Folio 6r: The figure is a portrait of a philosopher after Hermes; his right hand seems to keep the philosophical vessel, where the mysterious operation on the philosophers stone from harm takes place. The written words refer to that:
Item recipe unum ( vas) … philosophorum est disolvere rem in lapide sapientum.
Corpus unum idest Rebis, et vas unum: et vas Hermetis… pon… dempta solutione prima.
So take a vessel, as philosophers’ aphorism is to liquefy the sulfur in the stone… One body, that’s to say, the Rebis and a vessel of Hermetis, etc.
Folio 6v: Three moons inscribed in a circle; on the top right, a vessel with a pipe starting from the bottom, accompanied with a half-canceled word finishing in mentum; below another vessel side seen with the pipe starting from the middle of its highness and above the initials of the four elements. The circle containing the three moons is gold (Pater, sol) father, and the mother moon contains sulfur and Mercurius. Words explain it. The signs of the Sun, Moon, and Mercurius do follow.
The philosophers elixir is composed of three parts, that’s to say of lunar, solar, and mercurial stone. In the lunar one, there is the white sulfur; in the solar, the red sulfur; the mercurial stone includes both red and white natures, and here’s the power of the whole magisterium.
Folio 7r: Image of the Sun, with the three general rules:
Our fire is water; if you know how to give fire to fire, Mercurius to Mercurius, that will be enough.
Our water is the fire that burns gold, but more than gold, it will be enough for Mercurius and azoth.
Quicksilver, perhaps is intended under the first name. The sulfur burns gold, silver, and lead; arsenic burns iron, copper, and tin.
Folio 7v: A plate divided into four areas, from below to above: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. Beside it is written Philosophie. Above “… permanerem in aquam mercurialem nota quod est (very poor latin, perhaps: … it remains in the well-known mercurial water).”
The paragraph accompanying the figure can be translated as:
The Philosopher also says to be just one thing to be chosen: a pale color having a metallic appearance, clear and liquid, and a warm and humid thing, watery and gloomy. It is living oil, living tincture, mercurial stone ( above is added mineral), and highly effective eau de vie, white and red. This is the thing with many names, as the philosophers believed this thing to be involved in everything. So many opinions are given to it, which I omitted for conciseness.
The attempts at correction see the text’s incorrectness.
Folio 8r: The philosophical vessel on the four elements plate: on the vessel the initials I.A.A.T. Above:
Magnesie atque rebis diabesse sunt q… Figitur sa… fluit oleo supra. Magnesia and Rebis are synonymous … it flows on the oil.
The name of the four elements with their properties is repeated like the figure in folio 4r.
The translation of the last two lines is the following: “When you get water from the air, air from fire, and fire from the earth, you will have all the philosophical art. Fire, air, water, earth.”
The three words at the beginning of the page: Magnesia, Rebis, Diabesse are synonymous; it is known as the codex whose title is Expositio libri de lapide Diabessi (6), exposition of the book on the stone Diabessi: the stones Rebis and Diabessi, which are the same thing, are hair like it is found anywhere, as anywhere are the stones there is hair, they are being born on two mountains, that’s to say on man’s and woman’s head. It refers to the well-known metaphor of the two mountains covered with trees (7). It also completes the explanation of the two mountains ” set on the right and left, which are man’s and woman’s heads”. The other two codexes from catalog Barberini 273 are recalled.
Adabassi alias Adabassi liber idest lapidis de quo sit Alchimia, sive solis, sive luna opere tam vero quam quasi fantastico. Ex arabico in latinum translatum. Adabassi, also known as the Book of Adabassi, concerns Alchemy, or the sun or moon works as real as to seem quite incredible. From Arabic translated. Wider and more explicative in the title is: Hic incipiunt operationes perfecti lapidis Rebis, quae operationes extracteae sunt ex libro Perfecti Magisterii. Et iste liber vocatur in Arte, Claviis Celestis, et liber Numinum, et liber Quinque Clavium Virtutum, et grecae vocatur Theolicon, idest liber Divinitatis, sed apud saracenos dicitur Ismael, quod intelligeris Secretorum liber. Et in hoc libro triplicem modum invenies: inc. Credo quod perficeres intelligeres dictum est. Here start the operations of the perfect rebis stone, which operations are extracted from the book of the perfect magisterium. And this book is called ( follow titles) by the middle Asiatic Ismael, who understood the book of secrets. And in this book, three ways can be found.
Folio 8v: the plate is divided into three segments. The fire damage prevents a complete reading: M… destruit omnem, albat liquorat resol (uit) … quodlibet ignem retinet fugantia quoque. M… destroys everything, gets white liquified dis- solves every fire, even keeps…
The world is divided into three parts: Africa, Asia, and Europe: nevertheless, the parts are four, although two are uninhabited because of the water and cold.
The following sentence is taken from Arnau de Vilanova Rosarius Maior: Blurred memory, weak work as I don’t know about that thing from which the stone is wrenched out and in what and by what matter melts or in what vessel it is done.
Folio 9r: Figure of the Moon or Mercurius? With the writing: Nature delights in nature, nature wins nature… nature follows nature and holds it, and in this way, all the philosophers’ work is done.
This actual obscure figure of sages is saved by the complex philosophical science that pervades the brainless with many problems, volatile quicksilver. You say, fugitive servant. Mars’s effusion of the Sun is real Moon.
Distinguish any element from the contrary element, and you will find what you wish if you have well-understood i.a.a.t.
Carbonelli finished here his translation of folio 9r. Now let’s try to explain the reason for the acrostic I.A.A.T inside the vessel. I have already said in the incipit, and you should have understood, that these are the initials of the four elements. So far, nothing new. But this detail is essential for a technical reason: look at the image on the left; it is a detail of 8r, in case you have passed over it. So, on the bottom, we find T earth (Terra), then A water (Aqua), then again A air (Aer), and finally, I fire (Ignis) on the top. This is not an artistic way to portray an alchemical vessel but a technical way to render it. You will find the earth on the bottom and the fire on the top. And vice versa when the rotation of the processes will turn again.
In-folio 5r, our ancient author tries to explain the concept ( or to effectively hide) clumsily:.. Earth, wind, air, soul, the virtue of Sun thin vapors, once thinned lifts them, lifted them it sets them on fire, once set on fire pump them in an impressionable way. Our stone goes through entire, the earth in water, the water in the air, the air in the fire; this is the being, but one gets down: to the action of the opposites in ascending and descending.
To end with folio 9r: “Distinguish any element from the contrary element, and you will find what you wish if you have well-understood i.a.a.t.”
- Bib. Cas. Liber Laureatus: 1477;
- Ib. fol. 44r. Epist. Rosini a Euthesiam;
- Ib. fol. 60v.;
- Lib. Meth;
- Sanctus Asrop. Bib. Univ. Bol. 153 fol. 141;
- Bib. Univ. Bologna 830;
- Vat. Reg. lat. 1278 and Vitt. Eman. fondo gesuiti 2465, 336;