(3,591 words)

Early modern alchemy developed out of ancient and medieval alchemy, and towards the end of the 18th century it evolved into scientific chemistry. By this time, a more mystical, theosophic branch had split from the tradition based on practical experiments that culminated in the Phlogiston theory. The leading figure in early modern alchemy was Paracelsus.

1. Concepts

1.1. Hermetic influences

New currents developed in alchemy in the late 15th century …

Cite this page
Priesner, Claus, “Alchemy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 20 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

▲   Back to top   ▲