Seventeenth-century ‘treasure’ found in Royal Society archives: The Ludus helmontii and the stone disease

@article{AlfonsoGoldfarb2014SeventeenthcenturyF,
  title={Seventeenth-century ‘treasure’ found in Royal Society archives: The Ludus helmontii and the stone disease},
  author={Ana Maria Alfonso-Goldfarb and M{\'a}rcia Helena Mendes Ferraz and Piyo M. Rattansi},
  journal={Notes and Records: the Royal Society Journal of the History of Science},
  year={2014},
  volume={68},
  pages={227 - 243}
}
Our archival researches at the Royal Society reveal that a small envelope attached to a 1675 letter from an Antwerp apothecary, A. Boutens, contained a sample of the ‘Ludus’ prepared as a remedy for the ‘stone disease’ then sweeping through Europe, which was first announced in J. B. van Helmont's De lithiasi (1644). After examining the fascination with the medical use of the Ludus (which required the ‘alkahest’ for its preparation) and the tenacious efforts to procure it, we trace the fortunae… 
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Seventeenth-century experimenta, magisterial formulae and the ‘animal alkahest’: new documents found in Royal Society archives
TLDR
Three newly rediscovered documents from the Royal Society archives are presented that constitute a set on a cognate theme, and it is shown that some seventeenth-century scholars sought to explain operations of the animal body by invoking similar but natural substances, while attempting to assimilate the latest anatomical discoveries into a novel framework.

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