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Matteo Martelli Perfects the Tincture
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We dive a bit deeper into the ‘deep tinctures’ with Matteo Mattelli. We discuss a modern attempt to distil eggs taken from a recipe from Zosimus (you can turn silver into gold! Or at least it looks like gold …). We then turn to secrecy and the rhetorics of the esoteric in Zosimus, and finish with some discussion of his Nachleben in Greek, Syriac, Latin, and beyond, as one of the greatest authorities on alchemy, but also in a number of other roles.
Matteo Martelli is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Bologna, and Principal Investigator of the ERC funded project AlchemEast. His published works include the first critical edition with English translation of the Pseudo-Democritus.
Works Cited in this Episode:
Photius on Zosimus as ‘pagan prophet of Christianity’: Bibl. codex 170, p. 117a28 Bekker.
Michael Zuber. Spiritual Alchemy: from Jacob Boehme to Mary Anne Atwood. The University Press, Oxford, 2021.
March 6, 2023
I’ve found a couple of LJ posts (yes, that old) of someone who distilled eggs and used the resulting mess on silver. I think they heated it too quickly, at least the first time: https://calcinations.livejournal.com/1918.html. The second time worked a bit better: https://calcinations.livejournal.com/264745.html.
Also, potassium polysulfide, a similar compound, is also known as liver of sulphur and is used by jewellers to colour metals: https://www.kernowcraft.com/jewellery-making-tips/texturing-patina-finishing-advice/how-to-create-patina-with-liver-of-sulphur
March 7, 2023