Kirkpatrick, Robin. . Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 2002.

Alchemy was one of the most popular sciences of the Renaissance. At its most basic form, alchemy was the attempt to find the philosopher's stone, a stone or substance that could turn base metals, such as lead, into gold. For some, this pursuit was simply an effort to find great wealth, but for others, the ancient science of alchemy was actually far more complex, combining natural philosophy, metallurgical arts (the science of metals), and magic. True alchemists believed that if they could find the purifying agent that refined lead into gold, they could use the same substance or process to transform other matter into its perfect form. In trying to understand how metals develop within the Earth and their evolution toward perfection (gold), alchemists sought to understand the powers of divine creation in the natural world. In this way, alchemy was a kind of scientific exploration of God's work. Some Renaissance scientists pursued alchemy as a branch of medicine, seeking to find a process of purification, that could be practiced on humans. The end result would be perfection, or eternal life.

The . Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974.

Wightman, W. P. D. . London: Hutchinson University Library, 1972.

Woolley, Benjamin. . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2001.

The values of humanism spread from Italy to France, Germany, England, and the Netherlands around the end of the fifteenth century. One of the greatest humanist scholars was the Dutch cleric Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536), who had been trained in a monastery and had taken his orders as a priest. Displeased with the monastery's scholastic approach to education, Erasmus went to Paris to teach. He eventually became a professor of Greek at Cambridge University in England. His best-known writings were about Christianity. Like Petrarch, he believed that scholastics had corrupted the faith, making doctrines too complicated to be useful in everyday life. His book (1509) is a criticism of the clergy and scholars of his day. In this and many other works he captivated the reading public with his common sense and his practical application of humanist theory to real life. When Martin Luther's (1483–1546) Protestant reforms spread in the 1520s many colleagues thought Erasmus would join the efforts to form a new Christian church. But Erasmus remained a loyal Catholic, believing reforms should be undertaken within the church.

"The Spell Binder." (accessed on July 11, 2006).

Most Renaissance humanists did not limit their knowledge to one branch of learning. The term "Renaissance man" describes an individual whose talents spanned a variety of disciplines. Two of the most famous Italian Renaissance artists, for example, followed several fields of study. Michelangelo (1475–1564) was a remarkable painter and sculptor and also a skilled architect and poet. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) enhanced his artwork by studying mathematics, engineering, and anatomy, the study of the structure of the human body. Though some upper-class Renaissance women were well educated, they were usually not considered men's intellectual equals or given the opportunity to achieve independent fame and fortune. Queen Elizabeth, however, was a ruler, poet, translator, dancer, and musician, and she would certainly fit into the definition of the Renaissance individual.

Kreis, Steven. "Renaissance Humanism." .  (accessed on July 11, 2006).
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Eighteenth-Century Prose – NeoEnglish

According to the Christian religion the Earth had become a place of change, corruption, and death after Adam and Eve committed the original sin of eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. Medieval people considered everything in the sublunar sphere (located beneath the sphere containing the moon, sun, and planets; Earth) to be mortal, or subject to death, while everything above the sphere of the moon was eternal. The outer spheres rotated around the Earth in a state of perfect harmony, but because of Original Sin, no human being was able to experience this perfection unless he or she reached heaven after death.

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Prose Style in Literature – NeoEnglish

The printing press, a machine that could quickly print copies of text in large quantities, helped spread the values of humanism across Europe during the Renaissance. The early development of the printing press took place in Germany in the mid-fifteenth century. German inventor Johannes Gutenberg (c. 1398–1468) developed the first press to publish a long printed book, the famous Gutenberg Bible, between 1454 and 1456. By 1500 more than one thousand printing presses had been established across Europe, and they had collectively produced more than nine million copies of more than forty thousand separate book titles. For the first time books were readily available to anyone who could read them. Though most early books were religious works, there was also a market for the printed texts of the recently rediscovered Greek and Roman writings.

27/12/2010 · Much of eighteenth-century prose is taken up by topical journalistic issues-as indeed is the prose of any other age

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Dee is often remembered for the work of his later years. By 1581, certain that spirits were trying to communicate with him, he began gazing into a crystal ball, hoping to make contact with the supernatural world. A man named Edward Kelley convinced Dee that he could talk with angels. Dee gave Kelley a crystal ball and soon Kelley was relaying the messages of the angels to Dee, who recorded them. The two men wrote a book about their communications and the language used by the angels. This late period, during which Dee was reportedly communicating with the angels and practicing alchemy, a science of medieval times that attempted to transform base metals into gold and find a potion for eternal life, led later historians to dismiss his efforts as unscientific. But Dee's search for the