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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: 04 August 2021

Entrepreneurial Alchemy

Entrepreneurial Alchemy

Chapter:
(p.73) Chapter Three Entrepreneurial Alchemy
Source:
Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226608570.003.0004

This chapter examines the history of the emergence of entrepreneurial alchemy. It suggests that the alchemists' practical expertise in the extraction and refinement of precious metals made them valuable advisers in the waning years of the sixteenth century to an extent that has not yet been fully appreciated. The chapter also explains how alchemy became attractive to political and financial elites, not just as an idea, but also as a technology.

Keywords:   entrepreneurial alchemy, precious metals, political elites, financial elites, technology

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