Catalogue Entry: ALCH00012

'Epistola ad veros Hermetis discipulos continens claves sex principales Philosophiæ secretæ' (early 1690s).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Keynes Ms. 23, King's College, Cambridge, UK

[Normalized Text (at Chymistry of Isaac Newton)]

Custodial History

Bought at the Sotheby sale by Maggs Brothers for £18.10s. and sold to Keynes on 19 August 1936 for the sale price plus 20%.

Sotheby Lot



A translation of the last section of Limojon de Didier's Triomphe Hermétique (1689), 'Lettre Aux vrays Disciples d'Hermes, Contenant six principales clefs de la Philosophie Secrete', then only extant (in published form, at least) in French (H1642).


Contains a Strasbourg lily watermark, as does Keynes Ms. 53: see Shapiro, 'Dating Game', 197-8.

See Dobbs, Janus Faces, 180: she suggests this is probably Newton's own translation. Cf. Keynes Mss. 21 and 53, and Babson Ms. 420.

© 2023 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL -

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