BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Mellon MS 5
ALCHEMICAL MISCELLANY, in Latin
Germany or Austria, unsigned, about 1400
5.1 Anonymous. Alchemical verses and recipes.
5.2 Johannes Tecenensis. Antiphona, with musical setting.
5.3 Johannes Tecenensis. Probleuma.
5.4 Arnold of Villanova. Rosarius, or Liber abbreviatus.
5.5 Johannes Tecenensis. Lumen secretorum, in verse.
5.6 Anonymous. Unidentified alchemical procedures.
5.7 Johannes (Tecenensis?). Enigmata.
5.8 Anonymous. Opus magnum ad rubeum.
5.9 Anonymous. Opus magni secreti.
5.10 Arnold of Villanova. Theorica et practica.
5.11 Anonymous. Alchemical poem in fifty rhyming couplets.
5.12 Ortolanus. Rosarius minor.
5.13 Anonymous. Candida si rubeo mulier, a rebus in verse.
5.14 Anonymous. Three short rebuses in verse.
5.15 Anonymous. Nineteen unidentified alchemical procedures.
5.16 Anonymous. A speculative alchemy with practical commentary.
5.17 Thomas Capellanus. De essentia essentiarum.
5.18 Anonymous. Alchemical recipe.
5.19 Zabrokek Italicus. Benedictum lilium inter spinas.
5.20 Anonymous. Ten alchemical procedures.
5.21 Alanus. Rotatio elementorum.
5.22 Alanus. Liber alchemisticus.
5.23 Anonymous. Palmarium Theosophie.
5.24 Geber. Liber de investigatione perfectionis.
5.25 John of Rupescissa. Liber lucis, or De confectione veri
5.26 Anonymous. Sublimacio philosophorum, a short description.
5.27 Khalid ibn Yazid. Liber trium verborum.
5.28 Arnold of Villanova. De secretis naturae.
5.29 Albertus Magnus. Semita recta.
Parchment codex in Latin, 165 x 117, ff. 136, consisting of 3 ff. unnumbered,
123 ff. correctly foliated i-Cxxiij, but omitting a half-leaf which belongs
to the collation occurring after f. Cxxj, plus 9 ff. unnumbered. Collation:
(1)^^10, (2-6)^^8, (7)^^10, (8-14)^^8, (15-16)^^10, f. 125 being a half-leaf
In the description following, the correct folio number is cited first, the
original foliation after it in parentheses where applicable. No signatures;
catchwords at quire-endings, except in the sixth, seventh, and thirteenth
quires; foliation as noted in the upper center, recto, of each lea£
Except for f. 1, unruled and serving as a flyleaf, and ff. 2-3, which are
ruled for music and text in long lines, each page is very carefully ruled in
red ink in two columns of 40 lines each, written space 124 x 98. Pinholes
fully preserved on many leaves, partly elsewhere. Written throughout in red
and black in Gothica textualis by a rather careful but ill-formed hand in
which differing letter forms are often not discrete, with annotations by a
later fifteenth-century cursive hand and occasional notes by other hands of
the same period. Important capitals painted in red and blue with occasional
filiform decoration, rubricated, and capitals frequently stroked red, but
without other ornament or illustration. Almost no correction, moderate
standard abbreviation. Parchment of mediocre quality and palimpsest,
sometimes with traces of writing in what appears to be a square Gothica
textualis hand, probably in two columns on folio-size leaves, perhaps less
than a century older than the newer writing; the rescraping of the used
parchment has occasioned some holes, abrasions, and tears in the material.
BINDING: Germanic binding of the fifteenth century, presumably original, of
oaken boards covered with red-dyed hide, sides framed by triple blind
fillets, additional fillets drawn diagonally to form a pattern of lozenges;
the original back laid down on a new backstrip preserving the four original
raised bands, plus head and foot bands, which are drawn into the boards,
fastened with wooden wedges, and reinforced with strips of parchment (cut
from a thirteenth-century manuscript with faint writing in a very small
gothic hand) which are glued down to the inside boards. On both covers single
nailholes near the corners and two such holes in the center of each cover
indicate the removal of brass cornerpieces and centerpieces; a single brass
catch with iron bar, fastened by three brass nails, is preserved in the upper
cover, the clasp missing from the lower cover indicated only by a mark.
Modern leather label on backstrip, stamped in silver between rules top and
bottom: "ALCHEMICAL | MISCELLANY | MANUSCRIPT | FRANCE 15TH C."
PROVENANCE: Probably written by an unidentified copyist for personal use;
henricus, fifteenth century, written on front pastedown, possibly an early
owner or reader; Andreas Beham der Elter (i.e., the Elder; of Nuremberg),
with his engraved armorial ex-libris dated 1595, inside front cover, cf F.
Warnecke, Die deutschen Buecherzeichen, Berlin, 1890, p. 33, no. 158, with a
queried attribution of the plate to Hans Sibmacher; Germanic (?) rubber
stamp, ca. 1900, erased from first and last leaves and not read. Mellon MS
S=156, acquired from The Rosenbach Co. (booksellers), New York. De Ricci-Bond
Front cover: [Inside the front cover glued to the board is the armorial and
pictorial engraved ex-libris of Andreas Beham the Elder, dated 1595, 125 x
84, with 3-4 mm. margin beyond the plate mark at top, right, and bottom, cut
to the plate mark on the left. Above, right of the ex-libris is a small
rectangle of plain paper.]
Pastedown: [No longer glued to the board (and presumably already detached
when Beham's bookplate was glued to the board) and now positioned like a
flyleaf, the pastedown has been irregularly torn at the short foremargin. It
bears two offsets from blue-painted capital letters "O" at the upper right of
the recto, with showthrough on the verso, possibly obtained when the scrap
served in some other capacity. Just below these offsets are four words
faintly written in a vertical column in a fifteenth-century cursive gothic,
the first and third of which are probably "henricus," while the second and
fourth are seemingly also repetitions of a single word, not read. Verso
f. 1: [ff. 1-3 are unnumbered, followed by 123 leaves correctly numbered by
the scribe in roman numerals, except for an unnumbered half-leafafter f. 124
(numbered 121), the numbered leaves followed by 9 unnumbered ff. In the
following description the roman numerals of the numbered leaves are indicated
in parentheses in arabic after the correct folio number according to the
collation. Where the leaf was originally unnumbered, only the correct folio
f. 1r: [An unidentified recipe faintly written in five lines in a
fifteenth-century cursive, not transcribed. This is followed, f. 1r, 6, in a
more formal gothic script, by:] Aurora lucem nunciat eiusdem virtute vigore |
Ge[ne]rale [?] hoc determinat cum calefice [?] favore | ... [unidentified
alchemical verses, ending line 12; on f. 1r, 13, is an unidentified recipe in
a less formal gothic hand, highly abbreviated and faded, not transcribed,
ending line 20. Below, center, a circular library stamp printed in blue,
diameter 24 mm., erased and not read. Another erased impression of a similar
or the same stamp occurs on f. 136v of the codex, as noted below.]
[5.1: Anonymous, Alchemical verses and recipes, not identified.]
f. 2r, 1: [A through-composed, monodic song in the Phrygian mode without
formal structure, written in Hufnagelschrift on red, five-line staves, F and
C indicated on the second and fourth lines from the bottom of each staff,
respectively, the text written in a single broad line below the staff. Seven
staves and seven text lines to each page. The music is independent of
liturgical sources. Text begins:] En pulcher lapis noster triplici fulcitus |
acie solertum... [f. 3v, 6:]... ut celi bravia [sic] possint in- | troire.
EVOVAE [i.e., "sEcVlOrVm AmEn," the standard abbreviation for the close of
15.2: Johannes Tecenensis, Antiphona, according to Wilson, p. 39; or Super
lapidem philosophorum, Alchemy, according to TK 499 and T III, p. 643, n. 63.
Variant openings are reported by TK. The music does not appear to have been
preserved elsewhere; the song is here untitled and anonymous.]
f. 4(1)r1, 1: Incipit probleuma | Johannis de Teschen. | ERat quidam pater |
unicum habens filium |... [f 4(1)v1, 9:]... intellige sub- | limationem
nostram. et per rever- | sionem filij Ad patrem intellige | coniunctionem.
etcetera patet intelligenti.
[5.3: Johannes Tecenensis (or de Teschen), Probleuma, or Enigma de patre et
filio, according to Corbett I, pp. 172-183. TK suggested attribution of the
text to Johannes Tecenensis with a query on account of its occurrence in BN
lat. 14005, where other texts by this author also occur. In MS 5 the
attribution is confirmed.]
f. 4(1)v1, 13: Liber abbreviatus veris- | simus . thezaurus thesau- | rorum
sive philosophorum ac omnium secretorum | maximum secretum... [line 20:]...
iste namque | liber vocatur Rosarius | eo quod ex libris philosophorum |...
[line 28:] Dividitur iste liber in | Theoricam et practi- | cam... [f.
22(19)r2, 10:]... filius ex- | istens philosophorum secrete reservans |
Rosarius [perhaps Rosarium] ipsorum ut merito | merearis dici et esse sapi- |
entum antiquorum [added in margin:] philosophorum de gracia | dei filius
Amen. Expli- | cit Rosarius magnus. |
[5.4: Arnold of Villanova, Rosarius, or Liber Abbreviatus, TK 818 and 793,
with the usual incipit appearing here in the middle of the lengthy title, DWS
233, etc.; printed Basel, 1525, and in Artis Auriferae... 1610, II, p. 253,
etc. The present MS has a table, with reference to leaf numbers, preceding
the first chapter. The general organization of the text is that of the
versions printed in Gratarolus II, pp. 35-59, and Manget I, pp. 262-276, but
the wording, particularly at the beginning of each chapter, differs. The
fifteenth-century annotator has added chapter and book numbering marginally
in a cursive hand.]
f. 22(19)r2, 17: Occultum artis inqui- | rentes . Sint in- | primo sic
dicentes. | In ihesu christi nomine | Qui est salus | fons et vita... [f.
24(21)v2, 29:] Sunt et laudes sic canentes | Honor tibi domine. | Explicit
lumen secretorum | per Johannem sacerdotem | de Thesen . deus custodi- | at
animam suam in pace . | amen |
[5.5: Johannes de Thesen (Teschen, Johannes Tecenensis), Lumen secretorum,
in verse, divided into six capitula, TK 976, T III, p. 643. The poem is
apparently not supplied with a title in the other recorded copies. There are
a few marginal notes and insertions by fifteenth-century hands.]
f. 24(21)v2, 36: Nota tincturam bonam | Recipe arsenicum vel auri | pigmentum
sublimatum... [f. 25(22)v1, 32:] deo concedente sine iuvamine | omni solvi
aliquorum aliorum | ad artem pertinentium...
[5.6: Anonymous, Unidentified alchemical procedures, written without
paragraph divisions, possibly by Johannes de Teschen.]
f. 25(22)v1, 34:... Hic po- | nuntur aliqua enigmata | pro deductione et
medi- | tatione studentium. | Iohannes Sulphur | stultorum et vilgi [?] corr-
| umpit corruptione...
f. 26(23)r2, 28: que non conveniunt de sua natura | et hoc [following word
superscript:] est certum.
[5.7: Johannes (Tecenensis?), Enigmata, Corbett I, p. 172. The proximity of
this text to others fully ascribed to Johannes Tecenensis in the present
codex and in BN lat. 14005 suggests that the author is indeed Johannes
f. 26(23)r2, 30: ITem recipe lapidem rubeum la- | vans ipsum in tribus aquis
| ... [f. 26(23)v2, 3:] ... eleva et extrahe | materiam ab aqua cum magna |
reverentia gratias agens dicti | de beneficiis inpensis. Expli- | cit opus
magnum ad rubeum | de fermento.
[5.8: Anonymous, Opus magnum ad rubeum.... Unidentified, possibly related to
the preceding text].
f. 26(23)v2, 9: Opus magni secreti | Recipe ampullas quantum | vis et in
quibus... [f. 27(24)r1, 38:] Dicit etiam quod iste lapis | solus in mundo
coloratur tam | pulchro colore quod omnes | colores que in mundo sunt ad- |
orant ipsum. Benedictus | [f. 27(24)r2, 1:] ergo deus qui debit nobis.
[5.9: Anonymous, Opus magni secreti, otherwise unidentified; a rather
lengthy procedure involving, among other things, a substance called "kenkel,"
which is also mentioned in the second version of Turba philosophorum,
Sententia XV, printed by Manget I, p. 483.]
f. 27(24)r2, 2: Reverende pater aures | inclina Primo te scire | volo quod
materia et sper- | ma omnium metallorum est ar- | gentum vivum... [f.
29(26)r1, 33:] Nunc Reverende pater | ad praesens dicta singulariter |
applicans super eis dicta | philosophorum antiquorum... [f. 30(27)r1, 35:]
Nunc reverende pater au- | di et intellige deus | tuum illuminat...
[5.10: Arnold of Villanova, Theorica etpractica, consisting of Dedication,
Preface, Practica I, Practica II, and Theorica, according to DWS 226, but the
five sections are here presented in the order: four, five, one, two, three.
The various elements also occur separately and with different authorship
ascriptions. See TK 1355, 1683, 973, 965, and Wilson, pp. 503-504, who
provides a full discussion of Lehigh MS No. 1, containing similar matter. See
also T III, pp. 61, 71, 657-660, 673-674; Corbett I, pp. 93, 107, and II, pp.
51, 121; and Manget I, pp. 702-704.]
f. 31 (28)v1, 11: Scorpionis signo in A- | tratu [?] lege tempore digno | Hoc
nigras [?] testis | sic barbara venit | putrefactis. | Ut res sint acquee |
Subtiles et attenuate |... [f. 32(29)r1, 28:] Qui rubet tingit | lunam sine
fine que pingit | Ergo sit invictus rex omni- | potens benedictus. |
[5.11: Anonymous, Alchemical poem in fifty rhyming couplets, not identified.
The heading of the poem, which has not been fully deciphered, is perhaps
f. 32(29)r1, 33: Incipit Rosarius minor | INquit auctor qui Rosa- | rius
dicitur. Descendi in | ortum meum... rf. 40(37)r1, 38:]... Sol natura- | lis
est digesta et tincta, etc. | Laus deo. [remaining two lines blank.]
[5.12: Ortolanus, Rosarius minor, TK 401, DWS 166, Corbett I, p. 170; T III,
pp. 180, 190. Printed in Ze II, pp. 406-422, etc.]
f. 40(37)r2, 1: Candida si rubeo mulier | sit nupta marito | Mox
conplectuntur | ... [line 23:] Si Rebis scires | quid esset tu reperires |
[5.13: Anonymous, Candida si rubeo mulier, a rebus, here in twenty-four
verses, TK 184. For differing versions, variously ascribed in other
manuscripts, cf. Ze III, p. 740; DWS II, pp. 515-516, notes; Corbett I, pp.
61, 156, 157; printed in Geber, Summa perfectionis magisterii (Rome:
anonymous printer, i.e., Eucharius Silber, 1483-1490), Klebs 441.1, Goff G
f. 40(37)r2, 27: Mercurius vere | cupiens cum luna manere | Auxilio Rebis |
Similiter hec duo mox retinebit | Confice videbis | fit ab hijs lapis puto
rebis | [lines 33-34 blank. Line 35:] Rebis commune | nomen prosulphure sume
| Cum Solem Rebis | et lunam tu retinebis. | [lines 39-40 blank. Line 41:]
Stilbons cum medio | quod nomen suum [?] abatro | [f. 40(37)v1, 1:] In
gracili clausus | testa pinguedine iuncta | Veritur in lunam | mediocrem dans
sibi pretiam. |
[5.14: Anonymous, Three short rebuses in verse, not identified. "Stilbons,"
more properly "Stilbon," is a name for the planet Mercury which occurs in
classical Latin, and is here evidently used by transference to indicate the
f. 40(37)v1, 7: Sal commune sic preparatur... [This is followed by a series
of unconnected alchemical procedures which have been used to fill out the
fifth quire of the MS. Originally, the scribe intended to go forward to the
next quire with further procedures, since he wrote a catch phrase in the
lower margin of the final leaf of the quire, f. 42 (39)v. However, he then
recopied the catch phrase, ending the last procedure in the group below the
final ruled horizontal line of the second column, and was free to use the
opening of the sixth gathering at f. 43 (40)r for the text which follows. The
section ends, f. 42(39)v2, 36:] Calx ovorum sic fit... [line 43:]... usque ad
[5.15: Anonymous, Nineteen unidentified alchemical procedures.]
f. 43 (40)r-50(47)v: [Every third line in each column of this section,
beginning invariably with the third line of the column, has the main text
written in the normal gothic book hand of the codex. The main text has
interlinear and marginal glosses by the scribe written in a tiny book hand.
Text begins, f. 43(40)r1, 3:] In nomine patris et filij et spiritus sancti
Amen | O summa deitas rector operis mei | O divina maiestas hoc ideo confirma
| ad evitandum errores mul- | tos. Advertis [?] domine Johannes [?] quod |
Ars Alchimie utique est vera quamvis | carissime invenitur aliquis qui in- |
telligat eam... [Gloss begins above f. 43 (40)r1, 1:] Recipe quodlibet corpus
calcinatum... [Ends f. 50(47)v1, 36:]... Si dicit tamen in | [f. 50(47)v2, 1,
written without spaces between the lines:] humido falsum dicit Que- | rite
quid sit sulphur de | quo locuntur auctores | Et quid sit arsenicum auc- |
torum Et quid sit es [sic] de quo | tractant auctores et propo- | nite sibi
illa metra scilicet. | [the following mostly with one-line spaces between
lines:] Artus est hominis qui | constat sex elementis | Cui . p[rimum]. si
dedis . s[ecundum]. in m[ercurium] | muta unde tu scis. | Hinc erit es
nostrem lapis | lapis existans phylosophorum | Si ista bene dicit bene commo-
| dare se habet. | [line 26, gloss:] Albertus magnus | Mulier solvit virum
suum et Ipse tingit | eam Et idem in eodem generat ex se | filium qui non
assimilatur parentibus |
[5.16: Anonymous, A speculative alchemy with practical commentary,
unidentified, although the text may relate to Ramon Lull's Apertorium animae,
TK 697, TK 491; the verses, "Artus est...," also occur in differing versions
in MSS 9.5 and 11.2 described below, and the scrap attributed to Albertus
Magnus beginning "Mulier solvit virum suum..." is frequently seen written in
early books and manuscripts. The main text is attributable to a follower of
Johannes of Teschen, perhaps the compiler of this manuscript. There are
throughout its length numerous citations of alchemical authors and texts,
including: Johannes Tetzensis (sic), Lumen luminum, and In prosayco; Magister
Wynandus Traiectensis, "capitulo secundo in ista parte, Accipe igitur eandem
... "; Vaxau; Lucas; Geber, De investigatione, apparently the text
incorporated in this volume under this title, and De medicina tercij ordinis;
Albertus Magnus; Arnold of Villanova; Rugerus bacho; Hermes; Dyamedes;
Hermogenes; Pitagoras; Auctor centiloqui; Astanus; Ferrarius; Alphidius; and
Rosarius. Apart from the traditional authors, none of these writers has been
identified. The main text is throughout spiritualistic and speculative, while
the gloss treats practical alchemy.]
f. 51 (48): [Foliated and ruled, recto and verso, but otherwise blank.]
f. 52(49)r1, 1: [Dedication in red:] Magnifico vero principi ac |
illustrissimo domino suo R[oberto] pri- | mogentio Regi Jerusalem et |
Cilicie Duci Calabrie ac | Sicilie vicaro generali . fra- | ter Thomas de
ordine predi- | catorum eiusdem capellanusque | fraterna reverencia humili
cum | devocionis obsequio | [incipit, in black:] Cum prima causa et | summa
ex altitudine... [f. 76(73)r2, 33:]... Et in hoc nichil posui nisi | sic sit
quod asserverim me pro- | basse . et multa mirabilia | nature sensualiter
vidi quod nullomodo | autem vix possunt aliis pervenire | Dirigente domino
quem benedicam | in secula seculorum Amen. | Explicit tractatus sancti | [f.
76(73)v1, 1:] Thome ordinis fratrum predicatorum | de essentiarum essentia .
editus ab eodem | ... [at line-ending:] fratre. |
[5.17: Thomas Capellanus, De essentia essentiarum, TK 844, 331; DWS 184;
Corbett I, p. 159; T III, pp. 136-139, 684-686. The fifteenth-century cursive
hand has supplied book divisions and headlines, dividing the text into nine
books, the sixth of which agrees in general with Ze V, pp. 806-814, as noted
by DWS; another fragment from the fourth book is printed in Ze II, pp.
267-277. The remainder of the extended text appears to be unpublished, and
this is among the earliest copies of it. At the end, the copyist has ascribed
the text to Thomas Aquinas.]
f. 76(73)v1, 3: Recipe materiam vilem de qua | dicunt philosophi... [f.
76(73)v1, 21:]... rege levi [?] | igne sicut in practicis alijs in- | venies
[5.18: Anonymous, An unidentified alchemical recipe.]
f. 76(73)v1, 23:... Liber | Benedictum lilium inter spinas | Gloriosus et
excel- | sus deus qui cuncta dat | effluenter... [f. 87(84)r1, 26:]...
Scientes quod sicut | melius potui conscripsi. et | sicut lucidius potui
declara- | vi in laudem et honorem glo- | riosissimi cui commendat | deus
vitam longam. successus bonos [sic] . soboles prosperos. pa- | cem in
presenti. et vitam eternam | in futuro. Amen. | Explicit liber qui
intitulatur | Benedictum lilium inter spinas |
[5.19: Zabrokek Italicus (?), Benedictum lilium inter spinas, TK 587; DWS
350. The text is an extended commentary on a poem in 18 verses by
Pseudo-Thomas Aquinas beginning, "Mer fugi dum bibat...," TK 871, the text of
which is divided and interspersed through the commentary. Ze IV, pp. 959-984,
printed two versions consecutively, whereas in the present codex, which is
perhaps the oldest known, these commentaries are intercalated, which may also
be the case with the other manuscripts reported. Possibly all include the
passage at the beginning, the incipit of which is noted above and by DWS 350,
but only the Sloane MS has an attribution to Zabrokek Italicus. There is
considerable variation throughout between the Zetzner texts and those of the
codices. The unidentified poem reported by DWS begins with versions of verses
14 and 15 of Merfugi dum bibat, but probably contains other matter and has a
different ending. See also T III, pp. 64-65, notes 43-45.]
f. 87(84)r1, 37: Nota quod via univer- | salis secundum Hermetem nullo- |
modo fit sine auro... [This passage opens a series of ten alchemical
procedures which probably do not form a consecutive text, although the
opening has been repeated near the end, at f. 88 (85)v1, 3. Most recipes are
separated by one or two blank lines. Ends f. 88(85)v1, 9:] Nota pistare in
arte dicitur tundere | Lutum sapientie tamen leymen Sal | commune gestossen
glas fimus | equinus... [line 14:]... et cum illud tunc inbibetur | corpus et
[5.20: Anonymous, Ten unidentified alchemical procedures. Note the
occurrence of two German language equivalents in the final passage, the only
occurrence of vernacular words found in the manuscript.]
f. 88(85)v1, 15: Incipit | palmarium Theosophie prohemium. | QVoniam grave
est | circa plurimas inten- | tiones diversorum li- | brorum... [f. 91
(88)r1, 13:]... et sine | dubio in ista conclusione constat | perfectio
[5.21: Alanus, Rotatio elementorum, TK 1276; T III, p. 146; Corbett I, p.
179. This is not the text titled Theosophie palmarium which occurs later in
the present MS at f. 92 (89)r1, 21, with a repetition of the title. The text
of Alanus has been printed as an anonymous sermon from the Turba
philosophorum in Manget I, pp. 465-467. Note that another text by Alanus,
correctly ascribed, follows.]
f. 91(88)r1, 15:... Libellus | ... Alani. | CVm clau- | sa esset via
veritatis | alkymici magisterij | Ego Alanus minimus phy- | losophorum et
alkymistarum | propter deum et pro remedio | anime mee... [f. 92(89)r1,
17:]... nichil huius ma- | gist[e]rij direxisti quia solum | tinctura rubea
et alba in | nostro Ere nichilominus est ab- | sconsa...
[5.22: Alanus, Liber alchemisticus, here titled Libellus, TK 285; T III, p.
140, and IV, p. 338. Note that the correct incipit is similar and here nearly
identical to those of texts attributed to George Ripley and Pseudo-Aristotle,
both noted at TK 286.]
f. 92(89)r1, 21:... Palmarium Theosophie | Ab omnipotenti deo | thesaurus sue
sapi- | ientie nobis rese- | ratis...
f. 106(103)v1, 28: descriptionis seriem prout li- | cuit Theosophie filijs
ab- | sque invidia reserate Cuis | nomen laudatum sit in secu- | la seculorum
Amen. | Explicit liber Theosophie. | palmarium. [sic. Remainder off 106(103)
blank; ff. 107-108(104-105), ruled and foliated, but otherwise blank.]
[5.23: Anonymous, Palmarium Theosophie, or Theosophia palmarum, according to
TK 7, 813. There is much more resemblance between titles and texts of the
versions found here and in MS 18, f. 43, described below, than there is
between either of them and the version printed by Ze III, p. 834. In all
versions there is frequent underlining; in MS 5, the copious citations from
other authors are underscored in red, but in MS 18 it is the paragraph
headings which receive this treatment.]
f. 109(106)r1, 1: Incipit liber de investigacione | perfectionis Gebri et est
ul- | timus eius in Alchimia. | Consideravimus in nostris | voluminibus
diversis quod | ex secretis nature... [f. 114 (111)v1, 9:] Et in hoc liber
noster terminatur | qui de investigacione perfectionis | intitulatur...
[5.24: Geber, Liber de investigacione perfectionis, TK 256; DWS 73; Wilson
622. The version printed in Gratarolus I, pp. 184-192, is quite similar, but
the chapters are not numbered in the present MS, and the printed version is
entitled Liber Inventionis.]
f. 114(111)v1, 11: Secuntur dicta | Iohannis de Cappa scissa. de | lapide
philosophorum. | Consideravi tribulacio- | nes electorum in sacrosancto |
ewangelio [sic]... [f. 118(115)r2, 3:]... calor ascendat per duo e- | qualia
foramina | quam per unum | ex illis.
[5.25: Johannes de Cappa scissa, De lapide philosophorum, i.e., Johannes de
Rupescissa, Liber lucis, or De confectione veri lapidis philosophorum, etc.,
TK 255; T III, pp. 352, 365-369, 734-740; and IV, p. 645; DWS 293; Corbett I,
pp. 60, 152, 215, 278; etc. The text is received in variant versions, of
which at least three have been published: Manget II, pp. 80-84 and 84-87; and
Ze III, pp. 179-185. The present copy most closely agrees with the second
Manget version; however, in the codex, there are two interpolations, a
Monicio auctoris and a Conmendacio huius libri (sic) both on f. 117(114)r,
and there is no Nona pars, although the same matter is perhaps incorporated
in the manuscript's Octava pars. The proheme in the present codex differs
from other versions, as does phraseology. Marginal notes concerning
procedures occur on ff. 117(114)v and 118(115)r, all in the hand of the
fifteenth- century annotator.]
f. 118(115)r2, 35: Sublimacio est elevacio par- | tium subtilissimarum a
partibus... [f. 118(115)r2, 40:]... Sub- | limacio philosophorum est de re
bassa et | corrupta facere magnam et puram, etcetera |
[5.26: Anonymous, Sublimacio philosophorum, an unidentified short
f. 118(115)v, headline: [Written later in the fifteenth century by a good
Bastarda hand, possibly that of the fifteenth-century commentator, in dark
red ink:] Rudanus trium verborum | [then continuing in the principal hand of
the codex, f. 118(115)v1, 1:] Alchimia est ars artium | scientia scientiarum
ab alchimo | inventa... [f. 120(117)r1, 26:]... Et hec rectificatio |
Mercurij quod est oleum fixum | quod rectificat omnia metal- | la corrupta et
perducit ea | ad sanitatem et ad naturem | meliorem. Laudetur ergo deus | qui
creavit carissimam ex | te alchimia verissima. |
[5.27: Khalid ibn Yazid, Liber trium verborum, here ascribed to Rud(i)anus,
TK 76, 810. Another Libertrium verborum, TK 517, 818, 823, is usually
attributed to Rudianus, but Steinschneider regards the two texts as the same.
The version of MS 5 is close to that printed in Manget II, pp. 189-191, which
is attributed to Khalid. Note the similarity in the opening lines between the
text just described and the passage which occurs below on f. 123 (120)r1, 9.]
f. 120(117)r1, 34: Incipit libellus magistri | Arnoldi de villa nova | de
Secretis nature. | Scito fili quod in hoc | libro loquitur de se- | cretis
nature... [f. 120(117)r2, 13:] Ars igitur ista non est | nisi de occultis...
[f. 122(119)r2, 41:]... Et multi in | huiusmodi [sic] errarunt Dixit dis- |
[f. 122(119)v1, 1:] cipulus Et Cetera requere alibi. | in Rubeo libro. |
[5.28: Arnold of Villanova, De secretis naturae, TK 1407, 143; T III, pp.
74-76, 672-673; DWS 229; Corbett 1, pp. 50, 112, and II, p. 60. The text does
not appear to have been printed, but is fully described in T III, loc. cit.
In this version, it is substantially complete, but does not have the
recapitulation of chapter subject matter at the end. It may be this
abbreviation to which the scribe refers at the end of the text as being in
his "red book."]
f. 122(119)v1, 5: Est etiam notandum Quod | Aristoteles hermes et | Avicenna
ceterique philosophi | ita obscure posuerunt | suam scientiam per
multiloquium quod | vix aliquis est qui ad perfectum | opus perveniat...
f. 123(120)r1, 9: Alchimia... | est ars ab... | Alchimo inventa chima | enim
grece... [An unfoliated half-leaf, f. 125, belonging to the collation, ruled
but unnumbered and otherwise blank, occurs after f. 124(121); f. 128r2,
36:]... et serua usque ad | fixationem. Sublimationes | aliorum spiritum et
etiam prepara- | tiones corporum habes supra | in ultimo libro De investi- |
gacone [sic] Gebri. Etcetera. |
[5.29: Albertus Magnus, Semita recta, without proheme and in a partly
truncated and variant version; TK 76; T II, pp. 570-573; Wilson, 475; DWS
177, iii, Corbett II, pp. 120-121; cf. Pearl Kibre, Writings ascribed to
Albertus Magnus, Speculum XVII (1942), 511-515 Printed in Ze II, pp. 424-443.
The text begins after a very brief passage with a highly variant version of
the De diversis erroribus, then proceeds with a recognizable version of Unde
oriantur metalla, and thereafter follows rather closely the matter and order
as printed by Zetzner, but with usually brief omissions. After the section on
salammoniac, the text next proceeds directly to the section on atramentum,
without the printed Additio, and excluding the other salts, color
preparations, etc., entirely. It closes with the long procedure on the
sublimation of mercury, printed in Ze II, pp. 442-443, without the Additio.
The final note refers to what the scribe seems to feel he has already
SUMMARY: MS 5 is notable for its large collection of medieval alchemies, both
speculative and practical, and especially for the important group of writings
by Johannes of Teschen (also Johannes sacerdos de Thesen and Johannes
Tetzensis in the MS; more frequently Johannes Tecenensis in the literature),
probably from the town of Teschen in Austrian Silesia, Tesin in Czech,
Cieszyn in Polish. Most remarkable of its many interesting features is the
unique musical setting of the Antiphona, 5.2, by Johannes de Teschen, the
text of which, but not the music, has been preserved in a few other
manuscripts. This work gives every appearance of being the oldest surviving
alchemical music, a genre which has never been large, the best known examples
being the canons found in Michael Maier's Atalanta fugiens, 1617 (cf. Vol. 1
of the present catalogue, p. 258, where the issue or edition of 1618 is
described, and MS 48 of the present collection, containing an unpublished
English translation). In this codex and apparently nowhere else, Johannes de
Teschen is named as author of the Probleuma, 5.3, a text tentatively
attributed to him by Thorndike; the Enigmata, 5.7, asserted to be by a
Johannes, is most likely by the same author, as may be a few other short
texts at the beginning of the codex. Also the anonymous alchemy, 5.16, cites
Johannes Tecenensis among its many authorities. The last-mentioned component
of the manuscript is particularly interesting for the direct confrontation of
its main text, a speculative and mystical work, with a commentary which is
determinedly practical and which seeks to translate the veiled, mysterious,
vague language of the speculative alchemy into procedures to be carried out
in the laboratory. Elsewhere in the codex groups of practical procedures are
found interspersed among standardized alchemies. An attractive and uncommon
feature is the frequency of elements in verse, including rebuses. From a
technical point of view, MS 5 presents some puzzling contrasts: much or
perhaps all of its parchment is palimpsest material, which always suggests
extreme economy in preparation, yet every page is carefully ruled in red,
which is not an inexpensive procedure; and finally, though the manuscript
appears to have been written with much care, its handwriting is ill-formed
and often unclear. The only clues to its origin are the occurrence of a few
words of German written in the text by the scribe of f. 88(85)v, the putative
Austrian origin of Johannes of Teschen, the Germanic binding which is
certainly early and probably original, and the Andreas Beham bookplate, which
may suggest that the volume was at Nuremberg about 1600. It may be
tentatively concluded that the codex is a private compilation, not
inconceivably by Johannes of Teschen himself, or from his immediate