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Disentangling Alchemy

April 7, 2022
17.00 (EDT)
This lecture will take place live on Zoom, followed by a question and answer period. Please register to receive the Zoom link. Register here.

The Mary Jaharis Center is hosting the lecture 'Disentangling Alchemy' on 7 April at 17.00 (EDT). In this lecture, Alexandre Roberts, University of Southern California, considers alchemy within the intellectual and artisanal activity of western Afro-Eurasia in the premodern period. 

What was alchemy in Byzantium and the Islamic World, in a time before the terms 'alchemy' and 'chemistry' were divided from each other for polemical purposes in the seventeenth century? Building on a rich and growing body of work on ancient, medieval, and early-modern alchemy, this lecture will consider premodern Greek and Arabic texts of the sort that we typically call alchemical, and artisanal and intellectual practices that we typically call alchemy. The aim will be to disentangle the various threads running through these premodern texts and practices, which we can then begin to reintegrate into their original social, cultural, and intellectual contexts.

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