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Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire$
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Tara Nummedal

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226608563

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226608570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021



(p.1) Introduction
Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire
University of Chicago Press

This introductory chapter discusses the theme of this book, which is about the history of alchemy in the Holy Roman Empire. The book investigates what kinds of people actually practiced alchemy in early modern central Europe and where they acquired their skills. It highlights the role of entrepreneurial alchemists in the economy of central Europe, explaining how the alchemists' work placed them firmly in the midst of the worldly negotiations of contracts, commerce, and state formation, and also discusses the case of the Betruger or fraud alchemist.

Keywords:   alchemy, Holy Roman Empire, central Europe, economy, state formation, commerce, Betruger

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