Read Alchemy by E.J. Holmyard Online

alchemy

Classic study by noted scholar ranges over 2,000 years of alchemy: ancient Greek and Chinese alchemy, alchemical apparatus, Islamic and early Western alchemy; signs, symbols, and secret terms; Paracelsus, English and Scottish alchemists, and more. Erudite coverage of philosophical, religious, mystical overtones; replacement of alchemy by scientific method, more. IllustrateClassic study by noted scholar ranges over 2,000 years of alchemy: ancient Greek and Chinese alchemy, alchemical apparatus, Islamic and early Western alchemy; signs, symbols, and secret terms; Paracelsus, English and Scottish alchemists, and more. Erudite coverage of philosophical, religious, mystical overtones; replacement of alchemy by scientific method, more. Illustrated....

Title : Alchemy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780486262987
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Alchemy Reviews

  • Andres
    2019-04-07 08:07

    Seems to be a general history of the art. I consider myself well versed in it, but am always interested in generalities. This is mainly due to each of these general studies offering up a good bibliography of ancient sources which I can then follow up on for specifics. I'll post a more detailed review when done. Some of these books look to be general studies and then end up surprising you with an unknown gem or two.

  • Chris
    2019-04-04 10:12

    A brief, occasionally amusing history of the ideas and personalities behind alchemical art/science from ancient Greece to early modern Europe. As a history of science it's so-so: I'd describe it as more of a compendium of diverting stories and anecdotes rather than an engaging analysis of the (pseudo)scientific ideas that made up alchemy. Typically, the author quotes lengthy and obscure passages from various alchemical treatises, but doesn't make the effort to analyze or explicate them within a useful context for someone new to the subject. These I found to be more annoying than edifying, and Holmyard's ostensible lack of enthusiasm for the topics (either that or intellectual laziness) didn't exactly encourage me to explore more on my own.By far the most interesting parts were Holmyard's condensed biographies of the several alchemical cheats/quacks/swindlers who made their way through the courts and town squares of pre-modern Europe by duping the gullible -- sometimes absconding with a chunk of change, and sometimes ignominiously meeting their Maker with a rope around their neck. There are undoubtedly more up-to-date and better written accounts out there which attempt to examine alchemy in the context of the history of ideas. But hell, I bought this for a buck and it was a quick read, so nothing to complain about!

  • Nicholas Bobbitt
    2019-04-06 09:50

    Solid look at alchemy.

  • Alessio
    2019-04-13 01:58

    Volevo un misero saggio sull'Alchimia non un libro da amare!Cazzo cazzo cazzo. L'ho amato dalla prima pagina, non volevo finirlo, volevo godermelo per sempre, rimanere insieme a quei tanti studiosi di tanto tempo fa. Volevo essere trasportato nella loro era e diventare loro apprendista, volevo vedere tutti gli insuccessi alla ricerca della Pietra Filosofale, volevo stare accanto a tutti i maestri che sono riusciti a crearla. Poi apro una piccola parentesi e la chiudo subito, ho amato tutti gli alchimisti, ma scoprire che Nicolas Flamel, alchimista più conosciuto al mondo, l'immortale ecc. ecc. è stato solo l'ultima ruota del carro. Sono rimasto senza parole, tutta la gente che ha marciato sulla figura di Flamel, che si è inventato di tutto e di più su questa figura, è solo e soltanto aria fritta. Scusate se lo scrivo, ma quando ho letto di Flamel ed ho pensato a tutti gli scritti mi sono messo a ridere, ma com'è stato possibile che solo l'ultima ruota del carro sia diventata culto di studi e di libri, inventati o storici? Perché ha inventato la Pietra Filosofale?! Non è stato il primo e nemmeno l'ultimo. È una assurdità che ora mi assilla la mente. Forse suonava bene il nome xD Ora chiudo la parentesi. In questo libro si da più spazio agli alchimisti arabi, forse perché lo scrittore era appassionato della cultura araba medievale, ma comunque c'è da dire che sono anche la base, e che comunque ne parla solo in 50 pagine sulle 300 del libro, altre 50 sono per i cinesi e i greci che sono le fondamenta e le altre 200 sono tutti occidentali. Quindi anche se è appassionato alla fine è stato equilibrato, scoprire poi che l'alchimia si praticava anche prima dell'anno zero e del medioevo e che si pratica anche tutt'ora è stata per me alla rivelazione dell'anno. Da ora in avanti cercherò di creare la Pietra Filosofale xD

  • Daisy
    2019-03-25 06:13

    This book, published in 1957, is the oldest book I've ever read (The Picture of Dorian Gray is older, [1890] but my copy was published in 2001 so Alchemy is still the physically oldest book I've read). After doing a project on the periodic table and the elements, I decided I wanted to learn a bit about alchemy - and being a huge Harry Potter fan, some information about the history of and myths surrounding the philosopher's stone sounded cool too. I'm the kind of person who learns better out of books rather than on the internet, so asked my local library for some books on alchemy. This was one of the ones they gave me.On the whole, I was very disappointed in this book. The language was really difficult to understand and the only interesting or memorable fact I can remember being taught was that in one version of the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece, the Golden Fleece was a paper describing how to turn base metals into gold and the secrets of eternal life, in other words, it was an alchemical paper. That was a cool fact, but not really worth the time I spent reading this book. I gave up after 150 pages, but the writing is so small that it felt like a whole lot longer. I would not recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about alchemy, now can I please get the hours spent attempting to read this book back?