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Testamentum of the Cosmopolite
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Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Thu Jul 15th, 2010 03:57 pm
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I have just been notified by Christer Böke from Sweden (we were at a splendid alchemical workshop in Budapest last week, organized by Dóra Bobory) about a book published in France, pretending to be a Testamentum of Alexander Seton, the Cosmopolite. I have found information about it on the Internet, and even pictures of title pages here:

http://iginomarini.com/fell/inuse/testamentum-de-trasmutationibus-metallorum/

but it is rather expensive and both Christer and I suspect it is a fake. The publisher and pseudonymous editor are certainly "esoteric", while the Latin on the 1603 title page is so bad that even I noticed it :). The emblems or "claviculae" which are said to have been drawn by Alexander Seton are likewise suspect, if the engraving on the title page (from Mylius) is one of them.

Still, there is always a faint chance that they actually published some original text, only using esoteric "packaging". Has anyone got a copy or seen that book?

[I will be away for a week, so will not reply immediately to any postings in this thread -- but just could not wait asking about it, as it is quite inriguing]

Tom Willard
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 Posted: Fri Jul 16th, 2010 04:42 am
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According to WorldCat, only one research library is known to have a copy of this edition, and that library is in Lille.

adammclean
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 Posted: Thu Jul 22nd, 2010 08:17 am
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I tried to buy a copy but the Cosmogone site does not appear to recognise the UK as a country to which they will post items.

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Thu Jul 22nd, 2010 08:48 am
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adammclean wrote: I tried to buy a copy but the Cosmogone site does not appear to recognise the UK as a country to which they will post items.
There are three offers on Abebooks -- from French bookstores. This should work if you really want to buy it. It is very expensive and most probably not worth the price, even though it seems to be nicely published.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=Testament+de+la+transmutation&x=0&y=0


adammclean
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 Posted: Thu Jul 22nd, 2010 11:54 am
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I have now bought a copy through abebooks. I will give you a report about the work when it arrives.

adammclean
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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 09:42 am
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The high price of the book may be be a reflection of the fact that it apparently contains reproductions of emblems by the Cosmopolite/Seton!

The work appears to be edited by a modern writer hiding behind the name of Chalybe. Perhaps locating him or some of his other writings will throw some light on this book.

It is amazing that the story of Seton still seems to have legs !

I do hope that Rafal will one day be able to publish the substantial research he has undertaken into the facts and myths that cluster around Seton and Sendivogius of which this book appears to be yet another twist and turn.

adammclean
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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 09:55 am
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Chalybe has written at least one other book also published by Cosmogone

La Pierre Philosophale des Tout-Petits


I also noted a discussion on a French alchemt discussion forum. I found a short section on Google. I am unable to register with this site so cannot read the relevant discussion.


FORUM ALCHIMIE ACTIVE...Alchimie opérative, étude, textes rares ...
j'ai h sit inclure cette annonce dans le fil solazaref mais finalement les ditions du cosmogone ont publi fin un livre de chalybe que je viens de parcourir ...
http://www.librairiedumerveilleux.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7... -

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 12:10 pm
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adammclean wrote:
Chalybe has written at least one other book also published by Cosmogone




Chalybe is also the General Editor of this series:

http://www.massanne.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.product_details&category_id=17&product_id=224

Attached Image (viewed 837 times):

Alchimie___Chron_4c3f147fd5f04.jpg

adammclean
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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 01:21 pm
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Chalybe, of course, is another form of the word "chalybeate" in English referring primarily to those mineral springs, whose water is rich in iron salts.

From his article on the Editions de Massanne site, Chalybe seems highly focussed on iron salts and their use in alchemy.

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 01:26 pm
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adammclean wrote:
Chalybe, of course, is another form of the word "chalybeate" in English referring primarily to those mineral springs, whose water is rich in iron salts.

From his article on the Editions de Massanne site, Chalybe seems highly focussed on iron salts and their use in alchemy.


Named after a Georgian(?) tribe credited with the invention of ferrous metallurgy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalybes
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalybes

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Fri Jul 23rd, 2010 03:07 pm
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Thank you, Adam, for ordering it -- I may only hope that it will not be totally worthless.

The high price of the book may be be a reflection of the fact that it apparently contains reproductions of emblems by the Cosmopolite/Seton!
Yes, I think the "mythos" of Seton was used for marketing it. Actually, I like intelligent hoaxes, such as the "translation" of Necronomicon produced with scholarly apparatus by Colin Wilson, David Langford and Robert Turner years ago.

Concerning the pseudonymous Chalybe, he also edited a text for a French magazine called "Atlantis", apparently with similar story of a long lost treatise preserved by a Polish frater Jan:

http://www.atlantis-site.com/revue/numeros/fiche_430.php?m03


adammclean
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 Posted: Tue Jul 27th, 2010 10:27 pm
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Here is the text on the first page of the Introduction.


Le Testament secret de Sethon.
Ami de l'Art, ces trois divisions de l'oeuvre Testamentaire de Cosmopolite ont été traduites en français, recopiées pour la première fois à partir du manuscrit original dans le deuxième quart du xxe siècle, par un maître, polonais de naissance (il nous les a généreusement transmises), que l'anonymat seyait. Soit d'après les textes consignés en latin, les notes et les corrigés rédigés en anglais et succinctement en allemand ainsi que les emblèmes, d'exécution rapide, légèrement teints ou de couleurs suggérées.

Il n'a jamais été fait mystère que la toute première édition révélant un aspect de son œuvre est due au baron diplomate et alchimiste, Sendivogius. Elle parut en latin, en 1604 à Cracovie, sous le titre : De Lapide philosophorum tractatus duodecim e natures fonte et manuali experientia depromti - De la Pierre des philosophes en douze traités... Elle ne comportait, en fait, que la première division, ainsi qu'elle est signalée ci-dessus. Cet ouvrage, sous l'impulsion éclairée du chymiste Jean Béguin, aumônier de Louis XIII, connut un réel succès à Paris dès 1608, consécutivement à une seconde...


I had a quick look through the rest of the book and could find no mention of the present location of this manuscript, nor anything about this supposed 20th century Polish master, or his own copy of the manuscript. I have not had the time to look at the actual translated "text" of this "manuscript", but it is in eleven chapters or keys (Clavicules) each having a graphic diagram placed at the beginning. These are quite modern in in style and graphic design and I have never seen anything like these in any early 17th century book or manuscript. Strangely, they bear a little graphic signature an "S" set over a "9" and an "8". If we see these as modern constructs then it could be they were created by someone called "S" in 1998.

Attached Image (viewed 920 times):

seton.jpg

Last edited on Tue Jul 27th, 2010 10:32 pm by adammclean


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