Transmutation Theory in the Greek Alchemical Corpus

  title={Transmutation Theory in the Greek Alchemical Corpus},
  author={Olivier Dufault},
  pages={215 - 244}
Abstract This paper studies transmutation theory as found in the texts attributed to Zosimus of Panopolis, “the philosopher Synesius,” and “the philosopher Olympiodorus of Alexandria.” It shows that transmutation theory (i.e. a theory explaining the complete transformation of substances) is mostly absent from the work attributed to these three authors. The text attributed to Synesius describes a gilding process, which is similar to those described by Pliny and Vitruvius. The commentary… 
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MA 10.7a-16a. Note that Mertens has published two different versions of this passage. I have here retained only one
    Les alchimistes Gréco-alexandrins
      The opposition here would be between the slow cooking of the automatareion (a hapax, which Berthelot and Ruelle translated as "digesteur") and the fast cooking of an instrument with bellows
        The bowl-altar is likened to an apparatus by the use of the term phile, a libation vessel
          A and L have autoī toī botaioī. Elsewhere, the botarion appears to be the bottom part of a still (see CAAG 60 with MA cxxi)
            Building on the same (or similar) physical notions that made Heraclitus compare a beam of light to a "dry soul, excellent, and very wise
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              Aristote et l'alchimie grecque
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