The Secrets of Zoroaster's Clavis Artis: How to Download and Decode the Oldest Alchemical Manuscript
Zoroaster's Clavis Artis: A Rare and Mysterious PDF You Need to See
If you are interested in alchemy, magic, and ancient wisdom, you may have heard of Zoroaster's Clavis Artis, a three-volume alchemical manuscript that claims to be written by the legendary Persian prophet and founder of Zoroastrianism. But what is this mysterious book and where can you find it? In this article, we will explore the history, content, and significance of Zoroaster's Clavis Artis, as well as how to download a PDF version of it.
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What is Zoroaster's Clavis Artis?
Zoroaster's Clavis Artis is an alchemical manuscript that was published in Germany sometime between the late 17th and early 18th centuries, although its title page claims it is from the 13th century and written on dragon skin. The authorship is unknown, but the manuscript declares itself to be a translation of Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), the ancient Persian prophet and founder of the Zoroastrian religion. The manuscript consists of three volumes, each containing numerous watercolor illustrations depicting alchemical images, as well as pen drawings of laboratory instruments. The text is written in Latin and German, and contains references to a Rosicrucian order (Orden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer).
The manuscript is titled Clavis Artis, which means "The Key of Art" or "The Key of the Art". The art in question is alchemy, the medieval science and philosophy of transforming matter, especially metals, into more valuable substances, such as gold. Alchemy also had a spiritual dimension, as it aimed to purify the soul and achieve immortality. The manuscript claims to reveal the secrets of alchemy, as taught by Zoroaster himself.
What are the contents of Zoroaster's Clavis Artis?
The contents of Zoroaster's Clavis Artis are complex and obscure, as they use symbolic language and images that are not easily understood by modern readers. The manuscript covers various topics related to alchemy, such as the four elements (fire, water, air, earth), the seven planetary metals (gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin, lead), the three principles (sulfur, mercury, salt), the philosopher's stone (the ultimate goal of alchemy), and various processes and operations (such as distillation, calcination, sublimation, etc.). The manuscript also contains references to astrology, numerology, Kabbalah, magic, and mythology.
The illustrations are particularly striking and enigmatic. They depict scenes such as dragons breathing fire or water; lions devouring serpents; a nude woman riding a crescent moon; a man feeding a giant lizard; children being sacrificed over a well; and many other bizarre and disturbing images. The illustrations also feature alchemical symbols for elements and metals, often graffitiing the landscape. The meaning of these images is not always clear, but they may represent allegories or metaphors for alchemical concepts or stages.
According to Guity Novin in her History of Graphic Design, the manuscript reflects the influence of Zoroastrianism on alchemy. She quotes the 18th-century English occultist Francis Barrett, who links Zoroastrianism and alchemy through the presence of primordial dyads: light and dark, fire and water, sun and moon (often personified): "Zoroaster was the father of alchymy [sic], illumined divinely from above; he knew every thing [sic], yet seemed to know nothing; his precepts of art were left in hieroglyphics [sic], yet in such sort that none but the favorites [sic] of Heaven ever reaped benefit [sic] thereby".
Where can you find Zoroaster's Clavis Artis?
Zoroaster's Clavis Artis is a rare and valuable manuscript that is not widely available to the public. Only three copies of the manuscript are known to exist: one at the Biblioteca dellAccademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome; one at the Biblioteca Civica Attilio Hortis in Trieste; and one at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich. Each copy has slightly different illustrations and text. The Trieste copy has a more "naïve" style than the Rome copy. The Munich copy was destroyed by fire in 2004 at Weimars Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek.
If you want to see Zoroaster's Clavis Artis for yourself without traveling to