Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/313

This page needs to be proofread.

ALOMUND 273 ALCOOK alchemy a bad reputation, and it is not always ac- corded the place in the liistory of science to which it is entitled. As the belief in the possibility of the transmutation of metals was almost universal, much of the work of the alchemists was directed to the production of gold. Often the work was perfectly iionest, but many instances of charlatanism are on record. Dislionest men practised on the greed of rulers. If discovercil to be guilty of fraud, capital punishment was sometimes administered. Henry IV of England exhorted the learned men of his kingdom to stuilv alchemy, and pay off the debts of the country by discovering the philosopher's stone. In the sixteenth centurj' practically all rulers patron- ized alchemists. Many clerics were alchemists. To Albertus Magnus, a prominent Dominican and Bishop of Ratisbon, is attributed the work "De Alchimia", though this is of doubtful authenticity. Several treatises on alchemy arc attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas. He investigated theologically the question of whether gold produced liy alchemy could be sold as real gold, and deciiled tliut it could, if it really possessed the properties of gold (Sum. Theol., 11-11. Q. 77, Art. 2). A treatise on the subject is attributed to Pope Jolin XXII, who is also the author of a Hull "Spondent quas non exhibent" (1317) against dis- honest alchemists. It cannot be too strongly in- sisted on that there were many honest alchemists. Chemists have never given up the belief that the transmutation of elements might yet be effected, and recent work in ratlio-actiN-ity goes to prove its pos.sible accomplishment in the case of radium and nelium. The literature of the subject is extensive. Many of the works of the old writers have been preserved, often unintelligible on accoimi of the terminology. Modern authors have also written treatises on the history of the subject. Bert helot has edited a work "Collection des anciens Alchimistes Grecs" with the Greek texts. He has written "Les Origines de I'Alchimie" and other works on the same subject. Schmieder's "Geschichte der .Mchimie" (Halle, 1S32) is useful. Observations on the subject will be foimd in treatises on the history of chemistry, such as Lie- big's " Famihar Letters", and Thomson's "History of Chemistry", and in the introductory portions of manuals of chemistry. T. O'CoNOK Slo.vne. Alcmund,, Bishop of Hexham; d. 781. Though we know practically nothing of the life of St. Alcmimd, or Alclimund, it is clear that he was regarded with nuich veneration at Hexham in Northumberland. The church founded by St. Wil- frid at Hexham became an episcopal .see, and Alcmund, succeeding as bishop in 707, led a hfe of remarkable piety until his death, 7 September, 781. He was buried beside St. Acca outsiile the church. About two centuries and a half later, after the coun- try had been laid waste by the Danes, all memory of his tomb seemed to have perished, but the Saint is said to have appeared in a vision to a man of Hex- ham bidding him tell .Vlured, or Alfred (.Vlveredus), sacrist of Durliani, to have his body translated. Alured obcyctl anil, having discovered and exhumed the Saint's remains stole one of the bones to take back with liim to Durham, but it was found that the shrine could not be moved by any strength of man until the bone was restored. In ll.'>4. the church having again been laid waste, the building was re- stored, and the bones of the Hexham saints, tliose of Alcmund amoig the rest, were gathered into one shrine. The whole, however, was finally pillaged and destroyed by the Scots in a border raid, a. d. 1296. Ada SS.. 7 Seplombor. Ill; Stanton, Englith Menology (London, 1892), 438; Diet. Sat. Biog., ». v.; Diet. Christ. Biog. — Our principal information cornea from Simeon of DcuiiAM, and Ai.rkd, On the Saints of Hexham, both printed in Rolls .SVriea. and a full account will be found in tlio Preface and Documents of Raine. I'rioru of Hexham (Surtees Society, London, 1804-05). Herbeiit Thuuston. Alciati, . drea, an Italian jurist, b. at Alzano, near .Milan, 8 May, 1492; d. at Pavia, 12 June. 1550. He w;ls the only son of a ambassador to the Kepul)lic of Venice. He studied law at Pavia and Hologna, and published (1522) an explanation of the Greek terms in the Roman law, under the title of " Paradoxa juris civilis"; he had composed this work at the age of fifteen. In 1518 he became a i)rofes.sor of law at Avignon, tlien at Bourges; finally lie returned to Milan in 1538, and was appointed profe.s.sor of law at Pavia, after which he t;uight at Milan, Bologna and Ferrara. He was highly hon- oured by Paul in antl Charles V, and w;us acknowl- edged as the first of the scholars of his age who had known how to embellish with hterary skill the legal lore that had hitherto been presented in a very bar- barous form (De Feller). His works on jurisprudence were collected and published at Padua (1571, vols, fob), but he wrote other works not included in that edition: " Historia McdiolanensLs " (published post- humously at Milan, 1625), "Responsa" (Lyons, 1501), "Formula rornani imperii" (1559), and " Kpi- grammata" (1.539). His gravity and moderation, and his caution in the solution of legal difficulties, are praisetl by his biographers. He is best known to the modern world by his curious and entertaining "Embleinata", a metrical collection of moral, prov- erlvlike sayings, in which the ethical teaching is couched in elegant and forceful diction, though it lacks, somewhat, simpUcity and naturalness. This work was first edited by Peutinger (Augsburg, 1531); an excellent edition is that of Padua (1661), with commentaries. Dk Fkller. Biographie UniversetU (Paris ed.. 1847). 109:, i^crittori d'llalia, a. v.: Grekn, Andrea Alcittti and his Book of Emblems (187.3): Id.. Shakspeare and the Emblem-writers, etc., down to ItllO (1872). Thomas J. Shahan. Alcibiades of Apamea. See Elcesaites. Alcimus ('AXkimos, "brave," probably a Gra?cized form of Ileb. DV'^X, Eliacim), high-priest, the leader of the helleni/.ing party in the time of Judas Macliabeus. By antagonizing the religious and na- tional sentiments of his countrymen, he won favour at court, and though not of high-priestly stock, lie was appointed high-priest by Lysias, the regent of AntiocluLS Eupator (102 n. c); but the opposition of the Machabean party prevented him from exer- cising the office. He therefore went to Demetrius Soter, who in the meanwhile li:id overthrown Eupa- tor, and denounced Judas and his adherents as rebels and disturbers. Demetrius reappointed him to the liigli-priestliood and sent Bacchides with an army to install liim. But the perfidious .slaughter of sixty prominent Assideans, tiie cruelties of Bacchides, and the excesses of .A.lcimus's followers strengthened the Machabean party, and Bacchides had hardly left the country when Alcimus was forced to appeal to the king for help. Demetrius first sent Nicanor with an army, and, after his defeat and death, Bac- chides, in fighting against whom Judas died a heroic death at Laisa (Eleiusa), 100 ii. f. Alcimus now set to work to carry out his liellenizing policy and to persecute those faithful to the law. But that same year he was stricken with paralysis and died in great suffering. I Marh. vii. 5-i3C, 56: II Mach. xiv, 1.3-xv. 35: Josr.piies. Antiq., XII, x, 7-xi. incl.: Son* nrn, llistorg of the Jewish People. (New York, 1891) 1, i, 227-230. F. Bechtel. Alcock, John, Bishop of Rochester, Worcester, and Ely, b. at Beverley, H:iO; d. at Wisbeach Castle,