Johannes Isaac Hollandus De Lapide Philosophico is composed by two treatises, but usually only a summary of the second one is available on the web.
First treatise seems to be a practical one, assembled in recipes. But Hollandus “recipe” is more hermetically sealed than expected. This kind of “recipe” books had a huge success among seventeenth century readers. As a matter of fact Johannes Isaac Hollandus has been regarded by his contemporaries as an Alchemy celebrity, furthermore being called for some astonishing transmutations. While presently he is looked down due to its lack of excessive symbolism.
Johannes Isaac Hollandus was probably Isaac son. An Hollandus family introduction has been posted on Opera Vegetabilia. Both father and son are considered Basilius Valentinus contemporaries. Indeed “De Lapide Philosophico” has been written in manuscript form, in german, and then translated into latin to be published in 1600. For this reason I choose a category before 1597, in spite of publishing datation. I thought it will be of great interest to directly hear from latin. Translation has been performed by myself, as usual, and as verbatim as possible.
Operum Mineralium Joannis Isaaci Hollandi, sive de Lapide Philosophico.
Liber Primus, First book:
“Nunc filium meum docere volo primum modum in Alchymia invetum omnia metalla que mortua et impura sunt, ad verum Solem et Lunam reducendi: sciet, filius meus hanc rationem in Alchymia primum ordinem vocari, quia prima est quae in rerum natura inventa suit ad imperfecta metalla perficienda.”
translation: “Now I want to teach you, my son, the first alchemical method to turn all metals which are dead and impure into real Sun and Moon (Sol et Luna) . You have to know, my son, that, in Alchemy, it is called knowledge of first order, what is first discovered in the nature of things and in imperfect metals perfecting.”
Sun and Moon. If someone had some doubts on Hollandus being merely spagyrical, there it is contrary evidence: Sol et Luna is an allegory for Mercurius Philosophorum or Azoth (1), as well as being an allegory for Solve et Coagula (2). Namely our preparatory work or Labors of Hercules proceeding to get an ineffable substance out of changes of state and putrefaction (see an Opus Magnum scheme and keep to hand). Luna or Moon or woman when in a pure phase of volatility, Sun or Sol or man when fixed. And so far it seems quite clear, or at least quite rational. But, due to rule of three (every symbol may stand for at least three different concepts), a Solve et Coagula is also involved in Main Work, that of Secret Fire performing on itself. Hollandus starts describing the first one, but as he goes, boundaries between two Works are in the dim.
Opus primis ordinis. Work of first order
Caput 1. Chaper 1
Translation: “First get hold of Saturn ashes, residues or residual salts (3), lb. 12 (4), shake them in an oblong vessel clay (5) as much as you can let through a small sieve: then wash the aforementioned Saturn residue salts with clean water, until water flows out clean. Have done that, dry your Saturn on little fire till powder. Then consume salt vapours but do not overcook; throw all salts in cold water, and dissolve them in cold water as much as you can, and then get rid of water since it is useless. Make solidify Salt already dissolved in its dryness, so that it pulverizes. Then take one part of this salt as much as one part of Saturn.”
In the beginning of the chapter Hollandus seems to start from preparatory work, with residue Saturn salts already worked out of raw matter, Materia Tertia, to be next processed in a physical calcination. Thus, as for the “one part of salt”, it might seemingly be clear enough. But what about the Saturn part to be added? Last one gives the impression to be a different Saturn from the first mentioned. In a side note Hollandus writes “Salis pars 1. & Saturniana”. So two different things. Nevertheless ashes have been extracted from a Saturn. I don’t know if you are acquainted with rule of three, but Saturn term is very representative in its ubiquity. But let’s go on:
Simulque super lapide cum acri aceto ex vino confecto conterito;…….translation:” and both or similarly over the crushed stone with a vinegar made from wine. Here action is lacking, sentence is not complete. What we have to do with chemical vinegar over this solidified salts ( to the extent that Hollandus names them “Stone”, Lapide?
Translation: “then dry at low heat so that it crumbles into powder. After that in the following way in a special “calcinatorium” clay furnace so it can stand on its release and made this way (engraving on the left). Cover with a strong lid and set in this “calcinatoria” furnace to calcinate for 12 days and nights. And so moderately without becoming red hot, and salt melting: furnace must be precisely restrained and positionated, so that in these 12 days will neither break nor melted, which you should avoid. And salinity taken away, repeatedly binds legs with strips without instead set firmly;”
And here Hollandus begins to act strangely: