Article ID: CBB042314859

Alchemy and Chemical Medicines in Early Colonial Lima, Peru (2020)


The article explores the use of minerals and the nature of chemical methods employed in Lima in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It does so through examining the availability of mineral resources, including pre-European knowledge of their use, through surveying the books and equipment used by physicians and apothecaries, and finally by examining prescriptions for medicines that were used to treat patients. It concludes that minerals were probably more commonly employed in medicines in Lima than in Spain but suggests that their preparation and use at this time drew on Spain’s alchemical tradition rather than on writings by Paracelsus and his followers. It argues that this did not reflect the effectiveness of censorship by the Inquisition.

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Authors & Contributors
Rey Bueno, Mar
Alegre Pérez, María Esther
Penman, Leigh T. I.
Ledezma, Domingo
López Pérez, Miguel
Banchetti-Robino, Marina Paola
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Medical History
Dynamis: Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Corona Brealis
Yale University Press
Tulane University
CNRS Éditions
Truman State University Press
Physicians; doctors
Spain, colonies
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Helmont, Jan Baptista van
Sennert, Daniel
Philip II, King of Spain
Böhme, Jakob
Walther, Balthasar
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
18th century
Early modern
19th century
South America

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