When we think of alchemy, we imagine practitioners from the days of old, trying to turn base metals into gold. We see in our minds dark rooms or cellars, with curious ingredients on shelves on the walls and cauldrons bubbling dangerously. We also think of the stories told about the philosopher’s stone and how it had the power to make someone immortal.
The name Nicholas Flamel will be recognized as easily as the term alchemy. For one, we cannot forget the fact that he was mentioned in the first Harry Potter volume, a fact which gave him more fame than ever. Moreover, legends say he was the only alchemist to have ever discovered the philosopher’s stone. But, are any of the rumors true?
Nicholas Flamel lived in France during the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. During his life, he was known as a scholar and a scribe. He was also a manuscript-seller. He married Perenelle and together they owned several properties. Flames lived to see his 80s. He designed his own tombstone and was buried in Paris. During his life, there were no accounts of alchemy being performed by Nicholas Flamel. He may have dabbled in alchemy, but his reputation was first of foremost that of an author. So, where and when did the rumors start?
A work discovered in the seventeenth century claims that Nicholas Flamel achieved a feat most alchemists only dreamed about. He discovered the Philosopher’s stone and managed to turn base metals into gold. Moreover, he also found the Elixir of Life which gave him immortality. These discoveries were made after he and his wife decoded a 21 page long mysterious book Flamel is said to have purchased. The book was supposed to be the Book of Abramelin the Mage.
Many historians question the validity of this story. Conspiracy theory lovers believe Nicholas Flamel is still alive even today and claim to have seen him. Did you know that upon opening Flamel’s tomb, the grave diggers found it empty?
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