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Newton the Alchemist$
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William Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174877

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174877.001.0001

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The Fortunes of Raymundus

The Fortunes of Raymundus

Newton’s Late Florilegia

(p.261) Thirteen The Fortunes of Raymundus
Newton the Alchemist

William R. Newman

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Newton's take on the substantial alchemical corpus ascribed to the high medieval Mallorcan philosopher Ramon Lull. It begins with a brief consideration of the Epistola ad Theodorum Mundanum and Newton's synopsis of it. It then examines the cycle of Opera in their several complementary drafts, which will reveal the heavy influence exercised by Dickinson, pseudo-Lull, Snyders, and other authors. The Opera may be dated conservatively to the period between the publication of Dickinson's Epistola in 1686 and a later stage in Newton's alchemy, namely, his intense collaboration with Nicolas Fatio de Duillier in the early 1690s. The work with Fatio also contributed to Newton's production of a text that has received notice from other Newtonian scholars as in some sense the culmination of his alchemical endeavor, Huntington Library, Babson MS 420, otherwise known as Praxis.

Keywords:   Isaac Newton, alchemy, Ramon Lull, Epistola ad Theodorum Mundanum, Opera, Nicolas Fatio de Duillier

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