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by Raphael Patai

Download The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book fb2, epub

ISBN: 0691032904
Author: Raphael Patai
Language: English
Publisher: Princeton University Press; First Edition edition (June 5, 1994)
Pages: 640
Category: Humanities
Subcategory: Other
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 681
Size Fb2: 1561 kb
Size ePub: 1812 kb
Size Djvu: 1355 kb
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In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy .

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Until now there has been little attention given to the significant role that Jews played in the field of alchemy. Here, drawing on an enormous range of previously unexplored sources, Patai reveals that Jews were major players in what was for centuries one of humanity's most compelling intellectual obsessions. Originally published in 1994

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Originally published in 1994.

Download Now. saveSave The Jewish Alchemists A HISTORY AND SOURCE BOOK R. .Two Spanish-Jewish Court Alchemists.The Jewish Alchemists A HISTORY AND SOURCE BOOK Raphael Patai. Description: The Jewish Alchemists A HISTORY AND SOURCE BOOK Raphael Patai. 234. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

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Raphael Patai seeks to break what he sees as the code of silence surrounding the history of Jewish alchemy, and . The main problem with the book is that it really requires backgrounds in both Jewish and alchemical studies to follow and judge Patai's arguments.

-John Efron, Forward.

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century.

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to. Originally published in 1995.

The Jewish Alchemists: A history and source book. Princeton University Press.

He moved to Palestine in 1933, where his parents joined him in 1939, after he received the first doctorate awarded by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1936. He returned briefly to Budapest, where he completed his ordination at the Budapest Rabbinical Seminary. The Jewish Alchemists: A history and source book. Until now there has been little attention given to the significant role that Jews played in the field of alchemy

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century.

In this monumental work, Raphael Patai opens up an entirely new field of cultural history by tracing Jewish alchemy from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Until now there has been little attention given to the significant role that Jews played in the field of alchemy. Here, drawing on an enormous range of previously unexplored sources, Patai reveals that Jews were major players in what was for centuries one of humanity's most compelling intellectual obsessions.

Originally published in 1994.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Comments:

Cobandis
Exhaustive research ... Highly recommend. Not a beach read unless you are into the subject... ;-)
Cezel
The "Kirkus Review" description (quoted as part of the Amazon listing) seems to miss the point. Although historians of both Alchemy and Judaism have been in agreement that the Jewish role in the development and spread of alchemy was either non-existent or tiny, the alchemical texts themselves insist otherwise. The main lines of development have been traced from Hellenistic Egypt, through the Islamic world, and into Christian Europe, with little or no need for Jewish sources or transmitters, and most Jewish historians have been satisfied (or delighted) to agree.

Indeed, in influential writings on the psychological meanings of alchemical symbolism, C. G. Jung went so far as to reclassify the several Jewish alchemists cited and quoted in Alexandrian Greek documents as really Jewish Christians. (He had a theory that transmutation was a material metaphor for transubstantiation, which required a Christian origin before alchemy reached Islam.)

The late Raphael Patai amassed a huge amount of information, including alchemical manuscripts in Hebrew (translated with commentaries herein), and set about to consider the cases of supposed alchemists described as Jewish, and real alchemists supposed by someone to be Jewish, in detail. While many particular instances are unconvincing, the interplay he demonstrates between medicine and alchemy on the one hand, and alchemical and mystical circles on the other, does suggest that at least a minor theme in Jewish intellectual life has been ignored by modern scholarship.

The main problem with the book is that it really requires backgrounds in both Jewish and alchemical studies to follow and judge Patai's arguments. However, to be fair, it does not offer itself as a primer in either subject. You will have to look elsewhere, and there is ample bibliographic information.

A few examples of what it offers:

Harry Potter fans will here encounter the real Nicholas Flamel of Paris (a real man, if not necessarily really an alchemist), and his supposed Jewish source-book for the philosopher's stone. Patai does not seem to me to advance the argument much, but he does demonstrate that the legend is part of a larger body of material about Jewish books falling into Christian hands. He also has some useful comments on the obliviousness of English and European scholars to each other's writings on Flamel, and some deeply embedded errors of translation in English-language treatments.

Patai's argument for a genuine Hebrew original of the "autobiography" of the magician and alchemist "Abramelin" is interesting, but he manages to misrepresent Gershom Scholem's changes of mind on the subject. Scholem, in a note in "On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead" (German edition 1962, English translation 1991; pages 314-315, note 24 to "Tselem: The Concept of the Astral Body"), which Patai does not cite, explains that since first treating it as Jewish in 1925 he had found Renaissance Christian sources for the book's Jewish concepts and post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. However, it is worthwhile to have Patai's citations of the German version, in addition to that translated from French into English by MacGregor Mathers in 1898 (reprinted some years ago by Dover). (Also, some of A.E. Waite's reasons for rejecting the Jewish origin of the text, in his "Ceremonial Magic," such as the paternal blessing of children and the concept of guardian angels, are actually minor evidences for it!)

There is an interesting, and to my mind inconclusive, reconsideration of some the works formerly attributed to the Christian mystic Ramon Lull (various spellings), and their possible Jewish background.

Working notes of actual alchemists, including a multi-lingual dictionary of instruments and materials which is valuable evidence of cross-cultural influences in several directions.

All in all, a useful book for anyone already familiar with basic works on the history of alchemy, or with an interest in Jewish studies, and a good addition to a library with at least basic collections in both these subjects.
Flathan
I was very pleased to find that, like Patai's HEBREW GODDESS, this book combines thorough and excellent scholarship with translations of rare sources that are otherwise impossible to find. Patai does not claim the Jewish Patriarchs were alchemists, but in his broad chronological exploration of the topic begins with the historical development of later attributions of the Alexandrian alchemist Miriam by Arabic and other alchemists to one of the biblical Miriams of the New Testament or to Miriam, wife of Moses. The Alexandrian alchemist Mirian, like Cleopatra, was considered by Zosimos and others to be one of the great founders. As one would expect, her identity was eventually attributed to legendary times by medieval practitioners. Her Jewish name implies to Patai and other scholars that the earliest historical Jewish practice of alchemy developed in the heterodox Hermetic and Gnostic schools of Alexandria during the second to fourth centuries of the Common Era. Patai's voluminous research thoroughly explores the Jewish-Islamic stream of alchemy through early and late medieval periods. It provides, for the first time, a basis for students of the Western mystery tradition to understand the Jewish-Egyptian-Spanish esoteric stream that derived from the Pythagorean and Gnostic school of Akhmim near Nag Hammadi and Thebes in Upper Egypt, which indirectly produced such mysterious literary figures as "Abramelim the Mage." A good supplement for Patai's absolutely essential work would be Peter Kingsley's research on the survival of Neo-Pythagroean and Hermetic tradition in Akhmim, from which the Arabic Hermetic scientists, philosophers, and alchemists derived their knowledge.

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