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The Resource The business of alchemy : science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire, Pamela H. Smith

The business of alchemy : science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire, Pamela H. Smith

Label
The business of alchemy : science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire
Title
The business of alchemy
Title remainder
science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire
Statement of responsibility
Pamela H. Smith
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In The Business of Alchemy, Pamela Smith explores the relationships among alchemy, the court, and commerce in order to illuminate the cultural history of the Holy Roman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In showing how an overriding concern with religious salvation was transformed into a concentration on material increase and economic policies, Smith depicts the rise of modern science and early capitalism. In pursuing this narrative, she focuses on that ideal prey of the cultural historian, an intellectual of the second rank whose career and ideas typify those of a generation. Smith follows the career of Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682) from university to court, his projects from New World colonies to an old-world Pansophic Panopticon, and his ideas from alchemy to economics. Teasing out the many meanings of alchemy for Becher and his contemporaries, she argues that it provided Becher with not only a direct key to power over nature but also a language by which he could convince his princely patrons that their power too must rest on liquid wealth. Agrarian society regarded merchants with suspicion as the nonproductive exploiters of others' labor; however, territorial princes turned to commerce for revenue as the cost of maintaining the state increased. Placing Becher's career in its social and intellectual context, Smith shows how he attempted to help his patrons assimilate commercial values into noble court culture and to understand the production of surplus capital as natural and legitimate. With emphasis on the practices of natural philosophy and extensive use of archival materials, Smith brings alive the moment of cultural transformation in which science and the modern state emerged
Biography type
contains biographical information
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1957-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Smith, Pamela H.
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Becher, Johann Joachim
  • Science, Renaissance
  • Science
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Holy Roman Empire
  • Philosophy
  • Science
  • Europe
Label
The business of alchemy : science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire, Pamela H. Smith
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [279]-301) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue -- Evocation -- 1. Provenances -- 2. Oeconomia rerum et verborum: Constructing a Political Space in the Holy Roman Empire -- 3. The Commerce of Words: An Exchange of Credit at the Court of the Elector in Munich -- West Indian Interlude -- 4. The Production of Things: A Transmutation at the Habsburg Court -- Interlude in the Laboratory -- 5. Between Words and Things: The Commerce of Scholars and the Promise of Ars -- Epilogue: Projection
Control code
29600645
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xii, 308 pages
Isbn
9780691056913
Isbn Type
(acid-free)
Lccn
93044856
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(WaOLN)1599301
Label
The business of alchemy : science and culture in the Holy Roman Empire, Pamela H. Smith
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages [279]-301) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Prologue -- Evocation -- 1. Provenances -- 2. Oeconomia rerum et verborum: Constructing a Political Space in the Holy Roman Empire -- 3. The Commerce of Words: An Exchange of Credit at the Court of the Elector in Munich -- West Indian Interlude -- 4. The Production of Things: A Transmutation at the Habsburg Court -- Interlude in the Laboratory -- 5. Between Words and Things: The Commerce of Scholars and the Promise of Ars -- Epilogue: Projection
Control code
29600645
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xii, 308 pages
Isbn
9780691056913
Isbn Type
(acid-free)
Lccn
93044856
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(WaOLN)1599301

Library Locations

    • Thomas Jefferson LibraryBorrow it
      1 University Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63121, US
      38.710138 -90.311107
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