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Quintessence, for the alchemists, was a very subtle medium present in all things but most easily extracted from wine. Through the myth and poetry of wine, and working from primary sources such as De Consideratione Quintae Essentie by John of Rupescissa, Marsilio Ficino's De vita libri tres, and Arnold of Villanova's Liber de Vinis, this monograph traces the philosophical development and techniques for isolating and using the quintessence in medicinal preparations. Instructions are given on how to obtain this quintessence and its uses, along with two of the earliest processes for making an aurum potabile. Brian Cotnoir is an artist and an independent researcher in alchemy. A contributor to Frater Albertus' Parachemy: Jour-nal of Hermetic Arts and Sciences, he is also the author of The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, Alchemical Meditations and the recently published Emerald Tablet, his translations of and commentary on the earliest Arabic and Latin versions of this seminal text.
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