Early Science and Medicine 16 (2011) 252-273 www.brill.nl/esm © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/157338211X572870 Book Reviews Marco Beretta, e Alchemy of Glass. Counterfeit, Imitation and Transmutation in Ancient Glassmaking (Sagamore Beach: Watson Publishing, 2009), pp. 208, full color, $59.95, ISBN 978 0 88135 350 1. e ﬁrst issue discussed in Marco Beretta’s book is the possible though not yet deeply investigated relationship between glassmaking and alchemy, whose ﬁrst aim has been traditionally identiﬁed with the transmutation of vile metals into silver or gold. e chemical ambiguity of glass and its relevance in the reproduction of precious stones are regarded by Beretta as important elements not only in regards to the technical background of alchemy, but also to the ancients’ thought about the mineral world and its classiﬁcation. is eﬀort of giving a wider and more detailed picture of alchemy is supported both by the discussion of several Greek and Latin sources and by a close attention to the material history of chemistry: several pictures enhance the volume and give a useful overview on diﬀerent archaeological pieces of evidence that have sometimes been overlooked by scholars. Beretta’s investigation spans a period of several centuries, from the second
Early Science and Medicine – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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