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Opus and sermo: The Relationship between Alchemy and Prophecy (12th-14th Centuries)

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The subject of this paper is the relationship between alchemy and prophecy in the Latin culture of the period between the initial diffusion of alchemy in the West in the 12th century and the 14th century. This is a preliminary survey, which provides the necessary background for a better understanding of the so-called 'explosion' of the kind of prophetic and visionary alchemy that took place in the 15th century. Alchemy, which is knowledge of hidden things and an art of transformation toward perfection, is here tentatively interpreted and analysed as a form of 'concrete prophecy'.

Affiliations: 1: Università di Pavia


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