Scotus, Odoardus

  • Scotus, Odoardus
Late 17th century
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


Liber Sapientiae [etc.]. This illustrated cover is divided into five unequal panels: 1. A winged Mercury, with caduceus, descending within a circle of clouds, with inscriptions in red and gold. 2. A red band with inscriptions in gold. 3. Parti-coloured band with a peacock in colours, and inscription in black. 4. Four heads of cherubs, blowing towards a black semi-circle; inscriptions in gold and black. 5. A room with a barred window, and four figures of women, two in a white dress, two in red and gold (the Four Elements), and a white eagle with wings out-spread, holding in one claw a key, in the other an orb surmounted by a cross: inscriptions in gold. Below there is a scroll inscribed in black: 'Cantabunt virgines quod nemo intelliget nisi cui datum est aperire Librum hunc. Et frangere Sigilla eius'. Under this in gold 'Liber Sapientiae'. P. 1. A et [O} (in gold) // Aperi hunc librum veritate Germana sincerum... 3. ... sic in / cipiam statum hoc Summum Arcanum Naturae. P. 4. Caput Primum / De / Praeparatione Mercurii Nostri. / Accipe Mercurii mediam Libram... 41. ... superans quare nil ei poterit obesse. Speculum Alchimiae. / In quo / Continentur Completum Lumen huius Divinae Essentiae, id est Lapidis Philosophici Seu / Materiae Primae. (p. 42.) Caput Primum / est breve Compendum totius operis ... (Text begins) Ego tibi Fili mi Dilecte unam fidelem volo dare Do / ctrinam ... 53. ... Secundum suam / praeparationem factam albam aut rubram. Liber secundus (in gold) // Caput Primum / Nunc incipiam tibi demonstrare ... 82. ... per Omnia Secula Seculorum Amen. 83. Tractat[us] Secund[us] (in gold) // In quo // Declarantur Occultissima Arcana / Matris Naturae Philosophiae. Nostrae // I[n] N[omine] S[anctae] T[rinitatis] P[atris] F[ilii] E[t] S[piritus] S[ancti] // Amen. // quam Felix es ... 85. ... ut tanto thesauro (p. 86) perfide non abutarit Vale. // Tractabo primo de clavibus reservatis ... 108. ... ad honorem et gloriam / Sanctissimae Trinitatis. Amen. // Sequitur Compositio Aquae Divinae / occulti et Secreti Secretorum. // Scias igitur quod materia propria... 111. ... et procedere in Omnibus prouti / jam es informatus. In our MS., in the dedication to the Emperor Rudolf II [1552-1612], Odoardus states (p. 1) that the original was obtained by the Emperor Charles V [1500-1558] from a Brother of the Rosicrucian Order, but that he-Odoardus-is forbidden to reveal how it came to himself. On p. 36 he is 'Lapidis Hermetis in theoria et in praxi actualis possessor', and has been given many honours by Rudolf II. On p. 81, however, he claims that in 1508, 1509, 1522, 1523 'manibus meis laboraverim' and in those years 'perfecerim et reduxerim'. It is somewhat strange therefore to find on p. 7 a reference to 'Tumba Semiramidis nuper reperta et reserata', whereas the earliest recorded edition of this work by Pantaleon (pseudonym of Franz Gassmann) is dated 1674 [cf. Ferguson. 'Bibliotheca Chemica' Vol. I, pp. 164-166].


Late 17th century

Physical description

1 volume 3 bl. ll. + 1 l. + 111 pp. + 18 bl. ll. folio. 29 × 20 cm. Vellum title-page. Original gilt-stamped vellum binding, with arabesque borders, corner-pieces and central ornament. There are three (out of seven) silk ties in red, white, and black. The t.p. is illuminated in gold and colours, showing on the upper cover a book with similar ties, two red, two white, three black.


Acquisition note

Purchased 1930.


No particulars concerning the author have been ascertained, but there is a German MS. translation, dated 1745 in the Library of Congress at Washington, D.C., which is entered as No. 62 in W. J. Wilson's 'Catalogue of Alchemical MSS in the United States and Canada' ['Osiris.' Vol. VI, 1939]. In this German version the order of the works is different, as the 'Speculum' comes first, the 'Liber Sapientiae' third, and there are added alchemical processes, etc. The translator is Joseph Anton Maichelbeckh of Dillingen.

Finding aids

Database description transcribed from S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).


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Accession number

  • 63213