I wonder if anyone knows if the critical edition and translation of ibn-Umayl's Tabula chimica by Italo Ronca is forthcoming? He announced it in two articles of 1995 and 1998. In the latter, he said he had almost finished collating all available Arabic and Latin versions + Aurora consurgens. Because this text had great influence on European alchemical symbolic imagery, this edition will be a milestone in historiography.
Another (and related) book that I cannot find information about a planned publication date is the volume on Tabula smaragdina in the Hermes Latinus series edited by Paolo Lucentini from Brepols. I cannot find any details of the planned content of the series but Carlos Gilly mentioned (in 1999) vol. V as the one to cover Tabula smaragdina in great detail.
As there was no comment on the above for half a year, I thought I might comment myself to bring the edition of _Tabula chemica_ to attention again. The website of the South African University no longer shows Prof. Italo Ronca as staff member. Because in his 1998 article he stated the planned edition was initiated by Prof. Caspar J.H. Schutte and they were cooperating on the project, I searched out his email address and tried to contact him in March but without success. The edition was "almost finished" in the late 1990's, and it would be of enormous interest to everyone interested in alchemy because of the _Tabula's_ great but so far little studied influence on Latin alchemy, most remarkably on the iconographic tradition.
Meanwhile, I have found a good art-historical article on the well known image from the _Tabula_ in its Arabic/Mogul version. Its is freely available online:
Ibn Umail, Muhammad. Book of the Explanation of the Symbols. Edited by Theodor Abt, Wilfred Madelung, and Thomas Hofmeier. Translated by Salwa Fuad and Theodor Abt. Zurich, Living Human Heritage Publications, 2003.
Edition and translation of a text by an important 10th-century author who became an authority in the Latin West, too.
Volume I of CALA presents the first edition of Hall ar-Rumuz (Explanation of the Symbols), one of the most important representatives of the symbolic branch of alchemy. Ibn Umail's description of the alchemical work is a symbolic rendering of his experience of an inner-psychic process of transformation that he considered as being the highest goal in human life. Ibn Umail's symbolic attitude facilitates a kind of inter-confessionalism: he states in Hall ar-Rumuz that "the result of the alchemical work can be produced by a person from any religion". The psychic transformation achieved by the work leads to the stone, a symbol for the solidified divine kernel of an individual. This center also has a collective dimension. Thus Ibn Umail also names the stone "mosque" or "temple". His work connects and bridges the Ancient Egyptian quest for immortality directly with later Latin alchemy and the modern depth psychology of C.G. Jung with its aim of creating spiritual gold: consciousness. Ibn Umail's work thus constitutes an important cultural link in the history of the spiritual aspect of alchemy..
Last edited on Mon Sep 17th, 2012 01:21 pm by Carl Lavoie
I have not read it -- but it is a different work by Ibn Umail which was not translated into Latin, so it is not of such crucial interest as the _Tabula_. And, of course, that edition is based on Jungian perspective -- as you noticed :-)