of the Flower of Copper. extracted out of many things." . mixed. and fiery venom extracted from iron. which also they have called the water of our copper.* Again. and a substance extracted from all things. and is constant against and coloured by bodies.

ye will find that which is suitable as a tincture for anyare Things that diligently in the sublimation with fire.The Turba Philosophorum. Know. and in the Detailed Exposition of the Work. if ye extract a body having Ethelia. become fixed tinctures. after it the moisture by in its thereof. patient only in spite of the tedium of extracting. For whatsoever words ye find in any man's book signify quicksilver. pounded thing. the following . body and that spirit can extract the tenuous nature hidden thereof. said : Wherefore the envious have of the Ethelia. pounded water. if most subtle Wherefore the envious of have said : Know is that out humectated is copper. also. by a in red by the and then from that the belly regimen. all ye that he who is able to ! make your fugitive spirit body mixed with it. is he tinges every body. which we call * water of sulphur. 155 and incombustible sons of learning.* which also of sulphur occurs Water among the ingredients of a recipe cited from Mary in one of the treatises of Zosimus. and is cooked in sulphur.

it is a certain natural thing. have called it the Flower of Gold. add white earths until the compound becomes very white. what I have omitted. doth whitened because whiten. IXUMDRUS saith You will have treated most excellently.156 The Turba Philosophomm. provided you proceed therewith. which also the envious have called by many names. * oi sulphur which is obtained somewhat The second recension reads : " Water of Ethelia. Place in a mortar. kindle a fire underneath. concerning the regimen of copper and the humid spirit. and tinge when it is then truly the Philosophers . taking equal parts. O Horfolcus." There is also a "pure" water differently. and receive what distils. O Ixumdrus IXUMDRUS saith You must know that : ! : this Ethelia* which you have previously mentioned and notified. The Fifty-Second Dictum. And he: Perfect. process occurs calx is " : manfactured Water of sulphur obtained by means of in this manner Having mixed all the : waters in the catalogue (which it is impossible to extricate from its context and place in the compass of a footnote). is we sometimes say and copulated lead and copper coin. therefore.'' .

t Therefore. coral. or Ochre." (metal) of magnesia. quoting expresses himself: The body coral." That is to say. that before it arrives at this terminus. those names which * are found in the books of the PhiloAccording to the second recension it : " Before it reaches this point. preparation given previously (it is too complicated for combine with the humour of reproduction here). 157 Do you not remember what the Philosophers have said. says Gold). this indescribable marvel. parts . will You find great wonder." " Here is And how he Synesius. But it is when which mixed with those ten things Philosophers have denominated fermented urines. or minium. The : following Democritus " Minera of Silver. having the colour of cinnabar. This regulated. 2 Minium of Pontus. t is called copper. copper does not tinge ?* tinges.The Turba Philosophorum. i part . Chios. then have the all they called tion. these things Multiplica- But some have termed their mixed bodies Corsufle and Gum of Gold. cook over a fire a potent substance. alone (produces) Chryso- . it is But when it is tinged it because quicksilver tinges when combined with its tincture. 2 parts : the Sulphur (another abstruse recipe) carefully . from a ricipe of Pseudoi part Finest Earth of . corallos is called Chryso- (Coral of : Democritus. the Chrysocorallos of the Greek is alchemists.

because sulphur alone whitens copper. becomes a sulphur which contains sulphur. one and one way. which mild fire. this the envious call Ethelia. It is. and are thought superfluous and vain. O investigators of this Art. sophers. which also is pure water that destroys the shade of copper. Ye.158 The Turbo. they are because opinion. one thing. must know that the said sulphur cannot whiten * The reading db hominibus for ab omnibus is substi- tuted by the second recension several times in this Dictum. silver.* out of which all things produced. are true and yet are fictitious. but there can be no doubt that it is a printer's error. . orpiment and sandarac. wholly quicksilver. And know it when is ye that this quickwhitened. and is a venom that has a brilliance like marble . out of which a tincture and pure spirit ascends with a and the whole pure flower is becomes flower sublimated. This is the quicksilver which is indeed extracted all from are things. a most great arcanum which the Philosophers have thus described. Philosophomm. therefore.

further. its from When. and then are they certain to escape unless they are united to quicksilver of its own kind. Wherefore have said. lest it vanish altogether. which. . the Know. therefore." but both readings are obscure and seemingly corrupt. Do it not. quicksilver of its I which is own kind. it also that to is the habit sulphur flees is escape. it is what the Philosophers are seeking is the coin of the Philosophers. think that because escapes.The Turba Philosophorum. therefore. behoves you to retain it other- wise with quicksilver of its own kind. that sulphurs tinge. would doubtless escape. mix quicksilver with quicktogether they become one clean water composed out * The second recension substitutes ' fixes bodies. and then it sublimated as a vapour. for unless it be mixed with white or red. that Philosophers sulphurs are contained by sulphurs. 159 ! copper until of this it is whitened in the work it And know ye therefore. tinges* and afterwards the coin of the Vulgar. own thick bodies. to silver (of its kind) until direct you.

posterity. The TURBA answereth: fore. the great arcanum. indeed. the confection with its of which is own gum . or by any of the select tingeing agents existing in our coin. This is. salt. nor. therefore. till the 6th century. which also the same Philosophers have called by all manner of names. and that Nitre or Saltpetre was scarcely known in antiquity. The Fifty-Third Dictum. multiplicity of For the Philosophers have ordered the doctors of this art to make coin-like gold. Berthelot explains that the substance referred to under the terms Nitrum and Natron was really Carbonate of Soda. * O Inform. but the entire work must be the Art of the Coin. thereExumenus. recension substitutes t For this name the second Obsemeganus. and nitre. . concern- M.160 The Turba Philosophorum. of two. it is cooked with . ExuMENUst laid saith: The envious have waste the whole Art with the names. flowers in a gentle it fire and with earth is made is red with mucra and with vinegar.* and with mutal turned into rubigo.

and vapour into pounding the fire. 161 ing a few of these names. But the M . that they And he : They may take warning ! have named washing. confection cooking and the turning rubigo. Ethelias. By these names has is that operation called which pounded and ye. of Ethel. Philosophorum. the art of the water all of sulphur and coagula. but when it is possessed by the smoke of sulphur. when quicksilver is cooked with its confections it is turned into red. whitening frequently coagulating.The Turbo. in it salting. and hence the Philosopher is saith that the nature of lead swiftly converted. which the the spirits existing fire did not cease to burn continuously. quicksilver is And white know to that the sight. Therefore. whitened copper. that ye may extract in the vessel. Do you have not see that the Philosophers ? spoken without Hence we deal in many ways envy with pounding and reiteration. sublimating. it and reddens becomes Cambar.

the does not ascend. lest they should be injured by the heat of the fire . the sublimation of water the Philosophers have the treated not a little. but when does not ascend ye achieve nothing. The TURBA answereth : ye Unless make bodies not-bodies But concerning ye achieve nothing. the thing diligently in the Ethelia . Arras saith : Unless ye pound fire. And know pound Ethelia that that unless ye diligently thing in the fire. : fore. it When.162 The Turba Philosophorum. but belly the water receives them in fire its and repels the flame of from them. however. it ascends an instrument for the intended tincture with which ye tinge. the depths of the water. and conis cerning this Ethelia HERMES saith but Sift the things which ye know another Liquefy the things. water placed with those things prevents the fire from burning. and it befalls those things that the more they are possessed by the flame of the more they are hidden in fire. There: .

The Master hath I put forth a view which shall now Know ye explain to the reasoners. when it is stirred up. Paracelsus uses it in an arbitrary fashion of his own same to signify the skin of man's body. and two The Fifty-Fourth Dictum. 163 does not ascend. Flower. that a very great wind of the south. &c. Then take the ponder- ous thing.The Turba Philosophorum. and one. plain the testa. * Two of Rulandut. . understood metallurgically the second is a vessel of baked .* is And he I will ex- and the vessel wherein incombustible sulphur. that two may be four one. and incorporate it. ANAXAGORAS saith: Take the volatile burnt thing which lacks a body. made three. But I order to congeal fluxible quicksilver out you of many things. is Compare the red Adamic earth or clay . sublimates clouds and elevates the vapours of the The sea. having smoke. and thirsting meanings are given to this term in the Lexicon The first is Bloom. clay. TURBA answereth : Thou : hast dealt obscurely.. it probably a variation of the idea.

: for all the is Philosophers have said able to He who into turn Rubigo golden the de- venom has already achieved sired is work. But I direct you continuously. are Ethelia.164 to The Turba Philosophorum. obscurity testify to O Anaxagoras.* finally. and not to grow cook tired of repeating the process." . and this other which thirsts. imbibe. And know ye that the perfection of this work is the confection of water of sulphur with tabula . and ! beware of being envious And lie : I you that this volatile burnt thing. and cook until the whole becomes Cambar. what is this which you expound. Therefore. but otherwise his labour vain. The TURBA answereth : Explain. it is cooked until it becomes Rubigo. the arcanum to Then God will accomplish ye seek. which has been conjoined with sulphur. place these in a glass vessel over the fire. * According to the second recension of : " The whole of perfection sulphur consists in the decoction tabula.

165 Pythagoras hath treated concerning the water.The Turba Philosophorum. immovable. at the end of his book he has treated : ZENON* saith ferment of gold. how the envious have in this work discoursed of the perfection rather than the commencement of the same The TUREA answeretli Why. O all ye Turba. therefore. Thus vulgar the humid dry. of the merely coagulated with the But out of both is the beginning is Notwithstanding. three parts. * The name in the second recension is Pitheon. I am astonished. which the envious have called by all names. of its ! : have you left it to putrefy ? And he : Thou and hast spoken truly . The Fifty -Fifth Dictum. putrefaction does not take place without the dry the humid. . ordaining that thereon should be imposed clean of the water of sulphur. asserting that one quickly but the other is fixed and flees. and a small quantity gum. the envious have divided this work into work. But the putrefy with the humid. Finally.

whence the spirit and the soul are dessicated.1 66 The Turba Philosophorum. question is derived from the tenuous part of the earth. out of the tenuous part of the fire and of the air. : According to the second recension " The spirit is dessiccated in the soul. therefore. CONSTANS saith: What have you to do with the treatises of the envious. while out of the tenuous part of the water. water. t is the process This. and water. . which are earth and water. thereour work. for it is necessary that this work should deal with four things four fire. ? ? They answer : Demonstrate.* And know ye that the tenuous tingeing agent takes its power out of the tenuous part of the earth." t The second recension merely says that the power in air. and Ye have then those four elements : without which nothing is ever generated. * been dessicated. a tenuous of spirit has fore. The Fifty-Sixth Dictum. air. what are those And he Earth. nor is anything absolved in the Mix. the dry with the humid. therefore. and cook in the fire and in the air. Art.

the winged things of heaven and reptiles of the earth. O investigators of this art. ! They have also described various regimens that they might deceive they have further called it (or have likened all it to) the humid with dry with all the humid. and in coins reading of the second recension has been partly substituted in this unintelligible passage.The Turba Philosophorum. 167 namely. by the name of every stone and metal. and thereafter tinges the imposed body of all ye coins. to you what the Philosopher said briefly and his book. truly at the beginning of In the art of gold is the quicksilver from The Cambar. lest ye multiply things. because a body a kind then composed which is of atmospheric thing. that everything may be turned into earth when the tenuous parts of these things is are extracted. and the the dry. But do ye who would tinge observe that bodies For I say are tinged with bodies. for the envious have multiplied and destroyed for you . gall of animals of the sea. . however.* Beware.

therefore.1 68 The Turba Philosophomm. The Fifty-Seventh Dictum. ACRATUS* saith : I signify to posterity I make philosophy near to the Sun and Moon. the quicksilver from the Male. it is probably a misreading. if terity And to he : I was so intending. in the 6yth Dictum should be . But they Take what the Turba hath adversary to : taken. however. but even here it may be an analogy borrowed from the astronomy of the period without any real attribution. In nothing. I you are willing. He. take a part direct posof the coins which the Philosophers have ordered.! are Why TURBA an made you The : your brethren ? And he I have spoken nothing but the truth. yet. look beyond this. that will attain to the truth let him take the moisture of the Sun and the that Spumet answereth of : the Moon. is since the two quicksilvers are also one. which also Hermes has adapted to * In the second recension the name is Astratus. The distinction between mercury and quicksilver noted. This one of the two passages which seem to indicate any planetary attribution of the metals. t J Otherwise the spirit .

and fear nothing. be consumed. which are the coins of Hermes. cook continually until is the blackness of Kuhul.* and a part of the copper of the Philosophers. * According to the second recension : " take a part of the coins of the Philosophers. finally. already pounded with the coins. Then let the vessel be opened. For when that is consumed a precious whiteness will appear on them to their until . 169 the true tingeing. Repeat the process. and a blackness will appear above. lest the water escape. Cooking seven days. must proceed for Let both be again slowly cooked. when the copper. the mouth of which must be carefully the all same with the closed.The Turba Philosophorum. and place the four bodies in the vessel. being are returned place. is they cooked is the whole dried and Also repeatedly and continuously cook that stone born of copper and coins with a fire turned into stone. which from the blackness of coins." . is found turned into water. to mix coins.

Cook in a still hotter fire.170 The Turbo. Philosophorum. fore. therewater. until that cinder liquefy therewith. with cook again. and then cook and imbue with permanent water. O it ye sons is of the Doctrine. and turned into cinder. broken up. Finally. Alas. is how precious ! that which produced from the cinder Mixing. and carefully close the this mouth of the vessel. Then are made : bodies having a tingeing and germinating answereth Now hast The TURBA thou notified to posterity that Rubigo attaches itself to copper after the blackness is washed Then it permanent water. bodies into spirits. soul. which is a precious cinder. for by regimen fugitive bodies become spirits not-fugitive. until the stone is destroyed. is congealed and becomes a body of magnesia. it is cooked until off with . Imbue until it becomes humid. sharper than the former. and both are connected spirits together. are turned into bodies. until the composition becomes sweet and mild and red.

BONELLUS for if answereth you did You speak truly. according to thy The n he opinion. . shadow. I hast by no : have discoursed even : as have you. therefore. what hast thou posterity. O Acratus. delivered to the work of the Philosophers.The Turba Philosophorum. And they Thou : speakest truly. 171 the whole body is broken up. has already spoken. place. Proceed. Concerning. though his intention is to do good. BALGUS* saith : The whole Turba. but a benefactor sometimes deceives. otherwise we should not written in order your sayings to be our books. as you have seen. and beware of envy ! : In the second recensfon this speech is put into the mouth of Anastratus. seeing that thou means called things by their proper names ? And he Following your own footsteps. The Fifty-Eighth Dictum. Afterwards the volatile is turned into a cinder its and becomes copper without Attrition also truly takes therefore.

lest it on the other hand. investigators of this science. described this arcanum in the shade in physical reasoning and astronomy. it vigorously as a mass. You must know that the envious have . nevertheless. finally. having kindled coals above . the mouth of which must be closed most carefully. finally.172 The Turba Philosophorum. and beware lest with ye too but not much increase the humour. and place it in its vessel. biguously concealed generally perceived it by the names of reptiles . the mouth of which must be closed internally and externally with clay. place it in its vessel. and. mix (or sprinkle) venom. stir if cause. be too dry. to take iron and draw it it into plates . it will neither be conjoined nor cooked in the chimney hence I direct you to confect it diliif it . it. or. vapours. bethe water be in excess. I. be the gently. and as is in all their work. chimney. metals. it will contained in while. and the art of images they have also likened it to trees they have am. be too dry. . direct you.

Here is what the Philosophers say on this subject "Divine water.The Turbo. oc- cidental matter. white magnesia. water of calx. . Ye ascends. of natron. that t is. The number The second three is indicated by burnt copper. For when the fire is kindled the vinegar* its spiritual nature into the air. mercury. &c. sea water. while on the lid of the vessel ye shall find globules. Philosophorum. alum water. milk of the she ass. By similar decoction and liquefaction Cambar is not disjoined. which is worth citing in connection with the question of the unity of subjects amidst the multiplicity of names. and this contains a brief section on the Nomenclature of the Divine Vinegar and the Divine Water. I I notify to you that Among entitled the Greek technical treatises there oj the is one The Work Four Elements." the second recension. and a its nature changed. vapour. the : black cow. wherefore. I direct passes you to keep that part separately. virgin's urine. ash of cabbage. some days ye shall open and there shall ye find the iron plates already liquefied . because must and also know that by multiplied* decoctions and attritions it is congealed coloured is by the fire. after 173 it. J recension says that it it disjoined. the bitch. There is the substance which whitens the body of magnesia. divine vinegar. virginal milk.

its spirit " Which Cambar and is bears in the belly thereof. but the residue becomes a wind in spirit. the sand is is " the spume of the Moon. Then." the alternative reading. dealer is joined." J joined to the light of Omitted For in the second recension. that being wounded." .* Cambar And know ye the of the second more precious or more the red that nothing is excellent than sea. which the Sun.174 The Turba Philosophorum.t Luna is perfected by the coming on of night. for sand of of the is the Sputum light Luna united with the of the Sun's rays. causes it to * with the Sun is himself and that signal whiteness overcome the terrene fire. the dew of the deathis dew and the more the days pass on the more intensely is it conFor he gealed.! who cooks congealed. this nonsensical : substitutes "That which is passage the second recension cooked by the heat of the Sun is congealed. and is congealed. and by the heat of the Sun the congealed. t According to the second recension. and is not burned. by the said frequent decoction the weight of a third part of the water is consumed.

not know. has notified to me discovered this priately fruit what manner he same tree. 175 Then saith BONITES O Balgus. Then it its thereof.* who has followed science. . he said : Take it. extract the I But when inquired of him concerning the growth and the increment. therefore. dark. that the Spume of Luna : Do you tinges nothing : except our copper ? ^ And BALGUS: Thou speakest And lie Why. thinking that the same is found without any laborious disposi- tion. hast omitted to describe that truly thou tree. did and eat of it. and approafter operating. encircled by * In the second recension this person is referred to as Tulleas. of the fruit whereof whosoever eateth shall hunger And BALGUS A certain nevermore ? : person. he described that pure whiteness. But is perfection is the fruit when I further asked it how build nourished with food until fructifies. that tree. and a house about which shall wholly surround the same. which shall also be circular.The Turba Philosophorum.

while they have concealed this disposition. for thy hath discoursed elegantly. and shall have placed on it a man of a hundred years. Following in the steps of I Bonites It make perfect his sayshould be known that all the will Philosophers. dew. O most excellent God The Fifty-Ninth Dictum. THEOPHILUS propose to speak further concerning those things which And the hath narrated. say that Then in the time of 180 days send them away to their homes. O man what marvellous natures. made into the son ! and the ! father is Blessed be thou. I man shall not cease to eat of the fruit of that tree to the perfection of the number [of the days] until the old man shall become young. Bonites saith : I TURBA: brother And ings. shut and secure the door lest dust or wind should reach them. yet spoke the . he : Speak. Brother.176 The Turba Philosophorum. which have transformed the soul of that old into a juvenile body.

t until they is are The reference in the second recension to the old man of the previous dictum. and the more they are multiplied the more ! : : are they * adorned. And know. beware of becoming envious. truth in 177 their treatises when the they said named water of life. do flourish in the beginning of the summer. whatsoever* water first is for this reason. which proceed first from that perfect tree." " The more the N . placed in the sun is till it liquefies and imbued.The Turba Philosophorum. rusty. that mixed with then lives dies. after which it it is In these days silence is becomes congealed. and beall comes young. disciples. t : According to the second recension tree is adorned. but better than this illumination. because it tinges the plates it is then . The TURBA answer eth : O Theophilus. and comAnd he: Would plete thy speech! that I might repeat the like thing And they What is thy will ? Then he Certain fruits. that iron ye does not become rusty except by reason of this water.

is interpolated at a later period . quite out of character with the text as a whole. it will be seen. that of the epoch of Trevisan . who furiously loves her. yet nor that her husband should possess her beauty. His beauty. but the Philosophers have put to death the woman who slays her spouses. perfected. In the same way that woman. For when the term is finished he turns to her. therefore. its style. is when he consumed by fire who does not approach his wife except by reason of lust. with whom lives. and refers. and being mature become sweet. or has possibly been indeed. multiplies children to himself according to his pleasure. .178 The Turba Philosophorum. till he shall have carnal intercourse with her. to something which has not been previously described. to I also make known you that the dragon never dies. and God make perfect the foetus. although partly angry.* fleeing from her own she children. For the belly of that * The compiler of the Turba seems to have introduced it this allegory from another source. it is. and keeps awake contending with her. in any case. does not brook being overcome.

Philosophorum. leave him ing woman. therefore. BONELLUS* ciples. until the consumed. joined with that who being strongly woman. useful all ye disthings that out of the elect nothing becomes * without con- In the second recension the name is Bodillus. the more his body. limbs the him mixed with perceiving of a woman he becomes secure from death. and let that woman be is full of buried with him. . and the whole is turned into blood. by the creation of female weapons in the body of the For cut up into parts. But the Philosophers. saith : Know. Then the wind is lenitude hidden. the more he clasps her and is entwined with her. the blood dries up. 179 woman weapons and venom.The Turbo. beholdhim turned into blood. a sepulchre be dug for the dragon. and they find that venom which now is manifest. is in the sun is for certain days. Let. The Sixtieth Dictum.

which reads long as it is little. junction and regimen. it is nourished with milk. save by milk and sparingly and gradually. while it is dust.180 The Turba Philosophorum. and in proportion as the vital heat : is maintained. and nights the the woman. For the man mingling with the sperm is nourished by of the womb. not nourished. and by the blood. the bones are strengthened. towards youth. it the led is bones being strengthened." t This absurd confusion is not found in the second " So recension. elapsed sperm is But if the humidity of the the womb were not heat. t also that Thus act in behoves * you "Know to is Otherwise: nothing generated without complexion.* because sperma is generated out of blood and desire. nor the foetus be procreated. and the more it burns the more. humour forty moistening when have formed. after which fire. But God has constituted that heat and blood blood and of the for the the foetus it is nourishment of the sperm until is brought forth. and by heat. the sperm would not be dissolved." . arriving it at it which is independent.

simulating. whereif it fore the veins is the flesh has been in all smooth and Behold it augmented. strong. fear God." etc. and splendid powder. therefore. According to the second recension: in "The envious have lead. it is convenient and sweet to the body. deceiving prosterity. it heat. many ways described the process of that making number and have represented there are a of instruments. is 181 Know ye that without heat ever generated. The Sixty-First Dictum. . flight If. and from our except from * This passage is so corrupt as to be almost un- translatable. demonstrated to you.The Turba Philosophorum. and that the nothing bath causes the matter to perish by means of intense frigid. but have been tempered. indeed. MOSES saith: It is to be observed that the envious have named lead of copper instruments of formation.* to whom I give notice that there are no instruments our own white. it be puts to and disperses. all ! become ye disciples and Understand. things which ye attempt to rule. this Art.

e.t out of which are suitable produced : instruments of formation. t i. and read Alogia. critic. which simply observes that out of the powder mentioned at the beginning. or that of other sensitive things. being used in the same sense as Latin theology the form of the soul. in his Epistle to Thomas of Bononia : " Our stone does not possess a form (forma formabilis) such as vegetative or it has a formed form (forma is formal sensitive. than the powder of Alociae. which entered into the nomenclature of We is hear much concerning the form of the stone. having failed to trace this term. . instruments adapted to the egg are composed. but that its not to be understood as configuration. yet.182 The Turba Philosophorum. might suggest a slight emendation. which form is the elements themselves.e. " i. many words and no sense.. nor one more conjoined to our composition. is heterogeneous. whereas the human body. nor of what bird. but that at the same time the A severe envious have omitted to name the egg." For because it is the term concave stone the second recension substitutes gleaming." | This entire passage is considerably shortened in the second recension. was accustomed to speak of So Bernard Trevisan. Further..! * The concave stone does not seem to be a term later philosophers. nevertheless. and this homogeneous. to the whole work whereof there is no more concave stone* and powder. Yet they have not said what the egg And know ye is. the Philosophers have already said Take instruments out of the egg. marble. formata). Candidas. etc.

183 regimen of these things is more difficult than the entire work. The moon. Wherefore the Philosophers have ordered that it should be ruled with profound judgment. it In to have generally recogelixirs. ye err in in ruling. fire therefore. there- being at the take this and place in sand till it be dissolved. recognises in degrees of perfection. And know ye that while ye are placing the same cess. until same that in it a gentle is ye find dissolved. if that the the composition be ruled more than it should be. commingles. and ye one thing separated from And know ye that three companions. of three is Fundamentally. . Then shall extinguish with vinegar. namely. the first. its light is taken and extinguished by the sea. the see Cook. however. sand and repeating the prounless ye have patience. fore. full. while the third liquefies. the second burns. and corrupt the work. the true powder of perfection the existence of three powers and three activities proceeding from those powers. elixir.* Alchemy does not seem nised the existence indeed. because.The Turba Philosophorum. holds there but one having various Zosimus. Ixir.

because they has been extracted from tincture. proper have called black. " Certain According to the second recension Gold have named Chelidony. Philosophers Geldum. yet the second metals * the in exaltation. to know that whatsoever the Philosophers MUNDUS O have narrated or ordained. trouble about there is plurality of one Tyrian which Philosophers to for things. saith : It behoves you. The distinction is a mere subtlety. herbs. and The Sixty-Second Dictum. and name. made hot. and carmen. our sea. as body has mathematically three dimensions. therefore. of vinegar twice is impose nine first while the vessel being second when it is heated. Karnech. geldum. tincture of the they have having it given abolished names the it at will. Kenckel. and fixation. seekers all ye after this Art. first the ounces place. therefore. are one thing !* Do a not. Later alchemists speak much of the Elixir at the is White and the first Elixir at the Red. just And a penetration.184 The Turba Philosophorum." . etc. and so also the Elixir of is at the same time held to be the medicine of : men.

in their altars which they and treasuries.The Turbo. to . and is neither sordid nor impure in putrefaction. and after has been passed through sieve. which are all true an example of which. Tyrian colour. fragrant was more clean has been and than can be described by me. whence. for purifying altars. and various substances have been separated one from another. each of these has its own name. and is mentally there yet fundabut one name. which is sweet and of a pleasant odour. which also extracted from our red and most pure sea. Philosophorum. For after grinding the it is it called by the another name. 185 know not that the ancient to priests did condescend wear artificial garments. And know ye that we have given many names to it. they tinged Kenckel with a Tyrian colour . for those that possess understanding. is to be traced in corn that is being ground. and lest they should introduce into them anything but our placed sordid or impure.

place Magnesia ! O vessel. corn. many names Thus we call the purple in each grade of its regimen by the name of its own colour. because the most great all arcanum in its Accordingly. ye seekers after this Art. Cook and contain envious. ye changed it find the whole into be coagulated. The Sixty-Third Dictum. know that they signify humour. . because * it germinates is In the second recension. called male and wherefore the envious have the nature it the therein body is of Magnesia. The Turba Philosophorum. and by the medicines they mean Nature. from which are distinguished. PHILOSOPHUS* terity saith : I notify to posis that female. opening shall after some days. and it cook diligently ! Then. further until itself. when ye hear of the sea in the books of the water.186 wit. But. this speech put into the mouth of Rarson. while by the basket they signify the vessel.

Some also call it [the lead] of our black coins. . coming in : to- gether * [or agreement] is respect " That which According buds and flowers t to the second recension one nevertheless. certain people name this blackness coins. first O all ye demonstrators of this art." is This dictum omitted altogether by the second recension. to say. has clearly But Agadimon demonstrated when he : boldly put forth these words It is to be noted. concerning which they have treated very frequently in their books. they all is become lead black. and in their .* But when the envious of the Wash until the blackness copper passes away. the of the Wise. The Sixty-Fourth DictumA PYTHAGORAS is saith : How marvellous the diversity of the Philosophers in those things which they formerly asserted.The Turba Philosophorum. therefore. ye the prescribed blackness ! find is That This. that the things [or the copper] being shall mixed and cooked once. 187 and say : flowers.

" become ash. that whereas Mundus hath been teaching all ye this Art. the same small And and lie ! if vile thing. they if would deem it a Yet. he that does not understand what he has said is a brute animal But I will explain ! the regimen into * of this small thing. they would not they knew its efficacy. may become recension the bolder. HORFOLCUS saith :t You must know. but God hath concealed this from the crowd* lest the world should be devastated. + " from the sea. Be not dissuaded by and when you perceive that every: " thing has well. O all ye investigators of this art. \ On the principle of Zosimus thine inexperience. ! wherein the precious thing concealed the vulgar knew. vilify it. . understand then that all goes On the Diversity of Burnt Copper.1 88 The Turba Philosophorum. in order that any one. and placing before you most lucid syllogisms. being introduced this Literally t In Art." the second speaker is called Orfulus. The Sixty-Fifth Dictum. of this small and most common is thing. O who love wisdom.

governed. sincere. with which. it behoves you to mix the residuum of the whole humour. they be dessicated in the said gentle fire. over these should follow one another. and one body strengthens one spirit. Know ye that the beginning of the mixing. after the is first combus- necessary that it should be washed. it But. and then its colour will be . and dealbated on the fire until all things become one colour tion. . and teaches the same to contend with the fire. is it assuredly consider it. and a not cooked fire. or gentle. 189 may more although the dear. And know that one spirit burns one thing and destroys one thing. afterwards. until whereby they are gradually burnt. and be embraced in a complexion.The Turba Philosophorum . may compose common with that which in is and the dear with that which common. Beware the until for gentle of intensifying the fire elements are conjoined. cleansed. and be small. it behoves you to commingle elements which are crude.

I go The Turba Philosophorum. and that the composite germinates itself. diligently For the elements.* the lead. liquefied. that of the elements fire. Whence the Philoso- Convert the elements and pher saith thou shalt find what thou seekest. and produces that which ye desire. These by the leave it things being let accomplished the disposition. But when the colours begin ye shall behold the miracles of the wisdom proceed from * liquid becomes liquid which " The nonAccording to the second recension is the head of this art. cooked in the fire. operator in the fire until the gross be made subtle. God favouring. and are changed because the into different natures. and the fleeing spirit becomes strong and fit to do battle against the : fire. the thick body becomes a spirit. the death and Know life ye. exalted. also." : . But to convert the elements is to make the moist dry and the fugitive fixed. being rejoice. and the subtle remain as a tingeing spirit. which is the becomes not-liquefied. humid becomes dry.

* This dictum omitted in the second recension. than precious ! men therefore. until 191 the Tyrian colour be accomplished. knowing what the Philosophers have said Search the latent spirit and : disesteem it not. and thou hast [or O commanded to posterity to prove experiment] and to read the books. seeing that is t remains effects it a great when it arcanum and many good is things. saith : Thou hast already Lucas.* EXEMIGANUS treated. is and that which follows put into the mouth of Emiganus. which is Magnesia. as it behoves thee. scarlet. . The Sixty-Sixth Dictum. O wonder-working ! Nature. tingeing other natures O and regi- Nature. is more in these Natures that Nature which multiplies the and makes fixed and composite.The Turba Philosophorum. concerning living and concealed silver. of God. heavenly separating the elements by converting Nothing.

burn the gold. the diversity only in the names. and the same unto you dealt with ! And they: Woe thou how ! ! shortly hast it with jealousy that I should why art thou poisoned And he: Is it desirable speak so. for therein is an arcanum. burn HERMIGANUS replies: Behold something more dark The TURBA answereth than ever the silver. ! : which is Illumine. for they have not in vain advised that the sucking child should be heeded." .1 92 The Turba Philosophorum. As to that which he dark. out of which the Wise have operated good things. but to make And life. And he that : said is Burn. LUCAS saith and what I : I testify to posterity. burn. that the Philosopher saith :* Burn the copper." " To make red t According to the second recension: is to vivify. set forth is more lucid than are your words. burn. is more he : clearly I ? And red * they : Do that to whiten is signify to burn. for they are one thing. The Sixty-Seventh Dictum. therefore.t For the envious have The the second recension following variation occurs in the opening of " The books of the : Philosophers should be read.

that quicksilver the body . O all ye Sons of the Doctrine. is but that there is a subtle it nature. 193 multiplied many names that they might lead posterity astray. to destroy the body and Whereextract the soul therefrom it ! body. envious the I signify that the And he have narrated and said that splendour of Saturn does not appear unless it perchance be dark when it ascends in the air. is a body and there a The TURBA to answereth: explain. has a soul and a body. fore the body which tinges Philosophers said that the does not penetrate the body. behoves you. is nature. therefore. a man. and is this which In and penetrates the body.The Turba Philosophorum. there soul. that Mercury is hidden by the rays vivifies of the Sun. Despite your put desire forth you have : dark words. the soul. seeing that copper. to whom I testify that the definition of this Art is the the liquefaction of the body and separation of the soul from the like Therefore.

the work is completed Take. ! Then If extinguish in white vinegar. that is. and cook in the sun and black earth for 42 But the second work is perdays. precedes the Sun. of which ye have been inquiring. ATTAMUS saith: Know. its fiery by is and thus the work But Venus. thereold sea Halsut and stones. and fore. The Sixty-Eighth Dictum. . 8 ounces pound with white vinegar. the reference chemical. but. let the heat be extinguished with a third part of the vinegar. as in the 57th Dictum. when she accomplished.194 The Turba Philosophorum. is produced by the generation of the sea. becomes oriental. that our work. O all ye in- vestigators of this Art. 24 ounces thereof have been boiled. after God.* strength. boil with coals until they become white. formed from the of is tenth day of the month * September to the tenth day This the second of the two passages mentioned in the of a planetary attribution note on page 168 of this volume as containing traces of metals. may be astronomical and not . by which and with which.

But if the place where it is cooked be humid and dewy it is congealed more quickly. the sign of the goodthat Doctrine. 195 Do not impose [or grade] of Libra. the vinegar a second time in this work. know . And that FLORUS ter is : When entirely ye see that the matblack. arises from the diversity of cooking.The Turba Philosophorum. FLORUS fecting saith : I am thinking of per- thou thy treatise. like Egyptian earth. while it it be dry it is congealed more slowly. for has not accomplished the disof position the cooking ! A nd he : Proceed. all its vinegar be dried The Sixty-Ninth Dictum. O Mundus. O I Philosopher! And FLORUS teach you. ness of the first decoction is the : O Sons of the extraction of its redness! is And he: Describe what redness. And the fact that one work is congealed more quickly and another more slowly. but leave the same to be cooked until up and it becomes a fixed earth.

* but rather to cook it until the whole become a most deep red. first blackness is produced out of the nature of Marteck. and until it it be cooked ye seekers gently white. O all after this Art. with which nothing Know also that the can compare. ye shall perceive that whiteness appear and flowing over all. But its in the second decoction let let that whiteness be placed in a vessel with instruments. recension affirms that it does behove you to extract .196 The Turbo. for ye know how to discern between them. be certain that redness is hid in that whiteness ! However. hoves you to extract that whiteness most subtly from that blackness. it does not behove you to extract it. which red has improved the black. and has made peace between the fugitive and the non-fugitive. and that redness is extracted from that blackness. Philosophorum. whiteness has been hidden in the Then it bebelly of that blackness. reducing * The second it. become completely But when.

thereby tracted * that which " It converts According to the second recension Both is non-fugitive into a fugitive nature. And know that the same sulphur cannot handled.The Turba Philosophorum. " That which cruciates with harm or corruption reading does not cruciate with utility and coadunation. The this ? TURBA answereth he : And why was A nd matter Because the it cruciated when is it changes indelible submerged in the body. behoves you." readings are corrupt and ungrammatical. And the sulphur which blackens is that which does not open the door to the fugitive and turns into the with the fugitive. but by coadunation and utility of things ?t For if its victim were noxious and would not be embraced until its colours were exand unalterable it from it : inconvenient." . therefore. t The second : recension somewhat reverses this. to know this sulphur which ye be blackens the body. into an unalterable and It nature. 197 the two : into one.* Do you not see that the cruciating does not fugitive cruciate with harm or corruption. but it cruciates and tinges.

. not heed. the Masters have said that what is perfected is one. therefore. indelible. MUNDUS* saith : Know. name is In the second recension the Mandinus. all ye investi- gators of this Art. which it behoves you to rule carefully. Accordingly. The Seventieth Dictum. for by ignorance of ruling some have erred. all that it imposes profits nothing. that the head is all things. but one and a suitable nature. . the plurality of these compositions. I have testified to be the key of the work. and a diversity of natures does not improve that thing.ig8 The Turba Philosoplwrum. nor those things Do which the merated in * philosophers their books. and this does not come to pass without blackness. of This we have called water water we have sulphur. for does not blacken but that which does blacken. which if it hath not. which for prepared the rest it the red tinctures . is have enu- nature of truth For the and the followers one.

that Nature rejoices in Nature. but one having in itself its own natures and properties. and Nature contains Nature at the same time there are not many or .The Turba Philosopher um. namely. known except by He. BRACUS* * saith : How elegantly Mundus is In the second recension this dictum ascribed to Archelaus. fulfilled which was written by the Masters. Nature overcomes Nature. Natures. . for him shall a nature rise forth therefrom how which shall conquer all and then shall that word be natures. conquering The Seventy-First Dictum. who knows to extract its complexion and rules equably. by which it prevails over other things. diverse Do you not see that the Master has begun with one and called finished one ? Hence has he Sulphureous Nature. those unities all Water. This arcanum is neither seen nor the Wise. therefore. 199 of Nature have termed it that one thing in the belly whereof is concealed the natural arcanum.

is saith : The first compo- the body of Magnesia. until the bodies become not-bodies. which is hidden in the natural belly. And know that unless the body be withered up and so destroyed that it dies. But when it ruled it is called by ten names. ! hath described this sulphureous water For unless solid bodies are destroyed by a nature wanting a body. which the ancients have made out is termed Albar of copper. The second . is which The Seventy-Second Dictum. taken from the colours which appear in the regimen of the body of this Magnesia. and even as a most tenuous spirit. although they become one. and are called by one name. ye are unable to tinge a body therewith. It is be turned into blackness * necessary.20O The Turba Philosophorum. of several things. PHILOSOPHUS* sition. and unless ye extract from it its a tingeing spirit. that is. recension refers this dictum to Philotis. soul. therefore. that the lead then the ten . ye cannot [attain] that most tenuous and tingeing soul.

* which is a com- by ten names. * Sericon is Rulandus. I when it has become fixed a The significance of this phrase is. perto fectly inscrutable. and are called the good thing of several names. f Gold of the Beak. When all these things have been said. but is there any reference ? the rostrum or rostellum of the alembic . but M. because it tinges position called every body which has entered into the composition. But composition is twofold one When humid. we mean nothing more by these names than Albar of copper. Berthelot explains that bination oi one of the names of Minium. it is called bars and Behold I have replates of metal. they are cooked prudently they is become one.The Turba Philosophormn. Gold of Coral. But when it becomes red it is called Flower of Gold. But while it remains crude lead of copper. according to it was a comSinopis. with sericon. Ferment of Gold. of course. the other is dry.t It is also called redundant red sulphur and red orpiment. 201 aforesaid shall appear in the ferment of gold. Sandyx and f Later alchemical writers define Gold of Coral as the matter of the Philosophers the red stage.

fire.* and the unto himself. Experiment intermediate shows that there are grades between these kinds. ." See Olympiodorus On the Sacred Art.2O2 The Turba Philosophorum. But lead which is the is lead of copper. in whole " arcanum. coals and flame. One is made of straw and cinder. in common with all other alchemists. you the and the numbers of diversity of intensity thereof in every grade. which also we should distinguish from the names when it has been cooked. but one without flame. its raw.i and be freed from poverty. so that he who shall possess this book may belong days. so that he shall remain secure in that middle way which is closed to those who are deficient I in this most out precious art. have " a certain lapse of time and recognised the necessity for a favourable moment. many kinds of have seen. Let vealed names when it is it therefore be pondered over. Now. therefore. concerning Greek. f Compare the motto of Paracelsus : Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest. It behoves me now to exhibit to quantity of the its fire.

they are turned into a new nature. there will result a patent and white tincture. Then they are called one nature and one genus. And know most assuredly that if a little gold be placed in the composition. Although concerning this elixir we : read in the sayings of the philosophers Take gold. certain it is placed in a glass vessel. elements turned are Inasmuch as the commingled and are of copper. In every grade it is beheld. occurring frequently. when it is coloured by a venerable redness. it is . Wherefore also a sublime gold and a patent gold is found in the treasuries of the former philosophers.The Turba Philosophorum. These things being accomplished. unless in a way the composition is drinks the water and altered in its colours. Wherefore those things are unequal which they introduce into their composition. I will treat in its proper place in what follows. 203 the days of the night in which will be the perfection of the most great arcanum. into lead coming out of their own former natures.

Corsufle. he said Take iron. to know the certitude of the adversary. therefore. Mucra. only needful to do so once. consider what Democritus* begins speaking from bottom to top. and the curious use of the Latin word Carmen. Wishing. Take iron . lead. gold of coral for gold of crocus. They are : Absumech. and shews. lead. Albar. Halsut. coin. which reversing. effectually enemy at was forbidden the beginning of the assembly is and now seems to be quoted as an the conclusion of a symposium in which he to participate. when he begins from the top to the bottom. then reversing matters saith. f It will be well in this place to enumerate the terms. Democritus at silenced. therefore. how he he proceeds from top to bottom. and Again. by his sayings that only semi-gold is taken. copper. Geldum. occurring in the Turba for which no explanation can at present be found. Murtal. and albart for copper. in the gold for gold of coral. Ebmich. he again : says for : And our copper for coins. second place. mostly ot oriental origin. And without doubt gold is not changed into * he rust without lead and copper. . he saith : gold.204 The Turba Philosophorum. For. lead gold.

because. however they said Take gold and it : becomes gold of coral Take gold of coral and it becomes purple gold all . they have signified stronger bodies and forces. But by these things which the Philosophers have mentioned under various names. citrine Its first grade becomes as a mucra. that it may become is imposed colours rubigo and then vinegar For when the on it. it is turned into redness. once. imbued it is and cooked the its utility appear. therefore. so that it the water being may be desiccated. it is necessary decocted in be forty said that each days. the second as red. is the redness which all the Philosophers signified. until. for it names of those behoves them that vinegar be placed in it. appear. It is taken. consumed placed until finally in being vessel. . the . 205 and unless it be imbued with vinegar known by the wise.The Turba PhilosopJiorwn. because these colours come from it. these things are only colours. therefore. This. being cooked.

206 The Turba Philosophorum. . so shall ye find what ye seek. The strength thereof. but if This constitutes is Dictum in the second recension. that whoso dissolves like I say unto you makes earth black and then with fire. and shall be exalted above the circle of the world. make the earth greatly. till it becomes even unto a naked sword. shall be increased. deserves to be called happy. enough for the Sons of the Doctrine. shall never become corrupted. This much concerning the revelation of our stone. dissolve. third as the dry vulgar. separate the soul and the water thereof. who also fixes the whole with consuming fire. afterwards whiten . we doubt not. but the same. Conclusion. when it is placed in the If you seek to fire. So is pounded crocus of the it imposed upon coin.* AGMON saith : by way of a I will add the following corollary. is. black . and omitted from the longer version. * it shall be dissolved the last . Whosoever does not liquefy and coagulate errs Therefore.

unto which . you speak Do not then be deceived by falsely. soul. . Behold. many given yet it is called by one only. Investigate nothing alien is added. while. hairless. If you wish that it should fly.The Turba Philosopher um. you speak the truth if you say that it is not water. white. 207 you would coagulate. it is concealed. concave. no one is without it. if need be. . it flies if you say that it is water. multiplied. add and the place thereof. many would deride our wisdom. It is also a stone and not a stone. so that the vulgar might be deceived. volatile. cold. nothing that Unless the names were is foreign. and yet no one can apply the tongue with impunity to its surface. and yet all do need it There are names to and it. but rest assured that it is one thing. and body it is ! . it shall be coagulated. the multiplicity of names. spirit.

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205.INDEX. 122. 76. Four.81. 122. 100. 29. Democritus. Fixed and Volatile. 16. 143. 73. 29. Citrine. 122. 36. 64. 154. 161. 31. 70. 148. 44> 601 75> 86. 21. 187. 32. 117. 3-12. 4. 99. 45. 18. Elementary Fire. Foundation of Art. 30. Earth. 49. 140. Efflucidinus. 198. 70. Death. n. 138. 27. 105. 133. 155- Faeces. 23. 169. 30. Arcanum. Flower of Copper. 157. 27. 13. 20. 81. 145. Dragon. 50. 10-13. 7. 22. Burnt Copper.113. 31. 21. 151. 106. Crocus. 14. gum of. 72. 75. Angels. Coagula. 39. 56. 19.23. ill. 80. 139. 20. 39.25-27. Ferment of Gold. 58. 57. 85. Oadenbe. 60. gold of coral. 135-137.70. 140-142. 84. Atitos. 44i 58. 8. no. 1531 182. Gold. Fire. 31. Calx. Ethelia. 9i 93) 94i IO 2) 103. 117. Four Seasons. Boritis.100. 39. Corsufle. 62. Egg. 106. 28. 193. 204. 138. 5. 121. 114. Blackness. 107. 71. 74. Burnt Lead. 144. Copper. 39. 120. 20-22. 31. 19.41. 57. 26. 161. 89. . Flower of Gold. 72. Cambar. 8-13. 201. 39. 105. 61. 81. Air. 178. Brodium. 130. 113. 87. Adam. Dew. Flower of Salt. 156. 31. Elements. 32. 31. Coin. 21. 34. 105. 21. 59. 135. 90. 13. 132. 44. 97. 157.

104. 58. 122. 39. 45. 144. Sun. Kuhul. 36. 117. 49. 55. 67. 145. 44. 139. 82. 145. 60. 34. 130. 52. 35. 132. 145. 44. 78. 74. 54. Testa. 34. Kedness. l35-i37i 139. 38. 193. 122. 160. 194. 46. 169. 93. 64-66. Hidden Glory. Tincture. 137. 133. 57. 76. Mercury. Saturn. Hermes. 119. 28. 52. Halsut. 89. 82. 76. 25. 131. 122. 48. 68. 134. 78. . Mucra. 81. 107. 185. 63. 164. Leaven of Gold. 79. 118. 60. . H2. 72. 79. 91. Red Key of the Art. 193. 174. 77. 77. 43. 162. 168. 57. Stone. 125. of ascotia. 117. 31.210 Golden Water. 77. 57. 93. 76. INDEX. 35. go. 130. 92. Magnet. 69. 146. 57. 161 red lead. Ixir. 123. Quicksilver. 71. 52. Marteck. Spume of the Moon. 145. 143. 141. 165. 114 of gold. 34. 58. 82. 163. Shadow Smoke. 2. 137. 79. 205. 70. 96. 34. Rotundum. 67. 69. Slave. Orpiment. 53. of 119. Male and Female. 80. 93. 132. 67. Sulphur. 77. Rubigo. 196. Permanent Water. H6 body 5 of. 152. 133. 143. 47-50. 96. 109 scoria. 160. 126. Nitre. 180. 39. of Metals. Magnesia. 109. 42. 84^ Heart of the Sun. 106. 34. 36. Spirit of Brass. 76. 130. 135. Gum. 90. 31. 71. 186. 85. 82. Putrefaction. 79. 39. 45. Greenstone. 61-63 . i. 54. 84. 121. 107. Rust. Tyrian Dye. Lead. 59. 87. 60. 184. 86. 44. 193. 94. 170. 61. 31. Tin. 55. . 121. 133. igi. Milk of Fig. 76. 100. 80. 67. 91. Saginatum. 100. 132. .

121. 63 of of 117. of iron. !32. Venus. 59. 46. 38. . 14790. 52. 139. 58. 55. 51-54. 48. 117. 139. 75. 27. 4. 63. 143. 21. 144. 98. : 20. 130. 106. of dew. . 49. 150. 53. Whiteness. 53 . 132 30. nitre. Venom. 38. 1341 173- 119. 38 gold. . 69. 194. 29. 119. of our sea. 58. 8-12. 123. 137. 109. of alum. Water. 87.211 Urine. Vinegar. of sulphur.

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