CHAPTER TWO




- chapter index -
pg. 1 - The Metaphysical Record | pg. 2 - The Wall on Which the Prophets Wrote
pg. 3 - The Union of Opposites | pg. 4 - Alchemy | pg. 5 - The Crimson King



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"Alchemy practically vanished until the 13th century, when scholars began re-reading the old Greek and Arabic texts."

- Alchemy

During the first half of the 13th century translations of Greek and Arabic texts were undertaken primarily via the efforts of Frederick II.

"The Emperor Frederick II, though under the ban of the Pope (Gregory IX), brought together in his various journeys, and especially in his crusading expeditions, many Greek and Arabic manuscripts, and took special pains to have those which concerned medicine preserved and studied."

- A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology by Andrew Dickson White Ph.D.

"In Medieval times, Southern Italy (the court of Frederick II, the Salernitan medical school, the alchemy of Michael Scot, Frate Elia da Cortona, the works of Paolo di Taranto) was a very important area for the diffusion of alchemy in European culture."

- Alchemy Academy Archive

"The astrologer Michael Scot dedicated his Of Secretis (1209), (in which the theories of alchemists were extensively developed), to the emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen."

- Alquimia

Upon the death of St. Francis, Br. Elias Buonbarone became Minister-General of the Friars Minor (the Franciscans).

"After being deposed by the Pope ...Elias openly transferred his allegiance to Frederick II, and we read of him in 1240 with the emperor's army, riding on a magnificent charger at the siege of Faenza and at that of Ravenna. Some two years before this Elias had been sent by Gregory IX as an ambassador to Frederick. He now became the supporter of the excommunicated emperor in his strife with Rome and was himself excommunicated by Gregory.

- Catholic Enyclopedia: Elia of Cortona

"He was fascinated by the spectacular court of the gifted and eccentric Frederick II, and he was flattered by the Emperor's regard. This was unfortunate. Frederick II's interests, his experiments, his conversation, his alert, inquiring and sceptical mind, disconcerted and scandalised the conventional. His faith was suspect, and his power menaced the political independence of the Church. There was actual war between Empire and Papacy during much of his reign, and even when, ostensibly, there was peace, the embers of conflict did not die, but smouldered until they could again be fanned into a blaze. Men questioned Elias' loyalty, and looked askance at his pursuits - the rumour that he dabbled in alchemy may well have been due to his acquaintance with the astrologers and magicians who accompanied Frederick."

- Early Franciscan Government

"The Franciscan chronicler Salimbene complained of "the infamy Elias brought upon himself by having taken an active interest in the practise of alchemy. In fact whenever rumour reached his ears that there were friars within the order who had studied this science of deception he would summon them to stay with him at the Gregorian Palace" and retells a story of Gerard of Cremona being troubled by noises he attributed to demons when staying there in 1247.

Andrea De Pascalis (Alchemy the Golden Art, Gremese, Rome 1995) suggests also that this is the Elias mentioned by Michael Scot (Alchemist, Court Magician and Astrologer to Frederick II).
De Pascalis asks why the apparantly tolerant attitude of the Church changed so rapidly at the beginning of the 13th century, and suggests that this has to do with the "Third Age" movement associated with the writings of Joachim de Fiore which were condemned by the Lateran Council in 1215. He suggests that Fiore's writings were popular among Franciscans and that some Franciscan alchemists saw the coming of the Paraclete (Holy Spirit) as equivalent to the resurrection of nature through the Great Work."

- Alchemy Forum

Another of the 13th century alchemists was Albert Magnus, the Dominican scholar whose father was a military lord in the army of Frederick II.

"Albertus Magnus was particularly struck by the key colour changes in the alchemical process, suggesting for the first time that such a natural sequence of colour might be envisaged as a circle, so a devotee could follow them easily from one hue to the next. White, considered by Magnus to encompass all the preceeding colours, was a necessary precursor to the final red (the Red or Gold King)."

- Colour Music in the New Age
by Niels Hutchison





The Metaphysical Record : The Union of Opposites return to
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The Metaphysical Record : The Crimson King



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