a students' magazine

THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE

The Philosopher’s Stone is a legendary substance searched by alchemists, able to restore the corruption of the soul.

Alchemists thought that this substance had three powers:

1)  it produced an elixir of immortality and the “Panacea”, the universal care for each disease

2)  it gave omniscience, i.e. absolute knowledge of past, future, good and evil

3)  it transformed base metals into gold

Because of these characteristics the Stone, in ancient times, had been long sought after by a lot of men of culture.

Alchemists believed that all the elements of the universe were composed of the same material substance in different proportions and that they could be modified by the action of a “catalyst”,  able to turn them back into their original material.

Although according to the legend whoever had been able to create the Stone would have had the possibility to become incredibly rich, alchemists were forced to use their discovery only for humanitarian purposes.

The legend also tells us that the only alchemist able to create the Stone was the French Nicolas Flamel, who used the elixir to have a long and happy life with his wife Perenelle (who was considered to be a witch).

Nicolas and Perenelle helped poor and  ill people during all their life and, when they became old, they decided to destroy the Stone, that could have been dangerous in wrong hands, and to die.

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