Manly Hall, Secrets of All Ages CXLIV.
Many great alchemists and Hermetic philosophers occupy an honoured niche in the Hall of Fame, while their many critics remain obscure.
To list all these sincere speakers after Nature’s great Arcanum is impossible, but a few will suffice to “demonstrate” the type of intellect who interested themselves in this abstruse subject.
Among the more prominent names … Basil Valentine (discovered antimony), ROGER BACON, Albertus Magnus, Gerber (the Arabian who brought the knowledge of alchemy to Europe through his writings), PARCELSUS, Nicholas Flamel, Picus de Mirandola, John DEE (wrote the forward in the English translation of EUCLID, from greek into English*), Michael Maier, Thomas Vaughan, John Heydon, the Comte de Cagliostro, and the COMTE de ST-GERMAIN.
There are legends to the effect that King Solomon and PYTHAGORAS were alchemists and that the former manufactured by alchemical means the gold used in his temple.
Albert Pike (the freemason) takes sides with the alchemical philosophers by declaring that gold of the Hermeticists was a reality. He says:
“The Hermetic science, like all the real sciences, is mathematically demonstrable. It’s results, even material, are as rigorous as that of a correct equation. The Hermetic gold is not only a true dogma, a light without Shadow, a Truth without alloy of falsehood, it is also a material gold, real, pure, the most precious that can be found in the mines of the earth.”
*NOTE: 1570 AD. First translation of the Elements (EUCLID) by Sir Henry Billingsley; the mathematical preface by JOHN DEE, observing that “ without the diligent study of ‘Euclid’s Elements’ it is impossible to attain unto the perfect knowledge of Geometry” [EUCLID The thirteen books of the ELEMENTS , transl. with intro Sir Thomas Heath].