Ancient X Files TV - Decoding the Past TV - Harold Goldwhite - Deborah Harkness - Michael Mosley TV -
A Philosopher’s stone: a legendary source of limitless wealth and eternal life. It’s a popular myth, and for alchemists it was a serious quest. Ancient X Files s1e3: Philosopher’s Stone and Lost Ark, National Geographic 2010
It is hoped the manuscript will shed light on Newton’s supposed quest for the Philosopher’s Stone. ibid.
The Philosopher’s Stone is the alchemists’ ultimate hope. ibid.
For around half of Newton’s life the practise of alchemy was illegal and punishable by death. ibid.
Alchemy posed a more earthly threat to monarchy. ibid.
By Newton’s time alchemy was also considered to be a source of forged currency. ibid.
But Newton himself was evidently engaged in work so dangerous or valuable his notes had to be writ in code. ibid.
The legends are numerous. Firstly, there is a mysterious stone said to possess incredible powers. Did it ever really exist? Decoding the Past s2e35: The Real Sorcerer’s Stone, History 2006
Though described in mystical and ambiguous terms it is clear that the stone is not actually a stone, and it is not something that can be unearthed by archaeologists or discovered by adventurers. It is instead something that must be created by altruistic seekers after truth and passionate men of science. ibid.
Nicolas Flamel was born near Paris around 1330. As a young man he made a living as a public scrivener ... His life and his fate changed abruptly when he found and bought a strange book. It turned out to contain nothing less than the formula for creating the most powerful substance known to medieval man – the Philosopher’s Stone. ibid.
The earliest mention of it I’ve managed to unearth is a treatise attributed to Maria the Jewess. That’s probably from somewhere between 100 and 300 A.D. And she’s already talking of the Philosopher’s Stone and its efficacy in transforming base metals to gold. Harold Goldwhite, CSULA, author Creations of Fire
It could potentially make the holder of the Philosopher’s Stone immortal. Deborah Harkness, University of Southern California
[Hennig] Brand of course never found the Philosopher’s Stone. His discovery was named Giver of Light or phosphorous. It became important. It was later used to make the match. Michael Mosley, The Story of Science: Proof & Passion, BBC 2010