The Spirit of Alchemy

This is part 4 in my series on Alchemy – part 1 is here.

Our old friend Bolus Democritus can’t have been a very good alchemist, and we know this because he never created an elixir of immortality. So, like all not very good alchemists, he ended up dying.

From Bolus onwards, for about 500 years, we have scant documentation of alchemy in the Hellenic world. The next records we have come in 300 CE, from a kind of far out dude with a tongue-twister of a name: Zosimos of Panopolis.

Continue reading “The Spirit of Alchemy”


All Greek to Me

This is part 3 in my series on alchemy – part 1 is here.

When I think of alchemists, I think of wizened old men in the basement of a medieval castle, robes draped past their ankles, beards hanging down to their waists. Maybe they’re pouring over some dusty tome while surrounded by stacks of scrolls, or else they’re delicately pouring some mysterious substance from one glass beaker into another.

Yet before the times of wizardly robes and crumbling castles, in the year 200 AD (or there abouts) there lived an alchemist of Ancient Greece whose name was Bolus Democritus. Continue reading “All Greek to Me”