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The Secrets of Alchemy

Secrets of Alchemy

The Secrets of Alchemy brings alchemy out of the shadows and restores it to its important place in human history and culture. By surveying what alchemy was and how it began, developed, and overlapped with a range of ideas and pursuits, this book illuminates the actual ideas and practices of generations of alchemists. The author […]

The Body in Early Modern Italy

The Body in Early Modern Italy Cover

Human bodies have been represented and defined in various ways across different cultures and historical periods. As an object of interpretation and site of social interaction, the body has throughout history attracted more attention than perhaps any other element of human experience. The essays in this volume explore the manifestations of the body in Italian […]

The True Medicine, by Olivia Sabuco de Nantes Barrera

The True Medicine Cover

One of the first printed medical texts to be attributed to a female author, “The True Medicine” (1587) is radically innovative in its rejection of contemporary medical theory for a more pro-feminist physiology and cosmology. With unprecedented clarity and care, Gianna Pomata brings an important text in the history of scientific authorship to the attention […]

The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Painting and the Studiolo of Isabella d’Este

The Cabinet of Eros Cover

The Renaissance studiolo was a space devoted in theory to private reading and contemplation, but at the Italian courts of the fifteenth century, it had become a space of luxury, as much devoted to displaying the taste and culture of its occupant as to studious withdrawal. The most famous studiolo of all was that of Isabella d’Este, marchioness of […]

Demon Lovers: Witchcraft, Sex, and the Crisis of Belief

Demon Lovers Cover

On September 20, 1587, Walpurga Hausmännin of Dillingen in southern Germany was burned at the stake as a witch. Although she had confessed to committing a long list of maleficia (deeds of harmful magic), including killing forty—one infants and two mothers in labor, her evil career allegedly began with just one heinous act—sex with a demon. Fornication […]

Piety and Pythagoras in Renaissance Florence: The Symbolum Nesianum

Piety and Pythagoras Cover

This volume sheds light on the transitions in the intellectual life of Renaissance Florence in the last quarter of the fifteenth century. Its point of departure is a hitherto unedited Latin text, the “Symbolum Nesianum,” whose original version was written by Giovanni Nesi, a follower of the famous Platonist Marsilio Ficino and then of the […]