‘There is a stone, which he that knoweth layeth it upon his eyes, but he that doth not, casteth it upon the dunghill, and it is a medicine which putteth poverty to flight, and after God hath man no better thing’ Aurora consurgens.
Medieval medicine and intellectual life was underpinned by a comprehensive and arcane system of knowledge known as alchemy. This secretive body of learning nevertheless had links with learned traditions in the Greek, Roman and Arabic worlds and played a vital contribution to medieval medicine, philosophy, politics, science, myths, religion and art.
This conference will explore these contributions and attempt to add to our knowledge and understanding of the dissemination of alchemical manuscripts in Latin and the vernacular; the contribution of the alchemist to the practice of humoral medicine and surgery; the relationship between the different alchemical traditions, Greek and Byzantine, Baconian and Pseudo Lullian; the evolution of alchemical emblems; and the relationship between alchemy and politics at the royal courts.
Academic research into alchemy has been neglected. This conference seeks to raise the profile of this elusive but vital branch of medieval learning by bringing together scholars from different countries and disciplines. ‘And therefore the science which I learnt without guile, do I communicate without envy.’ Albert the Great Compositum de compositus
All papers should represent original research. Submissions from younger scholars will be particularly welcomed. Please send two copies of a one page abstract (350 words maximum) to Dr Jonathan Hughes. Please also provide the following: name, preferred mailing address, work and home telephone numbers, present institutional affiliation, and academic degrees.
Dr Jonathan Hughes
Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine
School of History
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ, UNITED KINGDOM
Tel: + 44(0)1603 593576 Fax: +44 (0)1603 593285 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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