Rosary Of The Philosophers

Rosary Of The Philosophers Cover
The Rosary of the Philosophers (Rosarium philosophorum sive pretiosissimum donum Dei) is a 16th century alchemical treatise. It was published in 1550 as part II of De Alchimia Opuscula complura veterum philosophorum (Frankfurt). The term rosary in the title is unrelated to the Catholic prayer beads; it refers to a "rose garden", metaphoric of an anthology or collection of wise sayings. The 1550 print includes a series of 20 woodcuts with German language captions, plus a title page showing a group of philosophers disputing about the production of the lapis philosophorum. Some of the woodcut images have precedents in earlier (15th century) German alchemical literature, especially in the Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit (ca. 1410) which has the direct precedents of woodcuts 10, 17 and 19, allegorical of the complete hieros gamos, nrs. 10 and 17 in the form of the "Hermetic androgyne" and nr. 19 in terms of Christian iconography, showing Mary flanked by Father, Son and the Dove. The Artis auriferae, printed in 1593 in Basel, reproduced the 20 illustrations as re-cut woodcuts. Johann Daniel Mylius' Philosophia reformata of 1622 also includes the twenty Rosarium images, re-designed in early 17th century style by Balthazar Swan.

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