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By Tara Nummedal

ISBN-10: 0226608565

ISBN-13: 9780226608563

What special the real alchemist from the fraud? this query lively the lives and labors of the typical men—and sometimes women—who made a dwelling as alchemists within the 16th- and seventeenth-century Holy Roman Empire. As purveyors of sensible thoughts, innovations, and therapies, those marketers have been prized via princely consumers, who relied upon alchemists to reinforce their political fortunes. while, satirists, artists, and different commentators used the determine of the alchemist as an emblem for Europe’s social and monetary ills.

Drawing on legal trial documents, contracts, laboratory inventories, satires, and vernacular alchemical treatises, Alchemy and Authority within the Holy Roman Empire situates the typical alchemists, mostly invisible to trendy students in the past, on the middle of the improvement of early smooth technological know-how and trade. Reconstructing the workaday global of entrepreneurial alchemists, Tara Nummedal indicates how allegations of fraud formed their practices and customers. those debates not just show vastly different understandings of what the “real” alchemy used to be and who may perhaps perform it; in addition they attach a collection of little-known practitioners to the most important questions on trade, belief, and highbrow authority in early smooth Europe.

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Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire by Tara Nummedal

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