Correctorium alchymiae ... Das is reformierte Alchimy, oder Alchimeibesserung, und Straffung der Alchimistischen Misspräuch ... II. Rainmundi LULLI apertorium & accuratio vegetabilium. Von eröffnung und entdeckung wachsender Sachen, und des Philosophischen steyns ... III. Des Königs GEBERS auss Hispanien Secretum, dessen sich die Venetianer hoch austhun ...

Strasbourg, Bernard Jobin, 1581.

8vo, ff [8] 151; leaf I2 with small erasure, affecting two letters; some side-notes shaved, occasionally affecting the last letters; a little light browning and staining; a few notes in red and green ink; later notes in pencil; a good copy in a contemporary vellum, using a manuscript leaf, lower portion of spine worn.


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first edition of ‘a very rare collection’ (Duveen). There are five treatises: Richardus Anglicus’ Correctorium and Reformierte Alchimei; Lull’s Apertorium et accuratio vegetabilium, and Vom philosophischen Stein, and Geber’s Secretum. The thirteenth-century Richardus Anglicus or Richard of Wendover, to whom the first two treatises are attributed, was canon of St. Paul’s and a famous physician. He had studied medicine at Paris, and wrote several medical treatises, notably the Micrologus, a medical encyclopaedia based on Greek and Arabic sources. The first of the two alchemical treatises contained here was first printed as Correctio fatuorum in the Latin collection De alchimia opuscula, Frankfurt 1550. The other is first printed here.

Although spurious, the Lullian texts exerted great influence on later alchemical literature. The Apertorium in this collection is not to be confused with Apertorium de veri lapidis compositione. According to the preface of the last treatise, the Secretum is an extract from a larger work, written by Geber for his son. Geber’s works had enormous influence on the development of Western chemistry, and ‘whether they be translations or elaborations, they represent the amount of Arabic chemical knowledge made available to Latin reading people toward the end of the thirteenth-century’ (Sarton II, p. 1044).

Duveen p. 508; Ferguson II, p. 270; Ritter 2014; Wellcome 5473; not in Adams or Durling (but acquired later); OCLC records one further location, at Huntington.