Update
The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Dismiss

Related Content

Related Overviews

 

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • History
  • Early history (500 CE to 1500)

GO

Show Summary Details

Overview

alchemy


Quick Reference

The medieval forerunner of chemistry, concerned with the transmutation of matter, in particular with attempts to convert base metals into gold or find a universal elixir.

The term comes (in late Middle English) via Old French and medieval Latin from Arabic alkīmiyā', from al ‘the’ + kīmiyā' (from Greek khēmia, khēmeia ‘art of transmuting metals’).


Reference entries

View all reference entries »