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History of Alchemy Podcast

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  • Introducing Tides of History July 22, 2017
    History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme, said Mark Twain. From the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of the modern world: history ebbs and flows over the centuries, driven by great tides of economic, social, political, religious, and cultural change that shape the world and everyone who lives on it. In this new series from Wondery, PhD historian […]
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 79: Biblical Figures as Alchemists January 21, 2017
    To properly understand several alchemical references, we need to look at a source all alchemists were familiar with: the Bible. This gives a big piece of the puzzle to understanding the world as alchemist saw things.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 78: Year 4 of Alchemy January 14, 2017
    Despite our slacking of late, we've gotten a ton of new listeners, so we welcome the new curious minds, thank our faithful and patient listeners. We also review the year, look at the alchemy projects in the works, and things to come. Find all projects and contact information for Pete and Travis at http://podcastnik.com
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 77: Sir Francis Bacon November 20, 2016
    One of the so-called “Fathers of the Modern Scientific Method” also still believed in the principles of alchemy. Like, a lot. Sir Francis Bacon made it all the way to Chancellor of England. Some say he even gave Shakespeare a hand. http://historyofalchemy.com (http://historyofalchemy.com/) for more topics
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 76: Abufalah, Soul Dust, and making a Basilisk February 27, 2016
    Abufalah relates a great tale of Solomon and how he demonstrates his knowledge of the philosopher's stone to the queen of Sheeba. Plus we tell you how to make a Basilisk.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 75: Robert Olsen and I Meet Again February 9, 2016
    Robert Olsen and I did an AMA together on reddit's /r/AskHistorians. The AMA was its own episode (Episode 20). It was great to pick the guy's brain and just chat alchemy after two years. And yes, this one is 2:40 mins long. We had a ton of fun, but don't forget there's a pause button. The AMA itself is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHi […]
    Travis J. Dow
  • HoA: Andreas Libavius January 19, 2016
    Andreas Libavius was a Golden Age alchemist who brings us a step closer to modern chemistry—but still defended the possibility of transmutation.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Inside the Secret Cabinet Podcast with der Buddler August 29, 2015
    What's it like being a history podcaster in Germany? Today we take a break from alchemy and celebrate the launch of the Secret Cabinet Podcast in English, and since I also do a podcast in German, we compare notes on the differences in German and English podcast scenes. Der Buddler (German for "the digger") works in the Martin Luther house in W […]
    Travis J. Dow
  • The Illusion: Alchemy Reborn Through the Occult Revival August 15, 2015
    How did alchemy get to be where it is today? How exactly did it change from it's death to now? This is the meta historiographic episode: history of the history of alchemy. We've often talked about the bias of alchemy through the occult revival. But now let's talk about the occult revival directly.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 71: Interview with Tim Wilkerson, Author of Alchemy Astrology Handbook August 12, 2015
    Tim Wilkerson is author of the Alchemy Astrology Handbook, has a related blog, and even a calendar for helping out with alchemy. If you catch him in time, he'll be teaching herbal alchemy at the Midwest Herb Fest and School. Tim will also be speaking at the International Alchemy Guild's Rocky Mountain Alchemy Conference Summer 2016, in Denver. It w […]
    Travis J. Dow
  • Episode 70 Distillation August 4, 2015
    Next time you enjoy that cocktail or drink at a bar, tip your imaginary hat to the alchemists of yore. This episode is the extended version of the History of Alchemy's segment of the History Podcasters' Network collage on alcohol.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Pico della Mirandola July 20, 2015
    Pico della Mirandola with the patronage of the Medici helped bring in the Renaissance (if there is such a thing)
    Travis J. Dow
  • Laszlo from the China History Podcast chats over Tea June 14, 2015
    Laszlo from the China History Podcast is temporarily in the Bay Area and swung by for tea. We had a chat about history and podcasts. The questions came from the HISTORY PODCASTS Facebook group. And Laszlo's excellent podcast is at http://chinahistorypodcast.com
    Travis J. Dow
  • Johann Joachim Becher May 28, 2015
    Johann Joachim Becher formulated the Phlogiston theory of combustion, and it lasted over a century. He also transmuted gold out of the mud of the Danube.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History in 5 Minutes Podcast Alchemy Interviews: Isaac Newton, al-Ghazali, Ge Hung May 24, 2015
    I gave three interviews for the History in 5 Minutes Podcast a while ago. In case you missed them, here they are! For more about that podcast: http://michaelrank.net/
    Travis J. Dow
  • Bohemican YouTube Channel: Prague Alchemy I & II May 7, 2015
    Join us on a tour of a real alchemist's lab in Prague! See the youtube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amaOGpbAarg&feature=youtu.be Otherwise you're missing out! This is a video!
    Travis J. Dow
  • Johann Rudolf Glauber April 22, 2015
    Johann Rudolf Glauber was perhaps the first chemical engineer. He was known for his "Glauber's Salt" and paved the way for gold ruby glass. http://historyofalchemy.com/list-of-alchemists/johann-rudolf-glauber/
    Travis J. Dow
  • Faust March 9, 2015
    I got the inside scoop on the Faust house in Wittenberg, but let's back up and go over the legend and also the oldest alchemical vessels found in Europe.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Archimastry - Giovanni Panteo January 25, 2015
    Different alchemists had different definitions for archimy, but for Giovanni Panteo archimy was the metallurgical aspect of alchemy, while 
    Travis J. Dow
  • Alchemy and the History of Science January 17, 2015
    The AskHistorians subreddit (as in a forum on reddit.com) has hundreds of historians you can ask any sort of question on history you want. It's a fantastic resource, and I'm proud to a be member over there (though I'm no historian). They also started their own history podcast
    Travis J. Dow
  • Cornelis Drebbel January 14, 2015
    Even in Golden Age of Alchemy, Cornelis Drebbel stands alone as a sort of Ben Franklin or Emmett Brown character. He created the first submarine, red dye, and was famous for him continuous mobile machines that landed him in the courts of the likes of James I of England and Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Elizabeth I and Alchemy November 23, 2014
    Elizabeth I of England, the last of the Tudors, is more than an interesting footnote in the history of alchemy.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Alchemists' Halloween Special October 26, 2014
    Just a few alchemists' Halloween ghost stories: and a few more here:on the History of Germany Podcast
    Travis J. Dow
  • Richard and Isabella Ingalese October 18, 2014
    A fun legend of Alchemists from around the turn of the century in California.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Homunculus October 12, 2014
    Philosopher's Stone, Elixir of Life, but also: Homunculus. Some alchemists were more after this than gold, and in some theories a homunculus can be used as a philosopher's stone.A homunculus is basically an artificial man. Hear to learn more:
    Travis J. Dow
  • Heinrich Khunrath September 28, 2014
    Heinrich Khunrath was a physician, alchemist, and all around interesting guy. He was also a sort of bridge between John Dee's philosophy and Rosicrucianism.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Rosicrucianism August 17, 2014
    German secret society with alchemical undertones.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Christina of Sweden August 3, 2014
    Christina of Sweden converted to Catholicism and turned to alchemy.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Count of St. Germain July 20, 2014
    So many fantastic stories of the Count of St. Germain. Who was he and how long did he live? Even folks like Voltaire and Casanova had something to say about this man that travelled in royal circles around Europe.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Bernard Trevisan July 12, 2014
    We take a look at another great influencing character on the golden age of alchemy from the 14th or 15th century.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Alexander von Suchten June 29, 2014
    Alexander von Suchten was more of a court physician and chemist than alchemist, but as one of the people who's works Benedictus Figulus published, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this nobleman.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Edmund Dickinson June 7, 2014
    Edmund Dickinson was alchemist and court physician to Charles II and James II.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Khalid ibn Yazid (Calid) May 18, 2014
    Khalid (known as Calid in the West), in addition to being a prince of the Umayyad caliphate, was also interested in alchemy and is responsible for translating many works into arabic.
    Travis J. Dow
  • John Dee May 4, 2014
    John Dee wore many hats, he is probably most famous to being an advisor to Elizabeth I, partner of Edward Kelley, and his angel conjuring. Have a listen for much more on him!
    Travis J. Dow
  • Maslama al-Majriti April 26, 2014
    Maslama al-Majriti is a chemist (and much more) in Moorish Spain from the 10th century.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Samuel Danforth April 14, 2014
    Another look at a colonial American alchemist.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Fulcanelli and Caseliet March 29, 2014
    We take a look at a mysterious 20th century French alchemist: Fulcanelli and his student, Caseliet.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Johann Conrad Dippel March 17, 2014
    The man behind Frankenstein, Prussian Blue, and an energy drink.
    Travis J. Dow
  • One Year in Review, and Thank You! March 10, 2014
    A look back and shout out to some of the folks that helped us along the way.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Johann Friedrich Böttger February 22, 2014
    Johann Friedrich Böttger is credited with bringing porcelain to Europe. At the time porcelain was as valuable as gold, so no surprise that it took an alchemist to do it.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Marie Curie February 18, 2014
    Marie Curie isn't really an alchemist, but she did show that "transmutation" does happen in nature. Normally this is out of the scope of The History of Alchemy Podcast, but we took the opportunity to compare modern atomic theory to the one of alchemists. To make up for us going out of scope we tell how to make gold at the end of the episode. N […]
    Travis J. Dow
  • Paul of Taranto February 13, 2014
    Paul of Taranto may have been one of the the "Pseudo-Gebers" and had an interesting theory of the composition of metals (basically mercury and sulphur) that would become canon to alchemical theory. It's interesting for us to see a monk in the 13th century sitting in a lab going for reproducibility.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Al-Razi and Al-Farabi: an Interview with Peter Adamson February 10, 2014
    In the 2nd interview with Peter Adamson he talks about the theories of Al-Razi and his contemporary, Al-Farabi. Peter Adamson is a professor at LMU in Munich and is the host of The History of Philsophy without any Gaps Podcast. He's also currently writing a book on Al-Razi. We've covered Al-Razi before 
    Travis J. Dow
  • Baru Urbigerus February 4, 2014
    We take a look at one of the alchemical ciphers to understanding Baru Urbigerus' works.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Isaac Newton February 1, 2014
    To see Isaac Newton as just a figure in the Scientific Revolution is not understanding him at all. To get the whole picture of who he was and what he was after one needs to look at Isaac Newton the alchemist.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Neoplatonism: an Interview with Peter Adamson January 21, 2014
    Peter Adamson defines Neoplatonism and how it's theories are important to the understanding of alchemy. Peter Adamson is a professor at LMU in Munich and is the host of The History of Philsophy without any Gaps Podcast
    Travis J. Dow
  • Peter Bonus January 13, 2014
    Peter Bonus wrote on the debate on whether alchemy is natural or supernatural.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Eirenaeus Philalethes January 5, 2014
    Our first look at a New World alchemist. We look at Eirenaeus Philalethes and the person behind the name, George Starkey. He's one of the giants whose shoulders Isaac Newton stood on.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Hennig Brand December 28, 2013
    Today's episode originally aired as part of the History Podcasters Network as a part of a collage show. Hennig Brand is the discoverer of Phosphorus, and we talk about his alchemical experiments in getting to his discovery.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Thaumaturgy, Theurgy, and Theosophy December 22, 2013
    God’s miracles seen as a sort of magic. We discuss some of the debates alchemists had and break down some ways they may have gotten supernatural help. For instance using the bible as a base for magic. In this system biblical miracles are seen as a form of magic.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Alchemy in the Ottoman Empire: Interview with Michael Rank December 16, 2013
    We interview Michael Rank on alchemy in the Ottoman Empire. Michael is a doctoral candidate in Middle East history, podcaster of the History in 5 Minutes Podcast and author of a wide variety of fun books on history.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Robert Fludd December 8, 2013
    Paracelsian physician, hermeticist, early modern neo-platonist, theurgist, rosicrucian apologist, and golden-age alchemist. We've covered all the basics so you're ready for this guy.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Pseudo-Democritus November 30, 2013
    To not confuse Democritus and Pseudo-Democritus (who lived some 600 years apart) we break down the difference between the two and go into the works of Pseudo-Democritus, a 2nd century Alchemist.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Basil Valentine and Johann Thölde November 15, 2013
    Valentine’s true identity can’t be known for sure, but my money’s on Johann Thölde and we talk a little about both. As far as we know for the first time in the English-speaking part of the internet.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Astrology's Roots: Sumerian and Babylonian Astronomy and Astrology November 10, 2013
    Before we look at how Astrology intersects with Alchemy, we look at the very first scientific revolution by taking a look at Astrology and Astronomy's beginnings.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Edward Kelley November 3, 2013
    John Dee and Edward Kelley are some of the more interesting characters we took a look at. Between making gold, talking to angels, and even wife-swapping, there’s a lot to cover. John Dee will have his own episode soon.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Benedictus Figulus October 27, 2013
    A short look at an alchemical publisher and preacher who spread German alchemical works.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Making Gold with Pete and Travis October 21, 2013
    For a special show we decided to leave the studio for a "lab" (Travis' kitchen,) bring on a guest chemist, Randy Dow (Travis' dad) and cook up some gold at home. We go through a mix of recipes and explain the process of making gold and the symbols, lab equipment, and ingredients used. We also destroyed Travis' kitchen.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Bishop Synesius of Cyrene October 13, 2013
    A commentator on Pseudo-Democritus and Bishop in what is now Libya.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Kabbalah: an Introduction September 8, 2013
    A first look at the Kabbalah to create a foundation for a future episode on Kabbalistic Alchemists.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Al-Razi September 1, 2013
    Another legendary polymath in medicine, philosophy, and chemistry that broke the mold.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Ge Hong August 25, 2013
    A great Chinese alchemist and the first one on our show. Join us for a look at the fascinating life and works of Ge Hong and a peak at Chinese alchemy.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Q&A from Reddit's AskHistorians and History August 17, 2013
    We did a couple of AMA's (Ask me Anything) on Reddit and went over some of the questions that might interest our listeners.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Nicolas Flamel August 9, 2013
    A book seller that got a larger than life reputation centuries after his death. If the stories are to be believed he's still around.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Arnold of Villanova August 3, 2013
    The man who may have discovered carbon monoxide, and general anesthesia. And maybe moonshine.
    Travis J. Dow
  • Giovanni (Mercurio) da Correggio July 27, 2013
    Interesting description of the abilities of the philosopher's stone, and all around colorful character on the run from the inquisition.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: Ramon Llull July 20, 2013
    Llull invented a proto-computer to figure out the nature of matter. All-around interesting character that had an influence on the likes of Martin Luther and Gottfried Leibniz.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: Ostanes July 14, 2013
    A mysterious person, (or –more likely– multiple people with the same name) from Persia. Sometimes called the 'father of alchemy.' His supposed contributions include first mentioning the elixir of life, the philosopher's stone, being in Xerxes' court, and a teacher of Alexander the Great, teaching Democritus, and a Magi in the line of Zoro […]
    Travis J. Dow
  • Jabir ibn Hayyan, aka Geber July 6, 2013
    The first practical alchemist and possibly the most influential alchemist of all time. We also break down Geber vs Pseudo-Geber.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: Gilles de Rais June 23, 2013
    More infamously known as serial killer of children, we discuss his role in alchemy, its charlatans and black magic.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: Mariam the Jewess June 15, 2013
    A supposed inventor of some quite modern lab equipment. She also came up with some of the axioms and recipes for gold used throughout the history of alchemy.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: J. Kepler & Tycho Brahe June 9, 2013
    The eccentric astronomer (and alchemist) and pious mathematician come together to provide us with great tales of drunken moose, witch trials and strange theories.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: Roger Bacon May 21, 2013
    Doctor Mirabilis and Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon... father of science? Have a listen for his take on the philosopher's stone and alchemical processes.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy: Zosimos of Panopolis and Agathodaimon May 8, 2013
    Zosimos is the oldest alchemist whose writing we can reach back to. Agathodaimon is from the same era, in medieval times he was considered the 'father of poison'.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: Paracelsus April 24, 2013
    No compilation of alchemy would be complete without the mention of this well-travelled alchemist, botanist, and physician.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: The Alchemist Emperor, Rudolf II of Hapsburg (HoA Edit) April 9, 2013
    Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II had an alchemist's lab of his own and was the patron of several other alchemists in Magical Prague.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: Neo-Platonism March 25, 2013
    Peter Adamson defines Neo-Platonism and how it's theories are important to the understanding of alchemy. Peter Adamson is a professor at LMU in Munich and is the host of The History of Philsophy without any Gaps Podcast.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: Michael Sendivogius March 14, 2013
    The very practical court alchemist of Sigismund III of Poland and Rudolf II the Holy Roman Emperor. He claimed to have the secret of creating gold and the philosopher's stone.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: Al-Ghazali March 1, 2013
    Al-Ghazali, the 2nd most important man in Islam, could be considered an alchemist and we talk about his life, work, and influence that reached far beyond the Muslim world.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: Albertus Magnus February 16, 2013
    We look at the reputation Albertus Magnus had as an alchemist.  Where that reputation came from and who Albertus Magnus was and what he did. 
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast: Hermeticism February 9, 2013
    The very first Alchemist and the philosophy he started… even if he was mythical.
    Travis J. Dow
  • History of Alchemy Podcast Introduction February 9, 2013
    Our introduction gives a quick rundown of the history of alchemy and what the show is about.
    Travis J. Dow

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