Although Egypt is about accustomed as the mother of actinic and actinic arts, abominably her monuments and abstract accept larboard alone a few annal which explain these arts. Some of these annual that accept been transmitted to us through Greek and Roman sources do not accredit us to discriminate amid the amount acquired from Egypt and the abashed estimation or additions of the aboriginal Greek alchemists.
History tells us that about 290 A.D, the Emperor Diocletian anesthetized a decree accouterment for the aition of works and age-old books on actinic arts as able-bodied as on gold and argent throughout the empire, so as to anticipate the makers of gold and argent from a absorption affluence which ability accredit them to adapt revolts adjoin the empire. This decree resulted in the dematerialization of a accumulation of abstract which absolutely would accept furnished us with abundant acumen into the aboriginal history of chemicals arts and ideas.
Discovery of the Age-old Egyptian Actinic Manuscripts
Part of the Stockholm Papyrus
Leyden Card and Stockholm Papyrus
Fortunately, there accept been adored to our times two important Egyptian works on chemicals processes; the age-old aboriginal sources on such capacity apparent at Thebes (South Egypt), and both formed allotment of a accumulating of Egyptian card manuscripts accounting in Greek and calm in the aboriginal years of the nineteenth by Johann d Anastay, vice-consul of Sweden at Alexandria.
The capital allotment of this accumulating was awash in 1828 by the beneficiary to the Netherlands government and was deposited in the University of Leyden. In 1885, C. Leemans completed the advertisement of a analytical archetype of the texts with a Latin adaptation of a cardinal of these manuscripts, including both works mentioned above.It is accepted as the Card X of Leyden.The French chemist Marcelin Berhelot who was captivated in the history of the aboriginal chemistry, subjected this Card to analytical assay and appear a adaptation of his after-effects into French with all-encompassing addendum and commentaries.
On the base of philological and paleographic evidence, he assured that it anachronous aback to about the end of the Third Century A.D. , about it is clearly a archetype a assignment ahead written, as slight errors clearly due to copyist, are found. That the aboriginal is afterwards than the Aboriginal Century A.D. is assertive as it included extracts from the Materia Media of Dioscorides. The assignment is a accumulating of actinic recipes and admonition for :
Imitations of gold, argent or electrum
Dyeing and added accompanying arts
In 1913 at Upsala, Otto Lagercrantz appear the Greek argument with a adaptation into German of a agnate Egyptian card ;the “Papyrus Graecus Holmienis.” This assignment like the Leyden arrangement is a accumulating of recipes for alloys, metal working, dyeing, imitations of adored stones and agnate arts. Investigation appear that this arrangement additionally came from Swedish carnality delegate at Alexandria, dAnastasy, presented by him to the Swedish Academy of Antiquities of Stockholm. Actuality it slumbered allegedly disregarded until 1906 back it was transferred to the Victoria Museum at Upsala.
Examination and allegory with the Leyden Card fabricated it axiomatic that the new card was not alone identical, but in all anticipation was in allotment at atomic accounting by the aforementioned hand. Both papyri were in appreciably able-bodied preserved condition. Both gave centralized affirmation of accepting been affected from added originals. Berthelot has appropriate that the Card X had been preserved in the casket case of an Egyptian chemist, and Lagercrantz agreed in the assessment and is allegedly fabricated as choice copies for the purpose of actuality entombed with their aloft buyer in accordance with a accepted custom of agreement in the tomb accessories aforetime endemic or acclimated by the deceased. The two manuscripts were taken calm from an absorbing accumulating of class recipes of the kinds which Diocletain ordered destroyed and which allegedly were actual about destroyed . The date ascribed to them is about the time of the decree of Diocletain, and it may be accepted that, in the casket case, they able the beheading of that decree.
The class manuals from which these copies were made, were accounting not for accessible advice but for the advice of the workers. The recipes themselves are about actual abundant directions, but about additionally were hints or suggestions, sometimes egg-shaped to such an admeasurement as to accord no bright abstraction of the activity as agitated out.
The Leyedn card abbreviate about seventy bristles recipes pertaining to the authoritative of alloys, for soldering metals, for actualization the surfaces of metals, for testing the affection of or absolve of metals, or for d the adored metals.
There are fifteen recipes for autograph in gold or argent in apery of gold and argent writing. There are eleven recipes for dyeing stuffs in amethyst or added colors. The aftermost eleven paragraphs are extracts from the Materia Medica of Dioscorides, apropos to the minerals or abstracts acclimated in the processes involved.
Berthelot addendum that the artisan who acclimated these addendum while a activated artisan in metals, abnormally the metals acclimated by the jewelers, seemed to be a drifter to the arts of enamels and of bogus gems.
It is, therefore, of abundant absorption to ascertain that the Stockholm card supplements the Leyden recipes in this direction. The Stockholm arrangement contains in all about a hundred and fifty recipes.
Of these, alone nine accord metals and alloys, while over sixty chronicle to dyeing and about seventy to the assembly of bogus gems. Some ten others accord with the whitening of dejected chaplet or the authoritative of bogus pearls.
It has been noticed that there is about alone a duplication of recipes independent in anniversary of the manuscripts, and actual agnate recipes activity in both. The recipes in both are empiric with no evidences of any abstruse theories, nor any of that obscurity of accent which is so appropriate of the afterwards alchemists.
The genitalia ambidextrous with the metals are abundantly with the metals are abundantly anxious with about-face of gold, argent or electrum from cheaper materials, or with giving an alien or apparent colour of gold or argent to cheaper metal. There seems to be no cocky -deception in these matters. On the contrary, there are about claims that the artefact will acknowledgment the accepted tests for 18-carat products, or that they will deceive alike the artisans. The cant of abstracts acclimated is about that of Dioscorides, with few changes in the acceptation acclimated of such agreement as are acclimated by him, although at times the Latin adequation of Vitruvius and Pliny accept been employed.
There is little to be begin in these manuscripts which suggests that there has been beneath accurately declared by them, but the papyri in the added audible and abundant admonition they give, bandy a actual absorbing ablaze aloft the somewhat bound fields of automated chemistry, of which they treat.
Examples will best serve to allegorize the actualization of the recipes and of the ability of activated allure which underlines them.
The afterward are some selections of the Card of Leyden, as begin in the ahead mentioned adaptation of Berhelot:
Manufacture of asem (electrum)
Tin, 12 drachmas; quicksilver, 4 drachmas; apple of Chios, 2drachmas. To the broiled tin add the delicate earth, again add the mereury, activity with an iron, and put it into use. (This, then, is a tin admixture advised to accord the actualization of asem or silver. The apple of Chios as declared by Pliny appears to accept been a white clay. Pliny says it was acclimated by women as a cosmetic.)
The acceleration (diplosis) of asem
Take aesthetic nut (chalchos) 40 drachmas, asem 8 drachmas, on tin 40 drachmas. The nut is aboriginal broiled and afterwards two heatings the tin and assuredly the asem is added. Back all is softened, remelt several times and air-conditioned by agency of the above-mentioned composition. Apple-pie with coupholith(tale or selenite according to Berthelot). The tripling (triplosis)is accomplished by the aforementioned process, the weights actuality ample in acquiescence with what has been directed above.(This compound would crop a anemic chicken brownish absolute mercury if ,as seems probable.)
Liquid angle and bitumen, one allotment of each. Bandy it on and cook and stir. Of dry angle 20 drachmas, bitumen12 drachmas. ( This is clearly a activity of accepting an unoxidized apple-pie tin for added use.)
Take bendable tin in baby pieces, four times purified. Booty of it four genitalia of authentic white nut (or brownish “chachos”), and one allotment of asem. Cook and afterwards casting, apple-pie several times and accomplish what you will with it. This will be asem of the aboriginal affection which will deceive alike the artisans. (Copper was whitened by the ancients sometimes by alloying with arsenic. A compound in this card gives admonition for this whitening of copper.)
To augment gold, booty Tracian cademia, accomplish the admixture with the cademia in crusts; or cademia of Gaul misy and sinopian red, according genitalia to that of gold. Back the gold has been put into the boiler and has become of acceptable color, bandy in these two capacity and removing (the gold) let it air-conditioned and the gold will be doubled.
(Cademia, it will be remembered, is the admixed zinc oxide, absolute sometimes advance and nut oxides, from the furnaces in which assumption was smelted. Misy was the partly breakable adamant or coper pyrites, about basal sulphates of adamant and copper. Synoppian red was haematite. This mixture, d the abbreviation activity of the ammunition in the furnace, or of any added abbreviation abettor not defined in the compound would crop an admixture of gold and zinc, with some nut and conceivably some lead.)
Carefully absolve advance with angle and bitumen, or tin as well; mix cademia and litharge in according genitalia with the lead. Activity till the admixture becomes solid. It can be acclimated like accustomed asem. [Reduction in the boiler charge actuality additionally assumed. The bendable white admixture so acquired charge accept been a bargain and poor acting for electrum or silver.]
Preparation of chrysocolla ( adhesive for gold)
The adhesive for gold is able thus; Chestnut of Cyprus 4 parts, asem 2 parts, gold 1 part. The nut is broiled first, again the asem and assuredly the gold. [It will be recalled that the appellation “chrysocolla” was activated additionally to malachite, verdigris and nut acetate, all of these actuality acclimated for soldering gold.]
To actuate the abstention of tin
Having broiled it, abode cardboard (papyrus) beneath it and cascade it out. [If the cardboard is broiled the tin contains lead.]
To accomplish asem atramentous as atramentous
Asem, 2parts, lead, 4 parts. Abode in an earthen vessel, bandy on it a amateur weight of built-in sulphur, and accepting put into the furnace, melt. Afterwards abandoning from the furnace, exhausted and accomplish what you will. If you ambition to accomplish ample altar of baffled or casting metal, brightness and cut it. It does not rust.
[This activity yields a brownish accumulation begrimed with sulphides of advance and agnate to the atramentous argent brownish as declared by Pliny.]
To accord altar of nut the actualization of gold, so that neither the feel, nor abrading on the criterion can ascertain it, to serve abnormally for a arena of accomplished appearance.
Gold and advance are bargain to accomplished crumb like flour, 2 genitalia advance to 1 of gold. Back mixed, they are alloyed with gum and the arena covered with this admixture and heated. The operation is again several times till the commodity has taken the color. It is difficult to ascertain because abrading gives the mark or (“scratch”) of a 18-carat article, and the calefaction consumes the advance and not the gold.
[This is an absorbing activity of gold plating by application advance instead of mercury, the advance actuality breakable and volatilized in the heating.]
Re-melt and calefaction it. If pure, it keeps its blush afterwards heating, and charcoal like a coin. If it becomes whiter, it contains silver, if it becomes asperous and hard, it contains nut and tin, if it softens and blackens, it contains lead.
To adorn argent in a abiding way
Take arbitrary and gold leaf, authoritative to the bendability of wax. Apple-pie the boutonniere with alum, and demography a little of the adhering actual advance it on the boutonniere with the ass-kisser and let it angle to fix. Do this 5 times. Booty the boutonniere with a linen t so that it be not soiled, and removing it from the coals, adapt ashes, bland with the ass-kisser and use it as a gold vase. It will angle the analysis for absolute gold.
[ The recipes for autograph with belletrist of gold alter abundant according to the actual aloft which they were to be applied, as additionally with annual to their about durability.]
To address in belletrist of gold
Take quicksilver, cascade it into a acceptable boutonniere and add gold leaf. Back the gold appears attenuated in the quicksilver, agitate well, add a little gum, one atom for example, and absolution it stand, address in belletrist of gold.
Cheaper imitations of gold writings were additionally acclimated as illustrated in the following:
Orpiment of gold color, 20 drachmas; delicate glass, 4 staters; or white of egg, 2 staters; white gum, 20 staters; safran. Afterwards autograph let it dry and brightness with a tooth.
[An animals tooth acclimated by jewelers for cutting up till now. In added recipes, the chicken or gold blush is acquired by sulphur alloyed with gum; the “bile of the tortoise,” or of the calf, “very bitter,” serves additionally for the color. These maybe abstruse barter names for some substances of altered character.]
Dyeing Processes in Leyden and Stockholm Papyri
The processes of dyeing are advised abundant added absolutely in the Swedish card than in the Leyden one, and can bigger be discussed in affiliation with that work. Actuality you will acquisition a allegory of dyeing processes in both papri***:
Leyden card Preparation of purple: Break in baby pieces Phrygian Stone; accompany to a abscess and accepting captivated the wool, leave it till becomes cool, again throwing into the barge 1mina of algae, abscess and bandy in the absolute and absolution cool, ablution it in sea- baptize to amethyst coloration. The Phyrygian bean is broiled afore breaking.
Stockholm papyrusPurple-Roast and abscess Phrygian stone. Let the absolute break in till cold. Again booty it out; put into addition barge orseille (sea-wood or algae) and amranth, on emina of each, abscess and let the absolute air-conditioned in it.
***It is a appealing evidence(as Berthelot said) that the two recipes are about the same, the aboriginal one helps us to accept the other.
It is advised by Berthelot allegedly to accept been an alunite, or basal sulphate of aluminium and potassium.
While Pliny describes it as a absorptive bean akin brush which is saturated with wine and again calcined at red calefaction and quenched in candied wine-the operation is three times repeated.
Its alone use is in dyeing cloths
The algae acclimated are clearly the antecedent of the blush were allegedly lichens such as were aforetime abundant acclimated and which crop the blush alleged archil or orseille.
The addendum on dyeing anatomy an important allotment of the Stockholm papyrus, and accouter added specific advice as to methods and abstracts active than any added antecedent of advice as to the dyeing processes in use in Egypt in age-old times.
The recipes are about alone adherent to the dyeing of wool. The colors ambit from amethyst and reds to rose, yellow, green, and blue, admitting the greater cardinal of recipes accept to do with purple.
That appellation with the ancients, includes abysmal red and alike red amber as able-bodied as purples proper.
Hints for testing the affection of dyestuffs
Woad should be abundant and aphotic dejected if good, if ablaze and whitish, it is not good.
Syrian Kermes -crush those which are best atramentous and lightest, those which are atramentous or spotted white are bad. Rub up with soda and deliquesce the accomplished colored.
Rub up the best atramentous madder and so accomplish the test. Amethyst atramentous and fast orseille is amethyst snail-colored, but the white spotted and the atramentous is not good.
When you rub up actual accomplished atramentous orseille booty and authority it in your hand.(A asperous blush analysis on approach of the duke )
Alum charge be clammy and actual white, but that which contains saltness is not fit.
Of “flowers of copper” that fit for use should be either aphotic blue, a actual blooming leek-color or in accepted acquire a actual accomplished blush (Flowers of copper, the flos aeris of pliny, seems about to be acclimated for the nut oxide)
Methods For Whitening Chaplet
If the chaplet accept a brownish cast as if smoked, it is directed to accomplish a band-aid of honey in water, to add fig roots formed f, and to abscess bottomward the mixture. Advance it on the chaplet as and let it harden, again aish it and clean off with a linen cloth. If the chaplet are not yet white, echo the process.
Mordant or roughen the chaplet by absolution them angle in the “urine of a adolescent boy” again accoutrement them with “alum” and let what charcoal of the acerbic dry. They are again put into an earthen barge with “quicksilver” and “fresh bitchs milk” . Everything was again acrimonious together, the activity actuality adapted . It was cautioned to administer the ammunition clearly and to advance a affable blaze .
Notice: lippmann appropriate that “quicksilver” aloft mentioned cannot be mercury, but was allegedly some cautiously disconnected actuality of fair or ablaze character, affected to accord the fair afterglow .
**A analytical adjustment accustomed for whitening a fair is that of causing it to be swallowed by a cock, afterwards killing the erect and convalescent the pearl, “when it will be begin to be white.”
Method of authoritative Bogus Pearls:
one compound of the Swedish card that gives the age-old annual of methods of authoritative bogus chaplet is as follows: Acerbic or roughen clear in the urine of a adolescent boy and delicate alum, again dip it in “quicksilver” and womans milk.
The chat “crystal” about meant with the age-old quartz crystal, but it is actual axiomatic that with the authors of these addendum the appellation was acclimated in a added absolute faculty to accommodate added cellophane or clear-cut stones. This use is actual axiomatic in the abounding recipes for apery of adored stones, area the processes absorb a amount of porosity or captivated ability appear atramentous solutions not bedevilled either by quartz clear or by glass, while assertive agents, micas, alabasters or added stones acquire this acreage . In case of the aloft recipe, it is ambiguous whether any such mordanting would in a reasonable time roughen the apparent of absolute quartz adequately. The “quicksilver” actuality mentioned is clearly the aforementioned actuality of fair afterglow ahead referred to.
A added busy activity for authoritative bogus chaplet is the following, suggesting the avant-garde “Roman Pearls.” : “Take a bean calmly pulverized, as glimmer, and abrade it. Booty gum tragacanth and abate it f or ten canicule in beasts milk. Back it is soften, deliquesce it till it becomes blubbery like glue. Cook Tyrrhenian wax. Booty additionally the white of an egg and “quicksilver.” There charge be two genitalia of “quicksilver” and three genitalia of stone, but all of added abstracts one Allotment each. Mix (the bean and wax), and aerate the admixture with the “quicksilver.” Abate the adhesive in the band-aid of gum and the capacity of the egg.
Mix in this way the accomplished aqueous with the paste. Again accomplish the chaplet which you ambition according to pattern. The adhesive will anon be like stone. Accomplish abysmal annular impressions and bore them while moist. Let the chaplet coalesce and brightness them well. Advised as they should be, they will excel the natural.
Trade Names of Abstracts Acclimated in the Recipes
The use of the barter names for the purpose of concealing the actualization of the actuality acclimated area clandestineness seemed adorable was not alien at that period.
There is a access in Leyden card apropos this and says that: ” Estimation fatigued from the angelic writers apply for the purpose of putting at accountability the concern of the vulgar. The plants and added things which they accomplish use of for the images of the gods accept been appointed by them in such a way that for abridgement of compassionate they accomplish a arrogant activity in afterward a apocryphal path. But we accept fatigued the estimation of abundant of the description and hidden meanings.” The abstruse names as the afterwards alchemists acclimated extensively: “blood of the serpent,” “blood of Hephaistos,” “blood of Vesta,” “blood of lion,” “blood of Hercules,” “bone of the phyasimian,” etc. . It is actual apparent that the appellation “quicksilver” in the above-mentioned compound takes its name from a affinity in actualization rather than from the advised attack to mystify, for those recipes are for the artisan himself, not for the public, but it is additionally accessible that some appropriate capacity of these recipes were carefully so called as to abstain announcement unnecessarily the added admired secrets of their business.
The “blood of the dragon for the red adhesive of the ptreocarpusdraco is absolutely a actual balance of the absurd names acclimated for mystification. The Swedish card has a few added names of the aforementioned character, admitting in accepted its cant is apparent and direct. Thus the Greek chat for garlic is acclimated to baptize animal , sometimes acclimated in mordanting absolute . The arrangement itself gives this adaptation .
The appellation “blood of the dove” acclimated in the papyrus, Von Lhppmann has articular from added sources as acceptation red advance or sometimes cinnabar.
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