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Alchemical experiments of Queen Barbara of Celj (1381–1451)

Snježana Paušek-Baždar ; Antropološki centar HAZU, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 1.785 Kb

str. 271-282

preuzimanja: 1.768


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 1.785 Kb

str. 271-282

preuzimanja: 226



Queen and Empress Barbara of Celj (1381–1451), daughter of Herman II, Count of Celj, and second wife of the Croato-Hungarian king Sigismund I of Luxemburg, performed alchemic experiments in the cellar of her castle in Samobor, of which she left no written evidence. However, we learn of her alchemical activity thanks to an excerpt from Via universalis by the Bohemian alchemist Johann von Laaz. Apparently, Laaz’s work has not survived, yet the account of Barbara’s alchemical experiments was published in the work Chymische Schriften (1740) by Basilius Valentinus.
At the turn of the fifteenth century, copper was largely exploited from the Samobor mines, which might explain why Barbara devoted herself to the transmutation of copper into silver and gold by means of the philosopher’s stone. According to Laaz, the products of transmutation showed no resistance to fire, because of which he undervalued her skill. Laaz was not highly admired in the European scientific circles, nor was his opinion given much credibility. Therefore, it is hard to say whether Barbara was a genuine alchemist driven by scientific motives, or a mere charlatan motivated by greed for wealth. Whatever the case, it is a very early contribution to the history of alchemy in Croatia.

Ključne riječi

Barbara Celjska / Barbara of Celj, Johann von Laaz, Basilius Valentinus, transmutation of metals, copper, alchemy, alchemy in Croatia

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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