Chapter

Contracting the Philosophers' Stone

in Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780226608563
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226608570 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226608570.003.0005
Contracting the Philosophers' Stone

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This chapter focuses on the contracts of alchemists with their patrons. It explains that contracts were only agreed upon after addressing patrons' concerns about practitioners' legitimacy and establishing some common expectations. However, the chapter suggests that the solutions that alchemists and their patrons devised to the indeterminate status of alchemy may have created as many problems as they solved, for practical alchemy probably worked best for all concerned when expectations on the part of both parties were left vague.

Keywords: contracts; alchemists; patrons; practitioners' legitimacy; alchemy

Chapter.  9879 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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