Article ID: CBB132945303

An Alchemist in Greenland: Hans Egede (1686–1758) and Alchemical Practice in the Colony of Hope (2020)


The article explores the practical and social circumstances of the alchemical experiments performed by the Norwegian priest and missionary Hans Egede (1686–1758) in the Colony of Hope in Greenland. Sources not previously used in connection with Egede’s alchemy are used to investigate in which ways his situation in the colony affected alchemical practice. A lack of fuel is found to have been a main obstacle which may have limited the number of experiments that Egede was able to perform in Greenland. At the same time, the area had natural resources that were useful to the alchemist, and Egede’s position as head of the colony gave access to resources that facilitated alchemical practice.

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Authors & Contributors
Wråkberg, Urban
Principe, Lawrence M.
Kruse, Poul R.
Collis, Robert
Debus, Allen G.
Roos, Anna Marie Eleanor
Journal of Historical Geography
Pharmacy in History
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Public Understanding of Science
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Jeremy Mills Publishing for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Voltaire Foundation
University of New Hampshire
Natural resources
Mines and mining
Newton, Isaac
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Boyle, Robert
Prokopovich, Feofan
Bruce, Jacob Daniel
Erskine, Robert
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
19th century
16th century
Early modern
15th century
Arctic regions

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