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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

The Alchemist's Personae

The Alchemist's Personae

Chapter:
(p.40) Chapter Two The Alchemist's Personae
Source:
Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226608570.003.0003

This chapter examines the emergence of an alchemical persona from the late Middle Ages to the sixteenth century, the initial elements of which it describes as having been reshaped in reaction to public debates about alchemy. It discusses the public perception of the alchemist as artisan, fool, and corrupt merchant. The chapter suggests that in the absence of formal institutions to shape the alchemist's identity, these cultural discourses became all the more important in shaping just who alchemists were and where they fitted into the early modern social and cultural landscape.

Keywords:   alchemical persona, Middle Ages, public debates, alchemy, cultural discourses, alchemists, cultural landscape

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