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Hermeticism and Alchemy in the New World: A Possible Jesuit Millenarism in New Spain

Thu, March 22, 9:00 to 10:30am, Hilton Riverside Complex, Kabacoff Room


Two unpublished Roman prints from the late 16th and early 17th c. stand out from an album of European engravings that belonged to the library of the Jesuit the Colegio de San Pedro y San Pablo in Mexico City by 1700: the Antonio Lafrery’s Mundus Archetypus (1574) and Giacomo Lauro’s Simbolica Descriptio (1609), for they present iconography, and biblical as well as classical quotes employed in Early Modern works on hermeticism, alchemy, kabbalah and neopythagorism. In this paper I will address the possible influence these hermetic, alchemical and kabbalah elements could have had in the missionary and educational labours of the Jesuit in New Spain.


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