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Albertus Magnus (Ordo Praedicatorum, Scholar, Philosopher, Alchemist)


Albertus Magnus Demographics:
  • Name - Magnus is Latin equivalent of his family name, de Groot
  • Other names - Saint Albertus Magnus, Saint Albert the Great & Albert of Cologne.
  • Birth - between 1193 & 1206.
  • Birthplace - Lauingen in Bavaria.
  • Death - November 15, 1280
  • Father - Count of Bollstädt
  • Occupation - Scholar, alchemist, writer, philosopher.
Albertus Magnus General Facts:
  • Prolific writer.
  • Greatest German philosopher & theologian of the Middle Ages.
  • Resigned as Bishop of Ratisbon (short period) so that he might give his entire time to scientific researches.
  • Michael Maier (author of Museum Chimicum) declared that Albertus Magnus had succeeded in evolving the philosopher's stone, and had handed (prior to his death) the secret over to St. Thomas Aquinas.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas is said to have destroyed the philosopher's stone, suspecting that it was the work of the devil.
Albertus Magnus Childhood & Education:
  • Appeared distinctly stupid as a boy.
  • Showed a predilection for religion.
  • One night the blessed Virgin appeared to him, dramatically improving his intellect, giving him great intellectual vitality.
  • Educated principally at Padua, where he received instruction in Aristotle's writings.
  • Eventually, through his studies, he won eminence in the clerical profession, and was made Bishop of Ratisbon.
Albertus Magnus Religion:
  • Dominican friar & bishop (Ordo Praedicatorum).
  • Made Bishop of Ratisbon by Pope Alexander IV (in 1260), which he held for 3 years.
  • Albertus was repeatedly charged by some of his contemporaries with holding communication with the devil, and practicing the craft of magic.
  • Albertus was beatified in 1622.
  • Canonised & made a 'Doctor of the Church' in 1931 by Roman Catholic Pope Pius XI (only 33 people have received this honor).
Albertus Magnus Scientific Exploits:
  • Albertus had great powers of logical systematic thought, achieved through his detailed study of Aristotle.
  • He wrote treatises on alchemy and chemistry.
  • Credited with the discovery of the element arsenic.
  • Some authors credit him as the inventor of the pistol & the cannon.
  • Deeply interested in astrology.
Albertus Magnus Written Works (Selected):
  • Speculum astronomiae
  • Alchemy; Metals and Materials
  • Secrets of Chemistry
  • Origin of Metals
  • Origins of Compounds
  • De mineralibus
  • Theatrum Chemicum
  • 21 folio volumes are attributed to Albertus Magnus.
  • Collected edition of his vast writings was issued as late as 1653 (Leyden).
Albertus Magnus Contemporaries:
  • Roger Bacon
  • Thomas Aquinas - studied under Albertus Nagnus.
Albertus Magnus Quotes:
"Natural science does not consist in ratifying what others have said, but in seeking the causes of phenomena."

"A daemonibus doctuture, de daemonibus doctet, et ad daemones ducit" ("It is taught by the demons, It teaches about demons and it leads to demons.")

"He took over anger to intimidate subordinates, and in time anger took over him."

"The beaver is an animal which has feet like those of a goose for swimming and front teeth like a dog, since it frequently walks on land. It is called the castor from 'castration,' but not because it castrates itself as Isodore says, but because it is especially sought for castration purposes. As has been ascertained frequently in our regions, it is false that when it is bothered by a hunter, it castrates itself with its teeth and hurls its musk [castoreum] away and that if one has been castrated on another occasion by a hunter, it raises itself up and shows that it lacks its musk."

"To say that there is a soul in stones simply in order to account for their production is unsatisfactory: for their production is not like the reproduction of living plants, and of animals which have senses. For all these we see reproducing their own species from their own seeds; and a stone does not do this at all. We never see stones reproduced from stones; ... because a stone seems to have no reproductive power at all."

Top Image - Painting by Joos (Justus) van Gent, Urbino, ~ 1475 (Public Domain)
Bottom Image - Albertus Magnus stone relief from
Dominican priory facade in Edinburgh by Lawrence OP (cc)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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