- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 12, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521000009
- ISBN-13: 978-0521000000
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery
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"...this is a rich and generous source of information, with many illustrations and copious cross-referencing. Abraham makes an arcane subject accessible without diminishing its rich complexity." Journal of Englih and Germanic Philology
"Lyndy Abraham's Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery represents an invaluable research and reference tool for the specialist in literary studies, the art historian, and the historian of science. Delving into a rich variety of alchemical writings from Aquinas to Zoroaster and a wide range of literary texts, the Dictionary supplies ample evidence for the myriad ways in which alchemical thinking and imagery entered into the broader culture of early modern Europe through poetry, drama, and literature." Deborah Harkness
"...Abraham presents an intellectual dense, highly focused view of alchemical images in a Renaissance context." Norman Weinstein, Parabola
"Accessible and well formatted, this work will find an audience with historians of literary culture, philosophy, science, and visual arts, as well as armchair scholars with an interest in alchemy and hermeticism. This book is recommended for large public and academic collections." Edmund F. Santa Vicca, Choice
This dictionary documents alchemical symbolism from the early centuries AD to the late-twentieth century, for use by historians of literary culture, philosophy, science and the visual arts, and readers interested in alchemy and hermeticism. Each entry includes a definition of the symbol, giving the literal (physical) and figurative (spiritual) meanings, an example of the symbol used in alchemical writing, and a quotation from a literary source. There are fifty visual images of graphic woodcuts, copperplate engravings and hand-painted emblems, some reproduced here for the first time.
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An exciting, yet unexpected, byproduct of this book was that I began to recognize related iconography in places I previously hadn't been aware of it. Most notable of these "discoveries" was the recognization of alchemical imagery that infuses W.B. Yeat's poetry. This book was the means by which I discovered an entirely new (to me) dimension of Yeats' writing.
If you have even the slightest interest in historical alchemical imagery and iconography then I highly recommend this volume. Not only is it an essential academic reference, but it serves as an excellent springboard into further historical study and investigation.