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Albertus Magnus

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Albertus Magnus
Borncirca 1193
Lauingen, Duchy of Bavaria
DiedNovember 15, 1280 (age 86)
Cologne, Holy Roman Empire

Albertus Magnus, O.P. (c.1193/1206 – November 15, 1280), also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is a Catholic saint. He was a German Dominican friar and a Catholic bishop. In the centuries since his death, many stories arose about Albertus as an alchemist and magician.

Biography

Many treatises relating to Alchemy have been attributed to him, though in his authentic writings he had little to say on the subject, and then mostly through commentary on Aristotle. He is credited with the discovery of the element arsenic and experimented with photosensitive chemicals, including silver nitrate. He did believe that stones had occult properties, as he related in his work De mineralibus. However, there is scant evidence that he personally performed alchemical experiments.

According to legend, Albertus Magnus is said to have discovered the philosopher's stone and passed it to his pupil Thomas Aquinas, shortly before his death. Given that Thomas Aquinas died six years before Albertus Magnus' death, this legend as stated is unlikely.

However, it is true that Albertus was deeply interested in astrology, as has been articulated by scholars such as Paola Zambelli.

Magnus was also credited with the construction of a wooden mechanical horse, a swan automaton and a parachute.[1]


References

  1. The Complete Rich Cabinet of Magical Curiosities by Edwin Dawes (2005)
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