Michael Maier, Symbola aureae mensae, 1617

Commentary
Michael Maier, Symbola aureae mensae, 1617

Seventeenth-century alchemists were eager to confirm the ancient lineage of alchemy and to show that it had be practiced by great men and women of every nation. In this work, the German alchemist Michael Maier crafted a lineage through twelve nations, stretching from Hermes Trismegistus himself and Maria the Jewess (above) via the Greek Democritus, the Roman Morienus, the Arab Avicenna, the German Albertus Magnus, the Frenchman Arnold of Villanova, the Italian Thomas Aquinas, the Spaniard Raymond Lull, the Englishman Roger Bacon, and the Hungarian Melchior Cibinensis to 'Anonymus Sarmata', his contemporary, the Pole Michael Sendivogius). Notably lacking from the list is Paracelsus.