JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A page from a treatise on alchemy written by Zosimus of Panapolitus. Zosimus was a notable fourth century apologist for alchemy. He believed that knowledge of the art originated in an event described in Genesis when angels came into the world and taught women to use gems and metals in decorative arts. Alchemy involved the use of a life-giving substance called Philosopher's Stone to transmute base metals into silver and gold. It also encompassed a system of philosophy including ideas from various religions, magic, and chemistry, and it flourished in Europe in the Middle Ages. Theosebia, the sister of Zosimus, was also an alchemist.
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