History of Science, Medicine and Technology Group seminars, University of Edinburgh
Wednesday 9 March 2022, 1pm UK time
Matteo Martelli (Università di Bologna)
Alchemical Equipment in Byzantine and Syriac Manuscripts
My paper will deal with ancient alchemical laboratory by focusing on the images of instruments (alembics, kerotakeis, heating devices, and the like) as transmitted in Byzantine and Syriac manuscripts. First, I will briefly discuss some methodological and historical issues raised by the same concept of ‘laboratory’ when applied to the history of ancient alchemy. Then, I will present two Syriac manuscripts that hand down a kind of visual catalogue of alchemical instruments: the main features of this catalogue will be illustrated along with its relationship with the Byzantine tradition.