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

  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},
  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… 
1 Citations

Figures from this paper

Seventeenth-century experimenta, magisterial formulae and the ‘animal alkahest’: new documents found in Royal Society archives
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.


Chemical remedies in the 18th century: mercury and Alkahest
Herman Boerhaave approached Chemistry from an intellectual makeup strongly influenced by the latest natural philosophy especially Bacon’s brand of induction, prioritizing experiment over rational
From van Helmont to Boyle. A study of the transmission of Helmontian chemical and medical theories in seventeenth-century England
  • A. Clericuzio
  • History
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 1993
Van Helmont's chemistry and medicine played a prominent part in the seventeenth-century opposition to Aristotelian natural philosophy and to Galenic medicine. Helmontian works, which rapidly achieved
Voices Calling for Reform: The Royal Society in the Mid-Eighteenth Century — Martin Folkes, John Hill, and William Stukeley
Le statut intellectuel de la Royal Society de Londres au milieu du 18e siecle a toujours ete une source de controverse dans la recherche d'information et l'exploration historique. Auparavant, les