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Alchemy texts archives - Cyliani The Secret Fire

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Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998
From: Robert Word

A friend of mine named Hans Nintzel some time past was looking for a book called "The Secret Fire" by Cyliani. Does anyone know whether or not such a book ever actually existed, or was Hans misinformed?

Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998
From: Marcos Steiner

It exist, ive seen it 10 years ago.


Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998
From: Adam McLean

Marcos Steiner wrote

>It exist, ive seen it 10 years ago.


Can you please give us some details about where you saw this book?

And, if possible, where we can obtain a copy, a photocopy or a microfilm of this?

This may be confused with Cyliani's well known book 'Hermes devoile' [Hermes unveiled] which though written in 1831 has recently been reprinted and is easily available in its French edition. Hans Nintzel had this translated into English and issued it in his R.A.M.S. series in the 80's

It would be good to track down this "Secret Fire" of Cyliani, if it exists. I looked for it some years ago, at Hans' instigation, but could not locate a copy in any library or specialist collection on alchemy. If it was published in French one would expect it to be in the Bibliotheque Nationale. It is, to my knowledge, not in the Bibliotheque Nationale, though I only looked at the old catalogue. Perhaps a copy has been lodged there recently. If it was not published, there may still be a manuscript copy, but I have not been able to locate this in the various collections and libraries I have documented.

Best wishes,

Adam McLean

From: Joel Tetard
Date: 1 July 1998

Concerning the so-called Cyliani's "Secret Fire", the whole story seems rather confused :

When "Hermes dévoilé" was published for the first time in 1832 by Felix Locquin (16 rue Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris), the name of the author was not give : only a mysterious "Ci..." was written on the front page.

When the second edition was printed in 1915 by the well known editors Chacornac, the name of Cyliani appears for the first time on the cover. According to Canseliet (see p.35 in "Le Feu du Soleil", by Robert Amadou, Pauver, Paris 1978, ISBN 2.7202.0088.3), this name was given by Pierre Dujols.

However, in his "alchimie expliquée sur ses textes classiques", Canseliet said he did NOT know who gave this name ...

Recently, Geneviève Dubois wrote that the name of Cyliani appeared in 1834, i.e. two years after the first edition of Hermes Dévoillé, in a book written by Monsieur de Manne, "Nouveau Recueil d'ouvrages anonymes", at page 157 under the n° 727. Unfortunately, G. Dubois did not give the title of this book written by "Cyliani"...

I will try to contact Mme. Dubois asking for further information about this matter.

Hermes Dévoillé
1st edition : 1832, Ed. Felix Locquin
2nd edition : 1915, Chacornac
3nd edition 1975, Editions Traditionnelles
4nd edition, by Bernard Husson, in "Deux traités alchimiques du XIX siècles.
Cours de philosophie hermétique ... par L.-P. François Cambriel et Hermes dévoilé ... par Cyliani. Editions des Champs-Elysées, Paris, 1964.

Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998
From: Joel Tetard

I just received confirmation from Mrs Genevieve Dubois :
"Hermes dévoillé" is the only one book which could be attributed to Cyliani.

The title "Secret Fire" seems rather to refer to Pontanus's "Epitre sur le Feu secret".

For an English translation of this short but important book see



From: Adam McLean
Date: 3 July 1998

On Tue, 30 Jun 1998 Marcos Steiner wrote that he had seen a copy of a book called "The Secret Fire" by Cyliani. Regrettably he has failed to respond to my request for more information (both on and off the e-mail groups) regarding where he saw this book and how we could get access to a copy.

Today his historical and bibliographical exactitude may have to be questioned as he seriously sent me the following item for inclusion in the new 'Research notes'

>its very probably that the veritable author of shakespeare plays are the
>monk Roger Bacon
>who was also interested in alchemy.............

I think I will let this speak for itself.

Adam McLean

From: Adam McLean
Date: 3rd July 1998

Joel Tetard wrote:

>The title "Secret Fire" seems rather to refer to Pontanus's
>"Epitre sur le Feu secret".

It may also be a reference internal to Cyliani's 'Hermes dévoillé'. Throughout the book Cyliani refers to the different forms of fire, and in many places mentions the 'Secret Fire' without giving, of course, any precise definition.

It may be that someone wishing to understand Cyliani's text and being frustrated by not having any definition of the 'secret fire', may have believed that there was some other book by Cyliani on the 'Secret Fire' explaining this is a more open and less hidden way.

Incidentally 'Hermes dévoillé' contains an excellent account of his transmutation, very traditional, echoing the transmutation stories of the late 16th and 17th centuries. If I have time later today I will transcribe this and post it out in the Research Notes. A few paragraphs later, the book seems to draw on the Flamel legend as Cyliani aquaints his wife with his success in the work and demonstrates a further transmutation before her.

Adam McLean