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Alchemy discussion forum > Request for information > Help required > Bernard a Kallen (or Bernhard von Callen/Kallen)

Bernard a Kallen (or Bernhard von Callen/Kallen)
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Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 10:54 am
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I have come across references to a mysterious figure named Bern(h)ard de Callen, a "baron from Austria." Presumably, he would be more commonly known as "von Callen or von Kallen"

According to an anonymous letter written from Paris to Samuel Hartlib in 1643, de Callen had apparently already spent more than 20,000 Reichthalers in his alchemical pursuits. He appears to have travelled regularly, for he was present in France and also the Netherlands in this same year.

I have been able to find a couple of other manuscript references concerning him (Hartlib had some choice words concerning this gentlemen in his Ephemerides, for example), but I have not been able to find any mention of him in contemporary printed literature, with the exception of a short alchemical tract that was printed under his name in 1653 and again in 1656. See http://www.gbv.de/du/services/gLink/vd17/14:697032Q_001,800,600

 

I am looking for any further information concerning this gentleman, biographical or otherwise. Can anyone help? Does his name ring any bells for anyone out there?

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 05:20 pm
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Found this:

http://digital.slub-dresden.de/sammlungen/titeldaten/277308143/

http://digital.slub-dresden.de/sammlungen/titeldaten/277313236/

He is also listed in "Bibliographia medica et physica" by Cornelius à Beughem, where his alias is given as Kaller. See:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ndQGAAAAcAAJ&pg=PT300&lpg=PT300&dq="bernardus+a+kaller"&source=bl&ots=R7OWQoBdLI&sig=GOF5C2NPddfGSGL9Skyx4-sX5VM&hl=en&ei=6VBnSt7II9G6jAeyr-CiAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3

Last edited on Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 05:49 pm by Paul Ferguson

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 07:13 pm
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At risk of leading you off on a wild goose (or rather wild raven) chase, can I draw your attention to the phrase 'Corvus Deplumatus', 'The Plucked Raven', which appears in the title of his second tract?

I do know that this was the title of a Jesuit religious drama and I think there is also a musical setting of it (there's probably something about it in Grove).

It seems rather a strange term, especially in a Jesuit context - can Adam shed any light?

Last edited on Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 07:14 pm by Paul Ferguson

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Thu Jul 23rd, 2009 01:19 pm
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On a random note, is he the 'Callenius' referred to as a medical authority in Robert Burton's 'Anatomy of Melancholy', Sect. II, Memb. I, Subsect. II?

http://www.psyplexus.com/burton/23.htm

Edit - on reflection probably not: it is most likely Paulus Julius Callenius of Jena or Prosper Calenius.

But see here for some references to the Callenius family, and note the variant spelling Calenius:

http://w1.1983.telia.com/~u186902071/brenner.htm

Last edited on Fri Jul 24th, 2009 12:29 am by Paul Ferguson

Leigh Penman
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 Posted: Sat Jul 25th, 2009 07:08 am
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Hmm, deplumed raven indeed!  What a strange little pamphlet.

Thanks for the assist with information, Paul, I'll let you all know if I find anything else.


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