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http://www.archive.org/details/cu31 92401 2366088

THE TURBA PHILOSOPHORUM.

ALCHEMY
THE

TURBA PHILOSOPHORUM
OR

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, THE CHIEF


READINGS OF THE SHORTER CODEX, PARALLELS FROM THE GREEK
ALCHEMISTS, AND EXPLANATIONS OF OBSCURE TERMS

BY

ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE


TRANSLATOR OF " THE HERMETIC AND ALCHEMICAL WRITINGS
OF PARACELSUS."

Xon&on

GEORGE REDWAY
i8q6

PREFACE.
'THHE

Turba Phihsophorum

indisputably the

is

most ancient extant treatise on Alchemy in


the Latin tongue, but

it

was

not, so far as

be ascertained, originally written in Latin


compiler or editor, for in

many

respects

can

the

it

can

scarcely be regarded as an original composition,

wrote either in Hebrew or Arabic ; however, the


work, not only at the present day, but seemingly
during the six or seven centuries

quoted as an authority by

all

adepts, has been familiar only in


It is not,
is

when

it

was

the alchemical
its

Latin garb.

of course, certain that the original

irretrievably lost,

the Arabic and Syriac

manuscripts treating of early chemistry are


preserved

in

various libraries

been

numbers in the
of Europe, and have only

considerable

imperfectly

Unfortunately,

explored.

the present editor has neither the opportunity

nor the qualifications for undertaking such a


task.

There are two codices or recensions of Thi


Turba Philosophorum, which differ considerably
from^ one

following

another.

pages

the

What

is

second

called

in

recension,

the
is

appreciably shorter, clearer, and, on the whole,

the less corrupt of the two, but they are both

Preface.

ii.

in

longer recension has been

The

a bad state.

chosen for the text of the following translation,


because it seemed desirable to give the work

The

in its entirety.

variations of the second

recension are appended usually in foot-notes,

but where the reading of the text

is

as to be quite untranslatable, the

so corrupt
editor has

occasionally substituted that of the alterjiatiye

and has

version,

most cases indicated the

in

course pursued.

Monsieur Berthelot's

invaluable

made

been largely

striking analogies

use

to

of,

and

text

Alchemists has

translation of the Byzantine

the

illustrate

between the Greek Hermetic

writers of the fourth century and the Turba.

and

It is to this great scholar

owe

which are very


devoted
part
la

his

Science

of

clearly indicated in a chapter

Antique

au

Moyen

Age."

It

from M. Berthelots researches, that

follows

Latin

some

the
subject,
forming
and
" Essai sur la Transmission de

to

of

we

scientist that

the discovery of these analogies,

Alchemy,

rightly

connects

which

referred

with

which preceded
the latter was

an

to

the

Arabian

itself

has

Greek
Science,

and that with perfect

whom

all

source,

Alchemy
because

derived from Greece.

are also enabled to identify, for the

sages, to

been

always

Arabian

first

We
time,

certainty, those ancient

the Latin literature

makes

Preface.

iii.

requent and reverent allusion


that

they

are

Zosimus,

we now know

the

Panopolite,

the adepts of the school of Democritus, and the


other writers preserved in the Byzantine collec-

M. Berthelot, however, infers that the


Greek influence found in The Turba Philosophorum was
not a direct influence, but
tion.

was

derived

mediately

through

channel's

which are now unknown


In any case
the Turba summarises the author's preceding
Geber, and is therefore the most valuable, as
it is the most
ancient, treatise on Alchemy,
which exists in the Latin language.

The

chief printed versions of The Turba Philo-

sophorum, are those of the "

Theatrum Chemicum," the "BibHotheca Chemica Curiosa," and

that of the smaller collection entitled " Artis

There are some transla-

Auriferae Tractatus."
tions of the

work existing in German and some


Those in the latter language are

also in French.

specially remarkable for the very slender


in

which they represent the

original.

way
The

versions contained in Salmon's " Biblioth^que

des Philosophes Alchimiques," and in the "Tro-S

Anciens Traict^s de

Philosophie Naturelle,"

la

are instances in point.


in

manuscript

is

known

and it will be found


amongst the treasures
It is

One English

version

to the present editor,

in the British

Museum

of the Sloane collection.

rendered, however, from the French, and

Preface.

iv.

has been found useless for the purposes of this


translation.
It may be added that the great collections of
"
Alchemy, such as the " Theatrum Chemicum

and Mangetus, contain colloquies, commentaries, and enigmas which pretend to elucidate
the

mysteries

of

The

Turba

PkUosophorum.

While they are of a considerably later date,


they at the same time belong to the early
It may be added
period of Latin Alchemy.
also that the editor has collected a consider-

able

amount of material concerning

this curious

work, which the limits of the present volume


preclude him from utilising.

Arthur Edward Waite.

The Turba

Philosophorum,

Taken from an Ancient Manuscript Codex,


mobe perfect than any edition
published heretofore.

The Epistle of Arisleus, prefixed

to the

Words

of the Sages, concerning the purport of this

Book, for the Benefit of Posterity, and

same being as here follows

ARISLEUS,*

the

begotten of Pytha-

goras, a disciple of the disciples

by the grace of

thrice great

Hermes,

learning from the seat of knowledge,

unto

all

who

come

health and mercy.

An

Abladus.

after

wisheth

my

testify that

ancient gloss describes Arisleus as the son of

M.

Berthelot supposes

him

to

be synonymous

with the Aristenes of the second recension {Eleventh Dictum)

and of the Exercitationes on the Turba, which are found


volume of the Bibliotheca Chemica. Beyond

in the first

the similarity of the name, and the fact that most


are mutilated in the

names

Turba, there seems no reason to

suppose that the compiler intended to connect Pythagoras


with alchemical traditions through Aristeus, the sophist of
the time of Antoninus.


The Turha Philosophorum.

Italian,

the

Pythagoras,*

master,

master of the wise and chief of the


Prophets, had a greater gift of God
and of Wisdom than was granted to
Therefore
any one after Hermes.
he had a mind to assemble his disciples, who were now greatly increased,
and had been constituted the chief
throughout

persons

the discussion
Art,

that

their

foundation

to

council,

for

most precious
words might be a

He

posterity.

for

commanded

regions

all

of this

Iximidrus,

be the

first

of

then

highest

speaker,

who

said :t
* The Greek
make no mention

describes

alchemists of the Byzantine Collection


of Pythagoras, and the tradition which

him as an adept of the Hermetic Mystery must

be referred to an Arabian origin, to the treatises of El


Habib, the Kit,b-al-Firhirst, and the true Geber, where
alchemical writings

attributed

to

this

sage are freely

quoted.

tThe French version of Salmon has the following distinct


" The beginning of the book, the Turha of the

variations

Philosophers, in which Arisleus has gathered together the

sayings of the
introducing

more prudent among the

Pythagoras

the

Philosopher,

collecting the opinions of the scholars.

scholars,

that

The book

by

Master
is

also

called the Third Pythagorical Synod, instituted concerning

The Turba Philosopkorum.

The First Dictum.

IxiMiDRUS saith:
beginning of

all

Nature, which

is

a Certain

is

perpetual, coequalling

and that the

all things,

that the

testify

things

visible natures,

with their births and decay, are times

wherein the ends to which that nature

them are beheld and summoned.*


Now, I instruct you that
the stars are igneous, and are kept
brings

by the

within bounds

humidity and density


Occult

But

Philosophy.

the

the

the air did

of

commanded

Pythagoras

scholar, Eximidrius, to begin

If

air.

&c.

discourse,"

his

The

French translator seems to have summarised the recensions


which he had

collected,

extent, in his

own Words.

and to have put them, to some


Here, however, he follows

mainly the text of the second recension, the chief variation


being that instead of " Occult Philosophy " the original
reads " the vegetable stone."
*

The same French

passage as follows
certain nature

decocts

all

Translation interprets this obscure

" The

it is

beginning of

perpetual, infinite

But

things.

which

it is

attained unto,

as

it

it

all

things

is

nourishes and

and the times

this nature

corruption and generation are,

of

were, the terms by

and which the universal nature

The second recension varies the last


" The actions and passions thereof

nourishes and decocts."


passage, as follows
are

known and understood only by those

knowledge

of the

Sacred Art

is

to

whom

given."

B2

The Turba Philosophorum.

not exist to

separate the flames of

the sun from living things, then the

Sun would consume all creatures.


But God has provided the separating
lest that

air,

He has created
up.
Do you not

which

should be burnt

observe that the Sun

when

it

rises in

overcomes the air by its


and that the warmth penetrates
from the upper to the lower parts of
the heaven
heat,

the air?

If,

presently

breathe

the

then,

forth

air

did

not

those winds

whereby creatures are generated, the


Sun by its heat would certainly destroy
in

But the Sun

that lives.

all

check by the

quers because

Sun

to

its

it

own

air,

is

kept

which thus con-

unites the heat of the

heat,

and the humidity

own humidity. Have


you not remarked how tenuous water
of water to

is

of

drawn up

its

by the action
the Sun, which thus

into the air

the heat of

helps the water against itself?

If the

water did not nourish the air by such


tenuous moisture, assuredly the

would overcome the

air.

The

Sun
fire,

The Turba Philosophorum,

extracts moisture from the

therefore,

means

water, by

quers the

water
there
is

fire

are
is

of which the air con-

Thus, fire and


between which

itself.

enemies

no consanguinity,

for the fire

hot and dry, but the water

is

cold

and moist. The air, which is warm


and moist, joins these together by its
concording

medium

between

the

water and the heat of

humidity of

thus placed to estab-

fire

the air

is

lish

peace.

And

look ye

all

shall arise a spirit from

vapour of the
being joined

there

because the heat

air,

humour, there

the

to

how

the tenuous

necessarily issues something tenuous,

become a wind. For the


heat of the Sun extracts something
which

will

tenuous out of the

becomes

spirit

and

All this, however,

manner by the

which also

to all creatures.

disposed in such

is

will

coruscation appears

the

air,

life

of God,

and a

when the heat

of

Sun touches and breaks up a cloud.

The Turba
described the

saith:
fire,

Well

hast thou

even as thou knowest

The Turba Philosophorum.

concerning

and thou hast believed

it,

the word of thy brother.


The Second Dictum.

ExuMDRUs

do magnify the
air according to the mighty speech of
Iximidrus, for the work is improved
thereby. The air is inspissated, and
also

it is

saith:

made

and becomes

thin

The

cold.

thereof takes place

grows

it

when

warm

inspissation
it

is

divided

heaven by the elongation of the

in

Sun

its

rarefaction

is

Sun

exaltation of the

when, by the

in heaven, the

becomes warm and is rarefied. It


comparable with the complexion of

air
is

Spring,* in the distinction

which

is

neither

warm

of time,

nor cold.

For

according to the mutation of the con*

Crates,

similar comparison is used in the Arabian

where

it

is

Book of

enjoined that the operation of the

philosophical iire upon the philosophical matter should

be

regulated after the same manner as Nature regulates the


influence of the four

moreover, represents

seasons;

still

and the same

philosophy as using the same illustration.


that the

Crates.

Turba

treatise,

older expositions of alchemical

in its original

It is probable
form antedated the Book of

The Turba Philosophorum.


stituted disposition

with the altering

Winter

distinctions of the soul, so is

The

altered.

air, therefore, is inspis-

when the Sun

removed from it,


and then cold supervenes upon men.
sated

Whereat

is

Turba

the

Excel-

said:

thou described the air, and


given account of what thou knowest to
lently hast

be therein.

The Third Dictum.

Anaxagoras

saith

that the beginning of

make known

those things

all

which God hath created

is

weight and

proportion,* for weight rules

all

things,

and the weight and spissitude of the


earth

is

weight

manifest in proportion

is

not found except

And know,

all

in

but

body.

ye Turba, that

the

spissitude of the four elements reposes


in

the earth
*

The

original

oi the term pietas

for

the spissitude of

pietae et ratio, but the technical use

is

by the Hebrew or Arabic original seems

obviously to connect

it

with the sense of the Hebrew Paz,

signifying compactness.

Compare

Pitzo, to press or squeeze down.

also the

Greek verb

The Turba Philosophorum.

into

fire

falls

air,

together

the spissitude of

with

the

the

fire,

from

received

water

air,

spissitude
falls

the spissitude also of water,

increased by the spissitude of


air,

into

how

four elements

The same,
sated than

the spissitude
is

Then

Thou hast well

of

the

conjoined in earth

therefore, is
all.

and

Have you not

reposes in earth.

observed

fire

more

saith the

spoken.

inspis-

Turba

Verily the

more inspissated than are the


Which, therefore, is the most
rare of the four elements and is most
earth

is

rest.

worthy to possess the rarity of these


four

He

answereth

Fire

is

the

most rare among all, and thereunto


Cometh what is rare of these four.
But air is less rare than fire, because
it is warm and moist, while fire is
warm and dry now that which is
warm and dry is more rare than the
warm and moist. They say unto him
Which element is of less rarity than
air ?
Water, since
He answereth
cold and moisture inhere therein, and
;

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

every cold humid is of less rarity than


a warm humid. Then do they say unto

him:

Thou hast spoken truly.

What,

therefore, is of less rarity than water

He

Earth,

answereth

because

cold and dry, and that which

is

it

is

cold

and dry is of less rarity than that


which is cold and moist. Pythagoras
saith :
Well have ye provided, O
Sons of the Doctrine, the description
of these four natures,* out of which

God hath

created

therefore, is he

ye have

all things.

Blessed,

who comprehends what

declared, for from the apex of

the world he shall not find an intention


greater than his
fore,

make

reply:
our

own

Let

us, there-

perfect our discourse.

Direct

They

every one to take up

speech in turn.

Speak thou,

Pandolfus
*

of

" You have been told

Know

that the ancients discoursed

is by means of these four


humid and dry things are constituted, as
^so things warm and cold, the male and the female. Two
Lelements] rise up and two fall down. The two ascending
elements are fire and air the two descending elements
are earth and water." Olympiodorus On the Sacred Art.

four elements.

that

-elements that

it

The Turba Philosopltorum.

10

The Fourth Dictum.

But Pandolfus
posterity that air

is

It

it.

earth,

signify

not separated
remains above the dry

of water, and that

from

to
a tenuous matter

saith

it

is

to wit, the air

water, which

is

hidden in

under the earth.

this air did not exist, the earth

not remain above the

humid water.

Thou hast said well


therefore, thy speech.
But
The
which

complete,

;;

continueth

hidden
lest

air

in the

sustains

the

should be plunged

it

said water

and

the earth from


that water.
is,

is-

water under the earth

which

that

is

If

would

They answer
he

the-

it,

into

the

moreover, prevents-

being overflowed by

The

therefore, to

earthy

province of the air

fill

up and

to

make

separation between diverse things, that

and earth, and it isconstituted a peacemaker


between
hostile things, namely, water and fire^

is

to say, water

dividing these, lest they destroy


another.

The Turba

saith

gave an illustration hereof,

it

If

one
you

would be

The Turba Philosophorum.


clearer to those

He

stand.

ii

who do not underAn egg is an

answereth

illustration, for therein four things are

conjoined

the visible cortex or shell

represents the earth, and the albumen,

or white part,

is

But a

the water.*

very thin inner cortex

joined to the

is

outer cortex, representing, as

have

medium

signified to you, the separating

between earth and water, namely, that


air which divides the earth from the

The

water.

represents

yolk

fire

of

also

the

cortex

the

egg

which

contains the yolk corresponds to that


*

The

allegory of the philosophical egg can be traced

Greek alchemists.

to the

under this

short treatise

Eggt which

is

composed of iour elements, because


world.

It

copper, the

is

the stone which

Armenian

is

extant

it

is

it

the image of the

not a stone, the stone of

The

stone, &c.

the earth, being cold and dry


iron,

is still

and another on the Nomenclature of the


described as the Mystery of the Art. It is

title,

shell is likened to

has been named copper,

The white of the egg is divine water,


The yolk is copperas,
mercury, &c. The oily part (? the chicken)

tin, lead.

water of the sea, water of alum, &c.


native sulphur,
is fire.

But the egg, symbolical as


described

itself

symbolically,

after

it

is,

is

sometimes

the similitude of a

likened to the skin which covers the

seed

the shell

seed

the white and the yolk are the flesh, and the watery

part

is

is

the breath, or

air.

The Turba Philosophorum.

12

other air which separates the water

from the

But they are both one

fire.

namely, that which


separates things frigid, the earth from

and the same

air,

the water, and that which separates


the

from

water

lower air

is

the

fire.

But the

thicker than the upper

and the upper

air is

more

rare and

subtle, being nearer to the fire

the lower

air,

than

In the egg, therefore,

air.

are four things

earth, water,

air,

and

But the point of the Sun, these

fire.

four excepted,

and

yolk,

in the centre of the

is

this is the chicken.

Conse-

quently, all philosophers in this most


excellent art have described the egg as

an example, which same thing they


have set over their work.
The Fifth Dictum.

Arisleus saith: Know that the earth


is a hill and not a plain, for which
reason the Sun does not ascend over
all

the zones of the earth in a single


but if it were flat, the sun would

hour

rise in

moment

over the whole earth.

The Turba Philosophorum.

Thou hast spoken

Arisleus
He

Parmenides

briefly,

Is there

us

Yet

13

saith

answeretfi

anything the Master has

which

bears
that

I testify

God

is

left

otherwise

witness

one, having

never engendered or been

begotten,

and that the head of all things after


Him is earth and fire, because fire is
tenuous and light, and it rules all
things on earth, but the earth, being
ponderous and gross, sustains all
things which are ruled by fire.
The Sixth Dictum.

Lucas

saiih:

You

four natures

speak only about

and each one

of

you

observes something concerning these.

Now,
which

I testify

God

unto you that

all

things

hath created are from these

four natures,

and

the

things which

have been created out of them return


into them.

In these

living creatures

are generated and die,

take place as

God

Democritus,

the

answereth

and

all

things

hath predestinated.
disciple

Thou hast well

of

Lucas,

spoken,

The Turba Philosophorum.

14

Lucas, when dealing

the four

with

Arisleus
Democritus, since thy knowledge was
derived from Lucas, it is presumption
natures

Then

sailh

among

to speak

those,

who

acquainted with thy master


answereth:

from

me

Lucas

Albeit Democritus received

the science of natural things,

that knowledge

philosophers of

the Babylonians

those of his

The

are well
!

Turba

was derived from the


the Indies and from
;

think he surpasses

own age

in this

answereth

learning.

When

he

attains to that age* he will give no

small satisfaction, but being

in

his

youth he should keep silence.


The Seventh Dictum.

LocusTA

saith:

All

those creatures

which have been described by Lucas


are two only, of which one is neither
* Whether the age indicated is that of
the Indian and
Babylonian adepts does not appear, but the entire episode
is remarkable when it is borne in mind what great
importance evidently attached to the Democritic school of Greek

seems to indicate that the Turba Philo-

alchemy.

It

sophorum

represents a tradition hostile to the tradition


of

The Turba Pkilosopkorum.

15

"known nor expressed, except by piety,


for

it is

Pythagoras
Thou hast entered upon a

not seen or

saith

subject which,

describe

what

felt.

completed, thou wilt

if

State,

subtly.

thing which

is this

is

therefore,

neither

felt,

seen, nor known.

Then he
It is that
not known, because in this

which

is

world

it is

discerned by reason without

the clients thereof, which are

sight,

hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

Crowd

know you
which can
black, and

of the Philosophers,

not that

it

is

only sight

from
liearing only which can discriminate
between a good and bad word
Similarly, a wholesome odour cannot
be separated by reason from one which
white

distinguish

is

fetid,

except through the sense of

smell, nor can sweetness be discrimin-

ated from bitterness save by means of


taste, nor

smooth from rough unless

Demociitus, who, accordingly, figures merely as a promis-

ing tyro, and,

in fact,

the deliberations.

remains

For

second recension reads "

silent

throughout the rest of

" those of his

own age "

his contemporaries."

the

The Turba Philosophorum.

The Turba answereth:


Thou hast well spoken, yet hast thou

by touch.

omitted to
thing which

particular

that

of

treat
is

not known, or described

except by reason and piety.

Are ye

then in such haste

that the creature which

none of these

creature, and, as such,

nor

felt,

but

fesses that

answer

and

God

Thou

excellently.

Know

is

a sublime

neither seen

is

perceived by reason

is

which

alone, of

cognised in

is

ways

five

,.

Saith he

reason Nature con-

a partaker.

is

hast

And he

They

spoken
:

give a further explanation.

truly

will

now

Know

that

this creature, that is to say, the world,

hath a

same

light,
is

which

more

natures, which
living

But

beings

is

the Sun, and the.

subtle than

all

other

light is so ordered that

may

attain

to vision.

this subtle light were removed,


would
they
become darkened, seeing
if

nothing, except the light of the

or of the stars, or of

fire, all

derived from the light

which causes

all

of

moon,
which are
the Sun,

creatures to give light.

The Turba PhilosopJiorum.

For

God

this

17

has appointed the Sun

to be the light of the world,

by reason

of the attenuated nature of the Sun.

And know

that the sublinie creature

before mentioned has no need of the

Sun, because the Sun

light of this

beneath that creature, which

is

is

more

and more lucid. This light,


more lucid than the light of
the Sun, they have taken from the light
of God, which is more subtle than their
subtle

which

is

Know

light.

world

is

also

that

the created

composed of two dense things

and two rare things, but nothing of the


dense

in

is

the

Consequently the
inferior

all

answereth

sublime

Sun

creatures.

Thou

is

creature.

rarer than

The

Turba

hast excellently de-

scribed what thou hast related.


if,

And

good Master, thou shalt utter any-

whereby our hearts may be


vivified, which now are mortified by
thou wilt confer upon us a
folly,
great boon !*
thing

offers

The shortened version ol the second Recension


some conspicuous variations, and is literally as

The Turba Philosophorum.

The Eighth Dictum.

Pythagoras

saith

affirm that

and with

existed before all things,

was nothing, as

He was

know,

Philosophers,

ye

all

at

declare this in order that

God
Him
But

first.

that

may

fortify

your opinion concerning these four


elements and arcana, as well as in the
sciences thereof, at which no one can

God. Understand, that when God was alone, He


created four things fire, air, water, and
earth, out of which things He afterwards
arrive save

by the

will of

follows

" Two natures alone are described by Lucas, one

of which

reason

heaven.
felt,

is

seen,

realised, save

not seen and

is

But there

is

this

Now, reason

the help of the five senses, &c.

substantially the

which

is

same as the

as follows

piety

and
it is

text,

till

What

perceives

ensues

is

towards the close,

As to that nature which

by none of these, the same

is

which contains

that

is

heaven or earth.

is in

by

not described, for

is

a third connected nature, which

and known, and

whatsoever

hy

known nor

neither

the other

is

perceived

known by
reason and piety only, and is God Most High, who made
the light which is the Sun.
Know that the Sun is more
is

subtle than all creatures, to the

sublime

end that

it

it

is

may

light the

world, which consists of two dense things and two rare.

Nothing

of the

lie himself

creatures."

is

dense

more

is in

the sublime creation, because

rare than the

Sun and

all

inferior

The Turba Philosophorum.

created

all

and the

inferior,

both the sublime

others,

He

because

predes-

beginning that

the

tinated from

19

all

creatures extracted from water should

multiply and increase, that they might


dwell in the world and perform His

judgments

therein.

before

He

all,

Consequently,

created the four ele-

out of which

ments,

He

created what

He

afterwards

willed, that

some

diverse creatures,

is

to say,

of which were

produced from a single element.*

The

Which are these, O


They are the
And he
angels, whom He created out of fire.
Which, then, are
But the Turba
of
two
?
And he Out of
created out
Turba

Master

saith

the elements of
* In the

Book

fire

oj Balances,

works of Geber, there

is

He

from the ancient worlds

one of the genuine Arabian

God had

created

all

things of

caused the four qualities to issue

namely, heat, cold, moisture, and

The combination

dryness.

air are the

a passage which has some analogy

with this dictum: " Aitei


the four elements ...

and

of these elements produced

which contains heat and dryness water, which posair, which has .warmth and
sesses cold and moisture
fire,

humidity

earth,

which

is

cold and dry.

By

the help of

these elements God created the superior and inferior worlds."

The Turba Philosophorum.

20

moon,

sun,

and

composed.

stars

Hence the angels are more

lucid than

the sun, moon, and stars, because they


are created from one substance, which

dense than two, while the sun


and the stars are created from a comThe Turba
position of fire and air.

is

less

And

what concerning the


Then he
God
creation of Heaven ?
created the Heaven out of water and
air, whence this is also composed of

saith

two, namely, the second of the rarer

which

things,

is

air,

of the denser things,

And

they

Master,

and the second


which is water.

continue thy dis-

course concerning these three, and re-

our

joice

life

other answereth

God

thy

sayings,

But the
you that

hath further

of three

with

to the dead.

hearts

which are

notify to

made

and out of four

creatures out
;

out of three

are created flying things, beasts,

vegetables

fire, air,

saith

of these are created

and earth, some out


and earth. But the Turba

out of water,
of

some

and

air,

Distinguish

these divers crea-

The Turbo, Philosophonim.

tures one from another.

Beasts are created out of


earth

and watpr, because

among

all

And

he

fire, air,

flying things out of

21

,fire,

Yet

fire.

water,
:

air,

and
which have a
air,

in vegetables there is

no

they are created out of earth,

fire, for

saith

and

flying things,

vegetables

brute animals are from earth,

and

are created out of water, while

spirit,

all

Whereat the Turba.


and air.
Let us assume that a fire, with

jour reverence's pardon, does reside in


vegetables. And he
^Ye have spoken
the truth, and I affirm that they con:

tain

And

fire.

He

fire ?

they

answereth

of the air which


for I

is

is

Whence
Out of the

is

air,

that

heat

concealed therein

have signified that a thin

present in the
fire

fire

is

but the elementary

concerning which you were in doubt

not produced, except in things which

But out of four


elements our father Adam and his sons
have

spirit

and

soul.

were created,* that


*

The

Olympiodorus

treatise of

observes that

is,

Adam was

of
On

fire,

air,

the Sacred

Art

the issue of the four elements, and

The Turba Philosophorum.

22

and

water,

stand, all ye that are wise,

God hath

thing which

The

is

how

every-

created out of

Day

until the

one essence dies not

Judgment.

Under-

earth.

likewise

definition of

of

death

the disjunction of the composite, but

there

is

no disjunction of that which

simple, for

it

Death

one.

is

in the separation of the soul

is

consists

from the

body, because anything formed out of


two, three, or four components must
disintegrate,

stand,

and

this is death.

that

further,

substance which lacks

no

Under,
complex

fire eats,

drinks,

or sleeps, because in all things which

have a

that which eats.*

spirit fire is

terms him virgin earth, igneous earth, carnal earth, and

sanguineous earth, making reference to the libraries oi


Ptolemy,

whom

he

There are similar references


is

in

Zosimus, by

But the carnal Adam


material humanity in general, and

identified with death.

of Zosimus signifies

is contained the spiritual man, whose name no one


knoweth except Nicotheos, and that mysterious personage,
the alchemist himself acknowledges to be undiscoverable.

therein

The

The nature of the

they eat and sleep,


either

name

signifies light and fire.


and the question whether
does not seem to have been discussed

substitute for his true


*

angels,

by Greek, Syriac, or Arabian alchemists.

narrates that the art oi alchemy

was revealed

Zosimus

to mortals

by

The Turba Philosophorum.

The

Turba

23

How

answereth

is

it,

Master, that the angels, being created


of fire, do not eat, seeing thou assertest
that

that which eats

fire is

And

he

Hence ye doubt, each having his


opinion, and ye are become opponents,
but if ye truly knew the elements, ye
would not deny these things. I agree
with all whose judgment it is that
simple

The

eats

fire

not,

but thick

fire.

angels, therefore, are not created

out of thick

fire,

of very thin

fire

but out of the thinnest

exceedingly

being created, then,

of that which

is

most
they

thin,

And

drink, nor sleep.

simple

and

neither

eat,

the

Turba

Master, our faculties are able to perceive, for

by God's assistance we have

the fallen angels;


the art

must be

they also

it

is

to

them

that the tradition of

referred as to a primary source

who wrote the

and

primeval books of alchemy.

it

was

It will

be remembered that magic was also one of the mysteries


unfolded by the same intelligences.
Isis

to

Inthe discourse of

Horus, the Mother of the Gods appears as a

prophetess

who

obtained initiation into the mysteries of

alchemy from the great angel Amnael, who desired to


possess her.

The Turba Philosophorum.

2^

exhausted thy sayings, but our faculties


of hearing and of sight are unable to
carry such great

reward thee

sake of thy diswith the object of

for the

since

ci}-les,

May God

things.

is

it

instructing future generations that thou

summoned us

hast

countries,

to

Seeing

recompense

the

thou wilt not

Judge

together from our

fail

come

Arisleus

thou

that

which

saith

gathered

hast

together for the advantage


1

of

to receive from the

us

of posterity,

think that no explanations will be

more

useful than definitions of those

four elements which thou hast taught

And

us to attain.
are,

he

None

suppose, ignorant that

of you
all

the

Wise have propounded definitions in


God. The Turba answereth
Should
:

your disciples pass over anything,

becomes

you,

Master,

to

it

avoid

omissions for the sake of future generations.


will

And

he:

If

it

please you,

begin the disposition here, since

envious

men

in

their

books

separated that, or otherwise

will

have
put

The Turba Pliilosophorum.


it

end of the book.*

at the

Turba
think

saith

generations.
it

Place
be

will

it

where

will

foolish,t

Whereat the

where

it

clearest

And

he:

25

you

future

for

place

will

it

not be recognised by the

nor ignored by the Sons of the

Doctrine, for

it is

the key, the perfection

and the end.


The Ninth Dictum.

ExiMENUS

saith

God hath created

all

things by his word, having said unto

them

Be, and they were made, with the

four other elements, earth, water, air,

and

fire,

things

we

which

The

is

and

hostile to water, water

necessity of concealing the Art

chief anxieties of the

worn

coagulated,

contrary were commingled, for

see that fire


'

He

to secrecy

Greek alchemists.

by heaven and earth and

is

one of the

Isis herself is
hell,

by the four

elements, by the height and the depth, by Hermes,

Anubis, and by the bowlings of Kerkoros.


Tieen required of us to reveal
initiated]

person,"

says

"

An

by

oath has

nothing clearly to any [un-

Democritus in

the

Epistle of

Synesius to Dioscorus.
t

The

reader will not

fail

to observe the artless

way

in

Avhich this passage betrays the whole dialogue as a literary


composition.

The Turha Philosophorum.

26

and both are hostile to


Yet God hath united
earth and air.
them peacefully, so that they love one
hostile to

another.

fire,

Out of these

four elements,

therefore, are all things created

heaven

and the throne thereof; the angels; the


sun, moon, and stars; earth and sea,
with all things that are in the sea, which
indeed are various, and not alike, for
their natures have been made diverse by
God, and also the creations. But the
diversity is more than I have stated
each of these natures
ture,

is

of diverse na-

and by a legion of diversities

nature of each diverse.

Now

is

the

this di-

versity subsists in all creatures, because

they were created out of diverse


ments.

Had

ele-

they been created out of

one element, they would have


agreeing natures.

But

been

diverse elements

being here mingled, they lose their


natures, because the dry being

own

mixed

with the humid and the cold combined


with the hot, become neither cold nor
hot; so also the humid being mixed
with the dry becomes neither dry nor

The Turba Philosophorum.

humid.

But when the

27

four elements

are commingled, they agree,

and thence

proceed creatures which never attain to


perfection, except they be left
to putrefy

God

and become

by night

visibly corrupt.

further completed his creation by

means of increase, food, life, and government. Sons of the Doctrine, not without purpose have I described to you the
disposition of these four elements, for in

them

two of them
and
vision, and of these the operation and
virtue are well known.
These are earth
and water. But there are two other
elements which are neither visible nor
tangible, which yield naught, whereof the
is

a secret arcanum

are perceptible to the sense of touch

place

is

never seen, nor are their opera-

and force known, save in the former


elements, namely, earth and water now
when the four elements are not commingled, no desire of men is accomBut being mixed, departing
plished.
from their own natures, they become
Over these Jet us
another thing.
tions

meditate

very

carefully.

And

the

The Turba Philosophorum.

28

TuRBA : Master,
he:

we
Then

heed to your words.

give

will

speak,

you

if

have now discoursed, and that


I will speak only useful words

well.

ye

which

Know,

made except

is

Do

copper.*

spoken.

as

no

true

from

our

that

present,

all

tincture

follow

will

therefore, exhaust

not

your brains and your money,

lest

ye fill

I will give
your hearts with sorrow.
unless
that
axiom,
you a fundamental
you turn the aforesaid coppert into

At

this point there appears to

iiom cosmology to alchemy, but


that

it is

it

be a sudden transition

must be remembered

one of the Hermetic Methods to describe the pro-

cesses oi the great

work

in the

language of cosmology, and

this not only in the Latin mediaeval writers, but also in the

Greek.

For example, the Byzantine fragment entitled The

Nomenclature of the
of the world,
t

The

Egg

and hence

affirms that the

is

philosophical copper

reference throughout

all

egg

is

the image

composed of the four elements,


is

alchemy.

a subject of continual

Among

the earliest au-

Book of Crates says that copper, like man, has


a spirit, soul, and body. It appears from the same treatise
that the term is symbolical, and applies to a stage of the

thorities, the

alchemical process.

Another passage describes

essential substance.

Gold

lead and copper.

white copper

is

is

The Lexicon of Chrysopeia

crude sulphur.

it

as the

said to transform only with

explains that

The Turha Philosophorum.

make visible coins* and then

white, and

afterwards again turn

Tincturei

until

29

accomplish

it

results,

therefore

up, deprive

it

ye

verily,

Burn

nothing.

the copper, break

into redness,

of

it

blackness by cooking, imbuing, and

its

washing, until the same becomes white.

Then

rule

M.

it.

Berthelot has pointed out that

term nummus by the Latin alchemists


of the

meaning of

anterior writers.

Asem, an alloy of gold and


t
will

as, for

in the

The

reference

is

to

for

in the Collection of

whitening and reddening

Ancient Greek Alchemists,,

example, the Combination of the White Preparation

Address of

Horus, the recipe in the twenty-

Isis to

paragraph of the Natural Questions of Democritus,

first

again in the
Dioscorus,

an

the use of the

a misconception

silver.

Numerous preparations

be found

is

Book of Synesius,

operation

with

the Philosopher, addressed to

many places.
copper.
The book

and elsewhere

in

It is

invariably

addressed

by

Democritus to Leucippus says that the alchemical work


comprises the process of making white and making yellow

and coction of the mineral

(red), as also the softening

copper.
is

of

According to Synesius, the process of whitening

a calcination, and making yellow

is

an igneous regenera-

tion.

The Greek Lexicon

species of tincture, that

of Chrysopeia distinguishes two

which so permeates and scaks into

a substance as to change

its

duces a superficial colouring.

nature,

and that which pro-

The Turba Philosophorum.

30

The Tenth Dictum.

Know that the key of


Arisleus saith
Take,
this work is the art of Coins.*
shewn
have
which
I
therefore, the body
you and reduce it to thin tablets.
Next immerse the said tablets in the
Water of our Sea,+ which is permanent
to

Water,! and, after


over a gentle

fire

covered, set

it is

it

until the tablets are

melted and become waters or Etheliae,

In this instance the term appears to be used as the

equivalent oi tablets or lamina


later
is

the thin strips into

which

alchemy frequently directs a metal to be cut before

it

subjected to a given treatment.


t Pelagus, cited

by Olympiodorus

the Sacred Art, quotes

Zosimus

in the Treatise

in definition

on

of the sea as

the hermaphrodytic element,


I

water

The Book of El-Habib says


is

that the virtue of eternal

that of a spiritual blood.

Eeriform water, azure water,

When

also primal sulphur.

It is identified

and water of sulphur.


boiled,

it

transforms the male

and afterwards into gold.

(arsenic) into silver,

with
It is

It is also

said that copper is water of silver, which, after preparation,

becomes

water.

eternal

Rulandus says that


perfect bodies,

it is

reference

mouth of the

later

writers,

and he enumerates the contradictory names

which have been assigned to

The

Interpreting

the philosophical solution of two

vessel.

is

it

in

alchemy.

apparently to the closing of the

The Turba Philosophorum.

which are one

31

and the same thing.

Mix, cook, and simmer in a gentle


until

Brodium

fire

produced, like to

is

Saginatum.

Then

Etheliae until

it

stir

in its

water of

be coagulated, and the

become variegated, which we call


the Flower of Salt. Cook it, therefore,
until it be deprived of blackness, and
the whiteness appear. Then rub it, mix
with the Gum of Gold, and cook until
it becomes red Etheliae.
Use patience
pounding
lest
you
become
in
weary.
Imbue the Ethelia with its own water,
coins

which has preceded from it, which also


is Permanent Water, until the same

becomes

red.

Copper,* which

Burnt
the Leaven of Gold

This,
is

then,

is

and the Flower thereof.


Cook the
same with Permanent Water, which is
*

is

A short excursus On

the Diversity of

Burnt Copper

among the writings of Zosimus, where it is


many persons prepare it by means of sulphur,

preserved

noted that

and a process with sulphurated iron


approbation

&om

Democritus.

is

quoted with high

Burnt copper

is

elsewhere

by the same author as " the metal rendered bloodcolour (in view of whitening) and tinged within and
defined

without."

The Turba Philosophorum.

32

always with

until the

it,

water be dried

Continue the operation until

up.

the water

is

consumed, and

it

all

becomes

a most subtle powder.


The Eleventh Dictum.

Parmenides

saith

must,

men have

envious

that

Ye

know

dealt volu-

minously with several waters, brodiums,


stones,
all

and metals, seeking

you who aspire

after

Leave, therefore, all these,

to deceive

knowledge.

and make

the white red, out of this our copper,

taking copper and lead, letting these

stand for the grease, or blackness, and


tin

for

the

liquefaction.

further, that unless

Know

ye,

ye rule the Nature

of Truth, and harmonize well together


its

complexions and compositions, the

consanguineous
neous, and the

with
first

the

consangui-

with the

first,

ye

and effect nothing,


because natures will meet their natures,
follow them, and rejoice.
For in them
they putrefy and are generated, because
Nature is ruled by Nature, which
act

improperly

The Turba Philosophorum.


destroys

it,

turns

it

33

into dust, reduces

and finally herself renews


repeats, and frequently produces the

to nothing,
it,

same.

ye

Therefore look in books, that

may know

what

the Nature of Truth,

and what renews, what


it possesses, what neighbours it
naturally has, and how they love each
other, how also after love enmity and corruption intervene, and how these natures
should be united one to another and
made at peace, until they become
putrefies

it

savour

gentle in the

fire

in

similar fashion.

Having, therefore, noticed the facts in


this Art, set
If indeed,

your hands to the work.

ye know not the Natures of

Truth, do not approach the work, since


there will
disaster,
fore,

follow

nothing but harm,

and sadness.

Consider, there-

the teaching of the Wise,

how they

have declared the whole work


saying:

Nature

rejoices

in

in this

Nature,

and Nature contains Nature. In these


words there is shewn forth unto you the
whole work. Leave, therefore, manifold

and

superfluous

things,

and

take

The Turba Philosophorum.

34

body

quicksilver,* coagulate in the

of

Magnesia.t in Kuhul, or in Sulphur


which does not burn ; make the same
nature white, and place it upon our

becomes white. And


if ye cook still more, it becomes red,
when if ye proceed to coction, it becomes
gold.
I tell you that it turns the sea
itself into red and the colour of gold.
Copper, when

Know

it

ye also that gold

into redness save

is

because Nature rejoices

Nature.!

in

Mercury, according to the Greek Epistle of SynesiuSi

*
is

not turned

by Permanent Water,

wax, which readily assumes any colour that

like

imparted to
their souls

it,

it

for

Mercury whitens

digests

them by

is

bodies and attracts

all

and takes complete

coction,

possession of them.

The Magnesia of Alchemy

and

who

this

are the inspiration of the

that treatise,
treatises

is

not

common

Magnesia,

remark applies equally to the Greek Alchemists,

and

Turba Philosophorum,

to the later adepts.

to

In one of the

belonging to the school of Democritus the sign oi

Cinnabar follows the term.

mentioned

in the discourse of

The body

of

Magnesia

is

Synesius and Dioscorus; and

on the Metallic Body of Magnesia, Zosimus has a special


treatise with reference to the method by which it is
whitened.

According to Synesius

it

signifies the mixture

of substances.
}

The

formulae which are so frequently repeated in the

Turba PhiU>sophorum

Nature rejoices

in

Nature

Nature

The Turba Philosophorum.

35

Reduce, therefore, the same by means


cooking into a humour, until the

of

hidden nature appear.


it

therefore,

If,

be manifested externally, seven times

imbue the same with water, cooking,


imbuing, and washing, until it become

red.

those

natures,

celestial

multiplying the natures of truth by the

God!

will of

that potent Nature,

which overcame and conquered natures,


and caused its natures to rejoice and
be

glad

special

and

God

the

This, therefore,

!*

spiritual nature to

Consequently,

magnify

that
is

tincture,

which

thereof can give what

cannot.

nothing

that

is

[species]

we
,

more precious

fire

and
than which
glorify

the true

in

or the like in the smallest

degree to be found.

overcomes nature
ruled by Nature:

This

is

that truth

Nature contains Nature

Nature

are derived literally from the

is

Greek

Alchemists.
*

These alchemical Grand Antiphons

literally

in

are either

borrowed from the Greek alchemists, or are formed

on the model of precisely similar exclamations in those


writers

" O,

Supreme Wonder

Sovereign Matter," &c.

O, most happy and

The Turba Philosophorum.

36

which those investigating wisdom

For when

it is

liquefied with bodies, the

highest operation

knew

love.

the truth,

is

effected.

If

ye

what great thanks ye

Learn, therefore, that


would give me
while you are tingeing the cinders, you
must destroy those that are mixed.
For it overcomes those which are mixed,
and changes them to its own colour. And
as it visibly overcame the surface, even
so it mastered the interior. And if
!

one be volatile but the other endure


the

if

the

joined to the other

either

fire,

the

endures

fire.

Know

have

vapours

also,

that

whitened the

surfaces, they will certainly whiten the

Know

interiors.

after

Wisdom,

further, all

ye seekers

that one matter over-

comes four, and our Sulphur* alone


consumes all things.
The Turba
answereth
*

Thou hast spoken excellently

Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt figure in

all

Hermetic liter-

ature as the most indispensable principles of the

Opus.

The

later writers

are not the substances

Magmim

never weary of affirming that they

commonly

so called, but this does

not appear so plainly in earlier and especially in Greek


Authors.

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

37

Parmenides, but thou hast not


demonstrated the disposition of the

well,

smoke
is

to posterity, nor

how

the same

whitened
The Twelfth Dictum.

Lucas

saith:

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.^ which is from the male,


and coagulate according to custom.
Observe that I am speakmg to you in

accordance

because

with custom,

has been already coagulated.

Here,

therefore, is not the beginning of


ruling, but
*

book

into the artificial character oi the

afforded at this point.

designed to be conveyed
other

the

prescribe this method,

A further insight
is

it

is,

The meaning which is


common with many

that in

alchemical works,' the instruction begins

in

the

middle of the process for the more complete confusion


of the uninitiated.
t It

should

be noted

in

this

connection that the

attribution of the seven metals to the seven planets is not

found in the Turba.

Thus, quicksilver

as Mercury, nor gold as Sol, &c.

is

never spoken of

The Turba Philosophorum.

38

namely, that you shall take the quick-

from the male, and shall either


impose upon iron, tin, or governed
silver

copper, and

it

will

be whitened.*

White Magnesia is made in the same


way, and the male is converted with
it.
But forasmuch as there is a
certain affinity between tlie magnet
and the iron, therefore our nature
Take, then, the vapour
which the Ancients commanded you
to take, and cook the same with its
rejoices. +

own body until tin is produced. Wash


away its blackness according to custom,
and cleanse and roast

an equable
fire until it be whitened. But every body
is whitened with governed quicksilver,
for Nature converts Nature. Take,therefore, Magnesia, Water of Alum, Water
of Nitre,
of Iron
*

Water

at

of the Sea, and

whiten with smoke. +

The second

upon copper, that

recension
is,

reads

governed

"

iron,

Ye

Water
What-

shall

and

it

impose
be

shall

whitened."
t

The

alternative reading is

" Therefore Nature also

rejoices in Nature."
}

Hermes, as quoted by Olympiodorua, defines smoke

as intermediary between the

warm and

the dry.

The Turba Philosophorum.

39

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

Mix,

things.

smoke

and

white,

itself

is

with

whitens

it

all

the

therefore,

is

said

until it be
and become excessively
Roast this white copper till
faeces

its

coagulated
white.*

germinates

it

of

Magnesia when
the

suffer

shadow

of

because

Nature

coppert

Take, therefore,

does

escape,

to

spirits

the

since

itself,

whitened

not

or

the

to

appear,

contains

Nature.

ye Sons of the

all

Doctrine, the white sulphureous nature,

whiten with

salt

Flower of White
*

The

and dew, or with the


Salt.I until

alternative reading is

"

until

it

it

become

shall

become a

white coin oi tablet."


t

M.

The shadow

of copper

is

the flower of copper,

Berthelot explains, protoxide, verdegris.

The

i.e.,

epistle

of Democritus to Leucippus explains that a metal without

shadow

is

burning

is

defines the

produces

brilliant metal.

Zosimus says that the act

called the destruction of the shadow.

shadow of copper

in silver.

as the black tinge which

Democritus also gives a recipe

oi

Pelagus
it

for the

removal of the shadow from copper.


I

The second

recension in the edition of Mangetus

reads Sol throughout for Sal, but

it is

a printer's error.

The Turba Philosophorum.

40

And know

excessively white.

the Flower of White

from

become
it

ye, that

Ethel

is

The same must be

Ethelia.

boiled

Salt

days,

shall

for

seven

like

gleaming marble, for when

it

till

has reached this condition

it

is

Arcanum, seeing that


Sulphur,
Sulphur is mixed with
whence an excellent work is accomof the affinity
plished, by reason
very

great

between them, because natures rejoice


in

meeting their own natures.

therefore,

Take,

Mardek and whiten the same

Gadenbe,* that is, wine and


and Permanent Water. Roast
and coagulate until the whole does not
liquefy in a fire stronger than its own,
namely, the former fire.
Cover the
with

vinegar,

mouth

of the vessel securely,

be associated with

may

its

but

neighbour, that it

kindle the whiteness thereof,

beware

lest

the

fire

let it

and

blaze up, for in

Though Martinus Rulandus endeavoured honestly


all the barbarous terms of Alchemy in his
laborious lexicon, and though he was evidently well
*

to explain

acquainted with the Turba, he omits both Mardeck and

Gadenbe.

The Turba Philosophorum.

41

becomes red prematurely,


and this will profit you nothing, because
in the beginning of the ruling you

this case

it

Afterwards coagu-

require the white.


late the

same

Let your

fire

you attain the red.

until

be gentle

in the whitening,

Know

until coagulation take place.

that

when

is

it

the Soul, and

we

coagulated

call

more quickly con-

it is

verted from nature into nature.


therefore, is

sufficient

deal with the Art of

one thing makes

it

for

This,

those

who

Coins, because

but

many

operate

For ye need not a number of

therein.

things,

it

but one thing only, which in

each and every grade of your work

changed

into

another

nature.

is

The

Turba saith Master, if you speak as


the Wise have
spoken, and that
briefly, they will follow you who do not
:

wish

to

be

wholly

shut

in

with

darkness.
The Thirteenth Dictum.

Pythagoras saith
government which

We
is

posit another

not from another

The Turba Philosophorum.

42

name. And know,


ye seekers after this Science and

root,
all

but

differs in

it

Wisdom,

that whatsoever the envious

may have

enjoined in their books con-

cerning

which agree together,*


is

natures

of

composition

the

savour there

in

only one, albeit to sight they are as

Know,

diverse as possible.

also, that

the thing which they have described in


so

many ways

companion without
magnet follows the
said thing

is

and

follows

attains

fire,

iron, to

which the

not vainly compared, nor

to a seed, nor to a matrix, for


like

And

unto these.

which foUowst
fire,

its

many

causes

its

even as the

when embracing

it,

it is

also

same thing,
companion without
this

colours

to

appear

for this reason, that

the said one thing enters into every

regimen, and

is

found ever)rwhere, being

a stone, and also not a stone

and precious

mony
t

The

common

hidden and concealed,

shorter recension reads

" concerning the har-

of the elements."

According to the second recension, the subject in

many

question causes

according as

it

is

colours to appear in complexion,

governed in every regimen.

The Turba Philosophorum.

known by everyone

yet

and

43

name

of one

many names, which

of

Spume

Moon.

the

of

is

This

therefore, is not a stone, because

more

precious

without

never operates anything;

we have

one, yet

names on account of the


its

it is

Nature

it

name

its

called

the

stone,

is

by many

it

excellence of

nature.*

The

Turba

answereth

Master

mention some of those

wilt thou not

Zosimus explains that the uncommunicated mystery

which no one among the prophets has dared to divulge by


word, but has revealed only to the

initiates, is

a process

upon the stone Alabastron by means of vinegar.

By

the

Lexicon of Ghrysopeia in the Byzantine Collection that


earliest dictionary of alchemy, which has remained un-

known
is

to all later

Hermetic lexicographers

Alabastron

defined to be the calx obtained from eggshells, saltpetre,

a variety of natron, and

common salt. The inquirer after


may take his choice among

the uncommunicated secret

these substances, and


is

it

does not follow that the Lexicon

a correct exponent of Zosimus.

However this may be, it

appears that the stone Alabastron, either before or after


the operation with vinegar,

stone which

known by

is

all,

is

the symbolical encephalous

not a stone, the

unknown thing which

the despised thing which

is

is

most precious,

The preparation
The perplexities of

the thing given and not given by God.


indicated

is

the Mythraic Mystery.

the Turba at this point are, therefore, a device of the Greek


alchemists,

and they were fond

of recurring to

it.

The Turba Philosophorum.

44

names

And

: It

he

seekers?

the guidance of

for

White

called

is

Ethelia,

White Copper, and that which flies


from the fire and alone whitens copper.
Break up, therefore, the White Stone,
and afterwards coagulate it with milk.*
Then pound the calx in the mortar,
humidity does

that the

taking care

not escape from the vessel


late

in the vessel until

it

a cinder.

it

but coagu-

shall

Cook also with

become

Spume

of

Luna and regulate. For ye shall find the


stone broken, and already
its

own

imbued with

This, therefore, is the

water, t

which we

by all names,
which assimilates the work and drinks
it, and is the stone out of which also
Take, therefore,
all colours appear.
that same gum,+ which is from the
stone

The second

recension adds : " that

The

that milk is coagulated."

alchemy

is,

like so

of Greek origin.

call

much
It

is,

after the

manner

symbolical use oi milk in

of the terminology of the Turba,

will

be found in the discourse of

Synesius.
t

The second

recension has a preferable reading

shall find the stone formed,

which imbue with

its

"

Ye
own

water."
J

The second

recension says

"

Gum of Scotia," most

The Turba Philosophorum.

43

scoriae, and mix with cinder of calx,


which you have ruled, and with the
fseces which you know, moistening
with permanent water. Then look and
see whether it has become a powder,
but if not, roast in a fire stronger than
the first fire, until it be pounded.
Then imbue with permanent water,
and the more the colours vary all

more suffer them to be heated.


Know, moreover, that if you take white
quicksilver, or the Spume of Luna, and
do as ye are bidden, breaking up with
a gentle fire, the same is coagulated,
and becomes a stone. Out of this

the

when

stone, therefore,

many

probably a

much used

misprint

gum
in

for

Scoria.

Rulandus

with Ferment, Mercury, &c.

alchemy, and

without explanatory context.


is

broken up,

But

colours will appear to you.

philosophical
is

it is

is

identifies

The term

found in Zosimus, but

The Turba Phihsophorum

not very clear on the subject of the philosophical gum,

but

it is

as clear as the Greek Alchemists, for the Lexicon of

Chrysopeia defines
philosophically

gum

Nomenclature of the

among

as the yolk of the egg, speaking

and not

Egg

literally

but the treatise on the

says that the white of egg

is

gum,

other things, speaking also philosophically, and

without regard to the Lexicon.

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

46

any ambiguity occur to you


in our discourse, do as ye are bidden,
ruling the same until a white and
herein,

if

coruscating stone shall be produced,

and so ye

find

your purpose.

The Fourteenth Dictum.

AcsuBOFEN*

saith

Master, thou hast

spoken without envy, even as became


thee,

and

for

reward thee!

God

also

same may God


Pythagoras sai/A; May
the

deliver

from envy

Acsubofen,

thee,

Then he

Ye must know,

Assembly of the Wise, that sulphurs


are contained in sulphurs, and humidity

in humidity.t

The

envious,

The

Turba

answereih

uttered something like unto this

what
Humidity

therefore,

us,

And he
when venom
:

have

Acsubofen,

is
is

In the second recension the

Tell

a body,

penetrates

humidity?
a venom, and

this

name

is

it

Assubeies.

Formula of the Greek Alchemists

Sulphurs are

mastered by Sulphurs, &c.


X

The

theriac

and poison of the stone are favourite

subjects of discourse

Petrus

Bonus

seems with

all

and,

among

early Latin Alchemists, like

indeed,

the

sovereign

remedy

authors to have had a destructive as well as

The Turba Philosophorum.


tinges

it

no

in

47

with an invariable colour, and


wise

permits the soul

equal

Concerning

thereto.

envious have said

When

one

be

to

separated from the body, because

it is

this,

the

flies

and

the other pursues, then one seizes upon


the

and

other,

longer

flee,

hold of

its

they

afterwards

no

because Nature has laid

manner of

equal, after the

enemy, and they destroy one


another.
For this reason, out of the
sulphureous mixed sulphur is produced
a most precious colour, which varies
not, nor flees from the fire, when the
soul enters into the interior of the body
and holds the body together and tinges
it.
I will repeat my words in Tyrian
dye.*
Take the Animal which is
an

a constructive aspect.

Syriac treatise, fixed

by M.

Berthelot as belonging to the tenth or eleventh century,

says that " the elixir resembles a poison


violence

many

because of

its

and subtlety," and Arabian alchemy contains

references

equivalent

is ios,

the

to

and

venenum

ignis.

The Greek

this is recurring continually in

the

Byzantine Alchemical collection.


*

dye,

This process, worded in the language of the Tyrian

may be compared

tincture,

which occurs

with a similar recipe for the purple


at the beginning of the

Natural and

The Turha Philosophorum.

48

called Kenckel, since all its water

is

Tyrian colour, and rule the same with


a gentle fire, as is customary, until it
shall

become

be a

little

which there will


if you wish to

earth, in

colour.

But

obtain the Tyrian tincture, take

the

humidity which that thing has ejected,

and place
vessel,

therewith gradually in a

it

adding that tincture whereof the

Then

colour was disagreeable to you.

cook with that same marine water* until


itshall becomedry.t Afterwards moisten
with that humour, dry gradually, and
cease not to imbue
dry,

until

humour.
days in

its

to cook,

it,

and

to

all

its

be imbued with

it

Then leave
own vessel,

it

several

for

until the

most

come out
from it to the surface. Observe how
PreI describe the regimen to you

precious Tyrian colour shall

pare

it

with the urine of boys, with

Myttic Questions of Demociitus.

an important
*

In

this, also, urine

plays

part.

The use of

sea water

is

specified in

one of the

Democritic treatises.
t

The second

recension reads

" until

it

shall

moistened, after which evaporate the moisture."

become

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

water of the

sea,

49

and with permanent

clean water, so that

it

may

and decoct with a gentle

be tinged,
until the

fire,

blackness altogether shall depart from

and

it,

it

be easily pounded.

Decoct,

own humour

until

it

clothe itself with a red colour.

But

if

therefore, in its

ye wish to bring

it

to the Tyrian colour,

imbue the same with continual* water,,


and mix, as ye know to be sufficient,
according to the rule of sight

mix the

same with permanent water sufficiently, and decoct until rust absorb the
water. Then wash with the water of
which

sea

the

thou hast prepared,

which is water of desiccated calx ;t'cobk


until it imbibe its own moisture
and
;

day by day. I tell you that a


colour will thence appear to you the
like of which the Tyrians have never
made. And if ye wish that it should
do

this

be a
the

still

gum

which ye

more exalted

in the

shall

colour, place

permanent water, with


dye it alternately, and

The second recension reads


The alternative reading is

" with water ot snow."

water of

talc.

The Turba Philosophorum.

50

afterwards desiccate in the

Then

suji.

restore to the aforesaid water

and the

black Tyrian colour is intensified. But


know that ye do not tinge the purple
colour except by cold. Take, therefore,

water which

is

of the nature of cold,

and steep wool* therein

until

it

extract

the force of the tincture from the water.

Know

also that the Philosophers have

called the force which proceeds from

that water the Flower.


fore,

Seek, there-

your intent in the said water

therein place

what

days and nights,

is in

the vessel for

until

it

be clothed

with a most precious Tyrian colour.


The Fifteenth Dictum.

Frictes

saith

Wisdom, know

all

ye seekers

after

that the foundation of

on account of which many


have perished, is one only.t There is

this Art,

i.i.,

The second recension

Moon
t

substitutes

Luna

for

Lana,

for wool.

The one

nature, the

one matter, the one way, are all

conceptions of Greek Alchemy.

way which must be

followed

is

"

The

furnace

one, and one

is
is

one, the
also the

The Turba Philosophorum.

one thing which

stronger than

more sublime

and

natures,

is

51
all

the

in

opinion of philosophers, whereas with


fools

it is

But

for

more common than anything.


us

it

Woe

reverence.

How

we

a thing which

is

unto

all

ye fools

ignorant are ye of this Art, for

which ye would die if ye knew it


to you that

if kings

swear

were familiar with

it,

none of us would ever attain this thing.

O how this nature changeth body into


spirit!
O how admirable is Nature,
how she

presides over

comes

all

all, and overPythagoras saith


Name

this Nature,
is

Frictes

And

he

It

a very sharp vinegar,* which makes


" The Ons
One engenders the

work," says the Aisembly of the Philosophert.


fiiinishes

blood to the Other, and the

Otber.

Nature rejoices nature

nature triumphs over nature


this not for
for

nature charms nature

nature masters nature

one such nature opposed

and

to another such, but

one only and same nature, proceeding by chemical

process

from

itself

with pain and great labour."

The

Serpent Ourobohoe.
*

The Greek Assembly of

that the philosophical vinegar

the Stone.

It

is

the Philosophers explains

obtained by the coction of

appears to be an

oil

which

rises

surface during the process, but the explanation

is

to the

by no

The Turba Philosophorum.

52

gold into sheer

spirit,

without which

vinegar, neither whiteness, nor black-

nor redness, nor rust can

ness,

be

made. And know ye that when it is


mixed with the body, it is contained
therein, and becomes one therewith it
turns the same into a spirit, and tinges
with a spiritual and invariable tincture,
Know, also, that
which is indelible.
if ye place
the body over the fire
without vinegar, it will be burnt and
;

And know,

corrupted.

the

first

humour

therefore, of the

further,

cold.

is
fire,

Be

careful,

is

inimical

which

Wise have

Accordingly, the

to cold.

Rule gently

that

until

the sulphur

becomes incombustible.*

The Wise

said

means

M.

clear.

Beithelot supposes a leference to the

Mercurial Water.

The Greek Alchemists

give the following recipe for

the production of incombustible sulphur

Sulphur, diluted in the urine of a pei^on

puberty

Prove

combustible.
until

Take unbumt

then taking an equal quantity ot brine, boil

the sulphur rises to the surface, and then

fire)

who has not reached

it

you see that

it

it

becomes

by reasoning and examining

(?

till

in-

with

becomes incombustible, that is to say, until


no longer burns. Take the same incom-

it

bustible water (of sulphur), pour on flower oi salt, dilute as

The Turba Philosophorum.

men have

53

who

already shewn to those

possess rea son the disposition of this Art,

and the best point of


they mentioned,

is,

of this

little

sulphur burns a strong body.


ingly they venerate

which

their Art,

that a

Accord-

and name

it

in

it

the beginning of their book, and the

son of

Adam

this

vinegar

verts

it

thus described

burns

the

into a cinder,

the body, which,

For

it.

con-

body,

and also whitens

ye cook well and

if

changed into a
stone, so that it becomes a coin of
most intense whiteness. Cook, theredeprive of blackness,

fore,

the stone until

and then

is

it

be disintegrated,

and temper with

dissolve

Know

water of the sea.

also, that

beginning of the whole work


whitening,

to

which

is

succeeds

the
the

the

redness, finally the perfection of the

work;
vinegar,

but

after

this,

and by the

will

by means of
of God, there

a complete perfection. Now,


have shewn to you, O disciples of

follows
I

in the case of the

divine mystery.

incombustible sulphur.

This

is

the

TJte

54
this

Turba Philosophorum.

Turba, the disposition of the one

more perfect, more


precious, and more honourable, than
all natures, and I swear to you by God
which

thing,

is

have searched for a long time in


books so that I might arrive at the
knowledge of this one thing, while I
prayed also to God that he would teach
that

me what it is. My prayer was heard, He


shewed me clean water, whereby I
and the more I did
read books, the more was I illuminated.

knew pure

vinegar,

The Sixteenth Dictum.

Know,

crowd of
those that still remain of the Sons of
the Doctrine, that no tincture can be
produced without Lead, which possesses

Socrates

saith:

Have ye not seen


Hermes infused the

the required virtue.

how

thrice-great

red into the body, and


into

an invariable

it

was changed
Know,

colour ?*

therefore, that the first virtue is vinegar,


*

The second recension reads " Have ye not seen, says

thiice-great

Hermes, that so often as

body, the same body

is

it is

infused into the


"
?

changed into an invariable colour

The Turba Philosophorum.

55

and the second is the Lead* of which the


Wise have spoken, which if it be infused
into all bodies, renders

unchange-^

all

and tinges them with an invariable


colour.
Take, therefore, Lead which
is made out of the stone called Kuhul t
let it be of the best quality, and let it
be cooked till it becomes black. Then
pound the same with Water of Nitre
until it is thick like grease, and cook
able,

again in a very bright


spissitude

M,

of the body

Berthelot

tells

the

until

fire

destroyed,

is

us that lead was regarded by the

Egyptian alchemists as the generator of the other metals

and the

first

matter of transmutation, which he explains

common

with a number

of other simple bodies and metallic alloys.

Zosimus, the

by the appearances
Panopolite,

says

may

it

be cited

All substances

possesses in

produced by lead alone,

the Substances
t

The

is

he

lor
i.e.,

it

is

from lead that the three

copper, iron, and

tin.

Zosimus

and Non-substances of Art.

significance

accurately Kohol,

of this point

were recognised by the Egyptians as

other bodies are derived,

On

in confirmation

is

of the

term

Kuhul,

to be found in Syriac

or

more

alchemy

it

the equivalent of alcool and sulphurated antimony in the

form of an impalpable powder.

Kuhul, or Koheul,

is

explained by Rulandus to be the Lead of the Philosophers.

The Alcohol mentioned by M.


difiTerent

Part of

Berthelot seems to be

from Alcool of wine, and

is,

in fact, the pure

any body separated from that which

is

impure.

The Turba Philosophorum.

56

being

water

the

Kindle,

rejected.

above it until the stone becomes clean, abounding in precious

therefore,

Pound

metal, and exceedingly white.


it

dew and the

afterwards with

and with sea and rain water


days with

for 10

sun,

for 21 days,

water, and

salt

10

days with fresh water,* when ye shall


find the same like to a metallic stone.

Cook

same once more with water


until it become tin by lique-

the

of nitre

Again cook until it be deprived


But
of moisture, and become dry.
faction.

know

when

that

becomes dry

it

humour
is burnt lead.
Take
it be burnt. Thus we

drinks up what remains of


swiftly,

because

it

care, however, lest

The second

with dew,

salt,

it

recension reads

and rain water

its

" Alterwards pound

it

for 29 days, again with salt

water for 20 days, and yet again with fresh water for 10
days."

The

explanation of

all

Rosicrucian mysteries has

been referred to the dew of the alchemists,


ros philesophoTum certainly plays

Great Mystery.
of Democritus,
process

the

In the Natural and Mysterious Questions

dew

is

of whitening,

Philosophical

and

an important part in the

Egg

it is

mentioned

and

in

in connection

the

tabulated as a

or philosophical albumen, but here

the additions of a later hand.

fragment

name

with a

on

the

of the white

M. Berthelot suspects

The Turba Philosophorum.


call it

incombustible sulphur.

eg

PouHi

same with the sharpest vinegar,


and cook till it becomes thick, taking
care lest the vinegar be changed into
smoke and perish continue this coction

the

Now,

for 150 days.

demonstrated
white lead,

therefore, I

the disposition

all

have

of the

which afterwards follows

being no more than women's work and


child's

Know,

play.

also,

the

that

arcanum of the work of gold proceedsout


of the male and the female, but I have
shewn you the male in the lead, while,
in like

manner,

you the female


therefore,

the

lead,

the

for

receiving

the

because she

in

female

with
rejoices

for

Mix,
the
in

strength of the male,


assisted

by the male.

receives a tingeing spirit

Mix them,

from the female.


*

orpiment.*

orpiment

is

But the male

have discovered

therefore,

M. Beithelot indentifies orpiment with the


The woid itself does not occur

of the ancients.

Greek writers, but there

is

arsenic
in the

a fifteenth century translation

from Latin to Greek of the Semita Recta, ascribed to


Albertus Magnus,

which

it is

found.

who reappears

as Peter Theoctonicos, in

5"

The Turba Philosophorum.

a glass vessel, and


pound with Ethelia and verj' sharp
vinegar; cook for seven days, taking

^.bgether, place in

care lest the arcanum smoke away, and


leave throughout the night.

wish

it

that

it

to put on

mud

Now,

with vinegar.

if

ye

(colour), seeing

already dry,

is

But

again imbue

therefore,

have

notified to you the power of orpiment,


which is the woman by whom is accomplished the most great arcanum.
Do not shew these unto the evil, for

they

will laugh.

vinegar which
tion,

work,

is

It is

the Ethelia of

placed in the prepara-

by which things God perfects the


whereby also spirits
take

possession of bodies, and they become


spiritual.

The Seventeenth Dictum.

ZiMON* saith : O Turba of Philosoand disciples, now hast thou


spoken about making into white, but it
phers

yet remains to treat concerning the

reddening
*

Know,

all

ye seekers after

otherwise Zenon, according to the second recension.

The Turba Philosophorum.


Art,

this

that

make

cannot

59

unless ye whiten, ye

because the two

red,

natures are nothing other than red and

Whiten, therefore, the

white.

redden the white


the year

the

is

first

red,

and

also, that

divided into four seasons

season

and

Know,

!*

of a frigid

is

com-

Winter the second


is of the complexion of air, and this is
Spring then follows the third, which
is summer, and is of the complexion of
plexion,

this is

fire

lastly, there is

fruits are

the fourth, wherein

matured, which

is

Autumn.

In this manner, therefore, ye are to rule

your natures, namely, to dissolve in

cook in spring, to coagulate


summer, and to gather and tinge the
fruit in autumn.
Having, therefore,
winter, to
in

given this example, rule the tingeing


natures, but

if

save yourselves.

Thou
*

ye

err,

The

blame no one

Turba answereth

hast treated the matter extremely

A commentary introduced

into the text of

on Virtue and Interpretation, observes

mence by making
perfect

and

solid.

Zosimus

If thou dost

com-

white, the yellowing will be perfect,

The Turba Philosophorum.

6o

add, therefore, another teaching


of this kind for the sake of posterity.
And he : I will speak of making lead

well

Take

red.*

the

Master

at

the

which

copper

the

you

ordered

take

book,

his

of

beginning

to

combine lead therewith, and cook it


until it becomes thick; congeal also
and desiccate until it becomes red.

Here

certainly

Red Lead

the

is

which the wise spake

copper and lead

become a precious stone


equally, let
for

this,

if

of

mix them

gold be roasted with them,

ye rule

becomes a
So when

well,

tingeing spirit in spirits. t

the male and the female are conjoined


there

is

not produced a volatile wife,

but a spiritual composite.

From

composite turned into a red

produced the beginning


*

The

various

substances

spirit is

of the world.

which

enumerated by M, Berthelot, including,

not only

oxydes of
t
spirit

Vermillion,

is

the modern

con-

alchemists

founded under the names of Minium, Rubric,

sur-oxyde of lead, which

the

etc.,

are

in addition to the

name

of

minium,

cinnabar, realgar, etc., but

some

iron.

The second recension


among spirits."

reads

"

becomes a mighty

The Turba Philosophorum.

Behold
called

6i

which we have

this is the lead

Red Lead, which

is

of our work,

and without which nothing

is

effected

The Eighteenth Dictum.

MuNDUS

saith

seekers after this

Turba The
Art must know that
the

to

the Philosophers in their books have

described

gum

in

many

ways, but

it is

none other than permanent water, out


of which our precious stone is generated.*
after this

who

find

O how many

are the seekers

gum, and how few there are


it

Know

that this

gum

is

not ameliorated except by gold alone.

For there be very many who investigate


these applications, and they find cer.
tain

things,

yet they cannot sustain

the

labours

because they are dimi-

It

appears from Zosimus on The Detailed Exposition

of the Work, that with the addition of a little [philosophical] gum any species of body may be tinged. And

when Mundus
in

identifies

Gum

with Permanent Water he

is

agreement with the same authority, for in the context

ol the

passage just cited

we

find the following

words

That which tinges tinctures and things tinged is Divine


water, the great mystery. The gum of gold is mentioned
in a fragment attributed to

Agathodemon.

The Turba Philosophorum.

62

But the applications which

nished.

are

made out

of the

gum and

out of

the honourable stone, which has already

held the

and are

labours,

never

Understand, therefore,
will explain

my words,

Know

arcanum

ye that our

stronger than gold, and

know

it

diminished.
for I

unto you the applications

of this gum, and the


therein.

the

they sustain

tincture,

do hold

it

all

existing

gum

those

more honourable

than gold, yet gold we also honour,


without

it

is

who
for

the gum cannot be improved.

Our gum, therefore, is for Philosophers


more precious and more sublime than
pearls,

because out of

gum

with a

little

we buy much. Consequently, the


Philosophers, when committing these
things to writing that the same might
gold

not perish, have not set forth in their

books the

manifest

disposition,

lest

every one should become acquainted

and having become familiar


to fools, the same would not sell it at
a small price.
Take, therefore, one
part of the most intense white gum
therewith,

The Turba Philosophorum.

63

one part of the urine of a white calf;


gall of a fish
and one

one part of the

part of the body of gum, without which

mix these porand cook for forty days. When


these things have been done, congeal
by the heat of the sun till they are
Then cook the same, mixed
dried.
it

cannot be improved

tions

with milk of ferment, until the milk


fail

afterwards extract

it,

and

until

it

become dry evaporate the moisture by

Then mix

heat.

and

fig,

cook

it

it

with milk of the


moisture

that

till

be dried up in the composite, which


afterwards mix with milk of the root of
grass,

and again cook

Then

moisten

it

until it

with rainwater, then

sprinkle with water of dew,


until it

be dried.

be dry.

and cook

Also imbue with per-

manent water, and desiccate until it


become of the most intense dryness.
Having done these things, mix the same
with the
all

gum which

is

equipped with

manner of colours, and cook

until

perish

the whole
;

and the

force

entire

of

strongly

the water

body be deprived

The Turba Philosophorum.

64

humidity, while ye imbue the


same by cooking, until the dryness
thereof be kindled. Then dismiss for

ol

its

forty days.

Let

it

remain

in that tritura-

tion or decocting until the spirit pene-

For by this regimen the


spirit is made corporeal, and the body
Observe the
is changed into a spirit.

trate the body.

vessel, therefore, lest the composition

and pass

fly

off in

things being accomplished,

and ye

vessel,

will find

open the

that which ye

therefore,

This,

purposed.

These

fumes.

is

the

arcanum of gum, which the Philosophers


have concealed

in their books.

The Nineteenth Dictum.

Dardaris
knowledge

saith

that the

It

common

is

Masters* before

us have described Permanent Water.

Now,

it

behoves one who

is

introduced

to this Art to attempt nothing


familiar with the

The

this

he

is

Per-

reference to the Masters, which occurs twice in

this dictum, is to

in the

power of

till

be understood not of previous speakers

Assembly, but of the older philosophers, namely,

the Greek Alchemists.

The Turba Philosophorum.

65

manent Water, and in commixture,


contrition, and the whole regimen, it
behoves

us

to

use

invariably

this

famous Permanent Water. He, therefore,


who does not understand
Permanent Water, and its indispensable regimen,

may

not enter into this

Art, because nothing is effected with-

out the Permanent Water.


thereof

The

force

a spiritual blood, whence

is

the Philosophers have called

manent Water,

for,

Per-

it

having pounded

it

with the body, as the Masters before

me

have explained to you, by the

of

God

it

will

turns that body into spirit.*

being mixed together


For these,
and reduced to one, transform each
the body incorporates the
other;
spirit,
and the spirit incorporates
the body into tinged spirit, like blood.

And know
spirit

the

as well.

arcanum
*

ye, that whatsoever

hath

same hath blood


Remember, therefore,

also

The second

body."

this

recension adds :

" and the

spiiit

into

The Turba Philosophorum

66

The Twentieth Dictum.

Belus saith:0

disciples,

discoursed excellently

ye have

Pythagoras

!*

Seeing that they are philosophers, O Belus, why hast thou called
He answereth
them disciples

answers

in

It is

honour of their Master,

lest I

should

make them equal with him.

Then

Those who,

in con-

Pythagoras saith

junction with us, have composed this

book which is called the Turba, ought


not to be termed disciples. Then he
Master, they have frequently described
Permanent Water, and the making of
*

The whole of this Dictum recalls


On Virtue and Interpretation

Zosimus,

reasons that

my excellent

a passage

in

It

is for

these

master, Democritus, makes him-

self the following distinction

"Take

that stone which

is

not a stone, that precious thing which has no value, that

polymorphous object which


thing which

is

known

and has no name,


is

I refer

not a stone, and while

same time

name

one.

it

is

it is

many

flees the fire, or

uttered.

this stone

its

nature

is

one,

its

denominations have been

do not say absolutely speaking, but according

it,

nature, so that whether

is

For

exceedingly precious, at the

has no money value


Nevertheless,

given

which has many names

to aphroselinon."

to

its

without form, that unknown

to everyone,

it is

called the being

which

white smoke, or white copper, no falsehood

The Turba Philosophorum.

67

White and the Red in many ways,


albeit under many names
but in the
modes after which they have conjoined
the

weights, compositions, and regimens,

they agree

with

Behold, what

is

the

hidden

truth.

said concerning this

despised thing!

report has gone

abroad that the Hidden Glory of the


Philosophers is a stone and not a stone,

and that
the

lest

it

is

called

foolish

Certain wise

by many names,

should recognise

men have

it.

designated

it

one fashion,

namely, according
where it is generated
others have adopted another, founded
upon its colour, some of whom have
termed it the Green Stone ;* by other
some it is called the Stone of the most
intense Spirit of Brass, not to be mixed
with bodies by yet others its description has been further varied, because
it is sold for coins by lapidaries who
are called saven ; some have named it
Spume of Luna ;t some have distinafter

to the place

The second recension reads " Green Lion."


Sputum LunsB does not seem to be a term which
:

found favour with Latin alchemy, and accordingly

it

is

The Turba Philosophorum.

68

guished

astronomically

it

metically;

thousand

arith-

or

has already received a

it

titles,

of which the best

is

produced out of
metals." So also others have called it
the Heart of the Sun, and yet others
have declared it to be that which is

"That

which

is

brought forth out of quicksilver with


the milk of volatile things.

The Twenty-first Dictum.

Pandolfus

much

said so

wanting

O Belus, thou hast

saith

concerning the despised

in the Lexicons.

Rulandus,

who

It

very curious to note that

is

quite frequently quotes the Turba, seems

seldom to have troubled himself about the significance of


its

bizarre terms.

tion, there is

which

falls

In Zosimus,

On

&om

the

moon when

referred to as describing

where

7ir{ue and Interpreta-

Hermes concerning "

a prescription from

it

it

is

is

that

waning," and he

to be found,

is

and how

has the quality of resisting the fire. In fact, says Hermes,


" you will find it with me and with Agathodaimon." M.
it

Berthelot supposes this passage to


volatilisation

Turha

recalls

mythology of
(fee,

of mercury.

the passage of Synesius.


Selenite,

supposed not only to

but to be "

Hulandm.

allegorise

upon the

But the expression


Note

in

the

also the

Lapis Arabicus, Aphroselinum,


reflect the likeness of the

made from dew by

the foam of the

Moon,
Moon."

The Turba Philosophorum.

stone* that thou hast

left

added by thy brethren


teach

stone
all

is

69

nothing to be

Howsoever,

posterity that this despised

a permanent water, and know,

ye seekers after Wisdom, that per-

manent water
life,t

is

water

of

mundane

because, verily, Philosophers have

stated that Nature rejoices in Nature,

Nature contains Nature, and Nature


overcomes Nature. The Philosophers
have constituted this short dictum the
principle of the

work

reasonable

for

And know ye

persons.

that no body

more precious or purer than the Sun,


and that no tingeing venoml is geneis

The Turba Philosophorum does

not betray any-

where the hand of a Christian compiler, and although the


reference to the despised stone suggests the stone

the builders

have rejected, the

Zosimus, and not from the


as

which

derived

from

New Testament, except in

so far

idea

Zosimus himself may have drawn

it

is

irom that source.

Treating, in his dictum on the subject of calx, concerning

the uncommunicated mystery of the encephalous


the Greek adept calls
precious,

it

the despised thing which

and so on through a number

is

stone,

most

of contradicting

denominations.
t
\

The second recension reads


The symbolism of the venom

also found in Zosimus,

" clean water."


of the philosophers is

commenting upon Democritus.

The Turba Philosophonim.

70

Sun and its shadow.


who attempts to make

rated without the

He,

therefore,

venom

the

of the Philosophers without

and has

these, already errs,

fallen into

that pit wherein his sadness remains.

But he who has tinged the venom of


the wise out of the Sun and its shadow*
has arrived at the highest Arcanum.
Know also that our coin when it
becomes red, is called gold ; he, therefore, who knows the hidden Cambart
of the Philosophers, to him is the
Arcanum already revealed. The Turba
answereth

Thou hast even now

The Greek word signifies, says an


M. Berthelot, the romlle of metals, the
of bodies, and the venom of serpents.
Zosimus,
body.
*

it is

On

intel-

annotation
specific

of

virtue

According to

the spirit separated from the substance of a

Virtue

A quotation

and

Interpretation.

firom

Mary

(the first) in

Measure of Yellowing runs thus


with sulphur, treated with

Zosimus On

Copper

the

when burned

natron, and recovered

oil ot

having undergone the same process several times,

after

becomes an excellent gold without shadow.


t

his

This oriental term

is

by M. Berthelot

referred to

in

Essay on the Transmistion of Ancient Science without

explanation of its significance, and


of the Lexicons of
treatise, entitled

of an adept.

Alchemy.

it is

not found in any

In an ancient alchemical

The Code of Truth,

it

figures as the

name

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

71

ligibly described this stone, yet

hast not narrated

composition.

its

thou
regimen nor its

Return, therefore, to the

He saith : I direct you


an occult and honourable arcanum, which is White Magnesia,* and
description.

to take

same

the

mixed and pounded with

is

make use

wine, but take care not to

of this except

be pure and clean

it

finally place itinitsvessel, and pray

He may grant you the

that

very great stone. +

in

if it

until

it

which

is

But

whitening of Magnesia

Then,
is far

if it

it

thus

a great arcanum,

gives the following process


:

" Taking

an equal quantity of Cappadocian


burnt clay.

rule

becomes Kuhul, closed up with

The Chemistry of Moses

for the

has become a

which case ye have

ruled excellently well.


for the white,

sight of this

Then cook gradually,

and, extracting, see

black stone,

God

Let

it

cook

this mystery, for

it

Magnesia and

place in a vessel of

stay there from evening

be black,

better to

salt,

let it
it

be cooked

till

it

in a glass-maker's

till

morning.

whitens, but

it

Hide

furnace.

comprises everything which concerns

whitening by decoction."
t It does not appear that

the

conception

of the

Philosopher's Stone as a medicine of metals and of

was

familiar to

Greek alchemy.

men

The Turba Philosophorum.

72

blackness, which blackness see that it


does not remain longer than forty days.
therefore, with its

Pound the same,

confections, which are the said flower


of copper, gold of the Indies whose root
is

one, and a certain extract of an

unguent, that

a crocus, that

of

is,

fixed exalted alum, or

;*

Tj

is,

cook the four,

therefore, permanently for 40 or 42 days.

God

After these days

will

show you the

principle (or beginning) of this stone,

which

the stone Atitos, of

is

favoured sight of

many

strongly,

and imbue

gum that remains.

And know

Cook

accounts.

with the

God

which

there are

ye that so often as ye imbue the cinder,


so often

must

be desiccated

it

again humectated, until


into that

which ye

fore, will I

The

desire.

colour turns

Now, there-

complete that which

have

authenticity of this sign is extremely doubtful,

and the marginal note which


editions does not help

it

out.

is

sentence immediately

recension confirms this view.

appended to most printed

It is

reading of the word Hoc, which


of the

its

and

is

no doubt

really

required to

following.

a mis-

make sense
The second

The Turba Philosophorum.

begun,

God

if

Know

that

also

to rule

third part

the

perfection

precious

this

with

it

look kindly on us.*

will

work of

the

73

the

of

stone

residue

is

the

of

the medicine, and to

of

preserve the two other parts for im-

buing and cooking alternately


required colour appears.t

more intense

be

than the

desiccated

is

wax

therefore, the

coheres.

it

until

iire

former;

the matter be cerated, and

let
it

the

till

Let the

it

when

Cook,
imbibes

the gluten of gold, which being desiccated,

imbue the

seven

times

the

work

other

two-

of

rest

until

the

and true earth imFinally, place the same

thirds be finished,

bibe them

all.

on a hot fire until the earth extract its


flower and be satisfactory.
Blessed
are ye
I will

if

ye understand

But,

if not,

repeat to you the perfection of

The

original

emendation given

is

untranslatable

in the text

the

conjectural

has no authority, and

is

only

introduced to provide a meaning.


t

The

substituted,

reading of the

owing

second

recension

has

been

to the corrupt state of the longer text.

The Turha Philosophorum.

74

the work.
is

Take the

clean white, which

a most great arcanum, wherein

true tincture;

which sand

the

imbue sand therewith,

made

is

is

out of the stone

seven times imbued, until


the whole, and close the

it

drink up

mouth of the

you have often been


For that which ye seek of it by
the favour of God, will appear to you,
which is the stone of Tyrian colour.
Now, therefore, I have fulfilled the
truth, so do I conjure you by God and
your sure Master, that you show not
this great arcanum, and beware of the

vessel effectually, as
told.

wicked

The Twenty-Second Dictum.

Theophilus

saith:

intelligently

and

Thou

hast spoken

elegantly,

held free from envy.

Saith the

and

art

Turba

Let your discretion, therefore, explain


to us what the instructing Pandolfus
has stated, and be not envious. Then
he
O all ye seekers after this science,
the arcanum of gold and the art of the
:

coin

is

a dark vestment, and no one

The Turba Philosophorum.

knows what the

75

have

Philosophers

narrated

in

frequent

reading,

books

their

without

and
For that
which they have concealed is more
sublime and obscure than it is possible
to make known in words, and albeit
some have dealt with it intelligibly
and well, certain others have treated
it obscurely
thus some are more lucid
experiments,

questionings of the Wise.

than others.

Thou

The

Turba

And

hast truly spoken.

announce

posterity

to

that

and copper there

boritis

answereth

is

an

he

between
affinity,

because the boritis of the Wise liquefies


the copper, and
water.

changes as a fluxible

Divide, therefore, the

two equal

into

it

parts, with

venom

one of which

the copper, but preserve the

liquefy

other to pound and imbue the same,


until

again

it is

drawn out into plates

with

the former part

venom, cook two


to seven in
*

first

This

its

of

cook
the

two cook
own water for 42 days ;*
to seven in

unintelligible passage is better rendered in the

recension

" Cook with the former part of the venom

76

The Turba Philosophorum.

finally,

open the

and ye

vessel,

into

find copper turned

shall

quicksilver;

wash the same by cooking until it be


deprived of its blackness, and become
Lastly,
as copper without a shadow.
cook it continuously until it be con-

For when

gealed.

it

congealed

is

it

Ac-

becomes a very great arcanum.


cordingly, the Philosophers have called

this stone Boritis;* cook, therefore, that

coagulated stone until

becomes a mat-

it

mucra. Then imbue

ter like

Permanent water which

it

with the

directed

you

to reserve, that is to say, with the other

and cook

portion,

colours manifest.

its
^s

many

it

times until

This, therefore,

the very great putrefaction which

extracts (or contains in

arcanum.

great
until

it

shall

itselt)

Saith

the

have absorbed both, and do

the very

Turba:

this seven times."

Bat donee duos ehibat does not agiee with the subsequent
directions found in each version.
* Boritis,

according to Rulandus,

after the black state,

and

it

is

the White Stone

reduces earth to water.

A late

French Lexicon observes that the name was applied by


Philosophers to their Mercury

extreme black stage.


whitened.

The word

is

It is

when

it

had reached the

the Laton which must be

of Oriental origin.

The Turba Philosophorum.

Return to thine exposition,

77

Theophilus!
And he: It is to be known
that the same affinity which exists
between the magnet and iron, also
between copper and

exists assuredly

permanent water.
If, therefore, ye
copper and permanent water as I
have directed, there will thence result
the very great arcanum in the following
rule

Take white Magnesia and

fashion.

mix with the male, and


pound strongly by cooking, not with
the hands, until the water become thin.
But dividing this water into two parts,
in the one part of the water cook it
quicksilver,*

for eleven, otherwise, forty days, until

there be a white flower, as the flower of


salt in its

splendour and coruscation

but strongly close the mouth of the


vessel,

ye

will

deprive

and cook
find
it

of

it

for forty days,

when

water whiter than milk

blackness by cooking

all

continue the cooking until

its

whole

nature be disintegrated, until the de*

The

second

recension reads

mixed with the male."

" Take

quicksilver

The Turba Philosophorum.

78

perish,

filement

until

be

it

found

and is wholly broken up (or


But if ye wish
becomes wholly clean)
that the whole arcanum, which I have
given you, be accomplished, wash
clean,

same with water, that

the
the

other

you

to

part

which

preserve,

until

is

to say,

counselled

there appear

a crocus, and leave in its own vessel.


For the Iksir pounds (or contains)

imbue also with the residue of


the water, until by decoction and by
water it be pounded and become like
imbue it,
a syrup of pomegranates
therefore, and cook, until the weight
of the humidity shall fail, and the
colour which the Philosophers have
itself;

magnified shall truly appear.


The Twenty-third Dictum.

Cerus*

saith

Understand,

all

ye Sons

of the Doctrine, that which Theophilus

hath told you, namely, that there exists

an

affinity
*

between the magnet and the

The name

Bellus.

substituted

by the second recension

is

The Turba Philosophorum.

79

by the alliance of composites


existing between the magnet and the

iron,

iron, while the

copper

ruled for

is fitly

one hundred days:* what statement


can be more useful to you than that
there

is

no

quicksilver

between tinf and

affinity

The

?+

Thou hast ill

Turba

answereih

spoken, having disparaged

And

the true disposition.

he

why

are

testify

is

true

say nothing but what

that

you incensed against me ?


Fear the Lord, all ye Turba, that your
Master may believe you
The Turba
answereth : Say what you will. And he
I direct you to take quicksilver, in
which is the male potency or strength
!

The second

recension adds

and water of the Philosophers.


tion is given to
t

them

" Between

This

in the space ol

the copper

affinity and

combina-

one hundred days."

The definition may not be important, but it is, perhaps,

as well to state that the Greek Lexiconof CAr^sqpsia explains


that tin alchemically

is

cinnabar,

and

that

cinnabar

sublimed vapour obtained by coction in cauldrons.

M.

Berthelot observes that the reference

mercury or the sulphur


{

is

to sublimed

thereof.

According to the alternative version

" The nature

of the one does not agree with the nature of the

is

Here

other.''

" The proper end of the whole art," says Horus, " is

to obtain the semen of the male secretly, seeing that

all

The Turba Philosophorum.

8o

cook the same with

becomes a

body

its

water;

fluxible

until it

cook the

masculine together with the vapour,


until each shall be coagulated and
become a stone. Then take the water

which you had divided into two parts,


of which one is for liquefying and cooking the body, but the second is for
cleansing that which

and

already burnt,

companion, which

its

made

is

are

[two]

Imbue the stone seven

one.

and cleanse, until it be disintegrated, and its body be purged from


become earth.
defilement, and
all
times,

Know

also that in the time of forty-two

days the whole

by

is

changed into earth

cooking, therefore, liquefy the

until

it

become

quicksilver.
nitre until

it

as true water, which

is

Then wash with water

of

become

Then cook

until

become hke

to tin,

as a liquefied coin.

be congealed and

it

when

things are male and female.


certain place
will

find that

same

it

is

a most

Hence Horus says

in a

Join the male and the female, and you

which

process of reunion,

charms Nature," &c.

is

sought

as a fact, without this

nothing can

succeed, for

Nature

Olympiodorus Ore the Sacred Art.

The Turba Philosophorum.

great arcanum

stone which
the
until

is

that

is

to

8i

say,

out of two things.

the

Rule

same by cooking and pounding,


it
becomes a most excellent

Know

crocus.

that unto water

also

companion we have
given the name of crocus. Cook it,
therefore, and imbue with the residual
water reserved by you until you attain
desiccated with

its

your purpose.
The Twenty -fourth Dictum.

BocAScus*
well,

saith

Thou

hast spoken

Belus, and therefore

follow

it may
: As
become envious,
for that is not the part of the Wise. And

thy steps

He

answereth

please you, but do not

BocAscus
Thou speakest the truth,
and thus, therefore, I direct the Sons of
:

Take

the Doctrine.

Philosophers

lead, and, as the

have ordained, imbue,

and afterwards congeal, until a


produced then rule the stone
stone
with gluten of gold and syrup of pomegranates until it be broken up. But you
liquefy,

is

The name

in the

second recension

is

Boratis.

The Turba Philosophorum.

82

have already divided the water into


two parts, with one of which you have
Hquefied the lead, and it has become

same
until it be dried and have become
earth
then pound with the water
as water;

therefore, the

cook,

reserved until

it

acquire a red colour,

as you have been frequently ordered.*

The Turba answereth

Thou

hast done,

nothing but pile up ambiguous words.

And

Return, therefore, to the subject.


he

Ye who wish

to coagulate

must mix

silver,+

Otherwise

The Greek

with

it

" Rule frequently, as

its
I

quickequal.

have said."

alchemists claim to have accomplished

means of the Body of Magnesia,

the fixation of Mercury by

by which Zosimus

An

molybdochalchos.

understands

unassigned fragment of the Byzantine collection has the


following poetical reference to the fixation of Mercury

" Mercury

is

cinnabar,

rare substance, that

I refer

<i

obtained

roasting.

It is that

above

become an etherised
hemisphere

wisdom.

difficult to retain,
I

" With

its

printer's choice

is,

which

one met with

is

it

rarely.

suitable

termed dried and

in the testing of souls.

spirit,

artificial

Having

darts towards the upper

descends and ascends, avoiding the action

it

fire, until,

state of

all

employed

manner with

like

by the dry way and a

to cinnabar obtained

easily volatilised,

of the

in

quitting its

Until

and

is

it

r&U

of fugitive,

it

reaches a

has attained this condition,

mortal."

it

is

Fabrication of the All.

body," says the second recension

between compari and corpori.

it is

The Turba Philosophorum.

Afterwards cook

it dil

become permanent
cook

igently until both

water, and, again,

water until

this

83

it

be coagulated.

be desiccated with its own


equal vapour, because ye have found
the whole quicksilver to be coagulated

But

by
in
it

let this

ye understand, and place


your vessel what is necessary, cook
until it be coagulated, and then
itself.*

poundt

If

until

it

becomes a crocus

like to

the colour of gold.

The Twenty-fifth Dictum.

Menabdus

May God

saith:

reward thee

the regimen, since thou speakest

for

the truth

For thou hast illuminated

thy words.

And they

thou praisest him

It is said

because

for his sayings,

And he

do

know

not be

inferior to

that

can utter nothing but that which

he hath uttered
posterity to
*

The second

him.

make

however,

counsel

bodies not bodies,

recension reads :

" Let

the whole be

coagulated into quicksilver.''


t

more

The second
in its vessel,

recension merely says

and pound."

" Place

it

once


The Turba Philosophorum.

84

but these incorporeal things bodies.*

For by

this

regimen the composite

prepared, and the hidden part of

nature

is

With

extracted.

is
its

these bodies

accordingly join quicksilver and the

body of Magnesia,+ the woman also with


the man, and by means of this there
is

extracted our secret Ethelia, through

which bodies are coloured ; assuredly,


if I understand this regimen, bodies

become not bodies, and incorporeal


things become bodies. If ye diligently
pound the things in the fire and digest

Egg

The Byzantine fragment upon The

contains this statement

corporeal state, and unless bodies


corporeal state, that which

But Mary

is

Philosophical

" Unless bodies lose their

assume

again

their

desired will not be attained."

quoted by Olympiodorus in terms which

is

with the text of the Turba : " Except


you convert corporeal substances into incorporeal, and
correspond

literally

incorporeal substances into corporeal, and unless you

two bodies
achieved."

into

one body, no desired

result

make

will be

The " divine " Zozimus also quotes Hermes


same fashion, and he observes elsewhere

in precisely the

that to convert

incorporeal.

and transmute

is

to impart

body

to the

The Body of Magnesia.

commenting upon Mary, concludes that


Body of Magnesia is molybdochalchos, or black

t Zosimus,

the
lead.

try

[See note on

p. 82.]

on the subject of the

last

The

confusion of old chemis-

substance

is

well

known.

The Turba Philosophorum.

85

(or join to) the Ethelias, they

become

And know ye

clean and fixed things.


that quicksilver

is

mortifying and

bodies,

burning the

fire

breaking up,

with one regimen, and the more

it

is

mixed and pounded with the body, the


more the body is disintegrated, while
the quicksilver is attenuated and becomes living. For when ye shall diligently pound fiery quicksilver and cook
it as required, ye will possess Ethel, a
nature* and colour, subject to

fixed

eveiy tincture, which also overcomes,


breaks, and constrains the
this reason

unless
it

it

For

fire.t

does not colour things

it

be coloured, and being coloured

colours. +

can tinge

And know

that no

unless

spirit

itself

its

body

be ex-

tracted from the secret belly thereof,

when

it

That

becomes a body and soul withis,

which does not

according to the second recension, " one


flee

from the

fire."

" all bodies,"


t Alternatively,

which seems a preferable

reading.
\

The second

recension

says that

colours all spirits, because Ethelia tinges

once

it

has been

itself tinged."

"
all

it

holds and

things

when

"

The Turba Philosophorum.

86

out the
tincture,

which is a spiritual
out of which colours have

spirit,*

manifested, seeing that a dense thing

does not tinge a tenuous, but a tenuous


nature colours that which enters into a
body. When, however, ye have ruled
the body of copper, and have extracted

from

it

a most tenuous (subject), then

changed into a tincture by


Hence has the
which it is
wise man said, that copper does not
the latter

is

coloured.!

be tinged. And
know that those four bodies which you
tinge

unless

first

This distinction between the soul and the

recognised by Zosimus,
soul

The

it

is

who

spirit is

tollows Democritus.

The

the primitively sulphureous and caustic nature.

purifying influence of

fire

preserves the spirit

when

the operation has been conducted according to the rules of


Art.

The

spirit is

the useful part, the tingeing element.

The Four Metallic Bodies,


t In his treatise
cites

On

Democritus to the

d;c.

Virtiu and Interpretation, Zosimus


effect that

copper does not tinge,

but that copper burnt by means of

oil

of natron, and

having undergone this treatment repeatedly, becomes more


beautiiul than gold.

" Copper does not tinge so long as

preserves an unique essence, but

it

tinges by

its

it

combina-

tion with other bodies.


How then, if this combination be
wanting, and before the copper has been tinged, can one

succeed in tingeing objects made subject to the action ot


fire 1

The Turba Phitosopliorum.

87

are directed to rule are this copper,

and that the tinctures which I have


signified unto you are the condensed
and the humid,* but the condensed is
a conjoined vapour, and the humid is
the

water

of

sulphur,

for

sulphurs

are contained by sulphurs, and rightly

by these things Nature


Nature, and overcomes,

rejoices

and

in

con-

strains.

The Twenty-Sixth Dictum.

Zenon

saith:

perceive that you,

crowd of the Wise, have conjoined two


bodies, which your Master by no
means ordered you to do
The Turba
!

answereth

Inform

us

according

to

O Zenon, in this
and beware of envy
Then
he : Know that the colours which shall
appear to you out of it are these.
Know, O Sons of the Doctrine, that it
behoves you to allow the composition
to putrefy for forty days, and then to
your own opinion,
matter,

the

The second

humid

recension reads:

are these

two

joined with the humid."

"The condensed and

tinctures, the

condensed being

The Turba Philosophorum.

88

Next

sublimate five times in a vessel.

and cook, when

join to a fire of dung,

these colours shall


the

day

first

appear to you

black

On

on the

citrine,

second black red, on the third like


unto a dry crocus,*

the purple

finally,

colour will appear to you

the ferment

and the coin of the vulgar shall be


imposed then is the Ixir composed
out of the humid and the dry, and
then it tinges with an invariable tincture. Know also that it is called a body
wherein there is gold. But when ye
are composing the Ixir, beware lest
you extract the same hastily, for it
;

lingers.t

Extract, therefore, the

For
and

as an Ixir.

were, birth

The

preferable

many

coins
reading

is,

because

life,

soul extracted out of

imposed upon

venom

this

:l
is

same
as

it

is

it

and

things,

tincture,

its

" Crocus

like

unto

sericus."
f

The second

you extract the

recension substitutes

spirit

in

haste,

tor

perish."
}

The second

recension reads

" And

remain, a tincture extracted out o{

imposed upon coins."

" Beware

perchance

it

lest

will

the soul shall

many

things,

and

The Turba Philosophorum.

89

therefore, is life to those things with

which
moves

joined, from which

is

it

evil,

but

from which

death to the bodies

Accord-

extracted.

is

it

Masters

the

ingly,

it is

re-

it

have

said

that

between them there exists the same


desire as between male and female,
and if any one, being introduced to this

know

should

Art,

he

these natures,

would sustain the tediousness

cook-

of

ing until he gained his purpose according to the will of God.


The Twenty-Seventh Dictum.

Gregorius*
it

saiih

have

the

called

to

like
*

be

ruled

marble
The name

in

in the

t Antimony,

ye Turba,

Alchemists

is difficult to

venerable

until
its

stone

coruscates

it

And

splendour. +

second recension

is

Chambar.

The most

second recension.

the

in

bizarre terms of the

Turba did not find favour with Western

Efflucidinus

is

a special instance

in point.

speak with complete authority, but

said almost certainly that

no

later author

Moreover, no vocabulary mentions


X

all

and they have ordered

Efflucidinus,t
it

to be observed that the envious

is

The comparison of

gleaming marble

is

It

may be

use of

it.

it.

the Stone in

found,

made

it

among

its

splendour to

other of the Greek

The Turba Philosophorum.

go
they

Show,

Then

posterity.

to

what

therefore,

is

it

Willingly;

he:

must know that the copper


commingled with vinegar, and
is
water.
becomes
it
until
ruled
Finally, let it be congealed, and it
you

a coruscating stone with a

remains
brilliancy

ye

until
is

thus,

see

direct

you to

rule

becomes red, because when

it

cooked

becomes
red

when

marble, which,

like

till

is

it

earth,

it

disintegrated and

turned

is

When

colour.

assume the aforesaid


shall become hidden

alchemists, in

it

it

thus,

until

it

and

it

Then

gold.

when
all

it

colour,

re-

will

become

It

behoves

gold of a Tyrian colour.


you, therefore,

into

ye see

repeatedly cook and imbue

peat the process,

it

ye investigators

Zosimus, and especially

of

his Detailed

in

Exposition of the Worh, where, however, he is quoting


Democritus. " Mark the Philosopher, seized with a divine
transport,

on the subject of

this

white sulphur:

preparation become like unto marble, then

And

mystery."
proceeds

"

Now,

substances, the

which

is like

again,

having cited

is

Stephanus,

that which tinges tinctures

same

is

If

the

there a great

he

and tinged

divine water, the great mystery,

unto marble."

The Turha Philosophorum.


this Art,

when ye have observed

Stone

this

and turn

is
it

into

earth,

which

the

until

of redness

remainder*

the

ac-

it
;

the

of

that

pound

coruscating, to

some degree

quires

take

91

then

water

ordered you to

envioust

two parts, and ye shall


imbibe themJ several times until the
colours which are hidden by no body
divide into

Know

appear unto youJ

also that

if ye rule it ignorantly, ye shall see


nothing of those colours. I knew a

certain person

who commenced

work, and operated

who,

truth,

this

natures

the

of

when the redness was

somewhat slow in appearing, imagined


that he had made a mistake, and
so relinquished the
therefore,

work.||

how ye make

Otherwise: " a small quantity."

The

recension,

opprobrious term

is

Observe,

the conjunc-

omitted by the second

and the reference seems to be to the division

of

the water indicated in an earlier part of the colloquy.


{

The second

recension substitutes " sand."

Otherwise

" until the hidden colours shall appear."

A common anecdote of the alchemists, reproduced


many variations, and even in Hermetic poems, such

II

with

as Norton's Ordinal of Alchemy.

The Turba Philosophorutn.

92

punic dye,* having em-

tion, for the

braced his spouse, passes swiftly into


her body, liquefies, congeals, breaks
up, and disintegrates the same. Finally,

the redness does not delay in coming,


and if ye efifect it without the weight,

take place, whereupon

death will

it

be thought to be bad. Hence, I


order that the fire should be gentle in
liquefaction, but when it is turned to

will

make

earth

imbue

the

God

until

it

colours for us

same

intense,!

and

shall extract the

and they appear.

The Twenty-eighth Dictum.

am

ye
Turba at the very great force and
nature of this water, for when it has

CusTos

saith

surprised,

all

entered into the said body,


first

into earth,

it

turns

it

and next into powder,


which take in

to test the perfection of

the hand, and


as water,

it

The second

That

is,

if
is

ye find it impalpable
then most excellent;

recension reads

"the male."

"intenser in congelation," according

the second recension.

to

The Turba Philosophorum.

93

otherwise, repeat the cooking until

brought

to

And know

required

the

that

if

it is

condition.

ye use any substance

other than our copper, and rule with


it will profit you nothing.
on the other hand, ye rule our
copper with our water, ye shall find all
that has been promised by us.
But

our water,
If,

Turba

the

answereth: Father, the en-

vious* created no

little

obscurity

when

they commanded us to take lead and


white quicksilver, and to rule the same

with dew and the sun

coin-like

stone.

till

Then

it

becomes

he-.

They

meant our copper and our permanent


when they thus directed you to
cook in a gentle fire, and affirmed that

water,

there should be produced the said coinlike stone,

concerning which the Wise

have also observed, that Nature rejoices


in Nature, by reason of the affinity
which they know to exist between the
*
is

The

distinction

little difficult

between the Wise and the Envious

to follow, nor

is it

at all certain that the

envious had less wisdom than the wise, or the wise less

envy than the envious.


Greeks

indifferently.

In either case, they were

all

The Turba Philosophorum.

94

two bodies, that is to say, copper


and permanent water. Therefore, the
nature of these two is one, for between
them there is a mixed affinity, without
which they would not so swiftly unite,
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,
and roasted until it has become gold ?
Th& Twenty-Ninth Dictum.

DiAMEDES

saith

Thou

hast

spoken

O Moses*, in an ungrudging
manner, as became thee I will also
already,

confirm thy words, passing over the


hardness of the elements which the
wise desire to remove, this disposition
being most precious in their eyes.

Know,

from a

man

ye seekers after this doctrine,


that man does not proceed except

mals

that only which

is like unto
begotten from brute aniand so also with flying creatures.

themselves

is

This reference

is

omitted from the second recension.


for Custos, or vice versa.

Moses may be a misprint

The Turba Philosophorum.


I

have treated these matters

95
in

com-

pendious fashion, exalting you towards

who

the truth,

yourselves omit pro-

Nature

lixity, for

is

truly not

improved

by Nature, save with her own nature,


seeing that thou thyself art not im-

proved except
say,

man

in

in

thy son, that

is

to

man.* See, therefore, that

ye do not neglect the precepts concerning her, but make use of venerable
Nature, for out of her Art cometh, and
*

"

When

thou hast attained,

standing of these things by


creation
is

to the under-

pieliminaiy, consider

and generation as a whole, and know that man

able to bring forth man, the lion begets the lion, and the

dog procreates the dog.


is

my child,

way of a

Should

produced contrary to nature,

it

it

happen that a creature


is

a monster which

engendered, and the same hath no consistence.

is

Nature

charms nature, and nature triumphs through nature. The


adepts having participated in the divine power, and having
succeeded by the divine assistance, illuminated by the
fruit of

the prayers of

Isis,

made

preparations with certain

metallic minera, without having recourse to other (unsuitable) substances.

Thus they succeeded by means of the

substantial nature in triumphing over the matter


in the preparations.

said that

In

fact,

even as

employed

have previously

wheat begets wheat, and man sows man, so also


the increase of gold, and like things

gold serves for

generally for the reproduction of their like.

mystery been revealed." /

to

Horut.

Now

hath the

The Turba PMlosophorum.

96

Know

out of no other.

rule

Nature and

seize hold of this

you

less

also that un-

ye will obtain nothing.

it,

who

male,

therefore, that

Join,

son to

is

the red slave,* in marriage with his


fragrant wife, which having been done,

produced between them


matter unto these
foreign

Art

is

add no

things,

neither powder nor anything else

conception

is

sufficient for us, for

near, yet the son

exceeding
The
later

nearer

is

precious

is

the nature of

is

found also in old Arabian

defined this Stone by saying that

earth

burning

hard stone and

&c.

In

the

fire

stone.

soft

the swift and the stable

made,"

treatises,

They have

running water and

is

and frozen
It

is

fire

dead

the fiying slave,

makes and

is

Speculum Majus of Vincent de

appears as a synonym of Mercury, which of

it

course

an obvious symbolism.

some

it

"

the thing which

Beauvais
is

How

still. +

such as the Twelve Chapters of Oatanes

permanent water

it is

the Servus Fugitivus abounds in

allegory ot

alchemy, and

that

treatise

lexicons, the

Rulandus attributes

ascribed to Hermes.

Red Se rvant

it

to

According to other

the matter from which the

is

Philosophers extract their Mercury, which must therefore

be the marriageable son rnentioned in the text above.


fugitive

rUe

of

Mercury

ment on The Fabrication


t

The second

begotten."

is

referred to in the

Greek

The
frag-

ef the All, as already cited.

recension

reads

"A

true

son

is

The Turba Philosophorum.

red

97

without which the


regimen cannot endure Bacsen saith

that

slave,

Diomedes, thou hast publicly


vealed this disposition
1

He

re-

answereth

even shed more light upon it.


unto you who fear not God, for

will

Woe
He may
Why,

you

deprive

therefore,

towards your brethren

We

do not

flee

us, therefore,

of

this

you

are
?

art

envious

They answer

except from fools

what

thy will

is

tell

And

he

Place Citrine with his wife after the


conjunction into the bath ; do not
kindle the bath excessively, lest they

be deprived

of

sense

and

motion

cause them to remain in the bath until


their
shall

body, and the colour thereof,


become a certain unity, where-

upon restore unto


again suffer

it

and beware

lest

burning them

it

to die

the sweat thereof;

then give

it

rest,

ye evaporate them by
in

too

strong a

fire.

Venerate the king and his wife,* and


*

According to Rulandus, the King

is

the spiritual

water which gives moisture to the female, but there are

many meanings.

This passage

is

the fountain-head of the

whole symbolism of the alchemical marriage, which

is

The Turba Philosophorum.

gS

do not burn them, since you know not


when you may have need of these
things, which improve the king and his

Cook them, therefore, until they


become black, then white, afterwards
red, and finally until a tingeing venom

wife.

produced.

is

Science,

happy are

stand, but

my

if

not, I

after

seekers
ye,

have

if
still

this

ye underperformed

duty, and that briefly, so that

if

ye remain ignorant, it is God who


hath concealed the truth from you!
Blame not, therefore, the Wise, but
yourselves, for

possessed a

if

God knew

that ye

mind, most cer-

faithful

he would reveal unto you the


truth.
Behold, I have established you
therein, and have extricated you from

tainly

error

The Thirtieth Dictum.

Bacsen
well,

saith:

Thou

O Diomedes, but

hast

spoken

do not see that

concerned' always with royal personages.

Compare the

Sponsus and Sponsa of the Chemical Nuptials of OhrUtian

Rosy Crosf, and the innumerable


illustrate

Latin Alchemy.

able to a Greek source.

It

pictorial

emblems which

does not appear to be trace-

The Turba Philosophorum.

99

thou hast demonstrated the disposition


of Corsufle* to posterity
Corsufle

Of this same

have spoken
in many ways, and have confused it
with all manner of names. Then he :
Tell

the

envious

me, therefore,

cording

thy

to

matters, and

that this

is

Bacsen,

opinion

ac-

these

in

swear by thy father

the head of the work,+ for

the true beginning hereof cometh after

Bacsen

the completion.

therefore,

notice,

saith

seekers

future

to

after this Art, that Corsufle is a

and that

posite,
*

The

Rulandus

alchemy who

of

followed

long interval, explain that Corsufle, or as

they sometimes wrote

it,

Philosophers fixed at the


is

com-

must be roasted

it

lexicographers

after a

give

Carsufle, is the Sulphur of the

Red Stage.

Under

neither form

the term to be found in Rulandus himselt, though he

was well acquainted with the Turba. His dictionary,


however, includes Cor Fuffla, which might be a mutilated
version produced in a

the

impurity

German

of bodies,

printing office.
definition

It signifies

which does not

correspond either with the text of the Turba, or with the

subsequent

vocabularies.

obscure, and

it is

The

or Syrian alchemy published


t

head,

The

origin

of the word

by M.

Berthelot.

According to the second recension, Corsufle


i.e.,

is

not found in the collections of Arabian

is

the

the crown, and not the beginning of the work.

speaker also

is different,

namely, Nephitus.

The Turba Philosophorum.

100

seven times, because when


at perfection

The

it

Turba

arrives

it

tinges the whole body.

answereth:

spoken the truth,

Thou

hast

Bacsen

The Thirty-First Dictum.

Pythagoras

How

does

the

discourse of Bacsen appear to

you,

saith

has omitted to name the


by its artificial names?
And they
Name it, therefore, oh
Pythagoras
And he : Corsufle being
its
composition, they have applied
he

since

substance

to

it

all

the

names

of bodies in the

world, as, for example, those of coin,

copper,

tin,

of lead, until

that

colour

Turba

and

gold, iron,

name

it

and become

answereth:

well,

have

also

among

the others

Thou

Pythagoras

spoken

The

Ixir.

hast spoken

And

well,

may

also the

be deprived of

he

and

Ye

some

discourse con-

cerning the residual matters.


The Thirty-Second Dictum.

BoNELLUs

saith:

Pythagoras,

all

According to thee,
things die and live

The Turha Philosophorum.

by the

will of

loi

God, because that nature

from which the humidity is removed,


that nature which is left by nights,
does indeed seem
that

is

dead

unto something

like
is

it

then turned and

man

(again) left for certain nights, as a


is left

unto

will restore

and the

it

becomes a

These things being done,

powder.*

God

tomb, when

in his

it

both the soul

and the weak-

spirit thereof,

ness being taken away, that matter will

be made strong, and after corruption


will be improved, even as a man

becomes stronger

after resurrection

and

younger than he was in this world.


Therefore it behoves you, O ye Sons
of the

Doctrine,

matter with

become a

to

boldly until

fire

when know

cinder,

have mixed

it

The

spirit,

and

text is corrupt

is like

to

one dead

and is imbued
The second

unintelligible.

like

when

it

has been

left iot

and then that nature is wanting

in fire until the spirit of that

becomes dust

shall

that ye

" Therefore that nature from which the

humidity has been removed,


nights,

it

that

excellently well, for that

cinder receives the

recension reads

consume

body returns

unto one dead in his tomb."

and then

it

The Turba Philosoplwrum.

103

with the

humour

until

colour than

fairer

it

assumes a

it

previously pos-

sessed. Consider, therefore,

O ye Sons

of the Doctrine, that artists are unable

own tinctures until


them into a powder;

to paint with their

they convert

similarly, the philosophers

cannot com-

bine medicines for the sick slaves until

they also turn them into powder, cooking

some of them

to a cinder, while
their hands.

others they grind with

The

case

is

the

same with those who

compose the images of the ancients.


But if ye understand what has already
been

said,

ye

will

know

the truth, and hence

you

to burn

that

speak

have ordered

up the body and turn

into a cinder,

for

if

ye rule

it

it

subtly

many things will proceed from it, even


as much proceeds from the smallest
things in the world.

It is

thus because

man, has a body and a


soul, for the inspiration of men cometh
from the air, which after God is their
life, and similarly the copper is inspired
by the humour from which that same
copper

like

The Turba Philosophorum,

copper receiving strength

is

103

multiplied

and augmented like other things.


Hence, the philosophers add, that
when copper is consumed with fire and
iterated several times, it
becomes
The
it
was.
Turba
better than
answeretk Show, therefore, O Bonellus,
to future generations after what manner it becometh better than it was
And he I will do so willingly it is
because it is augmented and multiplied, 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

healing must be effected.

our

larly,

copper,

when

it

Simiis

first

cooked, becomes water; then the more


it is

until

cooked, the more


it

is

it

thickened

becomes a stone, as the envious

have termed

it,

but

it is

really

tending to become a metal.

an egg
It

is

afterwards broken and imbued, when


ye must roast it in a fire more intense
than the former, until it shall be

coloured and shall become like blood

The Turba Philosophorum.

104
in

combustion, when

it

is

placed on

and changes them into gold,

coins

according to the Divine pleasure. Do


you not see that sperm is not produced

be diligentlycooked in the liver till it has acquired


an intense red colour, after which no
change takes place in that sperm ?*
from the blood unless

the

It is

it

same with our work,

for unless

it shall
be cooked
become a powder, and afterwards be

diligently until

it

putrefied until it shall

sperm, there

from

But

it

if

will in

become a

spiritual

no wise proceed

that colour which ye desire.

ye arrive at the conclusion of

and so obtain your purbe princes among the


people of your time.

this regimen,

pose, ye shall

The Thirty-Third Dictum.

NiCARUS saith:
this arcanum

The comparison

Now

ye have

The

public.

of the progress of the

development ol the embryo, which


above reference, and
adepts,

is

is,

in fact,

is

made
Turba

work

to the

suggested by the

common

to all

found also in the Greek writers, and

Latin

among

The Turba Philosophorum.

105

: Thus did the Master order.


Not the whole, nevertheless.
: He ordered us to clear away

answereth

And

he:

But

they

the darkness therefrom

And

fore, tell us.

he

terity to take the gold

do thou, thereI

counsel pos-

which they wish

and renovate, then to divide


the water into two parts. And they :
to multiply

when they divide


It behoves them

Distinguish, therefore,

But

the water.
to

bum up

For the
water,

he

our copper with one part.

said copper, dissolved in that

is

called the ferment of Gold,* if

these, in Comaiius,

who

says that the test of

the material as the embryo

is

fire

nourishes

nourished in the mother's

womb.
* M. Berthelot traces the original notion of the fermentation of metals to the sophistication called diplosis.

designed for the accomplishment of a


imitation are also

met with,

" Recipes

more profound

for example, the alliance of

gold or silver with a more or less considerable quantity ot

some

less precious

diplosis."

It is

metal

this

was the operation

of

found in the Leyden papyrus, but there

are traces that the Egyptian goldsmith believed, or at any


xate sought to

was

really

make

fermentation."
in

many

others believe, " that the true metal

multiplied

places

The

by an operation comparable

fermentation of metals

by the Greek

writers: " It

is
is

to

mentioned
necessary

that this water, after the manner of leaven, should deter-

mine the fermentations destined to produce the

like,

by

The Turba Philosophorum.

io6

For the same in like


manner are cooked and liquefy as
water; finally, by cooking they are
the red
congealed, crumble, and
appears. But then it behoves you to

ye rule

well.

imbue seven times with the residual


water, until they absorb

and,

all

the water,

the moisture being dried up,

all

they are turned into dry earth


kindle a

days until
its

then

and place therein for forty


the whole shall putrefy, and

fire

colours appear.
The Thirty-Fourth Dictum.

Bacsen

saith

On

of thy

account

dicta

the Philosophers said beware.*

Take

the regal Corsufle, which

to the redness of copper,

is

like

and pound

in the urine of a calf until the nature


means

of the like, in the metallic

tact, after the

same manner

body

to be tinged.

in a small quantity, ferments a great

also will this

matter."
literal

mass of

morsel of gold ferment

little

This notion

is

As a

that the leaven of dough, used

all

paste, so

the dry

repeated in terms essential and

by innumerable Latin alchemists.


For

this

somewhat

cension substitutes

bizarre reading the second re-

" It seems needful to lay stress upon

some matters which have been already mentioned."

The Turba Philosophorum.

of the Corsufle

107

converted, for the

is

true nature has been hidden in the

The Turba
Explain to posterity what the

of the Corsufle.

belly
saith

nature

which

which

And
is

And

is.

they

Shew,

coruscates.

he

It is

poured upon

is

until

absorbs

it

how

therefore,

And

extracted.

and water

humour, and receives


is

tingeing spirit

and

coinlike,

is

times

he

hath from permanent water,

it

seven

it

whole
which

the

a force

equal to the hostility of the

then

same

it

is

called

diligently

spiritual

of

fire;

Putrefy the

rust.

until

powder,

it

pounded,

it

becomes a

a colour like burnt

blood, which the fire overcoming hath

introduced into the receptive belly of

Nature, and hath coloured with an


This, therefore, have

indelible colour.

kings sought, but not found, save only


to

whom God
* It

was

has granted

different in the

But

it.*

days of Zosimus,

who

tells

us that in Egypt the divine art of operating on minera

belonged to the Kings, and the alchemists of the Nile no

own

more worked

in their

The increase

of the King's riches

interest

than the minters of coin.

was the only end

in view,

The Turba Philosophorum.

To8
the

Turba

Bacsen.

saith

Finish your speech,

And

he

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, and Nictimerus
also has spoken well

have

spoken

well,

Then he: If I
do one of you

continue.
The Thirty-Fifth Dictum.

But ZiMON

* saith

Hast thou left anyby another ? And the


Turba Since the words of Nicarus and
Bacsen are of little good to those who
:

thing to be said
:

seek after this Art,

tell

us, therefore,

what thou knowest,' according as we


have said.
And he Ye speak the

truth,

Nothing

all

ye seekers after this Art

else has led

you into

error but

the sayings of the envious, + because what


and

for this reason the priests

who were acquainted with

the mineral secrets did not dare to disclose


*

In the second recension

the

them

name

is

publicly.

rendered

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

The Turbo. Philosophorum.

ye seek

sold at the smallest possible

is

price.*

109

men knew

If

and how

this,

great was the thing they held in their

hands, they would in no wise

sell it.

Therefore, the Philosophers have glori-

venom, + have treated of it


variously, and in many ways, have
taken and applied to it all manner of
names, wherefore, certain envious persons have said It is a stone and not a
fied that

gum

stone, but

of

Ascotia,

con-

sequently, the Philosophers have con-

For

cealed the power thereof.


spirit

which ye seek, that ye

therewith,

the soul in the


*

end

is

this

tinge

concealed in the body,

is

and hidden away from

human

This passage recalls

effect in

may

sight,

body.J

many

even as

But ye

statements to the same

the Greek alchemists, as, lor example, that the

not to be obtained by money, " for the Lord

God

has delivered the same gratuitously, by reason ot the

beggars and the despairing."

But

this

Byzantine Assembly of the Philosophers

an

passage from the


is

in part at least

interpolation.
t

The second

reads

recension

" that useful

and

abject thing."
I

which

Otherwise

" Therein

is

the spirit which you seek,

tinges, vivifies, gives health

and

life

to bodies."

no

The Tiirba Philosophorum.

seekers after the Art, unless ye disintegrate

body, imbue and pound

this

cautiously and

both

ye extract

from

it

and turn

grease),

impalpable

it

spirit,

until

diligently,

grossness (or

its

and

into a tenuous

have your labour in

Wherefore the Philosophers have


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

saith:

Tell,

bodies

are

And

he

and

therefore,

turned

They

Ethelia

are
till

how

not-bodies.

into

pounded with
they become

And know

powder.*

posterity

fire

that this does

by an exceedingly strong decoction, and connot

place

take

tinuous

contrition,

a moderate
*

The second

pounded
t

until

The

except

it

fire,i

performed
not with

recension reads

becomes dust," but

"

it is

counsel of Olympiodorus

is

should escape in smoke and be lost,"

is

Some

is

hands, +

When

Ethelia

is

evidently corrupt.

similar

must burn with moderation and gentleness,


that this Art

with

" The

lest

And, again

not practised by means of a fierce

Latin alchemists say that the

fire

the vapour
:

" Know

fire.''

Magnum Oput

a work of the hands, which others deny, and a very pretty

The Turba Philosophorum.

iii

with imbibition and putrefaction, with

exposure to the sun and to Ethelia.

The

envious caused the vulgar to err in

this Art
is

when they stated

common

in its nature

They

a small price.

that the thing

and

is

sold at

further said that

the nature was more precious than

all

natures, wherefore they deceived those

who had

same time they spoke the

the

At

recourse to their books.

truth,

and therefore doubt not these things.


Bui the Turba answereth : Seeing that
thou

believest

the

sayings

of

the

envious, explain, therefore, to posterity


disposition

the

And

he

of

testify

the two

natures.

you that Art

to

requires two natures, for the precious


is

not produced without the

diversity of opinion has risen

consequence.

The

common,

up among interpreters in

partisans of the

view, denying the

first

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

manual operation was the mystery of animal magnetThe Turba in the passage above, and in other

ism.

places, is against the use of the hands, whatever that

have

signified,

thou, as do some, that manual action


sufficient

may

here following Olympiodorus: " Think not

there

is

superior to man's."

is

of

itself

and alone

also required that of Nature, an action

On

the Sacred Art.

113

The Turha Philosophorum.

nor the

common

It

without the precious.

behoves you, therefore,

all

ye

investigators of this Art, to follow the

sayings of Victimerus,*
to

his

you

disciples

save

work

is in

Nothing

the

Turba

the vapour

and

The whole

and the sublima-

Demonstrate,

tion of water.

said

else helps

water

sublimate

to

And

vapour.

when he

thiere-

them the disposition of the


vapour. And he When ye shall perceive that the natures have become
water by reason of the heat of the
fire, and that they have been purified,
and that the whole body of Magnesia
to

fore,

is

liquefied as water; then all things

have been made vapour, and


for then the vapour contains

rightly,
its

own

equal, wherefore the envioust call either

vapour,
in

because

decoctions,

other.

both

are

joined

and one contains the


stag finds no path to

Thus our

escape, although flight be essential to

" Of the elders," says the second recension,

The second

recension substitutes "

phers," a variation which, in

its

way,

The

Philoso-

is significant.

The Turba Philosophorum.

The one keeps back

it.

that

it

has no opportunity to

made permanent,

are

and

fly,

hence

congealed with
extracts

it

perties which

and

it,

it

all

when the one

for

being hidden in the body,

falls,

and

the other, so

no place to escape

finds

113

it

is

colour varies,

its

nature from the pro-

its

God

has infused into His

But
the blackness and redness appear, and it
falls into sickness, and dies by rust and
elect,

and

it

putrefaction
it

has

alienates

lest it flee.

properly speaking, then,

not

it,

flight,

although

desirous to escape servitude


it is

free

it

follows its spouse, that a

may

favourable colour
its

spouse

but when

it is

then when

its
it

makes them

beauty

is

befall itself
is

not as

it

and
was,

placed with coins,

gold.

For

this reason,

therefore, the Philosophers

have called

the spirit and the soul vapour.

have also called

it

it

the black

They
humid

and forasmuch as in
humidity and
dryness, thus our work, which the
envious have concealed, is nothing else
wanting perlution

man

there

are

both

114

Turba Philosophorum.

^'Ae

answereth

water
is

out

and
I say that the work
the envious have

Demonstrate vapour

And

Turba

The

but vapour and water.


he

two

of

composed out of two, because


these two become four, wherein are
and
spirit
dryness and humidity,
vapour. The TvRBX answereth: Thou
hast spoken excellently, and without
envy. Let Zimon next follow.
called

it

The Thirty-Sixth Dictum.

Afflontus,* the Philosopher, saith:


I notify to you all, O ye investigators
of this Art, that unless ye sublime the
substances at the commencement by
cooking, without contrition of hands,
until the

whole become water, ye have

And know

not yet found the work.


that

ye,

copper

the

was

formerly

by others stone, and,


names vary in every

called sand, but

indeed,

the

regimen.
nature and

Know

The name

that

the

humidity become water,

then a stone,
*

further,

if

in the

ye cause them to be
second recension

is

Assotes.

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

complexionated, and

well

if

115

ye are

acquainted with the natures, because


the part which

is

to the top,

rises

and

light

spiritual

but that which

is

thick and heavy remains below in the

Now

vessel.

the

of

which

the contrition

this is

namely,

Philosophers,

that

not sublimated sinks down,

is

but that which becomes a spiritual


powder rises to the top of the vessel,
and this is the contrition of decoction,

Know

not of hands.

also, that unless

ye have turned all into powder, ye


have not yet pounded them completely.

Cook

them,

become

they

until

converted,

Agathodaimon

is

included

and

Agadaimon*

Wherefore

powder.
*

successively

therefore,

among

the makers of

gold in one of the eailier sections of the Byzantine collection.

He

is

quoted by Olympiodorus (On the Sacred Art),

and a short account


"

It is stated

the most ancient


that he

is

of

him

given by the same writer.

is

by some that he was a man ancient among

who

philosophised in Egypt, by others

a mysterious angel, or that he

of Egypt," &c.

M.

Egyptian divinity

is

the good genius

Berthelot points out that there

who

bore a

Zosimus beheld Agathodaimon


ascended to the third degree.

name

in a vision

An

was an

equivalent to this.

when

his soul

Explanation and Gam-

The Turba Philosophorum.

ii6
saith

Cook the copper

until

be-

it

come a gentle and impalpable body,


and impose in its own vessel; then
sublimate the same six or seven times
until

the water shall descend.

know

that

powder

when the water has become


has

then

diligently.

But

if

ground

been

it

ye ask, how

made a powder

water

And

the

is

note that the

intention of the Philosophers

is

that the

body before which before it falls into the


water is not water may become water
the said water is mixed with the other
water, and they become one water.
;

It

to

is

unless
into

be

therefore,

stated,

that

ye turn the thing mentioned

water,* ye shall

the work.
for the

It

body

is,

to

the flame of the


integrated

the water,

not attain

therefore,

to

necessary

be so possessed by
that

fire

it

is

dis-

and becomes weak with


when the water has been

menfdry of Agathodaimon upon tlu Oracle of OrpAeut

is

extant in the Greek collection.


'

The second

into water."

recension reads

" unless ye turn both

The Turba Philosophorum.

added to the water,


comes water. But

until the

Had

clouds.

is

whole be-

hearing of

fools,

water, think that this-

117

water of the

they read our books they

would know that it is permanent water,


which cannot become permanent without

made
the

companion, wherewith

its

But

one.

this is the

is

water which

Water
Good Venom,
Many Names

Philosophers have called

of Gold, the

Igneous,

and that Sand of


which Hermes ordered
frequently,

the

it

to be

washed

that the blackness of

so

Sun might be removed, which

he introduced in the solution of the


body. And know, all ye seekers after

the spirit, ye will

ye take this
our copper without
by no means see

what ye

because no foreign

this

Art,

pure body, that

thing

unless

that

is,

desire,

enters

therein,

thing enter unless


fore,

all

names,
if

ye
the

dismiss

err,

be pure.

seekers after

multitude

for the

anyone

it

nor does any-

nature

is

of

Therethis

Art,

obscure

one water

he draws nigh to de-

The Turba Philosophorunt.

li8

and loses his life. Therefore,


one nature, but dismiss what

struction,

keep this
is

foreign.

The Thirty-Seventh Dictum.

BoNELLUs

saith

speak a

will

And

Speak.

he

little

Turba

The

Magnesia.

concerning
answereth

all

when mixing

Sons of the Doctrine,

vessel, the

Magnesia, place

it

mouth of which

close carefully,

in

ye

its

and

cook with a gentle fire until it liquefy,


For
and all become water therein!
the heat of the water acting thereupon,
it

becomes water by the

will of

God.

When

ye see that the said water is


about to become black, ye know that
the body is already liquefied. Place

and cook for forty


up the moisture
of the vinegar and honey.* But certain
again in

There

vessel,

its

days, until

is

drink

it

an exceedingly curious reference to honey

in the Discourse of Synesius.


is

The

question being what

the difference between the mercury which

from cinnabar, and that which

is

the Philosopher explains that while


there are

still

all

mercury

a variety of sorts, and he quotes

" The ray of honey

is

is

obtained

obtained from arsenic,


is

one,

Hermes

white," and " the ray of honey

is

The Turbo, Philosophorum.

persons uncover

119

say, once in each

it,

week, or once in every ten nights


in either case, the ultimate perfection

of pure water appears at the end of


days,

forty

for

then

completely

it

absorbs the humour of the decoction.


Therefore, wash the same, and deprive
of

blackness, until, the blackness

its

being removed, the stone becomes dry


to the touch.

said

Wash

water,

become

Hence
the

the envious have

Magnesia with

soft

and cook diligently, until it


earth, and the humour perish.

Then it is called copper.

Subsequently,

pour very sharp vinegar upon it, and


it to be soaked therein.
But
this is our copper, which the Philobe
sophers have ordained should
washed with permanent water, whereLet the venom *
fore they have said
leave

M.

yellow."

Berthelot

explains

honey

that

mercury, which in the special connection


obvious, but

it

does not follow that this

which was invariably attached

As a

fact, in later

to

it

is

is

signifies

of course

the significance

by the philosophers.

days the term was used to signify the

philosophical dissolvent.
The
The Greek

following explanation
los,

is

given by

M.

Berthelot.

and Virus, the Latin equivalent, are words

The Turba Philosophorum.

120

be divided into two parts, with one


of which burn up the body, and with
the other putrefy. And know, all ye
Science, that the

this

seekers after

and regimen does not


take place except by water, wherefore,

whole

work

they say that the thing which ye seek


is one, and, unless that which improves
it

be present

in the said thing,

what ye

look for shall in no wise take place.


it behoves you to add those

Therefore,

things which are needful, that ye

may

thereby obtain that which you purpose.

The TvRBA answereth: Thou has spoken


excellently,

Bonellus

If it please

thee, therefore, finish that


art saying

time.

But

which thou

otherwise repeat
he

Shall

a second

indeed repeat

these and like things

it

all

ye

in-

which hadexceedinglydiversemeaning among the ancients.

The

Virus, according to Pliny,

specific virtues of bodies,

ivory,

and sandarac

meant

certain properties or

such as the odour of copper^

the medical action of calx of gold

;.

the magnetic virtue communicated to iron by the magnet."

Hence the term


or

if

signified the

power and not the operation,

the operation, then this in

healing or hurting.

oxyde of metals.

all its

phases, whether of

los also signified in a special

way

the

The Turba Philosophorum.


vestigators

copper

of

take

Art,

this

place with the

first

water in the vessel; cook

121

our

part of the

for forty days;

purify from all uncleanliness; cook fur-

days be accomplished, and


it become a stone having no moisture.
Then cook until nothing remains except
ther until

its

This done, cleanse seven times,


wash with water, and when the water
is used up leave it to putrefy in its
faeces.*

vessel, so long as

may seem

desirable

But the envious


called this composition when it is turned
your pufpose.

to

into blackness that which

is

sufficiently

and have said Rule the same


But that
with vinegar and nitre.
which remained when it had been
whitened they called sufficiently white,
and ordained that it should be ruled
Again, when
Avith permanent water.
black,

in

The whole mystery

is in

the scoriae," says Zosimus,

The Diversity of Burnt Copper, and though the remark

has a particular application,

it

was

the nature of a general axiom.


iact,

also with alchemists of

So Olympiodorus : "In

the negative body par excellence, that which

is

called

black lead, that which the Egyptian prophets desired to

know, that which the oracles of the demons have revealed,


all these are the scoriae and cinders of Mary,"

The Turba Philosophorum.

122

same

they called the

they ordained that


with water and

fire

Turba

The

red.

it

red,

sufflciently

should be ruled
until

became

it

answereth

Show

what they intended


And he : They called

forth unto posterity

by these things.
it Ixir satis, by reason of the variation
of

its

In the work, however,

colours.

there

is

neither variety,

nor opposition of
necessary

only

multiplicity,

substances

it

is

make the black

to

copper white and then red.

However,
the truth-speaking Philosophers had no

other intention than that of liquefying,

pounding, and cooking Ixir until the


stone should
in

its

become

splendour.

envious again

said

unto marble

like

Accordingly,
:

the

Cook the same

with vapour until the stone becomes


coruscating by reason of

But when ye

see

it

thus,

its brilliancy.
it is,

indeed,

the most great

Arcanum. Notwithmust then pound and wash


it seven times with permanent water
finally, again pound and congeal in its

standing, ye

own

water, until ye extract

its

own con-

The Turba Philosopkorum.

123

cealed nature. Wherefore, saith Maria,

sulphurs are contained in sulphurs, but

humour

in

sulphur

mixed

comes

like

forth

humour, and out


with

of

there

But I
the same with

a great work.

ordain that you rule

dew

sulphur,

and the sun, until your purpose


appear to you.
For I signify unto
you that there are two kinds of
whitening and of making red, of which
one consists in rustt and the other in
contrition and decoction.
But ye do
'The Greek alchemists assumed a special virtue in dew,
was not apparently so much inherent in the moisture
itself, as in the rays of the morning sun with which it is
but

it

Neither alchemically or otherwise was

chiefly connected.

the night

dew

ever considered beneficial.

the Rational and Mystical Questions, says

Democritus, in
:

" Whiten this

earth with sea water or sweetened saumur, or with the

water of heaven
sun," &c.

mean by exposing

not be understood

literally.

dew and the


this

should

as possessing an inherent

virtue apart from the vital presence

dew

to

In the Turba Philoiopkorum,

dew appears under another aspect,


solar rays.

it

There seems no special reason why

and

activity of the

In Latin alchemy, however, the references to

are not very frequent, and

it

does not seem to have

played so important a part in the symbolism of the adepts


as

Mosheim and

others have supposed.

t Or, according to the

red."

second recension, " in making

124

^^* Turba Philosophoram.

not need any contrition of hands.

Be-

ware, however, of making a separation

from the waters

lest the

poisons get at

and the body perish with the


other things which are in the vessel.t

you,

The Thirty-Eighth Dictum.

Effistus saith : Thou hast spoken


most excellently, O Bonellus, and I
bear witness to all thy words! The
TvRBA saith: Tell us if there be any
service in the speech of Bonellus, so

that those initiated in this disposition

may be more bold and certain. Effistus


ye investigators
of this Art, how Hermes, chief of the
Philosophers, spoke and demonstrated
when he wished to mix the natures.
saith:

Consider,

all

Take, he tells us, the stone of gold;


combine with humour which is permanent water, set in its vessel,
over a gentle fire until liquefaction

t Otherwise, " the

body and soul which are

vessel shall quickly perish."

in the

The Turha Philosopkorum.

takes

Then

place.

leave

125
until

it

the water dries, and the sand

and

water are combined, one with another


then let the fire be more intense than
before, until
is

made

it

again becomes dry, and

When

earth.

understand that here


of the
times,

arcanum

is

this is done,

the beginning

but do this

many

two-thirds of the water

until

and colours manifest unto you.


The TuRBA answereth : Thou hast
spoken excellently, O Effistus
Yet,

perish,

briefly

And

inform us further.
to

testify

dealbation doth

posterity

that

he

the

not take place save

by decoction.*
Consequently, Agadaimon has very properly treated of
cooking, of pounding, and of imbuing,+
*

The Greek

equivalent of Decoction identifies the

process with that cooking which

alchemical experiments.

In the

is

so often ordained in all

New

Light of Arnoldus

de Villa Nova three grades of the operation are described,


together with the special furnaces and appliances required.

In the

first

second, white

accompanied
f

grade, the matter


;

in

and

becomes black

in the third, red.

The

in the

description is

each case by a citation from the Tvrba.


" for which
recension substitutes

The second

cause there must be frequent pounding and imbuing."

The Turba Philosophorum.

iz5

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, pound and dessicate, and
do this several times until the water
ethelia.

be exhausted. Now concerning this


Leave the
the envious have said
water when it has all been poured in^
and it will sink to the bottom. But
:

their intention is this, that while the

humour
been

and when

drying,

is

turned into powder, leave

glass vessel

forty

for

days,

it

has

in its

it

until it

passes through various colours, which


the Philosophers have described.

By

method of cooking the bodies put


on their spirits and spiritual tinctures,
and become warm.* The Turba amthis

swereth

Thou

Effistus,

Truly art

hast given light to us,

and hast done

excellently

thou cleared from

envy;

wherefore, let one of you others speak


as he pleases.

The second

spirits,

and the

recension

spirits are

made

" bodies become


:
and they tinge."

leads
hot,

The Turha Philosophorum.

127

The Thirty-Ninth Dictum.

Bacsen saith ;* O all ye seekers after


this Art, ye can reach no useful result
without a patient, laborious,! and
solicitous

persevering

soul,

He, there-

and continuous regimen.

who

fore,

is

courage,

persevere in

willing to

may

and would enjoy the


enter upon it, but he

desires

to learn over speedily,

disposition,

this

result,

who

must not have recourse

to our books,

they impose great labour before

for

they are read in their higher sense,


once,

twice,

or

Master saith: Whosoever bends


back over the study of our

the
his

books, devoting
*

Therefore,

thrice.

The

speaker

in

his

the

leisure

second

thereto,

recension

is

called

Admion.
t

The

like exhortation is

pensable in our magistery.


part in this magistery."

met with everywhere

Haste, indeed,

master.

Know

are patience
Ibid.

it

is ot

the devil's

Bosary of the Philotophers,

again, " It is impossible for this to be

unless he learns

in the

" Patience and delay are indis-

literature of the adepts.

known by

And

the seeker

irom God, or from the instruction ot a

also that the

way

and delay needful

is

very long ; therefore

in this our magistery."

;!

The Turba Philosophorum.

ia8

not occupied with vain thoughts,

is

but fears God, and shall reign in the

Kingdom without fail until he die.*


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

Know

ye not that for the smallest


purpose in the world, earthly men will
themselves to death, and what,

give

therefore, ought

they

to

do

this

for

most excellent and almost impossible


offering ?

than

Now, the regimen

is

greater

perceived by reason, except

is

through divine

inspiration.

once

met with a person who was as


The

God has always been

fear of

The

essential to the success of the true alchemist.

planation

is

The Greek

" Abide at thine

awe and wonder

to early experi-

alchemists regarded no operation as

possible without the

says

ex-

to be sought in the fact that the operations of

nature were a region of

ment.

well

regarded as

divine concurrence,

own

fireside

and Zosimus

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.
;

Rest thy body, and hush thy passions

so,

governing thyself, thou shalt call unto thee the Divine


Being, and the Divine Being will

When

come

to thee.

thou shaltjtriow thyself, then shalt thou

the only

God

attain truth

existing in thee

know

also

and acting thus thou shalt

and nature, rejecting matter with contempt."

The Turba Philosophorum.

acquainted
I

with

129

elements

the

as

when he proceeded

myself, but

to

rule this disposition, he attained not to

the joy thereof by reason of his sadness

and ignorance

in ruling,

eagerness, desire,

of the Doctrine

and haste concern-

Woe

ing the purpose.

and excessive

unto you, sons

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

How,

harvest time.

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


stated that the truth

discerned

except

is

after

plainly

not
error,

to

be

and

nothing creates greater pain at heart

than

error in

this

Art,

while

each

imagines that he has almost the whole


world,

and yet

Woe

finds

nothing in his

Understand
the dictum of the Philosopher, and
how he divided the work when he
hands.

said

pound,

unto you

cook, reiterate, and be


K

The Tuvha PMlosophorum.

130

But when thus he divided the work, he signified comming-

thou not weary.


ling,

cooking,

assimilating,

roasting,

heating, whitening, pounding, cooking

making rust or redness, and

Ethelia,
tingeing.

Here, therefore, are there

many names, and yet there is one


regimen. And if men knew that one
decoction and one

contrition

would

them, they would not so often


repeat their words, as they have done,

suffice

and in order that the mixed body may


be pounded and cooked diligently,
have admonished you not to be weary
thereof.
Having darkened the matter
to you with their words, it suffices me
It is needful
to speak in this manner.
to complexionate the

then cook

many

venom

rightly,

and do not
of the decoction.
Imbue
until it shall become as I
times,

grow tired
and cook it
have ordained that it should be ruled
by you namely, impalpable spirits,
and until ye perceive that the Ixir is
clad in the garment of the Kingdom.
For when ye behold the Ixir turned into

The Turba Philosophorum.

131

Tyrian colour,* then have ye found


that which the Philosophers discovered
If ye understand my
words (and although my words be dead,

before you.t

yet

is

there

life

therein for those

understand themselves), they

who

will forth-

with explain any ambiguity occurring

Read, therefore, repeatedly,

herein.

for reading is a

which
is

is

dead speech, but that

same
we have

uttered with the lips the


speech.

living

Hencfi

ordered you to read frequently, and,

moreover, ponder diligently over the


things which

we have

narrated.

The Fortieth Dictum.

Jargus saith : Thou hast


a part of thy discourse,

And
in

Do

he:

left

obscure

Bacsen

thou, therefore, Jargus,

thy clemency shew forth the same


*

Latin

alchemists

made use

ot the

symbolism of

Tyrian dye when describing the Red state of the Magistery.

The Kenckel,

previously referred to,

is

apparently an

Eastern term designating the Crustacea from the shells

was anciently obtained.


The second recension reads " then

of which the dye


t

prehend the sayings of the Philosophers,"

shall

ye com-

The Turba Philosophorum.

132

And

he answereth

The copper

of which

thou hast before spoken is not copper,


nor is it the tin of the vulgar ; it is our
true work

(or

body) which must be

combined with the body of Magnesia,


that it may be cooked and pounded
without wearying until the stone

is

Afterwards, that stone must


made.
be pounded in its vessel with the water
of nitre, and, subsequently, placed in
liquefaction until

it is

destroyed.

ye investigators of this

all

art,

But,
it

is

necessary to have a water by which

much

the more you cook, so

you

sprinkle,*

shall put

on

until

rust,

the more

the said copper

which

is

the founda-

Cook, therefore, and


pound with Egyptian vinegar.
tion of our work.

The Forty-First Dictum.

ZiMONt
uttered,

saith

The second

Whatsoever thou hast

Jargos,

true, yet

is

recension reads

" It

a water which becomes inspissated

is

necessary to use

in proportion as

cooked."
t In the

second recension the

name

is

do

Cadmon.

it

is

The Turba Philosophorum.

133

not see that the whole Turba hath

spoken
Then

concerning
he

opinion

that

saith:

thine

therefore,

concerning

ZiMON

rotundum.*

the

Speak,

.-

it,

to

notify

Zimon

posterity

rotundum turns into four


and is derived out of

the

elements,

one thing.t

The Turba answereth: Inasmuch as


thou art speaking, explain
generations

And

he

to take

the

method

Willingly

it

ruling.

necessary

one part of our copper, but of

Permanent Water three


let them be mixed and
they be thickened and
stone, concerning which
have said
body,

of
is

future

for

but

Magnesia

Take one

parts

then

cooked until

become one
the envious

part of the pure

three parts of copper of

then

commingle

with

The term rotundum used in this curious manner is to


The ScdUi Philosophorum
be understood of the Stone.
*

speaks of "our perfect tyriac and rotund stone," the four

elements being concordantly exalted in the quality of the

temperate stone.
t

There

is

a variation in the second recension

signify to future generations that the


verts copper into four is from

"

rotundum which con-

one thing."

^^^ Turba Philosophorum.

134

of

earth

what

is

until

it

mixed with

vinegar,

rectified

the vessel,

close

male

observe

cook continuously
it, and
becomes earth.

in

The Forty-Second Dictum.

AscANius saith : Too much talking, O


all ye Sons of the Doctrine, leads this
subject further into error

But when

ye read in the books of the Philosophers


that Nature

overcomes

one only, and that she

is

all

things

Know

that they

are one thing and one composite.

Do

ye not see that the complexion of a

man

is

thus,

formed out of a soul and body


must ye conjoin these,

also,

because the Philosophers, when they

prepared the matters and conjoined


spouses mutually in love with

each

ascended

from

behold

other,

there

The Turba
thou wast treating

them a golden water!


answereth

of

the

turn

unto

biguous

and

When

first

work,

the

hast

lo

second
thou

how obscure

thou

didst

How am-

made thy book,


are

thy

words

The Turba Philosophorum.

Then

he

Turba

will

perform

the

first

position

of

answereth

up_jwar

Stir

Do

the

dis-

work.

The

And

this.

betwe en

quicksilver, untiTthey

135

he

and

copp er

go to destruction

and are corrupted, because when the


cppper
'

conceives

coagulates

it,

the

quicksilver

but when the quicksilver

conceives the copper, the copper

congealed into earth;


fore,

it

up, there-

stir

a fight between them

the body of the copper until

is

destroy

becomes
a powder.
But conjoin the male to
the female, which are vapour* and
quicksilver, until the male and the
female become Ethel, for he who
changes them into spirit by means
*

The Latin

matter of

it

alchemists regarded vapour as the

all things,

and

in

a special

way

it

was the

first

First

Matter of the Philosophers. The Boaary of the Philoso" The first matter of bodies is not the

phers observes

mercury of the vulgar, but


vapour.

The

mineral stone

is

is

an unctuous and humid

made from

the metallic body from the unctuous.

the humid, and

It is

needful that

bodies should be converted into such an unctuous vapour,

and they are destroyed, brought to nothing, and mortified


in the conversion,

and

white and red water."

this is

But

accomplished by means of our


this unctuous vapour

mercury of the philosophers and wise men.

was the

The Turba Philosophorum.

136

of Ethel,

and next makes them

tinges every body, because,

red,

when by

diligent cooking ye pound the body,


ye extract a pure, spiritual, and sub-

lime

The Turba

every body.
Inform,

which

therefrom,

soul

And

that body.

he

by the names

It

is

a natural

is

which

thing*

sulphureous

what

posterity

therefore,

tinges

answereth

called

is

of all bodies.

The Forty-Third Dictum,

Dardaris

saith:

Ye have

frequently

treated of the regimen, and have intro-

duced the conj unction, + yet I proclaim


to posterity that they cannot extract

now hidden

the

by Ethelia,

soul except

by which bodies become not bodies


through continual cooking, and by sub-

Know

limation of Ethelia.
quicksilver

is fiery,

more than does


*

The second

concerning

fire,

recension reads

which much

is

also that

burning every body


also mortifying
:

found

" sulphur of nature,"


in

later

alchemical

writers.
t

According to the second recension

"much has been

said of the regimen but of the conjunction little."

The Turba Philosophorum.

137

and that every body which is


mingled with it is ground and delivered

bodies,

When,

over to be destroyed.
fore,

there-

ye have diligently pounded the

and have exalted them as

bodies,

required, therefrom

produced that

is

Ethel nature, and a colour which


tingeing* and not volatile,

Turba

the copper which the

not tinge until

it is

and

it

is

tinges

said did

tinged, because that

which is tinged tinges. Know also that


the body of the copper is ruled by
Magnesia, and that quicksilver is four
bodies, also that the matter has no
being except by humidity, because
is

the water of sulphur, for sulphurs

The

are contained in sulphurs.


saith:

inform

Dardaris,

what sulphurs are


are souls which

And

are

bodies, and, extracted

do

it

contain

one

is

hidden

Sulphurs

hidden

in

four

by themselves,

another,

naturally conjoined.

which

he

Turba

posterity

For

if

and

are

ye rule that

in the belly of

sulphur

with water, and cleanse well that which


Otherwise

" not fleeing from the

fire."

The Turba Philosophorum.

138
is

hidden, then nature rejoices, meeting

with nature, and water similarly Avith

its

Know

ye also that the four


bodies are not tinged but tinge.* And
the Turba
Why dost thou not say
equal.

when they are


And he I state

like the ancients that

tinged, they tinge ?

that the four coins of the vulgar popu-

but they tinge

are not tinged,

lace

copper,
tinged,

and when
it

the

tinges

copper

that

of

coins

is

the

populace.
The Forty-Fourth Dictum.

MoYSES

saith

This one thing of which

thou hast told us,

have

Philosophers

Dardaris, the

by

called

many

names, sometimes by two and sometimes

by three names!

Name

it,

Darbakis answereth

therefore,

setting aside envy.


is

that which
*

is

And

fiery,

he

posterity,

for
:

The one

the two

is

the

According to the second recension, " they tinge a

fifth."

t According to the second recension, they are not


tinged, " except copper,

vulgar."

which then tinges the coins of the

The Turba Philosophorum.

body composed

in

139

the three

it,

is

water of sulphur, with which also

the

it

is

washed and ruled until it be perfected.


Do ye not see what the Philosopher
affirms, that the quicksilver which
gold

tinges

of

out

quicksilver

is

Dardaris answereth : What


For the
dost thou mean by this ?

Cambar ?

Philosopher

says

sometimes

from

Cambar and sometimes from Orpiment. And he Quicksilver of orpiment


is Cambar of Magnesia, but quicksilver
:

is

sulphur ascending from the mixed*

Ye

composite.

must, therefore, mix


with

thick thing

that

putrefy,

and

diligently

fiery

pound

spirit

be produced, which

that

other spirit

tincture which

is

then

is
is

venom,
until

hidden in

made

desired of you

the

all.

The Forty-Fifth Dictum.

But Plato

Masters,
*

Some

the passage.

times

it is

behoves you

all,

when those bodies

are

saith

It

abbreviations in the printed editions obscure

According to the second recension

Cambar and sometimes

it is

" Some-

Orpiment, but here

The Turba Philosophorum.

140

being

take

to

dissolved,

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

both

spirit,

Therefore

the

become

Wise have

the gate of flight

volatile.

said

that

must not be open-

ed 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

spirit like

unto

volatile, since

itself,

they are

becomes

either

made

aeriform

But
the Philosophers seeing that which was
spirits

it

prone to ascend

needful to understand that

is

in

the

air.

Quicksilver

Cambar

is

Magnesia," &c.
*

The reading of

the second recension

namely, " Close the door on the volatile,


flight."

is

lest

clearer,
it

take

The Turba Philosophorum.

not

made

volatile

volatile

141

with the

a body like
and put them

volatiles, iterated these to

to

the

non-volatiles,

which they could not

into that from

escape,*

They

body

unto the bodies from which

like

were

they

iterated

the

sopher

and that which

made

one

is

concealed

spirit.

Know

humid

spirits is

the

Philo-

agent

to

tincture,

spirit

be tinged are
it

to

refers

humid

another

in

as

tingeing

of

the

the

But

digested.

statement
that

to

and

extracted,

same were then


for

them

that one of the

also

but the other

cold,

and although the cold humid


not adapted to the warm humid,

is hot,
is

nevertheless

Therefore,

we

they

are

made

one.

prefer these two bodies,

because by them we rule the whole


work, namely, bodies by not-bodies,
until

incorporeals

steadfast in the
*

fire,

become

bodies,

because they are

In the second recension the passage reads thus

" Concerning these the Philosophers

also said

not with flying things, and yet were they

made

They

fled

flying."

The Turba Philosophorum.

142

conjoined with volatiles, which

is

not

possible in any body, these excepted.

For

spirits in

but

fugitives

every wise avoid bodies,


are

restrained

Incorporeals,

corporeals.

similarly flee from bodies

by

in-

therefore,

those, con-

sequently, which do not flee are better

and more precious than all bodies.


These things, therefore, being done,
take those which are not volatile and
wash the body with the
join them
;

incorporeal until the


ceives

a non-volatile

incorporeal re-

body

convert

the earth into water, water into


fire

into air,

and conceal the

fire in

fire,

the

depths of the water, but the earth in


the belly of the

air,

mingling the hot

with the humid, and the cold with the


dry.

comes

Know,

also,

Nature,

that Nature over-

Nature

rejoices

in

Nature, Nature contains Nature.


The Forty -Sixth Dictum.

Attamus

be noted that
the whole assembly of the Philosophers
have frequently treated concerning
saiih

It is to

The Turba Philosophorum.

Rubigo.*

Rubigo, however,

143

is

ficti-

and not a true name. The Turba


answereth: Name, therefore, Rubigo byits true name, for by this it is not
calumniated. And he : Rubigo is accordtious

ing to the work, because

Turba

The

alone.

from gold

it is

answereth

Why,

then, have the Philosophers referred


to the leech ?

He

answereth

it

Because

hidden in sulphureous gold as


the leech is in water; rubigo, there-

water

is

rubefaction in the second workj

fore, is

but to

make

rubigo

former work,

in

is

to whiten in the

which the Philoso-

phers ordained that the flower of gold

should be taken and a proportion of


gold equally.
The Forty-Seventh Dictum.

MuNDUS
treated
*

Thou
of

sufficiently

While

of metals,

saith:

it

this

term properly

was used

in

hast already

Rubigo,

signifies the fust or oxide

many

for the redness of rust associated

senses by the alchemists,


it

in their idea with other

forms of red matter, and rust philosophical became a part


of the Great Mystery.

The oxydes

of iron, the

oxydes of

lead, sulphate of mercury, sulphate of arsenic, sulphate of

"

^^^ Turba Philosophorum.

1^4

Attamus! I will speak, therefore, of


venom, and will instruct future genera-

venom

that

tions

because subtle

body,

not

is

have made

spirits

it

into a tenuous spirit, have tinged the

body and burned

it

with venom, which

venom the Philosopher


But
tinge every body.
thought

Philosophers

asserts

will

the Ancient

who

he

that

turned gold into venom had arrived at


the purpose, but he who can do not
profiteth

this

unto you,

all

Now

nothing.

say

ye Sons of the Doctrine,

that unless ye reduce the thing by


until those things

ye

effect

nought.

ascend

like

fire

spirit,

This, therefore,

is

and a ponderous
spirit avoiding the
smoke,* which when it enters the body
fire

more or

antimony, were

all

names

minium, &c.

of rubigo,

It

all

is not,

itself

confounded under the

perhaps, surprising that

things the mystery of the

concern

less

fire

what was above

and the furnace, should

smoke

considerably with the

often ended, and thus in various stages of

its

in

which

it

so

history we have

alchemy discoursing of that specially philosophical smoke


which is identical with scoriae, and hence on the authority
'

of the Greeks involves the whole art

smoke, identical with mercury

we have

citrine

also white

smoke, identical

The Turba Philosophorum.

145

and makes the


body rejoice.* The Philosophers have
Take a black and conjoining
all said
therewith break up the bodies
spirit
and torture them till they be altered.

penetrates

entirely,

it

The Forty-Eighth Dictum.

Pythagoras saith
unto all you seekers
:

We

must affirm

after this Art that

the Philosophers have treated of con-

junction (or continuation) in various

ways.

But

constrain

quicksilver

Magnesia,

or

Spume

the

enjoin upon you to

the

make

body

the

body

of

Kuhul, or

of Luna, or incombustible

roasted

or

alum

sulphur,

or

which

is

out of apples, as ye know.

But

there was any singular regimen

if

calx,

any of these, a Philosopher would


Understand,
not say so, as ye know.

for

with yellow sulphur

red smoke, which

is

orpiment ; smoke

of extreme subtlety, of which the Latin Geber discourses

and

lastly the

ponderous smoke of the

Turba.

Many

others might be named, but these varieties are sufficient to

show

that

smoke was as important

the votaries ot "

Otherwise

my Lady
:

to the alchemists as to

Nicotine."

" the nature rejoices therein."

The Turba Philosophorum.

146

and alum

therefore, that sulphur, calx,

from apples, and Kuhul, are


nothing else but water of sulphur.

which
all

is

Know ye

also that

Magnesia, being

mixed with quicksilver and sulphur,


they pursue one another. Hence you
must not dismiss that Magnesia
without the quicksilver, for

when

it

is

an exceeding
which
is one of the
strong composition,
ten regimens established by the Philo-

composed

it

sophers.

Know,

called

is

when

that

also,

Magnesia is whitened with quicksilver,


you must congeal white water therein,
but when it is reddened you must
congeal red water,

for,

as the Philoso-

phers have observed in their books,


the regimen
the

and
*

is

congelation

first

lead.

Accordingly,

not one.*
is

of tin, copper,

But the second

is

com-

" There are other denominations," says Synesius in

his letter to Dioscorus.

" Thus whitening

and yellowing an igneous regeneration


(substances)

calcine

generate themselves.

them under
sometimes

sevei;al

in

themselves, and

is

for

a calcination,

some of these

(other

some)

re-

But the Philosopher has designated

names, and sometimes in the singular,

the plural person, in order to test us and see

whether we are intelligent."

The Turba Philosophorum.

147

posed with water of sulphur.*

Some,

however, reading this book, think that


the composition can be bought.

It

must be known for certain that nothing


of the work can be bought, and that
the science of this Art

than vapour

is

nothing else

and the sublimation of

water, with the conjunction, also,

of

body of Magnesia t

quicksilver in the

but, heretofore, the Philosophers have

demonstrated

impure

in

water

their

books that the

sulphur

of

is

sulphur only, and no sulphur

is

from
pro-

duced without the water of its calx,


and of quicksilver, and of sulphur.
The Forty-Ninth Dictum.

Belus

saith

all

ye Philosophers,

ye have not dealt sparingly concerning


composition and contact, but composition,

and congelation are


Take, therefore, a part

contact,

one thing

Or, " with sulphur

The second

and the water thereot."

recension reads

vapour and water, while the regimen


limation of quicksilver and

magnesia."

its

" It

is

is

nothing but

nothing but the sub-

union with the body of

The Turba Philosophorum.

148

from the one composition and a part


out of ferment of gold,* and on these

impose pure water of sulphur.

This,

then, is the potent (or revealed) arcanum

which tinges eveiy body.


answereth
called

why

Belus,

hast thou

a potent arcanum, yet hast

it

not shown

books,

Pythagoras

its

work

And he
we have

Master,

the same which

from the ancients

have

In our

found

thou hast received

And Pythagoras

assembled

you
remove any
obscurities which are in any books.
And he Willingly, O Master
It is
to be noted that pure water which
is from sulphur is not composed of
sulphur alone, but is composed of
several things, for the one sulphur is

Therefore

together, that you might

made
*

of

How,

out of several sulphurs. t

The

ancient Latin treatise which passes as the work

Morien, says sententiously

"

The ferment of gold is


is bread."
The state-

gold, even as the ferment of bread

ment

is

reproduced

literally

by the Rosary of

the Philo-

sophers.
t

According to

water which

is

the

second recension:

from sulphur

is

"the clean

not derived from sulphur

The Turba Philosopfiorum.

therefore,

Master, shall

149

compose
these things that they may become
one

And

which

he

Mix,

Belus, that

strives with the fire with that

which does not strive,


which are conjoined in a

things

for
fire

suitable

same contend, because the


warm venoms of the physician are
the

to

cooked

a gentle, incomburent

in

fire !*

Surely ye perceive what the Philosophers have stated concerning decoction,


that a

is

many

sulphur burns

little

things,

strong

and the humour which remains


humid pitch, balsam of gum,

called

and other

Philosophers
physicians,
tests

are

made

the

to

like

notwithstanding that

the

of

Therefore our

like things.

physicians

are

the

more

intense than those of the Philosophers.

Turba

The

answereth

wish,

Belus, that you would also shew the


disposition

alone, but

is

of this potent arcanum

composed of several things which make up

one sulphur."
*

For this last sentence the second recension sub" and friendship is made constant."

stitutes

The Turba Philosophorum.

150

proclaim to future generations that this arcanum proceeds from

And

he

two

that

compositions,

But

sulphur and magnesia.

and

reduced

is

to

is

of Boletus

fungus),

and

quicksilver,

of water;

it

it

water,

a species of

(i.e.,

the thickness of gold.

When, however,
into

after

conjoined into one,

the Philosophers have called

spume

say,

has been reduced

it

they

call

it

when

sulphur also,

sulphur
con-

it

venom,
because it is a potent (or open) arcanum
which ascends from those things

tains sulphur, they

term a

fiery

ye know.
The Fiftieth Dictum.

Pandolphus

saith

describe

the

dost

O Belus, thou

If,

sublimation*

The Greek term which

the

alchemists

of

of the

Byzantine collection made use oi as the equivalent of sublimation, signified originally filings, as M. Berthelot informs
us, thus expressing the idea of the

matter.

The same

idea

extreme attenuation of

was attached

later

on by the Latin

adepts to their term alcoolisation, "which signifies reduction to the condition of

an impalpable powder.

des Anciens Alchimutes Grecs, Int., 210).


of sublimation

tion

was

called stalagma,

by vapourisation

or filtration.

[Collection

Another species

which meant
{lb., 2ii.)

distilla-

The Turba Philosophorum.

sulphur
wilt

And

generations,

future

for

accomplish an
the

Turba

therefore,

151

thou

thing

excellent

Do thou show it forth,


And he: The

O Pandolphus

philosophers have ordered that quicksilver

and

should be taken out of Cambar,

albeit

they spoke

these words there

is

ambiguity,

little

the obscurity of which

yet in

truly,

remove.

will

See then that the quicksilver is sublimed


and extract the same

in tabernacles,

from Cambar, but there is another


Cambar in sulphur* which Belus hath

demonstrated to you,

for out of

sulphur

mixed with sulphur, many works proWhen the same has been subceed.

Cambar

limed, there proceeds from the

that quicksilver which

Orpiment,

According

is

Zendrio,
to

the

called Ethelia,

Sanderich,+

or

second

recension

" there

is

another sulphur."
f

The reading

Sandarac

is

realgar

in the
;

second recension

in the

Greek MSS.

under the same sign as arsenic.


that

it

M.

is unintelligible,

it

is

confounded

Berthelot also

tells

us

was confused anciently with minium and cinnabar,

as indeed

is

quite plain from the Lexicon of Rulandus.

same authority reminds us that the name

is

The

applied at the

present day to an entirely different composition, derived

The Turba Philosophorum.

152

or
Kuhul,
Ebsemich,
Magnesia,
names.
Chuhul, and many other
Concerning this, philosophers have
said

men

that,
(for

being
ten

is

by

ruled

its

regi-

the perfection of

all

things), its white nature appears, nor

there any

is

shadow

therein.

the envious* have called

lead from

it

White

Ebmich, Magnesia, Marteck,

when truly whitened,


devoid of shadow and blackness, it

Copper.
it is

has

Then

left its

For,

thickened ponderous bodies,

and therewith a clean humid


ascended, which spirit is

spirit

has

tincture.

Accordingly, the wise have said that

copper has a soul and a body.


its

soul is spirit,

its

body

is

it

the

body

until

ye

the

spirit

extracted

a
Mix,

extract

tingeing spirit from the same.


also,

thick.

behoves you to destroy

Therefore,
thick

and

Now,

therefrom

with light sulphur until you, investigators, find your design accomplish ed.
from colophon, and not known to the ancients under this
designation.
* Throughout the second recension, " Philosophers "
or " the Wise," are substituted for this term.

The Turba Philosophorum.

153

The Fifty-First Dictum.

HoRFOLCos*

nothing,

saith

Thou

hast narrated

Pandolphus, save the

last

Thou hast,
body
composed an ambiguous defor readers. But if its regimen

regimen of

this

therefore,

scription

were commenced from the beginning,


you would destroy this obscurity. Saith

Turba

the

cerning
it

may

Speak,

this

to

so far as

posterity,

And

please you.

con-

therefore,

he

be-

It

hoves you, investigators of this Art,


first

to burn coppert

like

that required in the hatching of

eggs.

For

and

let

a gentle

behoves you to burn

it

humidity

its

in

lest

it

with

be burnt,

spirit

its

fire,

the vessel be closed on

sides, so that its

colour

[?

heat]

all

may

be increased, the body of copper be


destroyed,

and

tingeing spirit be

which

concerning

extracted,!

its

In the second recension the

name

is

the

Morfoleus.

t Otherwise, " the humidity."


J

is

According to the second recension

"

when

the

increased and the vessel sealed elfectually, lest the

of the copper and

its

flying spirit be extracted."

fire

body

Turba Philosophorum.

^^'^

154

envious have said

Take

quicksilver

out of the Flower of Copper, which


also they have called the water of our

copper, a fiery venom, and a substance


extracted from

all

things,

which further

they have termed Ethelia, extracted

many

out of

have

that

said

when

made

one,

bodies,

but not-bodies bodies.

know,

all

things

all

become

bodies

some

Again,

things.*

are

not-

And

ye investigators of this Art,

that every body

is

spirit with which

it is

without doubt
spiritual thing,

dissolved with the

mixed, with which

becomes a similar
and that every spirit

it

which has a tingeing colour of

spirits,

and is constant against


and coloured by bodies.

altered

be the name of

fire, is

Him who

Blessed then

hath inspired

the Wise with the idea of turning a

body

into a spirit having strength

colour,

unalterable and incorruptible,

so that what formerly

phur
*

is

and

was

now made sulphur

Otherwise

volatile sul-

not- volatile,

" which flower of copper they have called

our water, and fiery

venom

extracted from iron."

The Turba Philosophorum.

and incombustible

Know,

make your

also, all

who

sons of learning, that he

155

is

ye

able to

red by the

fugitive spirit

body mixed with it, and then from that


body and that spirit can extract the
tenuous nature hidden in
tinges every body,

Wherefore

if

only he

patient

is

tedium of extracting.

spite of the

Know

belly

by a most subtle regimen,

thereof,

in

the

the

that out

have

envious
of

copper,

said

after

it

moisture
humectated
by
the
thereof,
is
pounded in its water,
and is cooked in sulphur, if ye extract
a body having Ethelia, ye will find that
which is suitable as a tincture for anyWherefore the envious have
thing.
said
Things that
are
diligently
is

pounded

in the fire,

of the Ethelia,

with sublimation

become

fixed tinctures.

For whatsoever words ye


man's book

we

call

any

which

water of sulphur,* which also

Water

of sulphur occurs

recipe cited from

and

find in

signify quicksilver,

Mary

in

among

one of the

in the Detailed Exposition of the

the ingredients of a

treatises of

Zosimus,

Work, the following

The Turba Philosophorum.

156

we sometimes say
and copulated

is

lead and copper

coin.

The Fifty-Second Dictum.

IxuMDRUS saiih : You will have treated


most excellently, O Horfolcus, concerning the regimen of copper and the
humid spirit, provided you proceed
therewith. And he: Perfect, therefore,
what I have, omitted, O Ixumdrus
IxuMDRUS saith : You must know that
this Ethelia* which you have previously
mentioned and notified, which also the
envious have called by many names,
doth whiten, and tinge when it is
whitened

then truly the Philosophers

have called it the Flower of Gold,


because it is a certain natural thing.
process occurs
calx

is

" Water of sulphur obtained by

manfactured

in this

manner

waters in the catalogue (which

from

its

it is

means of
Having mixed all the

impossible to extricate

context and place in the compass of a footnote),

taking equal parts, add white earths until the

becomes very white.


uiiderneath,

and receive what

"pure" water

compound

Place in a mortar, kindle a

of sulphur

distils.''

which

is

There

is

fire

also a

obtained somewhat

differently.
*

The second

recension reads

" Water of Ethelia."

The Turba Philosophorum.

Do

you

remember

not

157

what

the

Philosophers have said, that before

it

arrives at this terminus, copper does

But when

not tinge ?*

tinged

is

it

it

because quicksilver tinges when


combined with its tincture. But

tinges,
it is

when

it is mixed with those ten things


which the Philosophers have denominated fermented urines, then have

they called

these things Multiplica-

all

But some have termed their


tion.
mixed bodies Corsufle and Gum of
Gold.t Therefore, those names which
are found in the books of the Philo*

According to the second recension

reaches this point,


t

That

is

Democritus

following

firom

is

" Minera of Silver,

Chios, or Ochre, 2

parts

reproduction here), 2 parts

part

You

carefully regulated.

(it

is

(Coral

of
:

will

Gold)."

" Here

Pontus,

part

combine with the humour of

having the colour of cinnabar,

coral."

Greek

too complicated for

find

is

cook over a

fire

a potent substance,

coral, or

great wonder, this indescribable marvel,

Democritus, says

it

Finest Earth of

of

the Sulphur (another abstruse recipe);

The body

" Before

a ricipe of Pseudo-

Minium

preparation given previously

corallos

called copper.''

to say, the Chrysocorallos of the

The

alchemists.

it is

And
how he

is

minium.

This

called Chryso-

Synesius,

quoting

expresses himself:

(metal) of magnesia, alone (produces) Chryso-

The Turba Philosophorum.

158

and are thought superfluous


and vain, are true and yet are fictitious,

sophers,

one

are

they

because

one

thing,

and one way. This is the


quicksilver which is indeed extracted

opinion,

from
are

all things,*

out of which

produced,

which

water

that

silver,

the

destroys

And know ye

copper.

when

also

it

is

all

things

is

pure

shade

of

that this quick-

whitened, becomes a

sulphur which contains sulphur, and

venom

marble

that has a

brilliance

is

like

this the envious call Ethelia,


orpiment and sandarac, out of which a
tincture and pure spirit ascends with a

mild

fire,

and the whole pure flower is


which flower becomes

sublimated,

wholly quicksilver.

It is,

therefore,

most great arcanum which the Philosophers have thus described, because
sulphur alone whitens copper.
investigators of this

Art,

Ye,

must know

that the said sulphur cannot whiten


*

The reading ab hominibus

for

ab omnibus

is

substi-

tuted by the second recension several times in this Dictum,

but there can be no doubt that

it is

a printer's error.

The Turba Philosophorum.

copper until

it is

And know ye
of

whitened in the work

also that

sulphur

this

therefore,

to

flees

it

it

the habit

is

When,
own thick

escape.

from

its

bodies,

and

then

behoves you to retain

it

is

sublimated as a vapour,

wise with quicksilver of


lest it

the

its

have

sulphurs are contained

it

other-

own

kind,

Wherefore

vanish altogether.

Philosophers

Know,

159

that

said,

by sulphurs.
and

further, that sulphurs tinge,

then are they certain to escape unless


they are united to quicksilver of

own

kind.

Do

not,

therefore,

its

think

and afterwards

that because

it

escapes,

the coin of the Vulgar, for

it is

tinges*

what the Philosophers are seeking

is

the coin of the Philosophers, which,


unless

which

it

is

be mixed with white or red,


quicksilver of its

own

kind,

would doubtless escape. I direct you,


therefore, to mix quicksilver with quicksilver (of its kind) until together

they

become one clean water composed out


*

The second

recension substitutes " fixes bodies,"

but both readings are obscure and seemingly corrupt.

The Turba Philosophorum.

i6o

This is, therefore, the great


arcanum, the confection of which is
it is cooked with
with its own gum
flowers in a gentle fire and with earth ;
it is made red with mucra and with
vinegar, salt, and nitre,* and with
mutal is turned into rubigo, or by any
of two.

of the select tingeing agents existing in

our coin.

The Fifty -Third Dictum.

ExuMENust
laid

The

saith:

envious have

waste the whole Art

with

the

multiplicity of names, but the entire

work must be the Art of the Coin.


For the Philosophers have ordered the
doctors of this art to

make

coin-like

gold, which also the same Philosophers


have called by all manner of names.

The Turba answereth:


fore, posterity,
*

M.

Inform, there-

Exumenus, concern-

Berthelot explains that the substance referred to

under the terms Nitrum and Natron was really Carbonate


of Soda, and that Nitre or Saltpetre was scarcely
in antiquity, nor, indeed,

f For

this

Obsemeganus.

name

till

known

the 6th century,

the second

recension

substitutes

The Turba Philosophorum.

i6i

ing a few of these names, that they

may

take warning

have named

and

washing,

whitening
turning
of

in

into

Ethel,

he

the

Ethelias,

frequently

lire,

and

the art

coagulating,

the

rubigo,

They

sublimating,

pounding

vapour

cooking

And

salting,

it

of

confection

the

By

sulphur and coagula.

water
all

of

these

names is that operation called which


has pounded and whitened copper.
And know ye, that quicksilver is
white to the sight, but when it is
possessed by the smoke of sulphur, it
reddens
and
becomes
Cambar.
Therefore, when quicksilver is cooked
with

its

confections

and

red,

hence

it

is

the

turned into

Philosopher

saith that the nature of lead is swiftly

Do you

converted.

Philosophers

envy
with

ye

have

Hence we

extract

in the vessel,

spoken

deal in

pounding and

may

not see that the

without

many ways

reiteration,

that

the spirits existing

which the

fire

cease to burn continuously.

did not

But the
M

::

The Turba Philosophorum.

i62

water placed with those things prevents the

from burning, and

fire

those

befalls

things

more they are hidden

the

fire,

that

by the flame of

they are possessed

depths of the water,

the

it

the more

in

they

lest

should be injured by the heat of the


fire

in

from them.

Unless

repels the flame of

and

belly

its

fire

The Turba answereth

make

ye

them

water receives

but the

not-bodies

bodies

But concerning

ye achieve nothing.

the sublimation of water the Philo-

have

sophers

And know

treated

little.

that unless ye diligently

pound the thing

in

the

fire,

the

does not ascend, but when

Ethelia
that

not

does

ascend

not

When, however,

nothing.

ye

achieve

it

ascends

an instrument for the intended


tincture with which ye tinge, and con-

it

is

cerning
Sift

Hermes saith
which ye know
but

Ethelia

the things

another
fore,

this

Liquefy the things.

Arras saith

ThereUnless ye pound

the thing diligently in the

fire,

Ethelia

The Turba Philosophorum.

The Master

does not ascend.

put forth a view which


explain

to the

163

hath

shall

now

Know

reasoners.

ye

that a very great wind of the south,

when it is stirred up, sublimates clouds


and elevates the vapours of the sea.
The

Turba

Thou

answereth:

And

dealt obscurely.

he

hast

will ex-

and the vessel wherein


is incombustible sulphur.
But I order
you to congeal fluxible quicksilver out
of many things, that two may be
made three, and four one, and two
plain the testa,*

one.
The Fifty-Fourth Dictum.

Anaxagoras

Take

saith:

the volatile

burnt thing which lacks a body, and


incorporate

Then

it.

take the ponder-

ous thing, having smoke, and thirsting

Two

meanings are given

of Bulandiu.

The

first

stood metallurgically

is

the second

clay.

Paracelsus uses

own

to signify the skin of

Adamic earth
same idea.

or clay

to this

it

in

in the

Lexicon

is

a vessel of baked

an arbitrary fashion of his

man's body.

it is

term

Bloom, Flower, &c., under-

Compare the red

probably a variation of the

The Turba Philosophorum.

164

Turba

The

imbibe.

to

answereth

Explain,
obscurity

Anaxagoras, what is this


which you expound, and

And he : I
beware of being envious
testify to you that this volatile burnt
thing, and this other which thirsts, are
!

been

which has

Ethelia,

with sulphur.

conjoined

Therefore, place these

fire, and
Cambar.
becomes
cook until the whole
Then God will accomplish the arcanum
But I direct you to cook
ye seek.
continuously, and not to grow tired of

a glass vessel over the

in

repeating the process.

And know ye

that the perfection

this

the

confection

with

tabula

until

it

;*

of

of

turn

Rubigo

cooked

is

it

becomes Rubigo,

to

for

all

is

the

He who

is

golden

into

venom has already achieved the


sired work, but

is

water of sulphur

finally,

Philosophers have said


able

work

de-

otherwise his labour

vain.

According to the second recension

perfection

tabula."

of

sulphur

consists

in

the

"

The whole

decoction

of

The Turba Philosophorum.

165

The Fifty-Fifth Dictum.

Zenon* saith

Pythagoras hath treated

concerning the water, which the envious

have called by all names.


Finally,
at the end of his book he has treated
of the ferment of gold, ordaining that
thereon should be imposed clean
water of sulphur, and a small quantity
of

its

gum.

am

astonished,

Turba, how the envious have

all

ye

in this

work discoursed of the perfection rather


than the commencement of the same
The Turba answereth Why, therefore,
have you left it to putrefy ? And he
!

Thou

hast spoken truly

putrefaction

does not take place without the dry

and

the

humid.

But

the

putrefy with the humid.

humid

is

the

of

Thus

the

merely coagulated with the

But out

dry.

vulgar

of both

work.

is

the beginning

Notwithstanding, the

envious have divided this work into


three parts, asserting that one quickly
flees,

but

the

other

is

fixed

immovable.

The name

in the

second recension' is Pitheon.

and

The Turba Philosophorum.

i66

The Fifty-Sixth Dictum.

CoNSTANS

saith:

What have you

to

do with the treatises of the envious,


for

necessary that this work should

it is

They answer:

deal with four things?

Demonstrate, therefore, what are those


four

fire.

And he Earth, water, air, and


Ye have then those four elements
:

without which nothing

is

ever gene-

rated, nor is anything absolved in the

Mix, therefore, the dry with the

Art.

humid, which are

earth

and water,

and cook in the fire and in the air,


whence the spirit and the soul are

And know ye

dessicated.*

tenuous tingeing agent takes

that the
its

power

out of the tenuous part of the earth,


out of the tenuous part

and of the
part of

has

is

the

fire

while out of the tenuous

the water, a tenuous

been dessicated. +

fore,
*

air,

of the

process

spirit

This, thereof

According to the second recension:

our
"The

work,
spirit is

dessiccated in the soul."


t

The second

question

is

and water.

recension merely says that the power in

derived from the tenuous part of the earth, air,

The Turba Philosophorum.

namely, that everything


things

these

a body

may be

when the tenuous

into earth

are

turned

parts of

because

extracted,

then composed

is

167

which

is

and
thereafter tinges the imposed body of
coins.*
Beware, however, O all ye
a

kind

atmospheric

of

thing,

investigators of this art, lest ye multiply


things, for the envious

and destroyed

have multiplied

you

for

They have

also described various regimens that

they might deceive


called

it

(or

humid with
dry with

all

they have further

have likened
all

to) the

it

the humid, and the

the dry, by the

name

of

every stone and metal, gall of animals


of the sea, the winged things of heaven

and

reptiles of the earth.

who would

But do ye

tinge observe that bodies

are tinged with bodies.

For

say

you what
and truly at the beginning of
the

to

Philosopher

said

briefly

his book.

In the art of gold

quicksilver from

The

Cambar, and

is

the

in coins

reading of the second recension has been partly

substituted in this unintelligible passage.

The Turba Philosophorum.

1 68

is

the quicksilver from the Male.

nothing, however,
since the two

look

In

beyond

this,

are

also

quicksilvers

one.

The Fifty-Seventh Dictum.

AcRATus*

saith

signify to posterity

make philosophy near to the


Sun and Moon. He, therefore, that
will attain to the truth let him take
the moisture of the Sun and the
Spumet of the Moon. I The Turba
answereth
Why are you made an
adversary to your brethren ? And he
that

have spoken nothing but the truth.

But

they

taken.

Take what the Turba hath


And he: I was so intending,
:

yet, if

you are

terity

to

willing,

take a

part

direct pos-

of

the coins

which the Philosophers have ordered,


which also Hermes has adapted to
*

In the second recension the

Otherwise the

spirit

it is

name

is

Astratus.

probably a misreading.

{ This one of the two passages which seem to indicate


any planetary attribution of the metals, but even here it may

be an analogy borrowed from the astronomy of the period


without any real attribution.

mercury and quicksilver


noted.

The

in the 67th

between
Dictum should be

distinction

The Turba Philosophorum.

169

the true tingeing,* and a part of the

copper of

the

Philosophers,

same with the

the

mix

to

and place

coins,

the four bodies in the vessel, the

all

mouth of which must be

carefully

closed, lest the water escape.

Cooking

must proceed

for seven

when

days,

the copper, already pounded with the


coins,

found

is

turned

water.

into

Let both be again slowly cooked, and

Then

fear nothing.

the vessel be

let

opened, and a blackness

Repeat

above.

continually

the

Kuhul, which

is

will

of

from the blackness

For when

consumed a precious whiteness


appear on them
finally, being

is

returned

cooked
is

cook

blackness

of coins, be consumed.
that

appear

process,

the

until

will

to

until

their

the whole

turned into stone.

they

place,

are

dried and

is

Also repeatedly

and continuously cook that stone born


copper and coins with a fire

of

According to the second recension

" take a part of

the coins of the Philosophers, which are the coins oi

Hermes."

The Turba Philosophorum.

170

sharper

than

stone

destroyed,

is

former,

the

Doctrine,
is

Alas,

how

the

fore,

ye

it

is

of

the

that which

Mixing, there-

with

cinder

is

a precious

sons

precious

produced from

and

broken up,

turned into cinder, which


cinder.

the

until

water,

cook

again, until that cinder liquefy there-

and then cook and imbue with


permanent water, until the composition
becomes sweet and mild and red.
Imbue until it becomes humid. Cook
in a still hotter fire, and carefully
close the mouth of the vessel, for by
this regimen fugitive bodies become
with,

not-fugitive,

spirits

bodies, bodies into

are

connected

spirits

made

are

and both

Then

together.

soul.

Now

hast

to posterity that

The Turba
thou

is

notified

Rubigo attaches

to copper after the blackness is


off

are

bodies having a tingeing

and germinating
answereth:

turned into

spirits,

with permanent water.

itself

washed

Then

it

congealed and becomes a body of

magnesia.

Finally,

it is

cooked

until

The Turba Philosophorum.

the whole body

is

broken up.

171

After-

wards

the

cinder

and becomes copper without

volatile

shadow.

its

is

Attrition also truly takes

Concerning,

place.

turned into a

therefore,

the

work of the Philosophers, what hast


thou

delivered

to

posterity,

seeing

means called
things by their proper names ? And
he
Following your own footsteps, I

that thou hast by no

have discoursed

even

as have you.

BoNELLUS answereth You speak truly,


for if you did otherwise we should not
:

order your sayings to be written in

our books.
The Fifty-Eighth Dictum.

Balgus*

saith

The whole Turba,

Acratus, has already spoken, as you

have seen, but a benefactor sometimes


deceives, though his intention is to do
good.

And they: Thou

speakest truly.

Proceed, therefore, according to thy


and beware of envy! Then he:

opinion,
*

In the second lecensron this speech

mouth of Anastiatus.

is

put into the

;;

The Turba Philosophorum.

172

You must know

that the envious have

described this arcanum in the shade

and astronomy,
and the art of images; they have also
they have amlikened it to trees
biguously concealed it by the names of
as is
metals, vapours, and reptiles
in physical reasoning

generally perceived
I,

in all their work.

nevertheless, direct you, investigators

of this science, to take iron and draw


finally, mix (or sprinkle)
venom, and place it in its
vessel, the mouth of which must be
closed most carefully, and beware lest
ye too much increase the humour, or,
on the other hand, lest it be too dry,
it

into plates

it

but

stir it

cause,

not

with

if

the water be in excess,

be

while,

vigorously as a mass, be-

contained

if it

in

be too dry,

it

the

will

it

chimney,

will neither

be

conjoined nor cooked in the chimney

hence
gently
the

I
;

direct
finally,

mouth

internally

you to confect
place

of which

and

it

dili-

it

in its vessel,

must be closed

externally

with

clay,

and, having kindled coals above

it,

The Turba Philosophorum.


after

some days ye

shall

there shall ye find

already liquefied

open

the

and

it,

plates

iron

while on

173

thfe lid

the vessel ye shall find globules.

when the

fire

kindled the vinegar*

is

ascends, because

passes into the

of

For

its

air,

nature

spiritual

wherefore,

direct

you to keep that part separately. Ye


must also know that by multiplied^
decoctions and attritions it is congealed
and coloured by the fire, and its
nature

By

changed.

is

decoction and liquefaction

not disjoined.!

Among

entitled

Cambar

notify to

similar

the Greek technical treatises there

The Work

oj the

Four Elements, and

is

you that
is

one

this contains

a brief section on the Nomenclature of the Divine Vinegar


is worth
citing in con-

and the Divine Water, which

nection with the question of the unity of subjects amidst

the multiplicity of names.

Here

what the Philosophers

is

" Divine water, divine vinegar, white

say on this subject

magnesia, water

of calx, virgin's urine,

mercury,

sea

water, virginal milk, milk of the she ass, the bitch, the

black cow, alum

water, ash of cabbage, of natron, oc-

cidental matter, vapour.

There

is

whitens the body of magnesia, that


t

The number

three

is

the substance which

is,

burnt copper, &c."

indicated

by the

second

recension.
}

The second

recension says that

it is

disjoined.

^''^

174

by the

Turba Philosophorum.

the

decoction

frequent

said

weight of a third part of the water

is

consumed, but the residue becomes a


wind in the Cambar of the second
spirit.*
And know ye that nothing is
more precious or more excellent than
the

sand

red

Sputum

the

of

light

of

Luna

of

the
is

sea,

the

for

united with the

Luna

Sun's rays.t

is

perfected by the coming on of night,

by the heat of the Sun the


dew is congealed. Then, that being
wounded, the dew of the deathdealer is joined,! and the more the days
pass on the more intensely is it conFor he
gealed, and is not burned.

and

who cooks with

the

Sun

is

himself

and that signal whiteness


to overcome the terrene fire.

congealed,

causes

"

it

Which Cambar and

its spirit

bears in the belly

thereof," is the alternative reading.


t

According

to

the second recension, the sand

" the spume of the Moon, which


the Sun, and

Omitted

For

substitutes

Sun

is

is

is

joined to the light of

congealed."
in the

second recension.

this nonsensical
:

is

"That which

congealed."

passage the second recension


is

cooked by the heat of the

The Turba Philosophorum.

Then

Bonites

saith

Balgus, that the

tinges

nothing

Do you
Spume

175

not know,
of

And Balgus: Thou speakest


And he: Why, therefore, hast
omitted to describe that

Luna

copper

our

except

truly_

thou

tree, of the fruit

whereof whosoever eateth shall hunger

nevermore
person,*

And Balgus

who has

notified to

me

discovered this
priately

certain

followed science, has

what manner he
same tree, and approafter

operating,

did

extract

the

and eat of it.


But when I
inquired of him concerning the growth
and the increment, he described that
pure whiteness, thinking that the same
is found without any laborious disposifruit

Then its perfection is the fruit


thereof.
But when I further asked
how it is nourished with food until it
Take that tree, and
fructifies, he said
tion.

a house about it, which shall


wholly surround the same, which shall
build

also
*

be circular, dark, encircled


In the second recension this person

as Tulleas.

is

by

referred to

The Turba Philosophoram,

176

dew, and shall have placed on it a


man of a hundred years; shut and
secure the door lest dust or wind should

Then

reach them.

in the

time of 180

days send them away to their homes.


I

man

say that

shall not cease to eat

of the fruit of that tree to the perfection of the

number

man

the old

[of the days] until

become young.

shall

what marvellous natures, which have


transformed the soul of that old

made

into the son

man

and the father

into a juvenile body,

is

Blessed be thou,

most excellent God


The Fifty-Ninth Dictum.

Theophilus

saith

propose to speak

further concerning those things which

Bonites

hath

Turba:

Speak,

hath

brother

And

he

It

Brother,

discoursed

Following

Bonites
ings.

narrated.

will

make

in

And

the

for

thy

elegantly.

the steps of

perfect his say-

should be known that

Philosophers, while

they

all

have

the

con-

cealed this disposition, yet spoke the

The Turba Philosophorum.


truth

in

their

whatsoever*

water

is

comes young.

-they

for this reason, that

mixed with
then

dies,

first

when

treatises

named water of life,

177

the

and be-

lives

And know,

disciples, that iron

said

ye

all

does not become

rusty except by reason of this water,

because

it

placed in the sun

it

till

imbued, after which

is

it is

then

liquefies

and

tinges the plates

In these days

it

it is

congealed.

becomes

rusty, but

silence is better than this illumination.

The Turba answereth : O Theophilus,


beware of becoming envious, and com-

And

plete thy speech!

that

And
he

might repeat the

they

What

Certain

fruits,

from that perfect

is

thy

Would

he:

thing

like

Then

will ?

which proceed

first

do flourish in
the beginning of the summer, and the
more they are multiplied the more

are

they
*

man

The

tree,

adorned, t

they

until

reference in the second recension

is

are

to the old

of the previous dictum.


f

According to the second recension

"

The more

tree is adorned."

the

The Turba Philosophorum.

178

and being mature become


sweet. In the same way that woman,*
fleeing from her own children, with
perfected,

whom

she

although partly angry,

lives,

yet does not brook being overcome,

nor that her husband should possess


her

who

beauty,

and keeps awake


till

furiously loves

her,

contending with her,

he shall have carnal intercourse with

and God make perfect the foetus,


when he multiplies children to himself
according to his pleasure. His beauty,
therefore, is consumed by fire who
does not approach his wife except by
reason of lust. For when the term
her,

is

finished

he turns to her.

make known
never dies,

you that the dragon


but the Philosophers have

her spouses.
The

woman who

For the belly of that

from another source, or

interpolated at a later period

the epoch of Trevisan

it

it

its style,

is,

in

any

has possibly been


indeed,

described.

something which

has

not

is

that of

case, quite out of

character with the text as a whole, and refers,


to

slays

compiler of the Turba seems to have introduced

this allegory

seen,

also

to

put to death the

been

it

will

be

previously

The Turha Philosophorum.

woman

179

weapons and venom.


Let, therefore, a sepulchre be dug for
the dragon, and let that woman be
is full

of

buried with him,


joined with that
clasps her

and

who being strongly


woman, the more he

is

entwined with her,

the more his body, by the creation


of female weapons in the body of the

For
cut up into parts.
him mixed with the limbs
of a woman he becomes secure from
death, and the whole is turned into
blood.
But the Philosophers, beholding him turned into blood, leave him

woman,

is

perceiving

in the

sun for certain days, until the

consumed, the blood dries


up, and they find that venom which
now is manifest. Then the wind is
lenitude

is

hidden.
The Sixtieth Dictum.

BoNELLUS*
ciples,

saith:

Know,

that out of

all

the elect

ye disthings

nothing becomes useful without con-

In the second recension the

name

is

Bodillus.

The Turba Philosophorum.

i8o

junction and regimen,* because sperma


is

generated out of blood and desire.

For the man mingling with


the sperm is nourished by
of the womb, and by the
blood, and by heat, and

woman,
the humour
the

moistening

when

forty

sperm is
But if the humidity of the
blood and of the womb were not heat,
the sperm would not be dissolved, nor
have

nights

elapsed

the

formed.

\the

But God

be procreated.

foetus

has constituted that heat and blood


for the

nourishment of the sperm

the foetus

until

brought forth, after which

is

it is

not nourished, save by milk and

fire,

sparingly and gradually, while

is

dust,

more,
it

is

and the more


towards

led

is

it

Otherwise

"

youth,

arriving

independent.t

you

behoves

burns the

the bones being strengthened,

at which
it

it

it

also

Know

that

act

to

nothing

Thus

is

in

generated

without complexion."
t

This absurd confusion

recension, which reads:

is

"So

not found in the second

long as

it

is

little,

it

is

nourished with milk, and in proportion as the vital heat


is

maintained, the bones are strengthened."

The Turba Philosophorum.

Know

this Art.

nothing

is

i8i

ye that without heat

ever generated, and that the

bath causes the matter to perish by

means of intense
frigid, it

heat.

puts to

If,

flight

indeed,

and

it

be

disperses,

have been tempered, it is convenient and sweet to the body, wherebut

if it

the

fore

the flesh

is

been

has

demonstrated

ye disciples

and

in

become smooth and


augmented.
Behold it

veins

all

Understand, therefore,
things which ye attempt

all

to rule, fear

to you,

God.

The Sixty-First Dictum.

MosES

saith

It is to

the envious have

be observed that

named

lead of copper

instruments of formation, simulating,


deceiving prosterity,* to
notice that there are

whom

give

no instruments

our own white, strong,

except from

and splendid powder, and from our


*

This passage

translatable.

envious

making
number

is

so corrupt as to be almost un-

According to the second recension

many ways

in

lead,

and have represented

of instruments," etc.

" The

described the process of

have

that there are a

The Turba Philosophorum.

i82

stone* and marble,

concave

the

to

whole work whereof there is no more


suitable powder, nor one more conjoined to our composition, than the
powder of Alociae,t out of which are
instruments

produced

formation.

of

Further, the Philosophers have already


said

Take instruments out

of the egg.

Yet they have not said what the egg


And know ye
is, nor of what bird. I
*

The concave

stone does not seem to be a term

which entered into the nomenclature of

We hear much concerning


is

not to be understood as

its

configuration, being used in

the same sense as Latin theology


the form of the soul.

Thomas
formal

form

"Our

formata), which form

because

it

is

is

it

in his

BpUtle

to

stone does not possess a

(forma forTnabilis) such

sensitive, yet, nevertheless,

is

was accustomed to speak of

So Bernard Trevisan,

Boiwnia:

of

later philosophers.

the form of the stone, but that

as vegetative or

has a formed form (forma

the elements themselves, and this

homogeneous, whereas the human body,

or that of other sensitive things, is heterogeneous."

For

the term concave stone the second recension substitutes

gleaming,
t

i.e.,

candidus.

severe

critic,

having

failed to trace this terra,

might suggest a slight emendation, and read


i,e., " many words and no sense."
I

This entire passage

is

Alogiee,

considerably shortened in the

second recension, which simply observes that out of the

powder mentioned

at the beginning, instruments adapted


egg are composed, but that at the same time the
envious have omitted to name the egg, etc.
to the

The Turba Philosophorum.

that the regimen

more

of these things

is

than the entire work,

difficult

because,

183

the composition be ruled

if

more than it should be, its light is


taken and extinguished by the sea.
Wherefore the
Philosophers have
ordered that

should be ruled with

it

The moon,

profound judgment.
being at the

fore,

place in sand

till it

full,

there-

take this and

be dissolved.

And

know ye that while ye are placing the


same in sand and repeating the proye have patience, ye err

cess, unless

in ruling,

therefore,

and corrupt the work. Cook,


the same in a gentle fire

ye

until

that

see

it

is

dissolved.

Then

extinguish with vinegar, and ye

shall

find

one thing separated from

three companions.

the

first,

Ixir,

And know

ye that

commingles, the second

burns, while the third liquefies.*


*

Alchemy does not seem

nised the existence


indeed,

it

of three

holds there

degrees of perfection.

is

In

to have generally recogelixirs.

but one

elixir,

Fundamentally,

having various

Zosimus, however, recognises

in

the true povi-der of perfection the existence of three powers

and three

activities

proceeding from those powers, namely.

The Turba Philosophorum.

184

the

place, therefore,

first

impose nine

ounces of vinegar twice


the vessel is being made
second when

it is

while

first

and

hot,

heated.

The Sixty-Second Dictum.

MuNDUS
all

saith

behoves you,

It

ye seekers after this Art, to know


whatsoever
the
Philosophers

that

have narrated or ordained, Kenckel,


herbs, geldum, and carmen, are one

Do

!*

thing

about
there

trouble

therefore,

not,

of

plurality

things,

for

one Tyrian tincture of the


which they have
to

is

Philosophers
given

names

abolished

at

and having
name, they

will,

proper

the

have called it black, because


been extracted from our sea.
tincture,

penetration,

and

fixation,

just

has mathematically three dimensions.

The

a mere subtlety.

Later alchemists speak

Elixir at the

White and the

second

is

first

metals

is at

'

the

the

Philosophers

Geldum,

etc."

have

in exaltation,

body

distinction is

much

of the

and so also the

Elixir of

to be the medicine of

second

named

as

And

Elixir at the Red, yet the

same time held

According to the

has

it

Gold

recension

men.
" Certain

Chelidony, Karnech,

The Turha Philosophorum.

know
not

that

ancient

the

condescend

to

185

did

priests

wear

artificial

garments, whence, for purifying altars,

and lest they should introduce into


them anything sordid or impure, they
tinged Kenckel with a Tyrian colour

which they
placed in their altars and treasuries,
was more clean and fragrant than
can be described by me, which also
has been extracted from our red
and most pure sea, which is sweet and
Tyrian

but our

colour,

and

of a pleasant odour,
sordid

nor

impure
ye that

And know
many names
true

to

it,

we have
which

For

given

are

all

an example of which, for those

that possess understanding,


in

corn that

after

grinding

traced

neither

is

putrefaction.

in

is

is

to be

being ground.

it

another name, and after

is
it

called

by

has been

and the
various substances have been separated one from another, each of these
has its own name, and yet fundamentally there is but one name, to
passed through

the

sieve,

The Turba Philosophorum.

i86

corn,

wit,

many names
Thus we call the

from which

are distinguished.

in each grade of its regimen


by the name of its own colour.

purple

The Sixty-Third Dictum.

Philosophus*

saith

notify to pos-

male and
have
body of Magnesia,
called it the
because therein is the most great
Accordingly, O all ye
arcanum
seekers after this Art, place Magnesia

terity

that

female,

nature

the

is

wherefore the envious

in

its

vessel,

Then, opening

and
it

cook

after

diligently

some days, ye

changed into
water.
Cook further until it be coaguBut, when
lated, and contain itself.
ye hear of the sea in the books of the
envious, know that they signify humour,
while by the basket they signify the
vessel, and by the medicines they
shall

find

the

whole

mean Nature, because


*

it

germinates

In the second recension, this speech

the mouth of Rarson.

is

put into

The Turba Philosophorum.

and
say

But when the envious

flowers.*

Wash

187

until the blackness of the

copper passes away, certain people name

But Agadimon
demonstrated when he

this blackness coins.

has

clearly

boldly put forth these words

be noted,

all

It is to

ye demonstrators of

this art, that the things [or the copper]

mixed and cooked once, ye

being

first

shall

find the

That

prescribed blackness!

This, therefore,

Wise,

become

to say, they all

is

is

concerning

the

lead

black.

of

the

which they have

treated very frequently in their books.

Some

also

call

it

[the lead]

of our

black coins.
The Sixty-Fourth DictumA

Pythagoras

saith:

How

marvellous

is

the diversity of the

in

those things which they formerly

asserted,

gether
*

and

their

agreement]

[or

coming
in

According to the second recension :

bads and flowers


t

in

Philosophers

is

This dictum

to-

respect
" That which

one nevertheless."
is

omitted altogether by the second

The Turba Philosophorum.

i88

and most common thing,

of this small

'

wherein the precious thing is concealed

And

the vulgar knew,

if

vestigators of this art, the

and
lie

all

ye

Yet,

they knew

if

in-

same small

thing, they would deem

vile

it

its efficacy,

God

hath

concealed this from the crowd*

lest

they would not

vilify it,

but

the world should be devastated.


The Sixty-Fifth Dictum.

HoRFOLCUS

You must know,

saith :t

who love wisdom, that


all ye
whereas Mundus hath been teaching
placing before you
this Art, and
most

syllogisms,

lucid

he that does

not understand what he has said

a brute animal
the regimen

But

of this

is

will explain

small thing, in

order that any one, being introduced


into

this

Art,

may become

Literally " from the sea."

In

the

second

recension

the

bolder,!

speaker

is

called

Oifulus.
J

On

the principle of Zosimus: "

thine inexperience,

thing has
well."

On

become

Be not dissuaded by
and when you perceive that every-

ash,

understand then that

the Diversity of Burnt Copper.

all

goes

The Turba Philosophorum.

may more
although

assuredly consider

it

it,

and

may compose

be small,

common

189

which is
dear, and the dear with that which
Know ye that in the
is common.
the

with

that

beginning of the mixing, it behoves


you to commingle elements which
crude, gentle,

are

cooked

governed,

Beware

fire.

the

until
for

or

sincere,

over

and
a

gentle

of intensifying the

elements

are

not

fire

conjoined,

these should follow one another,

and be embraced in a complexion,


whereby they are gradually burnt, until
they be dessicated in the said gentle
fire.

And know

that one spirit burns

one thing and destroys one thing,


and one body strengthens one spirit,
and teaches the same to contend with
the fire. But, after the first combustion,

it

is

necessary that

it

should be

washed, cleansed, and dealbated on the


fire until all things become one colour
with which, afterwards,

behoves you
of the whole

it

mix the residuum


humour, and then its colour

to

will

be

The Turba Philosophorum.

igo

For the elements, being


diligently cooked in the fire, rejoice,
and are changed into different natures,
because the liquefied, which is the
not-liquefied,*
becomes
the
lead,
dry.
the
thick
humid becomes
body
becomes a spirit, and the fleeing spirit
becomes strong and fit to do battle
exalted.

against the

fire.

Whence

the Philoso-

Convert the elements and


thou shalt find what thou seekest.
pher saith

But

to convert the elements

is

to

make

the moist dry and the fugitive fixed.

These things being accomplished


by the disposition, let the operator
in the fire until the gross

leave

it

made

subtle,

a tingeing
the

and the

spirit.

death and

be

subtle remain as

Know ye,

also, that

of the

elements

life

and that the composite germinates itself, and produces


that which ye desire, God favouring.
But when the colours begin ye shall
proceed from

fire,

behold the miracles


*

liquid

of the

According to the second recension

becomes liquid which

is

wisdom
"

The non-

the head of this art."

The Turba Philosophorum.

God,

of

until

the Tyrian colour be

accomplished.

Nature,

Nature,

converting

the

Nature

that

regi-

is

more

Natures

these

which

and

composite,

and

by

therefore,

than

precious

separating

elements

Nothing,

wonder-working

tingeing other natures

heavenly

men!

191

the

multiplies

makes

in

and

fixed

scarlet.

The Sixty-Sixth Dictum.*

ExEMiGANUs

treated,

saith:

and concealed
as

nesia,

hast
[or

Thou

silver,

which

is

Mag-

behoves thee, and thou

it

commanded

posterity to

experiment] and

to

hast already

Lucas, concerning living

prove

read the

to

books, knowing what the Philosophers

have said
disesteem

remains
effects

Search the latent

it

spirit

and

when it
arcanum and

not, seeing that

it

is

a great

many good

This dictum

is

and that which follows

things.

omitted in the second recension,


is

put into the mouth of Emiganus.

The Turba Philosophorum.

1 92

The Sixty-Seventh Dictum.

Lucas saith
and what I

forth

set

posterity,

to

testify

is

more

lucid

than are your words, that the Philosopher saith :* Burn the copper, burn

Hermiganus
Behold something more dark

the silver, burn the gold.


replies:

than

ever

And

dark.

is

Turba

he

Burn,

answereth

which is
As to that which he
that

therefore,

Illumine,

said

The

burn, burn, the diversity

only in the names, for they are one

and the same thing. And they: Woe


how shortly hast thou
unto you
!

dealt with

it

that

why art thou poisoned


And he: Is it desirable

with jealousy

speak

should

Atid they

Do

so.

more

And

he

clearly
I

signify

to burn, but to

make

that to whiten

is

red

For the envious have

is

life.t

The

following variation occurs in the opening of

the second recension

"

The books

of the Philosophers

should be read, for they have not in vain advised that the
suclcing child should be heeded, for therein is

out of vifhich the


t
is

Wise have operated good

According to the second recension

to vivify."

an arcanum,

things."
:

"

To make

red

The Tnrba Philosophorum.

many names

multiplied

193

that

they

might lead posterity astray, to

whom

I testify
is

that the definition of this Art

the liquefaction of the body and

the separation of the soul from the

body, seeing that copper, like a man,


has a soul and a body.
Therefore,
it behoves you, O all ye Sons of the
Doctrine,
extract

to

body and
therefrom
Where-

destroy

the soul

the

the Philosophers said that the

fore

body does not penetrate the body,


but that there

which

is

subtle

nature,

it is this which
and penetrates the body. In
nature,
therefore, there is a body
and there is a soul.
The Turba

is

the soul, and

tinges

answereth

explain,

you

have

words.

And

he

your

Despite

put

desire
forth

signify

to

dark

that the

envious have narrated and said that


the

splendour

appear unless

when it
Mercury

of Saturn
it

not

perchance be dark

ascends
is

does

in

the

air,

that

hidden by the rays of the

Sun, that quicksilver

vivifies

the body

^^* Turba Philosophorum.

194

by

its fiery

strength,

and thus the work

accomplished. But Venus, when she


becomes oriental, precedes the Sun.*

is

The Sixty-Eighth Dictum.

Attamus

saith:

Know,

all

ye

in-

vestigators of this Art, that our worjc,

of which ye have been inquiring, is


produced by the generation of the sea,

by which and with which, after God,


Take, therethe work is completed
fore, Halsut and old sea stones, and
boil with coals until they become white.
!

Then

extinguish in white vinegar.

If

24 ounces thereof have been boiled,


let the heat be extinguished with a
third part of the vinegar, that

is,

pound with white vinegar, and


cook in the sun and black earth for 42
days. But the second work is performed from the tenth day of the
month of September to the tenth day

ounces

This

in the note

is

the second of the two passages mentioned

on page i68 of

this

of a planetary attribution of

S7th Dictum, the reference


chemical.

volume as containing traces


metals,

may be

but,

as

in

the

astronomical and not

The Turba Philosophorum.

195

Do not impose
the vinegar a second time in this work,
but leave the same to be cooked until
[or grade] of Libra.

all

vinegar be

its

becomes a

And

earth.

up and

dried

it

earth, like Egyptian

fixed

the fact that one work

is

congealed more quickly and another

more

slowly, arises from the diversity

But if the place where it


is cooked be humid and dewy it is congealed more quickly, while if it be dry
it is congealed more slowly.
of cooking.

The Sixty-Ninth Dictum.

am

Florus

saith

fecting

thy treatise,

thinking of per-

Mundus,

for

thou has not accomplished the disthe cooking

position of

Proceed,

Florus

And

And

Philosopher!

teach you,

he

Sons of the

Doctrine, that the sign of the good-

ness

the

of

extraction of

Describe

Florus
ter

is

decoction

first

its

what

When
entirely

redness!
is

is

And

redness.

the

he:

And

ye see that the matblack,

know

that

The Turba Philosophoyum.

196

hidden

been

has

whiteness

in

Then

belly of that blackness.

it

the
be-

hoves you to extract that whiteness

most subtly from that blackness, for


ye know how to discern between them.

But

second decoction

in the

let

that

whiteness be placed in a vessel with


instruments, and let

its

gently

until

it

be cooked

it

become completely

white.
But when, O all ye seekers
after this Art, ye shall perceive that
whiteness appear and flowing over all,

be certain that redness


whiteness

However,

is

hid in that

does

it

not

behove you to extract it,* but rather


to cook it until the whole become a

most deep

red,

can

compare.

first

blackness

with which nothing

Know
is

that the

also

produced out of the

nature of Marteck, and that redness


extracted

is

which

and

you to

that

blackness,

red has improved

the black,

has

fugitive

from

made peace between

the

and the non-fugitive, reducing

The second
extract

it.

recension affirms that

it

does behove

The Turba Philosophorum.

two

the

into

one.

Turba
And
?

The

And why was

answereth:

197

this

he:

Because the cruciated matter


it is submerged in
the body,
changes it into an unalterable and

when

indelible

nature.

It

behoves

you,

know

this sulphur which


blackens the body.
And know ye
that the same sulphur cannot be
handled, but it cruciates and tinges.
And the sulphur which blackens is
that which does not open the door

therefore, to

to the

fugitive

fugitive with

and

turns

the fugitive.*

into

the

Do you

not see that the cruciating does not

harm or corruption, but


by coadunation and utility of things ?t
For if its victim were noxious and

cruciate with

would not be embraced


until its colours were exunalterable
it
and
from

inconvenient,

thereby
tracted

it

According to the second recension: "It converts


that

which

is

non-fugitive into a fugitive nature."

Both

readings are corrupt and ungrammatical.


t

recension somewhat reverses this,


" That which cruciates with harm or corruption

The second

reading

does not cruciate with

utility

and coadunation."

The Turba Philosophorum.

ig8

This we have called water


water we have
sulphur,, which

indelible.

of

the red tinctures

prepared

for

the rest

does not blacken

which

come

not
I

it

have

does

this

to pass without

testified to

but that

does blacken, and

for

blackness,

be the key of the

work.
The Seventieth Dictum.

MuNDUS*

saith

Know,

all

ye investi-

gators of this Art, that the head


things,

which

imposes

if it

hath not,

profits nothing.

all

is all

that

Accordingly,

the Masters have said that what


perfected

is

and a

one,

it

is

diversity of

natures does not improve that thing,

but one and a suitable nature, which

it

behoves you to rule carefully, for by


ignorance of ruling some have erred.

Do

not heed, therefore, the plurality of

these

compositions, nor those things

which

merated

the
in

philosophers

have enu-

books.

For the

their

nature of truth
*

is

one,

and the followers

In the second recension the

name

is

Mandinus.

The Turba Philosophorum.

xgg

Nature have termed it that one


thing in the belly whereof is concealed
the natural arcanum.
This arcanum
is neither seen nor known except by
the "Wise. He, therefore, who knows
how to extract its complexion and rules
equably, for him shall a nature rise
forth therefrom which shall conquer all
natures, and then shall that word be
fulfilled which was written by the
Masters, namely, that Nature rejoices
in Nature, Nature overcomes Nature,
and Nature contains Nature at the
of

same time there are not many or


diverse

Natures, but one

having in

own natures and

properties,

itself its

by which it prevails over other thingsDo you not see that the Master has
begun with one and finished one ?
Hence has he called those unities
Sulphureous Water, conquering all
Nature.
The Seventy-First Dictum.

Bracus*
*

saith

How elegantly Mundus

In the second recension this dictum

Aichelaus.

is

ascribed to

The Turba Philosophorum.

200

hath described this sulphureous water


For unless solid bodies are destroyed

by a nature wanting a body, until the


bodies become not-bodies, and even as
a most tenuous spirit, ye cannot
[attain] that most tenuous and tingeing soul, which

is

hidden in the natural

And know

belly.

that unless the

body

be withered up and so destroyed that it


dies, and unless ye extract from it its
soul, which is a tingeing spirit, ye are
unable to tinge a body therewith.
The Seventy-Second Dictum.

The

compo-

Philosophus*

saith

sition, that is,

the body of Magnesia,

is

made out

first

of several things, although

they become one, and are called by

one name, which the ancients have


termed Albar of copper. But when it
is

ruled

it is

called

by ten names, taken

from the colours which appear in the

regimen of the body

of this

Magnesia.

It is necessary, therefore, that

be turned into blackness


*

The second

the lead

then the ten

recension refers this dictum to Philotis.

The Turba Philosophorunt.

aoi

aforesaid shall appear in the ferment

of gold, with sericon,* which

is a comby ten names. When


all these things have been said, we
mean nothing more by these names
than Albar of copper, because it tinges

position called

every body which has entered into the

composition.
fold

one

When

is

But composition
humid, the other

is

two-

is

dry.

they are cooked prudently they

become one, and are

called the

good

But when it
becomes red it is called Flower of Gold,
Ferment of Gold, Gold of Coral, t
Gold of the Beak.J It is also called
redundant red sulphur and red orpiment.
But while it remains crude
lead of copper, it is called bars and
Behold I have replates of metal.
thing of several names.

Sericon

is

one of the names of Minium, according to

Rulandus, but M. Berthelot explains that


liination of

Sandyx and

it

was a com-

Sinopis.

t Later alchemical writers define

matter of the Philosophers

when

it

Gold oi Coral as the

has become fixed a

the red stage.


X

iectly

The

significance of this phrase

inscrutable,

but

is

is,

of course, per-

there any reference

rostrum or rottellum of the alembic

to

the

The Turba Philosophorum.

ao3

vealed

its

names when

raw, which

is

it

we should distinguish from the


names when it has been cooked. Let
also

therefore

it

pondered

be

me now

behoves

quantity of the

over.

It

you the
and the numbers of

to exhibit to

fire,

days,* and the diversity of intensity

its

thereof in every grade, so that he

who

book may belong


and be freed from
poverty, so that he shall remain secure
in that middle way which is closed to
those who are deficient in this most
precious art. I have seen, therefore,

shall

possess this

unto

himself,+

many

kinds of

of straw

and

One

fire.

cinder, coals

but one without flame.

shows

that

there

made

is

and flame,
Experiment

intermediate

are

But lead

grades between these kinds.


lead of copper, in

is

whole

Greek, in

common

which

Now,

arcanum.

with

all

out

is

the

concerning

other alchemists, have

recognised the necessity for " a certain lapse of time


a favourable moment."

See Olympiodorus
,

On

and

the Sacred

Art.
t

qui

Compare the motto

suits esse potest.

of Paracelsus

Alteriut turn sit

The Turba Philosophorum.

203

the days of the night in which will be


the perfection of the most great

arcanum, I will treat in its proper


place in what follows. And know most
assuredly that if a little gold be placed
in the composition, there will result

patent and white tincture.


also a sublime gold
is

Wherefore

and a patent gold

found in the treasuries of the former

Wherefore those things


are unequal which they introduce into
Inasmuch as the
their composition.
elements are commingled and are
turned into lead of copper, coming

philosophers.

out of their own former natures, they are

new

turned into a

Then they

nature.

are called one nature and one genus.

These things being accomplished,

it is

placed in a glass vessel, unless in a


certain

way the composition

water and

is

altered in

every grade

it

is

its

when

venerable

by

Although

concerning

In

colours.

beheld,

coloured

drinks the

this

it

is

redness.

we

elixir

read in the sayings of the philosophers

Take

gold, occurring frequently,

it

is

::

The Turba Philosophorum.

204

Wishing,

only needful to do so once.


therefore, to

know the

certitude of the

adversary, consider what Democritus*

how he

saith,

begins speaking from

bottom to top, then reversing matters


he proceeds from top to bottom. For,
he said Take iron, lead, and albart
for copper, which reversing, he again
says And our copper for coins, lead
for gold, gold for gold of coral, and
:

Again,

gold of coral for gold of crocus.

second place, when he begins

in the

from the top to the bottom, he saith

Take

gold,

iron

he

coin,

shews,

copper,

lead,

and

by

his

therefore,

sayings that only semi-gold

And
into
*

without doubt gold


rust

without lead

Democritus at

effectually

is

silenced,

and copper,

the beginning of the assembly

is

and now seems to be quoted as an

enemy at the conclusion of a symposium


was foibidden to participate.
t It will

taken.

is

not changed

in

which he

be well in this place to enumerate the terms,

mostly of oriental origin, occurring in the Turba for which

no explanation can

at

present be found.

They

are

Ebmich, Corsufle, Mucra, Murtal, Geldum,


Halsut, Albar, and the curious use of the Latin wor4

Absumech,
Carmen.

The Turba Philosophorum.

205

and unless it be imbued with vinegar


known by the wise, until, being cooked,
it

turned

is

into

redness.

This,

which all the


Philosophers signified, because, how-

therefore, is the redness

they said

ever

Take

gold and

it

becomes gold of coral


Take gold of
coral and it becomes purple gold
all
;

names of those
behoves them that

these things are only


colours,

for

it

vinegar be placed in
colours

come from

it,

because these

But by these

it.

things which the Philosophers

have

mentioned under various names, they


have signified stronger bodies and forces.
It

taken, therefore, once,

is

may become
is

imposed
colours

that

each
water

being
vessel,

appear.
citrine

For when the


it

is

decocted

be

may be

it

is

cooked

Its first

necessary

until

forty

in

desiccated,

consumed
and placed

being

imbued
it

it.

appear,

days, so that

the

it

rubigo and then vinegar

on

said

that

its

finally

in

the

utility

grade becomes as a

mucra, the second as red, the

The Turba Philosophorum.

2o6

pounded crocus of the


it imposed upon coin.

third as the dry

So

vulgar.

is

Conclusion.*

Agmon saith :
by way of a

add the following

I will

Whosoever
and coagulate errs

corollary.

does not

liquefy

greatly.

Therefore,

black

make

the earth

separate the soul and the water

so shall
thereof, afterwards whiten;
ye find what ye seek. I say unto you
that whoso makes earth black and then
dissolves with
like

becomes even

fire, till it

who

unto a naked sword,

the whole with consuming


to be called happy,

above the

and

also fixes

fire,

deserves

shall be exalted

This

circle of the world.

much concerning the revelation of our


stone, is, we doubt not, enough for the
Sons of the Doctrine. The strength
thereof, shall never

become corrupted,

but the same, when

it

fire,

shall

dissolve,
*

be increased.
it

and

is

placed in the
If

you seek

shall be dissolved

This constitutes

recension,

is

the last Dictum

in

but

to
if

the second

omitted from the longer version.

THe Turba Philosophorum,

207

you would coagulate, it shall be coagulated.


Behold, no one is without it,
and yet all do need it! There are
many names given to it, and yet it is
called by one only, while, if need be, it is
concealed. It is also a stone and not
a stone, spirit, soul, and body; it is
whitCj volatile, concave, hairless, cold,

and yet no one can apply the tongue


its surface.
If you
wish that it should fly, it flies if you
say that it is water, you speak the truth
if you say that it is not water, you speak
falsely.
Do not then be deceived by
the multiplicity of names, but rest
assured that it is one thing, unto which

with impunity to

nothing alien

is

added.

Investigate

the place thereof, and add nothing that

Unless the names were


multiplied, so that the vulgar might be
deceived, many would deride our
is

foreign.

wisdom.

INDEX.
Adam,

Death,

21.

22.

Air, 3-12, 20, 21.

Democritus,

Angels,

Dew,

ig, 23, 26.

Arcanum,

27, 39, 57, 58, 64, 70, 71,

13, 14, 204.

122.

Dragon,

178.

76, 81, 122.

Atitos, 72.

Earth, 8-13, 20, 21, 27.

EfQucidinua, 8g.

Egg,

II, 153, 182.

Blackness, 29, 117, i2i, 1S7, 198.

Elements, Four, 7,

Boritis, 75,

Elementary

Brodium,

Ethelia, 30, 31, 39, 44, 58, 84, 85,

31, 32.

Burnt Copper,
Burnt Lead,

13, 18, 23,25-27,

Fire, 21.

no.

31.

III, 130, 135-137, 155'

56.

Fseces, 39.

Ferment of Gold,

105, 148,

Calx, 44, 45, 49, 145.

Fire, 4, 5, 8, 10-13, i^i I9i 20-22.

Cambar,

Fixed and Volatile,

70, 139, 151, 161.

Citrine, 97.

Flower of Copper,

Coagula, i6z.

Flower of Gold,

Coin, 29, 30,41,70,74, 80, 100, 113,

Flower of Salt,

31, 143.

31, 39.

Foimdation of Art,

138.

Copper,

28, 32, 44, 60, 75, 86, 87,

90, 93, 94) io2i

Four Seasons,

36, 140-142.

72, 154.

50.

59.

103, 105, loB,

1 14, 117, 120, 122, 132, 133, 135,

138, 140, 156, 169, 193.

Oadenbe,

39.

Gold, 57, 60,

gum

61, 62, 90, 105, 113,

Corsufle, gg, 100, 106, 107, 157.

144;

Crocus, 81.

157! gold of coral, 201, 205.

of, 31,

34, 73, 81,

2IO
Golden Water,
Greenstone,

Gum,

61-63

Permanent Water,

134,

of aacotia, log

of

119, 122, 133.

Putrefaction, 76, 165.

scoria, 44.

Quicksilver, 36, 76, 77, 79, 80, 82,

Halsut, 194.

Heart of the Sun,

Hermes,

68.

84, 85, 93, 135-137.

Hidden Glory,

67.

Bedness,
Ixir, 78, 100, 121, 122, 126, 130.

Slave, 96.

Rotundum,

Art, 25.

34, 48, 55, 71, 145, 169, 185.

iss*

Rubigo, 143,
Rust,

Lead,

34, 35, 52, 53, 58, 59, 82,

90, 91, 104, 106, 123, 130, 143.

Red

Kuhul,

139, 145.

igi, 193.

i, 2, 54, 117, 162.

Key of the

31, 34i 39i 45>

49, 64-66, 76, 82, 94, 107, 117,

67.

160, 164, 170.

52, 107, 130, 132.

54, 55, 57, 60, 72, 81, 82, 93,

zoo, 161

red lead,

Leaven of Gold,

60, 61.

Saginatum,

31.

Saturn, 193.

31.

Shadow of Metals,
Smoke,
Magnesia,

38, 39, 71, 77, 118, rig,

133, i37i 146

body

of, 34, 84,

112, 132, 145, 186.

Magnet,

42, 77, 78, 79.

Male and Female,


89. 96, 135. 180.

Marteck,

152, 196.

Mercury,

193.

Milk of Fig,
Mucra,

57, 60, 77, 79,

70, 76.

58, 144,

Spirit of Brass, 67.

Spume

of the

Moon,

43, 44, 67,

145) 168, 174.

Stone, 44, 45, 69, 91, 93, 109, 114

of gold, 125.

Sulphur,

34, 36, 39, 461 52, 57. 87.

122, 137.

Sun,

69,

63.

76, 160, 205.

Testa, 163.

Tin,
Nitre, t2i.

79, 80, 132, 146.

Tincture, 28, 35, 86, 141.

Tyrian Dye,

Orpiment,

57, 139.

184.

47-50, 74, 90, 92, 131,

Urine,

Water,

48, 63, io5.

8-i3, 2o,

4,

alum, 38
gold,

Venom,

46, 6g,

75, 98, log, 117,

119, 130, 139, 144, 150.

Venus,

132, i34i I73.

117;

of iron,

nitre, 38, 55, 132


30, 49, 53

21,

27;

dew, 63

of

of

38;

of

of our sea,

of sulphur, 87, 137,

i39i I47'

194.

Vinegar, 51-54,

of

58, 90,

iig, 121,

Whiteness,
143.

29, 52, 53, 58, 59, 123,