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Alchemy Index


A Lexicon of Alchemy

by

Martin RULANDUS







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G G G

GAGATES --- is a Stone which is to be distinguished from the Gagites of Pliny (1. 10, c. 3). The latter is the Eagle-stone. True Gagates, with which we are here concerned, is the German Jetstone, Agatestone, etc. It is, in fact, a dark, glossy bitumen. It is native in the sea and in rivers, and is doubtless made from petroleum, i.e., a subtle naphtha, or natural liquid bitumen. The stone Thracius or Black Agate is a kind of Gagates, which is composed of black naphtha or bitumen. When bitumen or liquid naphtha flows in the sea or in rivers, that petroleum, I say, makes Gagates. The Germans confound Gagates with amber; the matter differs in the two cases, though it may be granted that they are allied, both having the power, when heated by friction, of attracting threads and straws, as the magnet does iron and the Sagda wood. Moreover, they are both of inflammable nature. But amber does not burn in water, whereas Gagates, which are composed of bitumen, burn very fiercely therein, and the water itself seems to be set on fire by the strength of the bitumen. Amber is not bitumen, but an exudation of the poplar tree or of the pine tree.

Gagas or Gagates:

Yellow: Jetstone, Agatestone, Wellstone, Amberstone, Pearstone, of the colour of the ionís coat, also very closely approaching green.

Black: This is the stone Thracius, Black Agatestone.

Yellow and Black Gagates are indurated stone of naptha or bitumen, i.e., petroleum from Cilicia and the river Gages in Lycia, where it falls into the sea.

Sunstone: A stone composed of indurated naptha or bitumen, indurated by a terrene heat. It is a species of Gagates.

Amber:

Wood Glessum Amber, yellow in colour; it is a gum or resin indurated in the sea; of the poplar according to Discorides. Also of the pine, or the wild pine.

Basthard Amber is whitish in colour. We shall treat subsequently of amber.

The name of the stone Gagates is derived from the place and river Gagas in Cicilia. This is on the authority of Dioscorides (1. 5, c. 92). But others say it is the city of Gangis in Lycia, where this stone is found on the shore, being of great size and green colour. This is supported by Nicander in his Theriaca, and he calls the stone Engangin, or Gangitis. He affirms also that the vapour which it gives off in the fire, by reason of its bituminous character, drives away serpents. It is, as I have already said, its nature to burn, to set fire to water, and to be quenched in oil, because it is composed of bitumen. And hence Nicander says it destroys the impetus of a strong and consuming fire. Also Dioscorides teaches that it must take rank before all things of like nature, because it burns with such facility and gives off the odour of bitumen. Pliny (1. 36, c. 29) says that its name is derived from the place and river of Gagas in Lycia, that it is cast up by the sea in Leucola, and is there collected. If I mistake not, Galenus declares that he is unacquainted with any river of the name in Lycia. But it is possible that the name may have changed, as occurs sometimes. Strabo and other geographers are in agreement with Dioscorides on the point, that the river is in Lycia. Is it not possible, moreover, that it is a small river, not generally known, which also is the case with some streams in our own country? The Orla, the Schwarza, and the Pangera are very celebrated streams, but because they are small and of no length, who really knows anything about them except those who live in their vicinity? For the rest, consult Dioscorides and Pliny in the places already cited, concerning the virtues of the Gagates. Its vapour in burning drives away serpents. It arrests dangerous disease when a fumigation is made of it, and eases contraction of the womb. Within my own experience it has an assuaging and dispersing virtue. Gagates were formerly a favourite ornament of matrons, wherewith they were wont to deck themselves as with corals. They are still worn as a favour, by those who desire to beget boys, in some places. Shields, swords, and helmets are also ornamented with them. I have myself seen a church near the port of Tangera which was built and enriched with many gems by the Emperor Charles IV, the windows of which were made of Gagates in a wonderful manner. I have also seen, in the same church, a dagger belonging to this emperor, the haft of which was made, with extraordinary skill, out of a single Gagates. Would that at this day our kings and princes had such care for religion as this good Charles! At the present day amber is preferred, as its smell is sweeter. For the rest, every species of Gagates has one thing in common with the eagle stone, because it is but little reduced by fire. Hence eagle stone is also called Gagites, but it is not the same as Gagates, which we affirmed at the beginning. Some make it out to be a species of Gagates, because of its colour, which is like lion-skin. The Gagates of this colour is our common Agate. There is a second species, which is black, with white veins; a third, which is black, with yellow veins; a fourth, which is spotted, as with blood, and is found in various parts of India, even as the third is of Cretan origin, while the fifth and last species is black like coral.

The stone Gagates is made of naphtha, that is, petroleum. The stone Thracius is another species of Gagates, and is made of black bitumen, or naphtha. Of this also there are two kinds: a certain scissile stone, and lithanthrax. Amber, however, is made of the resin of the poplar, according to Dioscorides, distilled in Eridanus, and hardened either by its own heat or by that of water. Among its other names may be mentioned Electrum, Glessum, Chrysophoros, Chrysolectrum, and it has received different appellations from different learned persons. We ourselves possess a true amber, as Tacitus commemorates. The islanders still collect Succinum as it is washed up by the waves on the shore. So also do the Britons. He is called the master of the shore who pays the wages to those who collect the amber.

True Amber is nothing but the sap of certain trees which falls into the sea, and there hardens. It can be set alight like pitch, and the flame is nourished by its oily substance. It is of two kinds-Electrum and Succinum. Electrum is opaque, white, almost like bone, and very valuable. It is commonly called Basthard. Succinum is yellow and transparent like glass. Because of its glass-like transparency, it was called Glessum by the ancients. Hence also we learn on the testimony of Pliny (1. 37, c. 3, and 1. 4, c. 26), that the poplar, whence amber is obtained, was itself termed Glessinga, Glessaria, etc. In the neighbourhood, about Borussia, and along the sea-coast of that part, Electrum would appear to be obtained not from poplars or alders, but from wild pines and fir-trees. Succinum can also be made from the resin of these trees, and its piney nature is known by the odour it emits when it is set alight. (See Pliny, 1. c., and Solinus, c. 23). Thus, Succinum is not made only from the alder or poplar at Eridanus, and what the poets have written on this subject is very fabulous. Consult Irenxus and Tacitus. For the rest, Succinum is an exudation or resin of trees, chiefly of the pine and the wild pine, which is shown by its odour, colour, and substance generally, when set alight. Thus it exists first in a liquid state, and it is for this reason that we find it to contain flies, particles of dust, spiders, worms, and such insects as gnats, which get into it when it is in its liquid state, and are still incorporated with it when it has become hard. See Tacitus and Pliny. Some writers, moved by I know not what considerations, will have it that it is the prolific seed of a viviparous fish, hard, and like a clod of earth, found in the sea, and floating to the shore. Others state that it is brought from the Caspian Sea. Benedictus Veronensis (De Morbis, 1. 13, c. 26) describes a kind of succinum of a combined black and white colour, having a smell which is at first disagreeable. I do not know what this can be, unless it is a species of impure Basthard. In fine, great has been, and still is, the division between authorities as to what amber is. I affirm that it is a resin of trees, and especially of pine and the wild pine. Pliny enumerates other species of electrum, besides the white, which is an extremely odorous Basthard. There is, moreover, the pale yellow, which is Glessum; and also a kind which has a softer brightness, and is called Falernian, because it is like Falernian Wine. Finally, there is that which is of a pleasing honey colour. And these species are found among our own ambers, if the subject be properly considered. Pure electrum is said to be obtained from the mines of Liguria, but I believe it to be simply Gagates from the bitumen of the earth, and not amber. Or perhaps it is another kind of stone, for there are many gems of kindred colours, such as the topaz and lyncurion. Formerly, amber and Gagates were both worn by matrons who wished to obtain children, now amber is worn only, and is supposed to induce the conception of male children. This stone is very potent against madness, and it is an amulet, which, on the authority of Pliny, is more available than anything against contraction of the womb, if the smoke or vapour, given off from it when burning, be applied to the nostrils. It prevails over disorders of the stomach, it sharpens the understanding, and is good for epilepsy. The logical position is as follows: Whatsoever emits a pleasant smell exhilarates the spirits: Electrum emits a pleasant smell, and indeed is of the best and sweetest fragrance. Thus it exhilarates the spirits, and by consequence is good for epilepsy. For the rest, consult Avicenna, Serapion, Paulus, Galenus, and others, s.v. De Karabe, i.e., Electrum, or Succinum. For the rest, amber, when rubbed till it becomes warm, attracts straws, threads, and dry leaves, like the Gagates, and even as the magnet draws iron, and the stone sagda draws wood. Consult Hesiod and Euripides on amber.

Apollonius, in the 4th Bk. of the Argonautria, says that it does not originate from the sap of poplars but from that of the laurel. Consult Solinus and Strabo, and the opinions of various writers recorded in Pliny, 1. 37, c. 2 and 3..

Gagates:

Jetstone, Agatestone, Wellstone, Pearstone, Burningstone, a tenuous liquid Bitumen which is found on the surface of springs (Bornstein, in Germany);

Silverine from White Naptha, i.e., petroleum, in Cilicia;

Black from Bitumen or Black Naptha in Thrace; an indurated stone, of which the species are carbonaceous stones and scissile stones.

Succinum Electrum is improperly confounded by the Germans with Gagates; it is a gum, resin, or indurated exudition.

1. Of poplars, according to Dioscorides, Ovid, and others ; otherwise of the alder, though these writers seem to regard the alder and poplar as the same tree.

2. Of the pine.

3. Of the wild pine, whence comes the Basthard of the Germans-bright, transparent, yellow, like honey-water.

GALA --- i.e., Milk.

GALACTITES, GALACTITIS, or GALAXIAS --- is a precious stone of a milk-white colour, with white and red stripes. It exudes a milky sap of a greyish hue and a sweet taste, especially when mixed with water. I have seen it as it originates in Saxony earth, and while it was still increasing. Consult Dioscorides and Pliny (1. 37, c. 20), who says that it is like the medlar. Pliny also calls the Galactites the Leucogogxa, Leucographia, and Synephites. It increases the flow of saliva, and is said to be of very great use in developing the milk of women who are suckling infants. It also refreshes the memory. That variety of the Emerald which has white lines surrounding it is by some called Galactites. Consult Albertus, who attributes to Galactites I know not what magical virtues. Also Solinus (Polyhist., c. 13), who says that the black scrupulus is composed of white sap.

GALAXIA --- Star-colouring, purification.

GALLICUS --- North, North-East.

GAMATHEI --- are certain Mysterious Stones wherein the celestial potencies and the superior constellations are imprinted, and take shape in wonderful characters, signs, and symbolic figures. They are found occasionally by miners on the mountains and on the banks of rivers.

GANGRIENA --- Incipient Mortification of a Diseased Part.

GASAR --- i.e., Lomus [unknown).

GATRINUM --- i.e., Woad Ashes.

GAZA FUMI --- i.e., Crystalline Arsenic.

GEBALUM --- i.e., Reparation. Coagulare sometimes has the same meaning.

GECHARSUN, or DIFDAHA --- i.e., a Frog.

GELION, FOLIUM, PHYLLON, COME, CHOETE --- Names for a Leaf.

GELUTA --- i.e., the herb Carlina.

GEMMA EX ARANEO --- Stone from a Spider. In Germany, we have a species of domestic spider which is of immense size, which takes its name from the Cross, and is called the Cross-Spider --- I know not why, unless from the shape of its web, or from the transverse colouring of its body --- and it is considered wicked or unlucky to injure it. It is said to drive away every kind of poisonous reptiles from houses, and in times of pest it is seldom or rarely seen. A precious stone is found in the heads of these spiders, which is of singular value as a preservative against poison and sorcery. I have never seen it, as I have not had the courage to dissect such a spider. But there is no cause for surprise at the virtue of the gem when even the webs of these creatures are held by many in the highest estimation.

GEMMA BERYLLUS --- The Stone Beryl.

1. The Beryl.

2. Chrysoberyl, or Yellowish Beryl.

3. Chrysopras, or Green Beryl.

GEMMA CERAUNLE --- Shining Stone, Gleaming Stone, Lightning Stone. There are two varieties --- round and long.

GEMMA IRIS --- (1) Iris is a Sexangular Stone, of white colour, which, under the rays of the sun, radiates like a rainbow; (2) Manufactured Iris in imitation of the true stone. It is made of the stone called Brontia, which is white and polished. Item: Translucent Yellow Fluors such as I have seen at our jewellers.

GEMMA OPALUS, or POEDEROS --- A kind of opal.

GEMMA PRASIUS --- A Stone similar to the leek in colour.

GEMMAE RUBETARUM --- The Frog, Toad, or Rubeta, an ugly animal, dwelling in holes, contains a certain gem. There is a species in Spain or Gaul, which has horns, and spots of yellow and livid black. It is called Borax, and has a stone in its head of the same name, i.e., rubeta. The colour is between white and brown. I have seen a specimen at the house of a nobleman. If the stone be extracted while the toad is alive, it will have a blue eye in the middle. Sometimes it is black, with little livid black spots, like our own toads, or toadstones. I have possessed a specimen, of round shape, about the size of a bean. Some are green, some variegated; such are found by the Borax-seekers. These stones are called commonly Cropodina. Sometimes they have the figure of a toad upon them. Rings set with these stones are worn by princes, for, when they are in the presence of poison, they change colour, and emit a sweat. They are greatly desired by our frogs, who endeavour to leap away with them, as I have myself seen. They gather round them when they are set upon the ground. For the rest, whether the Borax stone actually grows in the head of the toad, like Draconites and Echites, I leave to the reader. Others say that it is produced in a viscous spume, which toads blow upon the head of the special toad whom they desire to be their king. See Pliny. Nowadays our toads are hung up in the air till they are dried, when they are said to be a cure for every flux of blood.

GEMMA TARTAREA --- Common Stone of Transparent Tartar.

GENULA EX TRANSPLANTATIONE PASTINACAE --- A kind of monstrous Parsnip.

GEOGKAPHIA --- The Art of the Knowledge of the Earth.

GEOMANTIA --- is a notable Art and Science of Earthly Things. It is also the manifestation of the stars of earth to men, whence they obtain a prophecy or presage. It is called also Astronomy of Earth, and is operated in two ways, either by astronomical calculations, or by spots.

GEOMETRIA --- A Measure in Land-surveying; length ten feet.

GEPHULLE --- A species of Rock.

GERSA --- i.e., White Lead.

GESOR --- i.e., Galbanum, a strong-smelling Gum.

GI --- i.e., Earth. Also a material in use among painters, which is obtained from glass ovens or chimneys.

GIBAR --- i.e., the Medicine of Metals.

GIBUM --- i.e., Cheese.

GICH, or GEPSIN --- i.e., Gypsum.

GIGANTES --- are long and tall (but what the text does not say), placed over the vessel. Also men who exceed the stature and laws of nature.

GILLA, or GRILLUS --- is Vitriol, which resolves of itself into water. Some call Water of Sal Ammoniac by this name. It purges the stomach.

GILVUS, or HELVUS --- is intermediate between white and brown. Called also Melinus, Cirron, Balion, Citrinus, Citrinon.

GIPSUM --- i.e., Armenian Earth; Plaster of Paris.

GIR, GITH --- i.e., Living Calx.

GIRLIES --- i.e., White River-stones; also Perch.

GIRMER --- i.e., Tartar.

GISISIM --- i.e., of Gum.

GITENON --- i.e., Common Lime.

GLACIES DURA --- i.e., Crystal.

GLADIALIS --- is that art by which swords and daggers are manufactured in correspondence with the course of the stars of heaven. Even the anvil cannot resist these swords. Hence the art is also called Incusina.

GLASSA --- is a kind of Dry Varnish.

GLIMMER, MICAH, or CAT SILVER --- has a certain appearance of silver, but is not silver. It is called Cat Silver by similitude, because cat's eyes shine at night in the same manner, or because it is vain and useless, bears no fruit, and is only fit for burning. But if we consider profoundly, it is not so much burned, or consumed, as purged, as I have observed elsewhere, and assumes another colour, being doubtless a species of amianth. Consult Serapion (Lib. Agg. c. Tincar), who says that native chrysocolla is found on the sea shore, and has a saline nature. It is hot and dry in the fourth degree. As to its medicinal qualities see Discorides. Note that chrysocolla is poison if an overdose be taken.

GLISOMARGA --- is a White Clay or Chalk.

GLOMER --- i.e., Round.

GLUTEN --- i.e., Oxgall.

GLUTEN --- is Glue or Blood. Also Lime.

GLUTEN, SIMONIA, or SINOVIA --- is the most noble part of the body, subtle, pure, white, transparent, a sweet resolved salt, and natural humour, or liquid, in all the joints of the members, like the albumen of eggs. When tartar is generated in this matter the result is gout.

GLUTINIS TENACITAS --- is a Mineral Resin, as the resin of the terebinth tree.

GLUTA --- The virtue and efficacy of Pitch.

GNI --- A species of rock.

GNOMI, HOMUNCULI --- Corporeal Spirits who dwell in the Earth. They are scarcely a foot high. Called also Pygmies.

GOBEIRA, MESPILA, AGABOR --- Dust.

GOSEL --- A beast with horns.

GRADATIO --- is the gradual Exaltation of Metallic Qualities by which their weight, colour and fixity are excellently increased. It accomplishes the transmutation of a matter into its essential substance, provided it is performed gradually. It also manifests concealed potency without changing the original species. For example, if nature produces white gold, gradation makes it red; if nature produces what is volatile, gradation fixes, purifies what is impure, etc.

GRAECA MAGIA --- A Superstitious Art invented by the Greeks, or a form of worship, by which useless visions are obtained, so that things which are not real appear, and whereby wise men captivate the imagination of the vulgar. It is nothing but a troubling of the sight, and a deceptive, mendacious machination which is represented in the likeness of the thing itself.

GRANATUS --- The Garnet perhaps takes its name from the pomegranate. It is undoubtedly a species of carbuncle. It is a transparent, ruby-coloured gem, like the blossom of the pomegranate, and is more dusky than the carbuncle. There is one species which is between ruby and violet, and is called the violet garnet. It is very similar to the amethyst-coloured carbuncle. It is native in Ethiopia, and the sand of the sea. The garnet raises the spirits, and drives melancholy away. It is called the feminine Paeantis, which garnet is also termed Michedon. And they say that at certain times this gem conceives and bears a stone. See Pliny and Solinus. The Pxantis is the German Gemmaho, which also Pliny calls gelnonida, and it is said to conceive, bear, and undergo parturition. It is found in Macedonia, and is a species of congealed white water.

GRANULATIO --- is the Process of Reduction into Powder. It is sometimes subsequent to fusion. It is special to metals, and is performed in several ways, such as by the pouring of molten metal into water. The melting should be done in an iron vessel. Sometimes small brushes of dry twigs are introduced into the water to assist granulation. Sometimes, instead, a perforated tablet or very narrow sieve is used.

GRANULIREN --- Reduced to Powder.

GRANUM --- is Indian Seed.

GRANUM VIRIDE --- is the Fruit of the Terebinth Tree.

GRASSA --- i.e., Attinckar or Borax.

GRATIOLA --- An Herb, formerly imported at great expense, and since found native in the vicinity of Norimberg. Abundant at Argentora.

GRAVUS --- Marble, Porphyry, Porphyretic Stone, of reddish purple colour, useful in spontaneous solution of substances.

GRUMA --- is Tartar.

GRUS --- An ancient Elevating Apparatus, a Crane.

GUARIL --- i.e., Newt or Eft.

GUARINI --- are Men who Derive Life from the Influence of Heaven.

GUMA --- i.e., Quicksilver, Mercury, Dual Quicksilver.

GUMA or GUMI --- Olitet Sulphur and Coagulum. It is a Ferment, and may be dissolved by milk.

GUMA CUPRI --- Verdigris, or Vitriol. Also called Gypsum, Stucco, Plaster of Paris.

GUMA PARADISI --- Orpiment.

GUMICULA --- The herb Valerian, Limicula, Phu, Baldrian.

GUMMI ASIMAR --- i.e., Almond Gum.

GUMMI ARBORIS NUCUM --- A sappy Exudition from the nuts of certain trees, also Catkins [tremulae arboris].

GUMMI CEDRI --- The Gum of the Cedar called also Cedrina, Kedria, Kydria, Kitran, Alkitran, Xerbin.

GUTTA ROSACEA --- Is a red Breaking Out on the Face, Incipient Leprosy. A Scabby Disease.

GUTTEO --- A Gum found in the Sea.

GYPSUM --- Probably the derivative of a spar. It is cognate to calx, but not so hot in its nature. It differs also in this, that when calx is extinguished by any moisture, it acquires heat, but Gypsum when thus extinguished does not acquire heat. Its virtue is in its astringent quality; it restrains and it destroys. Its use is chiefly in external application, on account of its extremely drying and destroying nature. Gypsum is of two kinds. The one is native mined Gypsum obtained from the earth, and especially from clay. It is a substance very similar to nitre, and occurs sometimes in broad layers. It was known to Theophrastus and to Pliny, who borrows from Theophrastus. Its name is retained by the Germans who call it Gyps. It is found in several places, including the vicinity of the Elbe. Spar and Gypsum, are always deposited during the inundation of that river. The other Gypsum is manufactured, and is made, or melted out, from a white stone similar to alabaster, which stone is found in the seams of Jena, in the wood of Hyrcinia, in the mines of Salveldia, and in the rivers of Saxony. It seems to me that it is, as it were, a hardened marrow of stone or otherwise a species of aphronitum, true Gypsum, or the Stone Calminar. So also the people of Saxony call this stone Our Dear Lady's Ice. There is a second kind of manufactured Gypsum made of a scissile spar called Mary's Icicle, because it has the appearance of an icicle. This is the best Gypsum, as Pliny testifies (1. 36, c. 2c}). Concerning true spar, see infra, s.v. De Lapide Arabico et Selinite. Albertus says that the extremity of Gypsum is spar, i.e., of native Gypsum. For the rest consult Pliny in 1. c., also 1. 35, c. 12 and 17, and Serapion, 1. Agg. s.v. Gypsen.

Gypsum:

1.Very white, solid, Cyprian Gypsum from which drinking cups and vessels for holding scents are made.

2. Another very white Cyprian Gypsum distinguished by grey veins.

3. A very white Gypsum from Hildesheim, not unlike ebony.

4. A very white Gypsum of Narthusia from which also drinking cups are made.

5. Another kind from the same place adorned with greyish lines, from which also drinking cups are made.

6. Block Gypsum, which glitters and sparkles after the manner of marble.

7. Soft block Gypsum, like sugar in appearance.

8. Capillary Isfeldian Gypsum.

9. White Scissile Isfeldian Gypsum.

10. White Gypsum of Ienum, found in contiguity to a grey, calcareous stone.

11. Greyish Gypsum of Hildesheim, found in the block.

12. Grey Gypsum from the same place, consisting of many layers.

13. Transparent and honey-coloured Gypsum.

14. A reddish Gypsum of Misena.

15. Burnt Gypsum of Thuringia which is utilized in place of calx.

16. Another burnt Gypsum of which many images are made by the modellers.


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