Of Porridge, Poetry and the Philosophers’ Stone

By Anke Timmermann Wer ain guot Muess wil machen [Es] kompt von siben sachen Aijr und salz Milch vnd Schmaltz gewurtz vnd Mell von Saffran wirdt es gell (ÖNB MS 11410, f. 186r, s. xvi)[1]    [He who wants to make a good porridge needs seven items: eggs and salt, milk and suet, spice (elsewhere: sugar) … Continue reading Of Porridge, Poetry and the Philosophers’ Stone

Distilling the Essence of Heaven: How Alcohol Could Defeat the Antichrist

by Tillmann Taape In my last post, I introduced Hieronymus Brunschwig’s Small book of distillation and considered how it presented medical knowledge. Here, I explore how Brunschwig’s reading of alchemical ideas shaped his concept of distilled remedies. Like anyone living in medieval or early modern times, Brunschwig knew that the world was strictly divided into … Continue reading Distilling the Essence of Heaven: How Alcohol Could Defeat the Antichrist

Distilling Vernacular Medicine

By Tillmann Taape As Katherine Allen has pointed out in her post, distillation was regarded as a powerful way of separating and purifying earthly matter, and was central to the alchemical pursuit of the philosophers’ stone. And, yes, the odd gallon of whisky was also a much-welcomed product. This view of distillation is reflected in the … Continue reading Distilling Vernacular Medicine

The Strasbourg Tradition of Artists’ Recipe Books (1400-1570) Part II: Between written and oral transmission

By Sylvie Neven The literature of artistic and technological recipes frequently serves as a source for historical study in art technology. However, to date, the nature and the original function of artists’ recipe books have not been clearly determined. The relevance and the reliability of this form of writing continue to be issues debated by scholars, … Continue reading The Strasbourg Tradition of Artists’ Recipe Books (1400-1570) Part II: Between written and oral transmission