Janus Lacinius Therapus - The New Pearl Of Great Price.pdf (19.2 MB)
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A treatise concerning the treasure and most precious stone of the philosophers. Or the method and procedure of this divine art with observations drawn from the works of Arnoldus, Raymondus, Rhasis, Albertus, and Michael Scotus (1894)THIS work casts out cruel disease from the human body, disease produced by malignant humours and thus you are preserved. It will teach you how to regain the beautiful flower of youth, and how to secure a green and placid old age. All this may be yours, by the favour of the gods. Poverty... More >>>
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A treatise concerning the treasure and most precious stone of the philosophers. Or the method and procedure of this divine art with observations drawn from the works of Arnoldus, Raymondus, Rhasis, Albertus, and Michael Scotus (1894)
THIS work casts out cruel disease from the human body, disease produced by malignant humours and thus you are preserved. It will teach you how to regain the beautiful flower of youth, and how to secure a green and placid old age. All this may be yours, by the favour of the gods. Poverty will be triumphantly put to flight your treasure-house will be filled you will be able to succour the needy,
and to render the sacrifice of praise to great Jupiter.
TWO features of special interest attach to the " Pearl of Great Price," as written by Bonus of Ferrara, and edited by Janus Lacinius. In the first place, it is one of the earliest works printed on alchemy, and the original is a very beautiful specimen of typography. Concerning the latter point, it is only necessary to say that it was issued from the press of Aldus, appearing in 1546, with the privilege of Pope Paul III. and the Senate of Venice for the space of ten years. This edition is, of course, exceedingly rare, and is highly prized by collectors. In the second place, it is a very clear, methodical, and well-reasoned treatise, comparing favourably in these respects with the bulk of alchemical literature. A reader who is unacquainted with alchemy will probably not appreciate these points,
but any one who, like the present editor, has had occasion to become widely familiar with Hermetic authors, will do honour to the lucidity of Bonus.
Concerning" the adept himself, no biographical materials whatsoever are forthcoming, nor, as in most other cases, is there even a legend to fall back on. He is supposed to have been a native of Lombardy, and to have performed his alchemical labours at Pola, a maritime town of Istria, about 1330. He is sometimes described as Bonus of Ferraria,* and on this and other grounds Tiraboschi't identifies him with the "monk Ferarius".
This work attacks Lenglet du Fresnoy, the historian of alchemy, as an inexact writer, but Tiraboschi had no acquaintance whatsoever with alchemy, and does not seem to have read the authors whom he endeavours to identify. Imaginative persons might, perhaps, be more inclined to question the equivocal name of Janus, the Calabrian Minorite Friar, and to suspect that his master Bonus was possibly his alter ego.
Janus Lacinius [Therapus] (Giano Lacinio) was, as he and the various liminary verses proudly proclaim (those by Hippolytus Fantotius of Perugia, written as if the 'Ars divina' is speaking give both his forenames), a native of Calabria from Psychronea, and a minorite friar, i.e. a Franciscan. Sbaralea (SupplEad scriptorum trium ordinum s. Francisci, II, Rome, 1921 p. 22) treats the name as a pseudonym and identifies him with John of Croton, from a promontary in Calabria called Lacinium. The Pretiosa Margarita novella circulated in manuscript and is attributed generally to one Petrus Bonus (Pietro Bono, see article by C. Vasoli in DBI 12 pp. 287-289), who in turn refers to many earlier alchemical sources. It is interesting not only for its alchemical content, and the practicalities of alchemy, but also for the light it throws generally on fourteenth-century technology. It is (as Vasoli remarks) distinguished 'for the noteworthy simplicity of the procedures proposed and by nature of being a practical manual, written for a public of 'scientists' and scholastic academics'.