Glauber, Johann Rudolph (ca. 1604–1670)
German apothecary and alchemist. Glauber was born at
Karlstadt and grew up in Franconia. He traveled widely in Germany
seeking alchemical knowledge and eventually settled in
Amsterdam, Holland, in 1648. He was a prolific writer and left
many treatises on medicine and alchemy. He discovered and
prepared medicines of great value to pharmacy, some of which
are still in common use, for example the familiar preparation
known as Glauber’s salt.
He was a firm believer in the philosophers’ stone and the
elixir of life. Concerning the former, he stated
‘‘Let the benevolent reader take with him my final judgment
concerning the great Stone of the Wise; let every man believe
what he will and is able to comprehend. Such a work is purely
the gift of God, and cannot be learned by the most acute power
of human mind, if it be not assisted by the benign help of a Divine
Inspiration. And of this I assure myself that in the last
times, God will raise up some to whom He will open the Cabinet
of Nature’s Secrets, that they shall be able to do wonderful
things in the world to His Glory, the which, I indeed, heartily
wish to posterity that they may enjoy and use to the praise and
honour of God.’’
According to fellow alchemist Goossen van Vreeswych, Glauber
died in Amsterdam, March 14, 1670. Some of Glauber’s
principal works include Philosophical Furnaces; Commentary on
Paracelsus; Heaven of the Philosophers, or Book of Vexation;
Miraculum Mundi; The Prosperity of Germany; and Book of Fires.

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