The only high-quality yet affordable edition available of the classic alchemical manuscript Splendor Solis, described as “the most magnificent treatise on alchemy ever made”. Includes up-to-date commentary from experts in the field and a modern translation of the 16th-century text.
A magnificent edition of theSplendor Solis for all those interested in alchemy, magic and mysterious manuscripts. Popularly attributed to the legendary figure Salomon Trismosin, the Splendor Solis (‘Splendour of the Sun’) is the most beautiful alchemical manuscript ever made, with 22 fabulous illustrations rich in allegorical and mystical symbolism. The paintings are given a fitting showcase in this new Watkins edition, which accompanies them with Joscelyn Godwin’s excellent contemporary translation of the original 16th-century German text, as well as interpretation from alchemical experts Stephen Skinner and Georgiana Hedesan, and from Rafał T. Prinke, an authority in central and Eastern European esoteric manuscripts. Stephen Skinner explains the symbolism of both the text and the illustrations, suggesting that together they describe the physical process of the alchemical transmutation of base metal into gold. Rafal T. Prinke explains the theories about the authorship of both text and illustrations, discussing Splendor Solis as the turning point in alchemical iconography passing from the medieval tradition to that of the Baroque and the reasons for the misattribution of Splendor Solis to Poysel and Trismosin. Georgiana Hedesan looks at the legendary figure of Salomon Trismosin and his creation by followers of Theophrastus Paracelsus as part of an attempt to integrate their master in a lineage of ancient alchemical philosophers. The images are taken from the British Library manuscript Harley 3469, the finest example of the Splendor Solis to survive.
About the Author
Dr Stephen Skinner is an expert in 15th and 16th-century manuscripts, having edited Dr John Dee’s Spiritual Diaries. He has written more than 40 books on Western esoteric traditions Dr Rafał T. Prinkeis a historian and an assistant professor at Eugeniusz Piasecki University in Poznań, Poland. He recently published a 900-page book on alchemical writings from the earliest times until the end of the 18th century. He is also, along with Stephen Skinner, one of the contributors to the Watkins edition of the Voynich Manuscript. Dr Georgiana (Jo) Hedesan specializes in the history of alchemy, with a particular focus on medical alchemy, and the early modern movements of Paracelsianism and Helmontianism. Her first book, entitledAn Alchemical Quest for Universal Knowledgewas published in 2016 by Routledge. Dr Joscelyn Godwin is Professor of Music Emeritus at Colgate University. He is well known for his work on occult philosophy and magic, and for having completed the only contemporary translation of the Splendor Solis.