University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Translation with emendations of Opus galli anonymi by Sir Isaac Newton

Newton's manuscript translation of an anonymous French work detailing the creation of the philosopher's stone. His inscription on front wrapper below title 'Opus galli anonymi' indicates that the procedures described in the text are similar to that of the French alchemical physician Pierre-Jean Fabre in his work L'abregé des secrets chymiques. No comparable source text is known, however. Newton's heavy emendations and corrections suggest that he was not merely transcribing, but extemporaneously creating an original translation from the French text, possibly with his own interpretations and elucidations.