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Speculum sophicum Rhodostauroticum
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Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Fri Sep 20th, 2013 11:03 pm
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The well known Speculum sophicum Rhodostauroticum by Schweighart[=Mögling] has three engraved plates (and title page), one of which is a rather simple diagram appropriately named "Veritas simplex". The digital copy in SLUB has another similar diagram drawn by hand on the folio following it but preceding the final "ergon/parergon" plate. At first I thought it was intended to replace a missing fourth plate but it seems there was none (according to bibliographies).

The diagram seems to have been based on the cosmological figure from Röslin's De operae Dei creationis -- but the bottom part looks different. I cannot find a better reproduction than the one on Adam's emblem pages: A177.

The hand-drawn diagram from the Speculum is this:

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speculum-sophicum.jpg

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sat Sep 21st, 2013 12:01 am
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Here for comparison is the diagram from the De Opere Dei Creationis.

Regarding the bit at the bottom on the Speculum version I can make out Supra(?) gradus rerum, Supremus gradus rerum, Infimus gradus rerum and Malus(?) gradus rerum, i.e. above the degrees of things, the highest degree of things, the lowest degree of things and the bad/evil degree of things. This might be a useful starting-point for tracking down the origin of the diagram.

It all sounds a bit neo-Platonic to me. Ficino?

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Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Sat Sep 21st, 2013 01:10 pm
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Rafal T. Prinke wrote:
The well known Speculum sophicum Rhodostauroticum by Schweighart[=Mögling] has three engraved plates (and title page), one of which is a rather simple diagram appropriately named "Veritas simplex". The digital copy in SLUB has another similar diagram drawn by hand on the folio following it but preceding the final "ergon/parergon" plate. At first I thought it was intended to replace a missing fourth plate but it seems there was none (according to bibliographies).

The diagram seems to have been based on the cosmological figure from Röslin's De operae Dei creationis -- but the bottom part looks different.


Are these not two separate diagrams on the same sheet of paper?

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Sat Sep 21st, 2013 02:54 pm
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Thanks Paul. Yes, I now see these may be two different diagrams, one from Roeslin, the other "Ficinian" perhaps. But apparently it is only a reader's annotation, not a replacement for a missing plate. BTW: I have just found the figure from Scheighart's less famous publication "Pandora", to which he refers at the beginning of the "Speculum" (http://www.levity.com/alchemy/schweig.html), with your translation of the texts on it: http://latindiscussion.com/forum/latin/latin-text-in-alchemical-imagery-translation-help.17272/

And the same diagram was reproduced in Ashmole's Theatrum as an illustration to Norton's Ordinal (not sure if it was there originally).

Last edited on Sat Sep 21st, 2013 02:56 pm by Rafal T. Prinke

Carl Lavoie
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 Posted: Tue Sep 24th, 2013 05:30 am
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.
And the same diagram was reproduced in Ashmole's Theatrum as an illustration to Norton's Ordinal

Rafał, do you mean Norton in the Tripus Aureus ?

http://www.e-rara.ch/cgj/content/thumbview/2044833

Because the Ordinall in Ashmole’s Theatrum Chemicum doesn’t seem to have the figure.

http://www.e-rara.ch/cgj/content/thumbview/2208899

.

Rafal T. Prinke
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 Posted: Tue Sep 24th, 2013 02:07 pm
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Hi Carl,

Rafał, do you mean Norton in the Tripus Aureus ?
Oops... I should not have relied on Roob's handy but certainly not quite reliable book :( He seems to say so on p. 159 but in fact then gives the 1616 Frankfurt edition of Ordinal (which is probably a mistake for 1618 and thus Tripus aureaus).


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