Pseudoscience with History
PWhile the alchemists of medieval europe are the most prominent in popular culture, most of their work was concerned with translating and cataloguing the knowledge of other cultures. Once alchemy was able to be understood by people who couldn’t speak latin, it began to fall from its mystical grace. Authors of the time created an image for alchemists as the snake-oil salesmen of their day.
Common symbols associated with alchemy.
While Pope John XXII classified transmutation as a forbidden process, in England you could buy an alchemy license. A famous alchemist from the 14th century was Nicolas Flamel, who was notable for his pursuit of the philosophers’ stone. He was not a scholar of religious works as the early European alchemists were, and while he went into great detail describing his experiments, he never gave formulas to achieve transmutation. After Flamel, European alchemists of the following centuries also focused on the search for the philosophers’ stone.