My Timeline of Alchemy

This is my timeline of Alchemy and all the influences it received and produced. Core ideas of Alchemy are bolded.

This is a work in progress.

Ancient dates are uncertain: ±1000 yr±100 yr, ±10 yr, ±1 yr.

 10000 BC Invention of the plow and using domesticated draft animals to pull it allows villages to form, centering on crops and animal domestication.
5000 BC Towns form when food is abundant, supporting crafts like pottery and gold metallurgy, and early religious beliefs. Trade probably begins. Copper is smelted from ore. Dyeing with insect and vegetable dyes begins. pre-alchemy-alchemy-01
3500 BC The wheel is invented, promoting trade and consequently local political power. By 3000 BC urbanized cities appear with cuneiform and Indus script to record transactions and stock. Crafts begin to diversify into artistic representational pottery, wall decoration with pigmented paintspre-alchemy-alchemy-01
3000 BC Tin is smelted from rare ores; when combined with 7 parts copper the resulting bronze is strong. The bronze trade expands across the Mediterranean by 2000 BC; the bronze age spans 1900 BC to 1100 BC. Trade booms: ivory and tin from Syria, copper from Sardinia and Cyprus, gold and alabaster from Egypt, pottery, cloth and olive oil from Greece and Crete. pre-alchemy-alchemy-01
2500 BC Colored glass beads and glass mosaics are created in Lebanon, Mesopotamia, Egypt. Industrial-size trade by 1500 BC.
2000 BC Astrology is born from a combination of proto-astronomy and religion in the river valleys, where predicting floods from the sun's location in the heavens is key to planting at the right time.
1500 BC Writing had progressed from pictograms (Chinese scripts, Cuneiform scripts and hieroglyphs) to stylized cuneiform marks to the proto-Canaanite alphabet, probably in Egypt. Alphabets spread quickly, making writing and reading much easier, speeding the spread of ideas along bronze-age trade routes.
1175 BC Bronze age collapses when the Sea Peoples invade and destroy all urban centers in the Mediterranean. Egypt defends itself well. Climate change and earthquakes contribute. Trade ceases in the Mediterranean and the Levant. Civilizations begin to smelt iron because tin is no longer available. The biblical Philistines are one group of invaders who settle in the southern Levant (called Canaan in the Bible).
800 BC Iron-age wealth builds; trade restarts, driven primarily by the sea-faring Phoenicians, and cultural envy precipitates invasions. Assyria (in Anatolia, now Iraq and Turkey) dominates.
650 BC Zoroastrianism founded in Persia; embraces astrology and magic. astrology-and-magic-alchemy-07-interlude
590 BC Thales of Miletus (a Greek city in Turkey) postulates, from Egyptian creation myths, a theory that water is the primordial substance. Studies geometry, astronomy and philosophy, founds the Miletian school of philosophy. Miletian philosophers (Anaximines, Anaximander, etc) propose, in turn, earth, air, and fire as primordial elements. egyptian-creation-myths-as-interpreted-by-thales-of-miletus-alchemy-02
586 BC Nebuchanezzar II leads Babylon and Persia against the Levant and Anatolia (Turkey) and into Greece. Hebrews exported as slaves to Mesopotamia (Iraq), to be released by Cyrus the Great in 539 BC but some stay as free men.
540 BC Pythagoras of Samos, near Miletus, excels in geometry, mathematics, numerology, and mysticism.
490 BC Darius I of Babylon, having taken all of Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Egypt, invades the Greek city-states; they defend themselves successfully. Xerxes, his son, tries to finish the invasion but withdraws in 480 BC.
450 BC Empedocles proposes there are four "elements" or primal forms of matter, Air, Water, Earth, Fire, as a capstone of the Miletian school.
360 BC Plato adopts the four-element theory with transmutations (using examples of phase changes), adding Prime Matter as matter which has no properties. He also introduces the idea of Being and Becoming: Being are things which are perfect, as God is perfect; Becoming are things endeavoring to be perfect, but which are still mortal. Into the Being category he places reason, into becoming he places observation. This puts reason as fundamental to interpreting the world, dismissing observationplato-alchemy-03
350 BC Democritus proposes a theory of atoms, the indivisible smallest parts of matter, of unique shapes. Can't prove it. Plato and Aristotle ignore the idea. what-might-have-been-democritus-and-the-atomic-theory-alchemy-08-interlude
340 BC Aristotle changes the four-elements theory to one related to properties (hot/cold, wet/dry) allowing the addition or subtraction of these properties to change the nature of the matter, or transmutation. He is very convincing and his ideas become the cornerstone of alchemy. Introduced æther as the fifth element, the element composing the heavens. Proposes a cosmology later influencing the Gnostics strongly.  aristotle-alchemy-04
334 BC Alexander the Great, pupil of Aristotle, conquers all the lands the Persians held and more, from Rome to Tibet. Established trade on an immense scale using Koine (common) Greek. Aristotle's ideas were carried from Italy to China. Founds Alexandria, a trade port in the Nile Delta. alexander-the-great-spreading-ideas-alchemy-06 a-note-on-translations-from-the-greek-alchemy-10-interlude
300 BC Theophrastus, a follower of Aristotle, studies botany and the uses of plants in medicine.
221 BC Shih Huang Ti, first emperor of China, legendary founder of alchemy in China, believed wuxing, the five-element theory.
100 BC Ssu-ma Ch’ien, historian, first mention of alchemy in Chinese literature
32 AD Jesus founds Christianity
100 AD Gnostic ideas begin in Israel and Egypt as a blend of Aristotelean cosmology, Christianity, Jewish mysticism, Copic religion, and Zoroastiran astrology.  gnosticism-alchemy-14-interlude
100 AD Pseudo-Democritus the alchemist: Recipes for coloring or alloying base metals. Contains the first hints at two important concepts: the process is more important than the materials used, and alchemists are doing what nature does, only fasterthe-beginning-of-alchemy-psuedo-democritus-alchemy-09
100 AD Mary the Jewess: experimental alchemist, invented early alchemical equipment
150 AD Cleopatra the Alchemist, experimental alchemist the-dialog-of-cleopatra-and-the-philosophers-alchemy-11
200 AD Composition of the Corpus Hermeticum, a collection of several Greek texts from the second and third centuries, survivors from a more extensive literature, known as the Hermetica. hermes-trismegistus-alchemy-15
296 AD Diocletian, Roman emperor, bans alchemy perhaps to control the economy, but alchemy continues in the Roman-controlled Alexandria, Egypt
300 AD Earliest chemical recipes with alchemical outcomes written the-earliest-chemistry-alchemy-12
300 AD Zosimos of Panopolis (Hellenistic alchemist) writer of one of the oldest surviving alchemical tractates, introduces pure allegorical descriptions of alchemical processes the-visions-of-alchemy-alchemy-13
600 AD Stephanos of Alexandria, a public speaker, speaks rhapsodically about alchemy stephanos-of-alexandria-alchemy-16
642 AD The Muslims invade Egypt, pass through Oxyrhynchus and dump all the library records. They appear to keep Plato and Aristotle and any alchemical writings they find. oxyrynchus-and-the-rise-of-islam-alchemy-24-interlude
650 AD Khalid Ibn Yazeed, Arabic Alchemist, summarized Greek alchemy khalid-ibn-yazid-alchemy-25
700 AD 8th century. Copy of an Alexandrian manuscript (which?) gives first recorded mention of the word Vitriol. The same document gives first mention of cinnabar (mercuric sulfide)
776 AD Jabir, the Arabian alchemist whose real name has been variously stated as Abu Musu Jabir ibn Haiyan or Abou Moussah Djafar al Sofi, is active. According to the tenth-century Kitab-al-Fihrist, Jabir was born at Tarsus and lived at Damascus and Kufa. jabir-ibn-hayyan-alchemy-26 what-jabir-said-alchemy-27-interlude
800 AD Alchemy, combined with medicine and yoga, printed in India. The practice may have predated the earliest texts we have. indian-alchemy-alchemy-21
900 AD Al-Tamimi Muhammad Ibn Umayl, Arabic Alchemist ibn-umayl-alchemy-28
940 AD Ibn Wahshiyh, Abu Baker, "Rhazes" Arabic Alchemist and botanist al-razi-alchemy-29
950 CE Al Majrett’ti Abu-al Qasim, Arabic alchemist and astrologer
954 CE Alfarabi, an Arab Alchemist
1000 CE Codex Marcianus 299: Earliest surviving Greek alchemical manuscript
1010 CE Abu Ali Sina, "Avicenna", an Arab physician avicenna-alchemy-30
1054 CE Rome splits from orthodox church, forms Catholic church
1099 CE Godfri de Bouillion takes Jerusalem as part of the crusades.
1100 CE Al-Tuhra-ee, Al-Husain Ibn Ali, Arabic Alchemist
1144 CE Earliest dated Western alchemical treatise - Robert of Chester De compositione alchemiae
1150 CE Turba philosophorum translated from Arabic in the Toledo School of the Translators
1160 CE Artephius (alchemist) asserts in his ‘Secret Book’ that he has lived for 1000 years before this date due to his use of the Elixir of Life.
1199 CE Approximate date Grail romances appeared in Western Europe
1231 CE First mention of alchemy in French literature - Roman de la Rose. William de Loris writes Le Roman de Rose, assisted by Jean de Meung, who also wrote The Remonstrance of Nature to the Wandering Alchemist and The Reply of the Alchemist to Nature
1235 CE Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, discusses transmutation of metals in De artibus liberalibus and De generatione stellarum.
1248 CE Albertus Magnus, alchemist, Dominican Monk, well-respected philosopher, publishes his version of Arabic alchemy, and his study of minerals and ores. albertus-magnus-alchemy-32
1256 CE King Alfonso the Wise of Castile orders translation of alchemical texts from Arabic. He is supposed to have written Tesoro a treatise on the Philosophers’ stone
1267 CE Roger Bacon, alchemist, occultist and Franciscan friar, is born. Bacon, also known as Doctor Mirabilis (Latin: ‘wonderful teacher’), eventually places considerable emphasis on empiricism and becomes one of the earliest European advocates of the modern scientific method. roger-bacon-alchemy-33
1270 CE Thomas Aquinas, pupil of Albertus, is sympathetic to the idea of alchemical transmutation in his Summa theologia. In his Thesaurus Alchimae, Aquinus speaks openly of the successes of Albertus and himself in the art of transmutation.
1272 CE Provincal Chapter at Narbonne forbids the Franciscans to practice alchemy.
1275 Ce Raymond Lull, actually not an alchemist, believed to possess titanic physical and mental energy, who threw himself heart and soul into everything he did, is born. Writings attributed to Lull include a number of works on alchemy, most notably Alchimia Magic NaturalisDe Aquis Super AccurtationesDe Secretis Medicina Magna and De Conservatione Vitoe, Ars Magna.  raymond-lull-alchemy-35
1280 CE Sefer Ha-Zohar, an essential Qabalistic text, makes its first written appearance, written by Moses de León but attributed to Simon ben Yohai.
1285 CE Arnold of Villanova, physician and alchemist. His lengthy book The Treasure of Treasures, Rosary of the Philosophers, and Greatest Secret of all Secrets highly influential and populararnold-of-villanova-alchemy-34
1298 CE Alain de Lisle. There are also earlier accounts of Alanus de Insulis, born in Rijssel in 1114 CE in the Netherlands, later abbot of Clairvaux and bishop of Auxerne
1310 CE Al-Jildaki, Muhammad Ibn Aidamer, Arabic Alchemist which shared knowledge with certain Templars
1312 CE The Knights Templar become extinct, except for a few, when the order is dissolved by the Council of Vienne. All the property owned by the Templars is transferred to the Knights of St. John (The Hospitallers)
1314 CE Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, is burned at the stake
1317 CE The first Rosicrucian order is formed: the French Ordre Souverain des. Frères Aînés de la Rose Croix
1317 CE Pope John XXII’s Papal Bull, Spondet quas non exhibent, is issued against those who practice alchemy. The Cistercians ban alchemy. John Dunstin defends. john-dastin-and-the-pope-alchemy-38
1323 CE Dominicans in France prohibit the teaching of alchemy at the University of Paris, and demand the burning of alchemical writings
1329 CE King Edward III requests Thomas Cary to find two alchemists who have escaped, and to find the secret of their art
1330 CE Nicolas Flamel is born. Flamel becomes a successful writer, manuscript-seller, and alchemist. Flamel is attributed as the author of the Livre des Figures Hiéroglypiques, an alchemical book published in Paris in 1612 then in London in 1624 as ‘Exposition of the Hieroglyphicall Figures.’ Flamel is reputed to have succeeded in the two goals of Hermetic alchemy - to have made the Philosopher’s Stone which turns lead into gold, and to have achieved immortality in a single incarnation, together his wife Perenelle. Pope John XXII gives funds to his physician to set up a laboratory for a ‘certain secret work.’
1338 CE Hospitallers acquire Templar Holdings in Scotland
1340 CE Jean de Meung, author of the Romance of the Rose
1356 CE Pope Innocent VI imprisons the Catalan alchemist John of Rupescissa, who insists that the only real purpose of alchemy is to benefit mankind. Rupescissa’s works abound with medicinal preparations derived from metals and minerals and he emphasizes distillation processes which seemingly separate pure quintessences from the gross matter of natural substances.
1357 CE Hortulanus’ commentary on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes
1376 CE The Dominican Directorium inquisitorum, the textbook for inquisitors, places alchemists among magicians and wizards.
1380 CE King Charles V the Wise issues a decree forbidding alchemical experiments
1380 CE Bernard of Trevisa
1388 CE Geoffrey Chaucer Canterbury Tales discussed alchemy in the Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale alchemical-cons-the-canons-yeomans-tale-alchemy-40 
1398 CE Supposed date that Christian Rosencruez founds Rosicrucian Order
1403 CE King Henry IV of England issues a prohibition of alchemy and to stop counterfeit money
1450 CE Basil Valentine, prior of a Benedictine monastry
1453 CE Joost Balbian, Dutch alchemist born in Aalst, died in 1616 in Gouda
1456 CE 12 men petition Henry VI of England for a license to practise alchemy
1470 CE Der Antichrist und die funfzehn Zeichnen (the book of the antichrist) associates alchemists with demons and Satan
1471 CE George Ripley Compound of alchemy. Ficino’s translation of the Corpus Hermeticum
1476 CE George Ripley writes Medulla alchemiae.
1485 CE Summa perfectionis, attributed to Geber, is published. In this important alchemical text, the sulphur-mercury theory forms the theoretical basis for an understanding of the metals, and the alchemist is informed that he must arrange these substances in perfect proportions for the consummation of the Great Work. Geber describes in considerable detail the laboratory processes and equipment of the alchemist
1493 CE Paracelsus, alchemist, physician, astrologer, and general occultist, is born. Born Phillip von Hohenheim, he later takes up the name Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim, and still later takes the title, Paracelsus, meaning ‘equal to or greater than Celsus.’ Celsus was a Roman encyclopedist from the first century known for his tract on medicine.
1530 CE Georgius Agricola Bermannus, book on mining and extraction of ores
1532 CE The earliest version of the Splendor Solis, one of the most beautiful of illuminated alchemical manuscripts, part of an illustrated book trend called Emblem Books. The work consists of a sequence of 22 elaborate images, set in ornamental borders and niches. The symbolic process shows the classical alchemical death and rebirth of the king, and incorporates a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into the Queen and King, the white and the red tincture. 

Slendor Solis.pdf (3.79 mb)

1536 CE Petrus Ramus (Peter rami) publishes his thesis, translated as "Everything Aristotle Said Was Wrong." First break with the tradition of Aristotle as the smartest man who ever lived.
1540 CE Paracelsus, physician and alchemist
1541 CE In hoc volumine alchemia first alchemical compendium
1550 CE The Rosarium philosophorum, attributed to Attributed to Arnoldo di Villanova (1235-1315), is first published, although it had circulated in manuscript form for centuries.
1552 CE Emperor Rudolph II is born. Astronomy and alchemy become mainstream science in Renaissance Prague and Rudolf was a firm devotee of both. His lifelong quest is to find the Philosophers Stone and Rudolf spares no expense in bringing Europe’s best alchemists to court, such as Edward Kelley and John Dee. Rudolf even performs his own experiments in a private alchemical laboratory.
1560 CE Heinrich Khunrath is born in Leipzig. It is evident that the first Rosicrucian manifesto, the Fama Fraternitatis, is influenced by the work of this respected Hermetic philosopher and author of "Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae" (1609), a work on the mystical aspects of alchemy, which contains the oft-seen engraving entitled ‘The First Stage of the Great Work’, better-known as the ‘Alchemist’s Laboratory.’
1566 CE Michael Maier, Rosicrucian alchemist, and philosopher, physician to Emperor Rudolph II, is born. Meier becomes one of the most prominent defenders of the Rosicrucians, clearly transmitting details about the "Brothers of the Rose Cross" in his writings.
1571 CE Johannes Pontanus, born in Hardewijk, the Netherlands, studied the path of Arthepius together with Tycho Brahe. Died in 1640
1589 CE Edward Kelley embarkes on his public alchemical transmutations in Prague
1599 CE First appearance of a work of Basil Valentine, the German adept and Benedictine monk, in alchemical philosophy is commonly supposed to have been born at Mayence toward the close of the fourteenth century. His works will eventually include the Triumphant Chariot of AntimonyApocalypsis ChymicaDe Microcosmo degue Magno Mundi Mysterio et Medecina Hominis and Practica un cum duodecim Clavibus et Appendice.
1608 CE Seton the cosmopolite
1608 CE John Dee, an English clergyman
1612 CE Flamel figures hierogliphiques first published. Ruland’s Lexicon alchemiae.
1614 CE The Fama Fraternitas, the first Rosicrucian manifesto is published. The Rosicrucian manifestos, Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis (1614), Confessio Fraternitatis (1615), and Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz (1616) cause immense excitement throughout Europe.
1620 CE Jean d’Espagnet, author of the Hermetic Arcanum
1626 CE Goosen van Vreeswyk, the Dutch mountain master. Died in 1690
1636 CE Michael Sendivogius
1638 CE Robert Fludd, theologican and mystic
1640 CE Albaro Alonso Barba Art of metals
1643 CE Johannes van Helmont
1646 CE George Starkey
1648 CE Elias Ashmole, the antiquarian
1650 CE Rudolf Glauber, physician
1652 CE Georg von Welling, a Bavarian alchemical and theosophical writer, is born. Von Welling is known for his 1719 work Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum.
1661 CE Robert Boyle publishes Skeptycal Chymist, a dialog against Paracelsian alchemy. Boyle continues as an alchemist another 5 years at least.
1662 CE Robert Boyle conducts first scientific experiment, finds Law of Gasses.
1666 CE Helvetius’ account of the transmutation in the Hague. Crassellame Lux obnubilata
1667 CE Johan de Monte Snijder performed a transmuation in 1667 for Guillaume in Aken, the Netherlands
1667 CE Eirenaeus Philalethes An open entrance to the closed palace of the King
1675 CE Olaus Borrichius
1677 CE Mutus Liber
1680 CE Isaac Newton begins his study of alchemy, continues until he dies.
1690 CE Publication of the English translation of the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
1691 CE Birth of Saint Germain
1710 CE Samuel Richter begins to form the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross
  Lascaris, A greek Adept / monk that live in the Netherlands for a while, and thereafter went to Berlin, where he gave J.F. Böttger the stone
1717 CE Grand Lodge of English Freemasonry founded
1719 CE Georg von Welling’s "Opus Mago-Cabalisticum et Theosophicum" is published. This is an important and influential esoteric work, which influences numerous subsequent authors, including Goethe, who perused it during his alchemical studies.
1723 CE The Golden Chain of Homer, written or edited by Anton Josef Kirchweger, is first issued at Frankfurt and Leipzig in four German editions in 1723, 1728, 1738 and 1757. A Latin version is issued at Frankfurt in 1762, and further German editions follow. This work has an enormous influence on Rosicrucan alchemy and on the Golden and Rosy Cross order. In the late eighteenth century
1735 CE Abraham Eleazar Uraltes chymisches Werck
1739 CE Matthieu Dammy, one of the last famous Parisian Alchymists, published his works in Amsterdam
1779 CE Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier assembles the coffin for alchemy by making exact measurements of chemical reactions. He is fundamental in establishing the nomenclature of chemistry.
1805 CE John Dalton nails the lid on alchemy's coffin when he publishes his atomic theory.

 I am assisted for the dates by History of the World Map by Map, 2018, DK/Penguin Random House.
Basic format and many entries from