It is a trite saying that he cannot succeed, in discussing the progress of a country, who does not take into consideration the most highly developed interests of the people. Greece, without its philosophy, would be shorn of its major interest; so Israel, without its religion; and Egypt, without its artisanship and industry. We have to give attention, therefore, to that pronounced leaning of the Egyptian people toward a refined technique in the mechanical arts. But it sometimes happens, as in this case, that the art develops almost too rapidly and in consequence products unexpected and perhaps undesired are brought out. These products, coming as a surprise, need to be explained, but centuries of development may be required before scientific knowledge in its slow advance can formulate the explanation looked for. This was illustrated in regard to metal work in Egypt. The world actually waited until the eighteenth century, until the time of Lavoisier and the rise of modern chemistry, before the simple trade-secrets of the Egyptian artisan couldbe scientifically understood. Generally, such phenomenaare termed mysteries until the time of such understandingarrives.In Egypt, however, in the Alexandrian age, an attemptwas made to clear up this mystery and to this end Greek philosophy and popular theories were available and were invoked. The application thus made was alchemy —a form of philosophy applied to technique.


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Alchemy - Child of Greek Philosophy - A J Hopkins 1934