|Title||Transmutation of Matter in Byzantium: The Case of Michael Psellos, the Alchemist|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Journal Title||Science & Education|
There is thus nothing paradoxical about the inclusion of alchemy in the ensemble of the physical sciences nor in the preoccupation with it on the part of learned men engaged in scientific study. In the context of the Medieval model, where discourse on the physical world was ambiguous, often unclear, and lacking the support of experimental verification, the transmutation of matter, which was the subject of alchemy, even if not attended by a host of occult features, was a process that was thought to have a probable basis in reality. What is interesting in this connection is the utilization of the scientific categories of the day for discussion of transmutation of matter and the attempt to avoid, in most instances in the texts that survive, of methods reminiscent of magic.