Alchemy the turba philosophorum; the book of truth Free PDF book (1896) Translated

Alchemy the turba philosophorum; the book of truth PDF book (1896) Translated by Arthur Edward Waite


Alchemy the turba Philosophorum is indisputably the most ancient extant treatise on Alchemy in the Latin tongue, but it was not, so far as can be ascertained, originally written in Latin; the compiler or editor, for in many respects 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 when it was quoted as an authority by all the alchemical adepts, has been familiar only in its Latin garb.

 It is not, of course, certain that the original is irretrievably lost, the Arabic and Syriac manuscripts treating of early chemistry are preserved in considerable numbers in the various libraries of Europe, and have only been imperfectly explored. Unfortunately, the present editor has neither there are two codices or recensions of The Turba Philosophorum, which differ considerably from one another. What is called in the following pages the second recension, is appreciably shorter, clearer, and, on the whole, the less corrupt of the two, but they are both in a bad state.

 The longer recension has been chosen for the text of the following translation because it seemed desirable to give the work in its entirety. The variations of the second recension are appended usually in foot-notes, but where the reading of the text is so corrupt as to be quite untranslatable, the editor has occasionally substituted that of the alternative version and has in most cases indicated the course pursued. the opportunity nor the qualifications for undertaking such a task.

Monsieur Berthelot's invaluable text and translation of the Byzantine Alchemists has been largely made use of, to. illustrate the striking analogies between the Greek Hermetic writers of the fourth century and the Turba. It is to this great scholar and scientist that we owe the discovery of these analogies, some of which are very clearly indicated in a chapter devoted to the subject, and forming part of his " Essai sur la Transmission de la Science Antique au Moyen Age." It follows from M. Berthelofs researches, that Latin Alchemy, which has always been rightly referred to an Arabian source, connects with the Greek Alchemy which preceded Arabian Science because the latter was itself derived from Greece. We are also enabled to identify, for the first time, and that with perfect certainty, those ancient sages, to whom all the Latin literature makes a request and reverent allusion; we now know that they are Zosimus, the Panopolite,

 the adepts of the school of Democritus, and the other writers preserved in the Byzantine collection. M. Berthelot, however, infers that the Greek influence found in The Turba Philosophorum was not a direct influence, but was derived mediately through channels 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.

BOOK THREE I The Departure of Boromir 15 II The Riders of Rohan 23 III The Uruk-hai 47 IV Treebeard 64 V The White Rider 91 VI The King of the Golden Hall no VII Helm’s Deep VHI The Road to Isengard 148 IX Flotsam and Jetsam 165 X The Voice of Saruman 181 XI The Palantir 193 BOOK FOUR I The Taming of Smeagol 209 H The Passage of the Marshes 227 HI The Black Gate is Closed 244 IV Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit 256 V The Window on the West 271 VI The Forbidden Pool 292 VH Journey to the Cross-Roads 303 VHI The Stairs of Cirith Ungol 312 IX Shelob’s Lair 326 X The Choices of Master Samwise 337 II BOOK III

Author:  Arthur Edward Waite Publication Date:1896

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