The Golden Fleece and Alchemy

By Antoine Faivre

Subjects: Esotericism And Gnosticism
Series: SUNY series in Western Esoteric Traditions
Paperback : 9780791414101, 140 pages, March 1993
Hardcover : 9780791414095, 140 pages, March 1993

Table of contents

Table of Illustrations

Foreword by Joscelyn Godwin


Chapter 1 • From the Byzantines to the Rosicrucians

Complementarity of History and Myth: From the "Holy Spirit Fire" to Philip the Good

Artists, Scholars, and Early Hermeneutists: From the Renaissance to Guilielmus Mennens

The Golden Fleece as a Sign of the Laboratory: Michael Maier, J. V. Andreae, and Seventeenth Century Alchemy

Chapter 2 • From the Age of Enlightenment to Contemporary Hermeneutics

The Rococo Compass and Concordance: Ehrd of Naxagoras

Theosophical Fleece and Astral Gold: Hermann Fictuld; the "Sun from the Orient"

French Exegeses: Dom Pernety, or the bunch with a single key; Fulcanelli at the Hôtel Lallemant: Canseliet and Cabbalistic Phonetics



1) Original texts of the extensive quotations with their proposed translations

2) A note on the Golden Fleece in Freemasonry






This book traces the Golden Fleece myth from late paganism through medieval and Renaissance alchemical and masonic interpretations. We follow the changing fashions in the history of initiation as well as in mythology. Faivre connects politics, chivalry, the age of exploration, Renaissance architecture and iconography, the hermeneutics of eighteenth century Germany and France, and modern practitioners of alchemy.

This book will be welcomed by modern practitioners of alchemy and the occult as well as by scholars of esotericism.

Antoine Faivre is Directeur d'Etudes a l'Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Section des Sciences Religieuse), Sorbonne, Paris.


"Fascinating. A magisterial presentation of the historical data. " — Dan Merkur, University of Toronto

"By showing the continuous presence of the idea of the Argonauts and the voyage of the Golden Fleece in our history, the author demonstrates this myth to be a basic archetype of Western culture. The book is continually interesting to read. " — Christopher Bamford, Lindisfarne Press