"The Smaragdine Table of Hermes, Trismegistus of
"A briefe Commentarie of Hortulanus the Philosopher,
upon the Smaragdine Table of Hermes of Alchimy", London. Printed by Thomas Creede for Richard
Olive. 1597. Originally part of "Mirror of Alchemy" by Roger Bacon. 4 pages. (SMARAGDINIE: .doc, .pdf). With additional footnotes (2011).
Table of Contents:
The Preface. p.20
CHAP. I. That the Art of Alchimy is true and certaine. p.21
CHAP. II. That the Stone must be diuided into two parts. p.21
CHAP. III. That the Stone hath in it the foure Elements. p.22
CHAP. IIII. That the Stone hath Father and Mother, to wit, the
Sun and Moon. p.22
CHAP. V. That the coniunction of the parts of the stone is called
CHAP. VI. That the Stone is perfect, if the Soule be fixt in the
CHAP. VII. Of the mundification and cleansing of the stone. p.24
CHAP. VIII. That the unfixed part of the Stone should exceed the
fixed, and list it up. p.25
CHAP. IX. How the volatile Stone may againe be fixed. p.25
CHAP X. Of the fruit of the Art, and efficacie of the Stone. p.26
CHAP. XI. That this worke imitateth the Creation of the worlde.
CHAP. XII. An enigmaticall insinuation what the matter of the
Stone shoulde be. p.27
CHAP. XIII. Why the Stone is said to be perfect. p.27
'Alchemical Treatise', Leonhard Mullner, Hortulanus (pseudo.) 1575.
1541, first appearance of Smaragdine Table of Hermes
JOSÉ RODRÍGUEZ-GUERRERO, Desarrollo y Madurez del Concepto de Quintaesencia Alquímica en la Europa Medieval (s. XII-XIV).
Azogue, 5, 2002-2007, pp. 30-56.
The quintessence was a key element in late medieval alchemy. I will discuss the origin of the concept from its vague beginnings in the 13th Century, well summarized by Restoro d’Arezzo (ca.1282), to the critical meeting in the early 14th century. I will focus my research on a treatise entitled Liber super textum hermetis (pre.1325) signed by an alchemist called Hortulanus (Jakob Ortlein of Nördlinger, probably a dominican monk). The full version consists of two sections. The first is a less-known guide to elaborate a pure quintessence or “Stone of Life”, which seems to be an alcoholic compound obtained by distillation and rectification of wine. Hortulanus thought of alcohol as the quintessence almost a quarter of century before John of Rupescissa's book De quinta essentia. The second section of the Liber super textum hermetis is a popular commentary on the Emerald Tablet that usually circulated as an independent work. It was first printed in Nuremberg by Johannes Petreius, as part of the alchemical compilation know as In hoc volumine de alchemia continentur hæc (1541). It defines quintessence as the first of all things created by God, the pure element of which the cosmos was made.