Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Man-Made Men - Alex Irvine

"Alchemical Creations

Homonculi are also often made of clay, but they tend to be smaller and more peaceful than golems. Tiny little men, they are usually made to do housework. The sixteenth-century occultist Paracelsus usually is widely credited with coining the word. His little servant apparently got fed up with the alchemist, though, and ran off into history soon after his creation. After Paracelsus, alchemical literature abounds with various creations employing the humanoid mandrake root. As preformationist doctrines spread through European intellectual circles, it became common to create homunculi by, for example, replacing part of an egg white with human sperm and then burying and digging up the egg at specified times. The resultant creature, according to one David Christianus in the eighteenth century, would subsist on earthworms and lavender seeds."

3.5 out of 5