436 results match your criteria Ambix[Journal]


Medical Performance and the Alchemy of Plants in the Ventures of Leonhard Thurneisser zum Thurn.

Authors:
Bruce T Moran

Ambix 2022 May 30;69(2):95-117. Epub 2022 Mar 30.

University of Nevada, Reno, USA.

Among the cross currents of social and intellectual life in the early modern era, wonder, utility, and playfulness combined to inspire curiosity and to give value to novel alchemical procedures and chemical remedies. One of the most skilful alchemical and medical performers, who brought theatrical techniques to bear upon an economy of alchemical secrets and magic, was the self-trained Paracelsian physician, mining expert, and alchemical adept, Leonhard Thurneisser zum Thurn (1531-1596). In creatively designed and illustrated books produced for a luxury market, he constructed, in words and images, theatres of procedure, instrumentation, and chemical curiosity based in traditions of Renaissance magic and Paracelsian natural philosophy. Read More

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The Pewterer and the Chymist: Major Erasmus Purling and his Refined Tin.

Ambix 2022 May 30;69(2):118-138. Epub 2022 Mar 30.

Le Mans University, France.

This article examines the career of Erasmus Purling, an English engineer who wrote a short alchemical treatise in 1657. After serving the Royalist cause in the late 1640s, he joined the Commonwealth forces in the early 1650s. He then attempted to manufacture and market a tin alloy supposedly resembling silver, first in England, where he was opposed by the London pewterers and imprisoned. Read More

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Wilhelm Ostwald's Pedagogy: An Analysis of the Nobel Prize Nomination Letters.

Ambix 2022 May 30;69(2):139-162. Epub 2022 Mar 30.

Institute of Technology of Organic Chemistry, Riga Technical University, Riga, Latvia.

The Baltic-German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932) was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in chemistry between 1904 and 1909. Many of these nominations were based on his pedagogical works. The appreciation of Ostwald's pedagogical activity can shed light on how science pedagogy was seen in the early twentieth century and how Ostwald was considered by his contemporaries. Read More

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The Beginnings of English Paracelsian Lexicography: Two Collections of Words from Elizabethan Cambridge.

Authors:
John Considine

Ambix 2022 May 16;69(2):163-189. Epub 2022 Mar 16.

Department of English, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

This article identifies the first two collections of Paracelsian words to have been printed in England: a body of 153 new and rare words, or new senses of existing words, dispersed in the third edition of Thomas Thomas's Latin-English of 1592, and a list of forty-three words forming part of Joseph Hall's Latin prose satire , published in 1605. The Paracelsian material in the has been practically unknown until now, and the Paracelsian material in has been insufficiently studied. Both collections of words are edited here, with discussion of their sources and the principles on which they were selected, and with discussion of their influence for the period of more than half a century when they were the only collections of Paracelsian words printed in England. Read More

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Alchemical Practice: Looking Towards the Chemical Humanities.

Ambix 2022 Feb;69(1):1-18

Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, United Kingdom.

This special issue of Ambix is an outgrowth of the Tenth Annual Postgraduate Workshop titled "Society and the Creation of (al)Chemical Knowledge" hosted by the Embassy of the Free Mind in Amsterdam, 29-30 November 2019. This meeting of early career scholars with a shared interest in the history of alchemy and chemistry illustrated the diversity of methodological approaches that contribute to this subfield. Alchemical knowledge, created through practice, language, and material culture, has permeated society since the ancient world. Read More

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February 2022

A Machine Reasoning Algorithm for the Digital Analysis of Alchemical Language and its .

Authors:
Sarah Lang

Ambix 2022 Feb;69(1):65-83

University of Graz, Austria.

Alchemical language has been addressed in several lexicographical studies, historically and recently. This paper discusses the current state of the field and proposes a digital distant-reading approach to the issue of decoding alchemical . This paper presents an algorithm for the digital analysis of alchemical language using the corpus of printed works by Michael Maier (1568-1622). Read More

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February 2022

Protecting Academia and Religion: Andreas Libavius's Criticism of a General Reformation.

Authors:
Lyke de Vries

Ambix 2022 Feb 11;69(1):34-48. Epub 2022 Feb 11.

Andreas Libavius (ca. 1560-1616) is a well-known early modern physician and alchemist, who involved himself in various disputes. For example, in several of his writings he rejected the heterodox texts related to the Rosicrucian episode. Read More

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February 2022

In the Melting Pot: Cultural Mixture and the Presentation of Alchemical Knowledge in the .

Ambix 2022 Feb 7;69(1):49-64. Epub 2022 Feb 7.

Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil.

This article investigates how the (first-fourth century CE) explores the literary potentialities allowed by the complex cultural backdrop one finds in late antique Egypt. By looking into how this example of alchemical writing both engages with and departs from shared motifs of Hermetism, the Greco-Egyptian magical papyri, and , it demonstrates how the uses literary artifice in a way that gives alchemical knowledge a specific and distinct voice. It also argues that the cultural mixture of Hermetism, magic, and Scripture represented in the reflects the alchemical procedure of mixing frequently mentioned in the text. Read More

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February 2022

The Old Ashmolean Museum and Oxford's Seventeenth-Century Chymical Community: A Material Culture Approach To Laboratory Experiments.

Ambix 2022 Feb 24;69(1):19-33. Epub 2022 Jan 24.

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Oxford's chymical community came together in the Ashmolean Museum. Founded in 1683, the institution was part of Oxford University and home to the first official chair of chymistry in the country, with practical teaching directed by Robert Plot in the basement laboratory. The information at our disposal is scarce and Plot did not leave us detailed accounts of his laboratory work. Read More

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February 2022

Good Names but Better Symbols: The Establishment of Chemical Notation as a Nomenclatural Corrective at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century.

Authors:
Sean O'Neil

Ambix 2021 Nov;68(4):331-364

Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University, USA.

Although the (1787) is best known for its reform of chemical names, it also proposed to reform chemical symbols. However, historians have generally concluded that, unlike its nomenclatural counterpart, the 's new system of symbols had very little impact. This article argues otherwise. Read More

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November 2021

Unwise Relationships and an Unsound Valence Theory: The Chemical Career of Robert Fergus Hunter (1904-1963).

Ambix 2021 Nov;68(4):407-430

Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK.

The life of the Imperial College-trained Robert Fergus Hunter (1904-1963) was a of a gifted chemist who appeared destined for a prominent academic career in organic chemistry. Two circumstances spoiled his chances. In the first place, he became associated with the declining fortunes of the weekly More seriously, as a professor at the Aligarh Muslim University in British India (1930-1936), he published papers on valence theory with the German-Jewish physicist Rudolf Samuel that fatally destroyed his chance of further academic preferment. Read More

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November 2021

At the Origins of the : A Translation from Arabic or a Latin Composition?

Ambix 2021 Nov 19;68(4):431-441. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

The article focuses on the question of the original language of composition of the , a Latin treatise on alchemy attributed to Rāzī and Aristotle. After studying the arguments in favour of an Arabic origin, the author examines the former arguments in favour of a Latin original composition. Afterwards, he brings a new strong and decisive argument: quotations from the and its , a Latin text prior to the . Read More

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November 2021

A Chemical Satire on the 1809 Change of Government in Britain.

Ambix 2021 Nov 14;68(4):442-446. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

This note provides the context and transcription of a short satiric article published in the on the political events of 1809. The piece used chemical metaphors to provide an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the change of ministry in Britain in the autumn of that year. The article bears a strong resemblance to early twenty-first century political satire, including its relationship, or lack thereof, to reality. Read More

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November 2021

The Meandering Life of a Research Trajectory: Rare Earths in the Aubervilliers Research Centre (1953-2020).

Ambix 2021 Nov 14;68(4):385-406. Epub 2021 Oct 14.

Institute for the History of Science, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw, Poland.

Solvay's Centre de Recherches in Aubervilliers (CRA), north of Paris, has been one of the leading institutions in rare earths research in the world for the last sixty years. In the 1960s and 1970s, its pioneering studies in liquid-liquid separation of rare earths made it possible to obtain a new level of purity of final products, opening the door to a vast number of applications in fields as varied as phosphors (for colour TV sets and trichromatic lamps) or catalysis (for exhaust emission control). Generations of researchers, many of whom were educated by the leading French figures in solid-state chemistry, worked behind the centre's walls creating a unique critical mass of rare earths in the French industrial chemical community. Read More

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November 2021

: Chemistry and Flour Quality in Nineteenth-century France and Great Britain.

Ambix 2021 Nov 11;68(4):365-384. Epub 2021 Oct 11.

EHESS, Paris, France.

This article analyses how gluten was discussed by chemists in the nineteenth century in Great Britain and France as a proxy for both nutritive and baking quality. It examines the role of gluten in the broader quest to measure and render the quality of wheat and flour through a set of objective and quantifiable criteria. The paper also shows how measuring quality proved to be an extremely complex task, and how chemistry was, by itself, unable to reduce the complexity of the wheat grain, and the various demands made upon it, to a simple numerical indicator. Read More

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November 2021

Alchemy and the Early Modern University: An Introduction.

Authors:
Ute Frietsch

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):119-134

Department of Cultural History and Theory, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

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Daniel Sennert, Chymistry, and Theological Debates.

Authors:
Hiro Hirai

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):198-213. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Daniel Sennert (1572-1637) of Wittenberg is known as one of the earliest university professors of medicine, who advanced the study of "chymistry" (alchemy/chemistry) through his influential writings. This article first explores his treatise (Wittenberg, 1619) so as to understand his view of chymistry in its detailed historical and intellectual context. Following that is a brief analysis of some theological aspects of the polemic in which Sennert was involved. Read More

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From University to Court: The Reversal of Stahl's Positions on Gold-Making.

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):214-230. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

Georg Ernst Stahl, an influential chymical-medical author of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, first believed in alchemical transmutation and reversed his position over the course of his career. This essay begins by placing Stahl's early teaching in alchemy in a larger background in which German princes and academics shared intense interest in gold-making. Then, tracing Stahl's intellectual development, it shows that he developed an increasing reservation about alchemy, though he remained open to the possibility of transmutation during his tenure at Halle. Read More

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Learning the Chymical Compromise: Paracelsian and Galenic Medicine in Marburg Disputations on .

Authors:
Elisabeth Moreau

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):154-179. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

FNRS - Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.

The chair of created at the University of Marburg was among the earliest academic initiatives aiming to integrate chymistry into the medical curriculum. If its practical applications in pharmacy and its relationship with patronage have been examined by historians, the theoretical part of the programme still remains to be explored. In the form of student disputations and dissertations held or presided over by Heinrich Petraeus, a professor of medicine at Marburg and Johannes Hartmann's son-in-law, "chymiatric" essays expounded various medical issues. Read More

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October 2021

Court Authority and the University: Networks, Recipes, and Things-in-the-Making vs. the Abstractions of Made Things.

Authors:
Bruce T Moran

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):135-153. Epub 2021 May 27.

University of Nevada, Reno (Emeritus), Reno, NV, USA.

Making things by means of alchemical know-how, and the habits of knowledge used to sort, classify, and explain alchemy's made things relied upon different traditions of learning and functioned as parts of separate knowledge networks, each making claims, in distinctive ways, to epistemic authority. When alchemy crossed the threshold of the early modern university, networks, and their epistemes, intertwined; and in one instance, the case of alchemical things-in-the-making at the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Kassel courts of Wilhelm IV and his son Moritz, one network affected the other as a result of a planned didactic encounter created by princely command. In the interaction, the local network of court experience at Kassel intersected with the more universal network of traditional pedagogy at the court's university in Marburg. Read More

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Exploring the History of Chemistry in Japan.

Authors:
Yasu Furukawa

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):302-317. Epub 2021 May 27.

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), Hayama, Japan.

The title of this article refers to exploring both the history of chemistry in Japan and the history of Japanese chemistry. The article deals with both because they are not completely separate entities. Beginning with a historical overview of the community of chemical historians in Japan, the article discusses the roles of chemist-historians and professional historians of science in the development of a community centred around the Japanese Society for the History of Chemistry (Kagakushi Gakkai, hereinafter JSHC). Read More

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The First Private and Public Courses of Chymistry in Paris (and Italy) from Jean Beguin to William Davisson.

Authors:
Didier Kahn

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):247-272. Epub 2021 May 27.

CNRS, Cellf 16-18, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France.

This article provides a detailed, accurate overview of the private, and first public courses of chymistry in Paris. After contextualising the lectures of Beguin, I discuss the teaching of Étienne de Clave. This leads to Italy where his brother, Jacques, himself a chymist and physician, became the first in Italy to receive the official title of professor of chymistry. Read More

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The Changing Visions of Chymistry at Seventeenth-Century Jena: The Two Brendels, Rolfinck, Wedel, and Others.

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):180-197. Epub 2021 May 25.

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

The University of Jena was an important locus for chymistry teaching in Germany throughout the seventeenth century. Zacharias Brendel the Elder and the Younger, Werner Rolfinck, and Georg Wolfgang Wedel were four of the Jena professors who offered courses of chymistry during this time. These four held notably divergent views on the purpose, character, and legitimate content of chymistry, as well as of its proper place within the university. Read More

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Making University Fields for Chymistry: A Case Study of Helmstedt University.

Authors:
Ute Frietsch

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):273-301. Epub 2021 May 14.

Humboldt University of Berlin Department of Cultural History and Theory, Germany.

Current collections of the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) situated in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, contain nearly two thousand chymical books. Most of them were acquired immediately after publication, during a period extending from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. The acquisition of these manuscripts and printed books by the former Wolfenbüttel court was closely connected to a university: the Wolfenbüttel Library and the erstwhile University of Helmstedt belonged to the same court of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Read More

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The Influence of Louvain Teaching on Jan Baptist Van Helmont's Adoption of Paracelsianism and Alchemy.

Ambix 2021 May-Aug;68(2-3):231-246. Epub 2021 May 14.

University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

This article investigates the extent to which Louvain (Leuven) teaching could provide the foundations of a new learning and philosophy that included Paracelsianism and alchemy. The particular lens is through Van Helmont's studies in Louvain, taking place in the 1590s. It shows that teaching at Louvain had a profound impact on Van Helmont's thought. Read More

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John Dalton's "Aha" Moment: the Origin of the Chemical Atomic Theory.

Authors:
Mark I Grossman

Ambix 2021 Feb;68(1):49-71

Independent Researcher, Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA.

In his only known historical sketch addressing the origin of the chemical atomic theory, John Dalton stated that different atoms have different sizes, a conclusion which led him to an investigation of combining number of atoms and relative weights. Although he stated the idea occurred to him in 1805, his laboratory notes show he developed the first table of atomic weights in 1803. Historians over the years have provided conflicting narratives to explain the different dates. Read More

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February 2021

A Woman's Life Alongside Chemistry:The Memoirs of Theresa Kopp Baumann.

Authors:
Alan J Rocke

Ambix 2021 Feb;68(1):1-27

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

As her second and third names suggest, Theresa Kopp Baumann (1856-1944) was the daughter and subsequently the wife of eminent German academic chemists. Her substantial unpublished autobiography, written ca. 1910 and presented here in English translation in an edited and considerably abridged form, provides unique insight from a privileged female perspective into the socio-cultural aspects of German academic science in its period of greatest international reputation and influence. Read More

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February 2021

Lead Poisoning in France around 1840: Managing Proofs and Uncertainties in Laboratories, Courtrooms, and Workplaces.

Ambix 2021 Feb 29;68(1):72-96. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero, Universitat de València, Spain.

This article reviews one of the most famous cases of lead poisoning in France, the Ponchon affair, which occurred in 1843 during a crucial period for French toxicology. The trial attracted public attention and inflamed controversy among medical and legal experts. The debate involved toxicological methods and their reliability, and gave rise to more general questions about the value of expert evidence, the way it was presented in court, and its relationship to other forms of legal evidence. Read More

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February 2021

Morphine Dreams: Auguste Laurent and the Active Principles of Organised Matter.

Authors:
Theresa Levitt

Ambix 2021 Feb 29;68(1):97-115. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, USA.

Auguste Laurent began his work on morphine, nicotine, and other intoxicating alkaloids hopeful that he could reproduce them artificially from the byproducts of coal tar. After successfully creating artificial alkaloids, he collaborated with Jean-Baptiste Biot to determine that while plant-derived alkaloids were optically active, his artificial ones were not, further establishing a link between the action of molecules upon polarised light and their action upon the animal economy, and a firm line between natural and artificial products later taken up in the work of Louis Pasteur. This paper places this work in the context of a long tradition in which chemists, naturalists, and pharmacists variously used "active principles" to refer both to the particular living nature of substances, and to their ability to act on the human body. Read More

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February 2021

Alchemical Promise, the Fraud Narrative, and the History of Science from Below: A German Adept's Encounter with Robert Boyle and Ambrose Godfrey.

Authors:
Mike A Zuber

Ambix 2021 Feb 1;68(1):28-48. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Until now, the only known source on a curious incident in Robert Boyle's life was the account of his laboratory assistant Ambrose Godfrey regarding one anonymous "Crosey-Crucian." It survives only in excerpts and paraphrases published in 1858. Based on the recent identification of this adept as Peter Moritz, a German alchemist and religious dissenter, this paper presents his own perspective as expressed in an epistolary document originally addressed to Boyle. Read More

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February 2021