The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book - download pdf or read online

By Raphael Patai

ISBN-10: 069160312X

ISBN-13: 9780691603124

During this huge paintings, Raphael Patai opens up a wholly new box of cultural heritage by way of tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the 19th century. before there was little consciousness given to the numerous position that Jews performed within the box of alchemy. right here, drawing on an important variety of formerly unexplored assets, Patai unearths that Jews have been significant avid gamers in what was once for hundreds of years considered one of humanity's such a lot compelling highbrow obsessions.

Originally released in 1994.

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Extra info for The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book

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In the midrash, Korah and Haman are said to have been the richest men on earth. Korah's riches derived from BIBLICAL F I G U R E S AS A L C H E M I S T S 25 his having discovered one of the treasures Joseph had hidden in Egypt. He perished because of his rapacity, and because his riches were not the gift of heaven. " This Koranic reference, based on the Bible and the midrash, was embellished by Arab authors, beginning with al-Jahiz (ca. 776-868/69) and Ibn al-Nadlm (d. 995 or 998). In their writings, Qarun emerges as an adept of alchemy who had learned the art from his wife.

50 Alemanno also wrote another book, Sefer Sha'ar haHesheq (Book of the Gate of Desire), which, as stated in the approbation prefacing it, was part of a larger book entitled Hesheq Sh'lomo (Solomon's Desire), and the material contained in it was attributed to King Solomon. 51 The book itself contains some references to alchemical and mystical lore, such as the hokhmat haseruf(science of refining gold), how to create and annihilate human beings and calves (following the example of certain talmudic sages), the letters of the alphabet as standing for the four alchemical elements, and so on.

This work brought them close to the mysteries of Hermes. . 13 These revisionist views of the Jewish role in the history of alchemy have not yet penetrated the realm of general histories of alchemy and of encyclopedias, whose articles on alchemy are supposed to be authoritative summaries of the subject. The old Encyclopaedia of Religion and 14 CHAPTER ONE Ethics, published early in this century, has articles on Greek and Roman, Muhammadan, and European alchemy, but does not even mention Jewish alchemy.

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The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book by Raphael Patai


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