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  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)


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A magical or medicinal potion; in alchemy, a preparation which was supposed to be able to change metals into gold. The word is recorded from late Middle English and comes via medieval Latin from Arabic al-'iksīr, and ultimately from Greek xērion ‘powder for drying wounds’.

elixir of life an alchemical preparation supposedly able to prolong life indefinitely; the phrase is a translation of medieval Latin elixir vitae.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval).

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