Johann Friedrich Schweitzer
Johann Friedrich Schweitzer or Sweitzer known as Helvetius was a Dutch physician and alchemical writer of German extraction. He is known for his books Vitulus Aureus, published in 1667, Ichts aus Nichts, für alle Begierigen der Natur from 1655 and Miraculo transmutandi Metallica, Antwerp, 1667. Helvetius was born or baptized 17 January 1630 in Köthen as the son of the jurist Balthazar Sweitzer and Anna Braunin, he arrived in 1649 in the Dutch Republic, where he obtained a degree at the University of Harderwijk in 1656 with a dissertation de Peste. He first lived in Amsterdam, but subsequently moved to The Hague, where he became a physician to the Prince of Orange-Nassau, he wrote numerous books on herbs and medicine in Dutch and Latin. He is notorious for the story that he carried out transmutation of lead into gold, he is said to have known Baruch Spinoza. Helvetius married Johanna Pels in July 1658 in The Hague, they had 16 children, including Adriaan Helvetius, who introduced the use of ipecac in his position at the French court and was the father of another court physician, Jean-Claude-Adrien Helvétius.
The philosopher Claude-Adrien Helvétius was a son of the latter. Helvetius died 29 August 1709 in The Hague. Arthur Edward Waite, John Frederick Helvetius: The Famous Alchemist Works by Johann Friedrich Helvetius at Project Gutenberg The Golden Calf, Which the World Adores, Desires at Project Gutenberg
The aureus was a gold coin of ancient Rome valued at 25 pure silver denarii. The aureus was issued from the 1st century BC to the beginning of the 4th century AD, when it was replaced by the solidus; the aureus was about the same size as the denarius, but heavier due to the higher density of gold Before the time of Julius Caesar the aureus was struck infrequently because gold was seen as a mark of un-Roman luxury. Caesar struck the coin more and standardized the weight at 1 40 of a Roman pound. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1 100 of an aureus; the mass of the aureus was decreased to 1 45 of a pound during the reign of Nero. At about the same time the purity of the silver coinage was slightly decreased. After the reign of Marcus Aurelius the production of aurei decreased, the weight fell to 1 50 of a pound by the time of Caracalla. During the 3rd century, gold pieces were introduced in a variety of fractions and multiples, making it hard to determine the intended denomination of a gold coin.
The solidus was first introduced by Diocletian around 301 AD, struck at 60 to the Roman pound of pure gold and with an initial value equal to 1,000 denarii. However, Diocletian's solidus was struck only in small quantities, thus had only minimal economic effect; the solidus was reintroduced by Constantine I in 312 AD, permanently replacing the aureus as the gold coin of the Roman Empire. The solidus was struck at a rate of 72 to a Roman pound of pure gold, each coin weighing twenty-four Greco-Roman carats, or about 4.5 grams of gold per coin. By this time, the solidus was worth 275,000 of the debased denarii. However, regardless of the size or weight of the aureus, the coin's purity was little affected. Analysis of the Roman aureus shows the purity level to have been near to 24 karat gold, so in excess of 99% pure. Due to runaway inflation caused by the Roman government issuing base-metal coinage but refusing to accept anything other than silver or gold for tax payments, the value of the gold aureus in relation to the denarius grew drastically.
Inflation was affected by the systematic debasement of the silver denarius, which by the mid-3rd century had no silver left in it. In 301, one gold aureus was worth 833⅓ denarii. In 337, after Constantine converted to the solidus, one solidus was worth 275,000 denarii and by 356, one solidus was worth 4,600,000 denarii. Today, the aureus is sought after by collectors because of its purity and value, as well its historical interest. An aureus is much more expensive than a denarius issued by the same emperor. For instance, in one auction, an aureus of Trajan sold for $15,000, a silver coin of the same emperor sold for $100. Two of the most expensive aurei were sold in the same auction in 2008. One aureus, issued in 42 BC by Marcus Junius Brutus, the assassin of Gaius Julius Caesar, had a price realized of $661,250; the second aureus, issued by the emperor Alexander Severus, has a picture of the Colosseum on the reverse, had a price realized of $920,000. Guilder Polish złoty Online numismatic exhibit: "This round gold is but the image of the rounder globe".
The charm of gold in ancient coinage
Aureus of Mainz
Aureus of Mainz is a Roman Catholic saint and the first named bishop of Mainz. His feast is on 16 June, his is the first name on the earliest surviving list of bishops of Mainz, which dates to the 10th century. The only sources for his life are church legends of his life; the earliest one derives from a work written by Rabanus Maurus, the first Archbishop of Mainz after it was promoted to an archdiocese in the early 780s - this was written on Rabanus' consecration of Fulda Abbey, in whose south aisle there was an altar dedicated to Aureus. In 843 Rabanus wrote a martyrology testifying to the murder of Aureus and his sister St Justina on 16 June in a church during a Hun raid. Sources fix the raid in 454, but this is unlikely and may be an error for one of the datable raids in 451. If the raid occurred in the migratory period, the raids in 451, 436, 406-407 or 368 is possible - Alban of Mainz is said to have been beheaded for preaching against Arianism during a raid in 406-407 for example. Diesel's tradition speaks of bishop Aureus as being expelled before the time of Alban.
This would mean Aureus was bishop of Mainz before 406. Tradition holds that the people of Mainz expelled him for opposing Arianism and that Theonistus and Alban carried on his work in his absence. Aureus returned to the now-destroyed city after 406 and resumed his work as bishop. However, if his martyrdom is dated to 451, this would mean he was in office for fifty years and complicates the dating of the next bishop, Maximus. Aureus and his sister Justina were thus martyred in 436, his remains were either buried in the city's Basilica of St Alban after his death or transferred there in 805. He is traditionally venerated as a saint in the Diocese of Mainz; the Aureuskapelle chapel was built in the Zahlbach district of the city on the traditional site of his martyrdom and his initial burial - it is the earliest site of Christian worship in Mainz. Its predecessor was the St. Hilariuskirche the burial place for early bishops of the city, it was destroyed in the Siege of Mainz in 1793 and replaced by a new building to designs by Vincenz Statz, itself destroyed in an air-raid in 1944.
In 1022, relics of Aureus was transferred to Heilbad Heiligenstadt, where from the late middle ages he and the deacon Justinus were revered as patron saints of the town. This was based on a different version of his legend, in which he and his deacon Justinus were fleeing Atilla the Hun, who caught up with them at Eichsfeld, where he tortured and beheaded them, they were buried there and miracles began occurring on the spot. He is venerated in Oberursel-Bommersheim and has a festival in the diocesan calendar of Mainz on 16 June. St. Aureus und Justina St. Aureus und Justina Hans Werner Nopper: Die vorbonifatianischen Mainzer Bischöfe, Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2001, ISBN 3-8311-2429-9 Aureus von Mainz im Portal Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon