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Basil Valentine

  Basilius Valentinus, also known under the Anglicized version of his name, Basil Valentine, was a 15th-century alchemist. He was the Canon of the Benedictine Priory of Sankt Peter in Erfurt, Germany. Even his name cannot be corroborated; during the 18th century it was suggested that he was Johann Thölde. The year given for his birth in Mainz, 1394, is also uncertain.

Valentine showed that ammonia could be obtained by the action of alkalies on sal-ammoniac, and how hydrochloric acid could be produced from acidizing brine.

The Valentine/Paracelsus connection

Hermetic student Joshua Arent suggests that Basil Valentine was merely a nom de plume of German physitian and alchemist Paracelsus, their works having a very close correspondence in philosophy, methodology and demeanor. Niether Valentine nor Paracelsus mentioned the other even though they shared exactly the same perspective on Alchemical and Spagyric philosophy. Both alchemists lived in roughly the same time frame, were native to Germany, shared the same religious preference (Benedictine Christianity) and shared an extreme disapproval of the medical establishment which they vocalized in their writings. It should be noted that early in his life Paracelsus was getting used to the monastic life whilst living with his father in a Benedictine cloister studying Alchemy and Latin.[1] The name Paracelsus was also a self chosen nom de plume of his real name Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim. Although there is controversy over when Basil Valentine existed, Waite points out that it can only be between the invention of printing and the time his works were published, i.e. from late 15th Century to the very beginning of the 1600’s. This is because of Valentine’s line in the ‘Triumphal Chariot’, “You should know that Antimony is used for a good many purposes besides those of the typographer.”

This possible double identity allows for a clearer contextual understanding between both Paracelsus' and Valentine's works.


Basilius Valentinus wrote dozens of important publications on alchemy in Latin and German. They have been translated into many Western European languages, including English, French, and others.

Most famous works (in Latin)
  • Currus Triumphalis Antimonii (The triumphal chariot of antimony)
  • Duodecim Claves (The twelve keys)
Many other works (in Latin and German)
  • Porta sophica
  • The Medicine of Metals
  • Of things natural and supernatural
  • Of the first tincture, root and spirit of metals
  • Of the great secrecy of the world, and its medicin
  • Libri quattuor de particularibus septem planetarum (Of the supremacy of the seven planets)
  • Experimenta chymica
  • Practica
  • Compendium veritatis philosophicum (German)
  • Last will and testament


  1. ^ [1]
  • Paracelsus article by Alan G. Hefner
  • Waite, Arthur Edward (1992). Secret Tradition in Alchemy. Kessinger Publishing. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Basil_Valentine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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