The search for a philosopher's stone for many alchemistswas, in fact, a search for the meaning of life and the very existence of man. It is this reagent, necessary for creating the elixir of life and the transformation of any metal into gold, was dedicated to medieval alchemy. Later, on the basis of practical experience accumulated by generations of alchemists, chemistry was born - the modern science of substances. The very same philosophical stone for a long time and was considered a fiction, a semi-mythical reagent that turns base metals into gold bars, until in the twentieth century it was clarified that in the process of working a nuclear reactor from other substances, one can really get gold, albeit in insignificant concentrations.
One of the famous personalities associated withthe history of the philosopher's stone, is Nicholas Flamel. As in the case of the reagent itself, it is not clear whether this alchemist-esotericist actually existed, or was just an invention. The name of the man who devoted himself to the search for the mystery of eternal life and the way to extract gold from other elements, is still shrouded in a mystical fog. Many historians sincerely doubt its existence, while others believe that Flamel existed in reality, moreover, even solved the mystery of immortality and is alive to this day. The grave of the esoteric was empty, and he himself, according to eyewitnesses, was seen several times after "death."
Be that as it may, the question of the existencephilosophical stone disturbed the minds of distinguished scientists for thousands of years. Many tried to unravel the secrets and before this French alchemist. But in reward for all their work, all the predecessors of Nicolas received only disappointment. Finally, in the fourteenth century, Nicolas Flamel publicly declared that he had achieved the goal. They say that not only did he not go broke on the experiments that he conducted in the search for the notorious stone, but he was able to multiply his capital.
Parisian notary, collector, alchemist,a copyist of books Nicolas Flamel was born in the first half of the fourteenth century (1330), and died at the beginning of the fifteenth (1417 or 1418, according to available data). Nicholas was born into a poor family, for a long time worked hard and barely made ends meet. Later everything changed in a moment, if, of course, believe that he really found a way of turning metals into gold and the elixir of life.
As the owner of a small shop with books, inIn 1357 the alchemist acquired a very voluminous antique folio. Through his hands, a number of alchemical treatises passed through the work, but this particular instance attracted Flamel's attention. First, the beggar who sold the book to him asked for a very high price. Secondly, a rare volume was written on plates of bark, taken from young trees, and this was an indicator of value at a time when everyone had already written on plain paper. Thirdly, something suggested to Nicholas Flamel that the volume is really special.
"The Book of Judea Abraham" - only this was possibledecipher the alchemist. The title of the book was known, but it was not possible to read the manuscript completely, because the text was written with ancient symbols, which no one in Paris knew. On the first page of the manuscript, by the way, contained a curse addressed to anyone who decides to read the volume further, except scribes and clergymen.
The key to the ancient text, in which it was explained,how to turn metals into gold, Nicholas Flamel tried unsuccessfully to find twenty years. He began to consult with scientists, clerks, collectors and just knowledgeable people throughout Europe, but the search did not bring results until the alchemist decided to go to Italy. There he did not find the answer, but a fateful meeting took place on the way back from Santiago de Compostela.
On the way to Nicolas Flamel met no one Kanches,who, in his own words, owned the same magic as the biblical magicians. The stranger knew the ancient Jewish symbolism, so that he could be useful in deciphering the text. Only after learning about the manuscript, Kanches set out with the French alchemist. While traveling, the magician revealed to Flamel the meaning of most of the symbols and deciphered the description of the process of obtaining the elixir of life. True, Kanches never saw the oldest volume for which he set out on a long journey. In French Orleans, very near Paris, he fell seriously ill and passed away.
Nicholas Flamel, nevertheless, was enoughinformation to recreate the text snippets. In his diary on January 17, 1382, the alchemist wrote that he had managed to obtain silver from mercury, and he was already close to revealing the main secret. Biography Nicholas Flamel says that his life has made a sharp turn.
Subsequent events have shown that, perhaps, Nicholas managed to uncover the eternal secret of alchemy. The philosopher's stone today appears red, translucent, like a crystal.
Whatever it was, Nicholas was coming soonbecame rich. This fact is documented by many French historians, so there should be no mistakes in the dates. Within a few months he bought about thirty houses and plots of land, began to engage in charity, invested significant amounts in the development of art, financed the construction of chapels and the construction of hospitals. His personality became known to many contemporaries, but soon the alchemist with his wife just disappeared somewhere. The rumor about him spread far beyond France, so he could not hide, just moving to the neighboring town, he could not.
True, a copyist of books could get richother reason. Around the same time, he wrote four books that sold well. It was like a memoir. In the first part of the "Hieroglyphic Figures", the alchemist described his life and how the "Book of the Jew of Abraham" came into his hands, in the process of studying which he comprehended the secret of obtaining a philosopher's stone. Further, the author gave an interpretation of engravings on the arch of the Parisian cemetery in the theological and alchemical sense. The text of the ancient manuscript Flamel completely refused to translate, in his works the alchemist referred to the fact that God would punish him for such evil.
True, historians claim that out of fourtexts that are attributed to Nicholas, two were not exactly written by him, two more - under doubt. For example, the part with the analysis of cemetery symbols is a retelling of the works of Khalid, Pythagoras, Razes, Morien, Hermes and other well-known learned men.
The life of such a famous alchemist ended in1417, speaking of official data. There is, of course, the version that he deceived death with the help of that same philosophical stone, staged a funeral, and then moved somewhere to Asia, for example, to Tibet. But the interest of historians and followers around the tombstone of Flamel did not fade. When the grave was uncovered, it turned out that it was empty.
The tombstone, by the way, was found in the middle of the nineteenth century by a grocer who used a plate as a cutting board.
Another interesting topic is the testament of NicolasFlamel. The text of the document was written down from the words of the alchemist partly by one of his followers. The first version, written personally by the alchemist, was compiled in the form of a cipher, the key from which Flamel passed to his nephew during his lifetime. It is known that the cipher consisted of 96 characters, and each letter had four variants of writing on paper. This version of the testament was deciphered in 1758 by the owners of the copies. One of them later reported that there is another work by Nicholas - still unknown to the public. The original will is lost.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the Nationalthe library of Paris was found a manuscript composed by a follower and disciple of Nicholas Flamel. In the will, the alchemist reveals the stages of creating a philosopher's stone. The will is addressed to Nicholas's nephew, the author says that he will take the ingredients for the preparation of the reagent to his grave, and he advises the relative to do the same.
The further history of the Jewish Book is also interestingAbraham, "because after the death of Flamel the oldest manuscript was never found. Searches were conducted not only in the house of the alchemist, but also in churches and hospitals built on his means - wherever it was possible to hide the volume. Later they allegedly saw a cardinal looking for a valuable book with Nicholas's notes on the margins.
Separately, historians identify a number of strangecoincidences that happened with those who were engaged in alchemy and the search for a stone after Flamel. Some of them became very prosperous in time. For example, an English alchemist named George Ripley in the fifteenth century donated the Order of John 100 thousand pounds, or about a billion dollars for today's money, and the Catholic Pope John later decided to get acquainted with the content of "harmful" books, after which he himself began to study alchemy . He received two hundred gold bars, one hundred gram each.
"Gold Rush" embraced the Emperor RudolphSecond, the Danish astronomer T. Braga, the Scottish alchemist A. Seton, some Dutchman J. Haussen, the chemical scientist Girin, the English physicist Rutherford with his colleague F. Soddy.
"It is entirely possible that Nicholas Flamelwas destined to live several dozen centuries, "say some researchers.The famous alchemist was allegedly seen more than once after his official death.The first time this happened in the seventeenth century, when the traveler Paul Luke met a man who claimed to be a friend of Nicholas Flamel, and saw him literally three months later in India. "According to this man, the alchemist staged death and went to Switzerland.
A century later, the priest Sire Morcelconfidently asserted that he had observed Nicholas's work in an underground laboratory in Paris. In 1761 the couple was seen at the opera, accompanied by their son. In 1818, a man walked by Paris, who called himself Flamel and promised to reveal the secret of immortality for 300,000 francs, although it was most likely a charlatan.
The image of Nicholas Flamel was also reflected in the literature. His name is found not only in the famous saga about Harry Potter, but also in the whole list of other works:
It remains to be wondered whether Nicholas Flamel really existed and whether he actually succeeded in discovering the secret of eternal life and wealth.