Arcanum
(1,506 words)

1. Concept

Arcanum (Latin, ‘secret’; plural arcana) is found in various contexts of meaning, firstly denoting secrets of nature, and in alchemy secret or confidential knowledge, especially as an appellation for the Philosopher’s Stone, where “arcane language” (see also Argot) refers to the language of alchemists and “arcane discipline’ to the teachings of alchemy. “Arcane discipline” (Latin disciplina arcani) also denotes c…

Cite this page
Reith, Reinhold, “Arcanum”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 24 April 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_016999>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321



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