Jean de Roquetaillade

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Johannes de Rupescissa may also refer to Cardinal Jean de La Rochetaillée

Jean de Roquetaillade [1] (date of birth unknown; d. probably at Avignon, 1366) was a French Franciscan alchemist.[2]

After studying philosophy for five years at Toulouse, he entered the Franciscan monastery at Aurillac, where he continued his studies for five years longer.

His experiments in distillation led to the discovery of what he termed aqua vitæ, or usually quinta essentia, and commended as a panacea for all disease. His work as an alchemist forms the subject-matter of De consideratione quintæ essentiæ (Basle, 1561) and De extractione quintæ essentiæ; likewise Libellus de conficiendo vero lapide philosophico ad sublevandam inopiam papæ et cleri in tempore tribulationis (Strasburg, 1659).

His prophecies and violent denunciation of ecclesiastical abuses brought him into disfavour with his superiors, resulting in his imprisonment in the local franciscan convents. During a transfer from one convent to another, he was able to reach Avignon and present an appeal before Pope Clement VI in 1349. While there he wrote in 1349 his Visiones seu revelationes, and in 1356 Vade Mecum in tribulatione[3] and Liber Ostensor. His other works include commentaries on the Oraculum Cyrilli, the recently discovered Sexdequiloquium and many other lost treatises and commentaries on various prophecies.


  1. ^ John of Roquetaillade, Johannes de Rupescissa, Giovanni da Rupescissa.
  2. ^ John of Roquetaillade (de Rupescissa) - Catholic Encyclopedia
  3. ^ In Brown, Fascicula rerum expetendarum et fugiendarum, III, London, 1640.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company. 
  • Jeanne-Bignami Odier, Etudes sur Jean de Roquetaillade (Johannes de Rupescissa), Paris, Vrin, 195
  • Robert Halleux, « Les ouvrages alchimiques de Jean de Rupescissa », Histoire littéraire de la France, 41, Paris, Imprimerie nationale, 1981, p. 241-284.
  • Christine Morerod-Fattebert, Robert E. Lerner, Le Liber secretorum eventuum de Jean de Roquetaillade, Fribourg, Editions universitaires, 1994.
  • Jean de Roquetaillade, Liber ostensor quod adesse festinant tempora. Édition critique sous la direction d'A. Vauchez, par Cl. Thévenaz Modestin et Chr. Morerod-Fattebert, Rome, Ecole française de Rome, 2005, XIII-1041 p.
  • Sylvain Piron, « L’ecclésiologie franciscaine de Jean de Roquetaillade », Franciscan Studies, 65, 2007, p. 281-294.
  • Sylvain Piron, Le Sexdequiloquium de Jean de Roquetaillade, Oliviana, 3, 2009  :
  • Robert E. Lerner, “John the Astonishing”, Oliviana, 3, 2009 :
  • DeVun, L. Prophecy, Alchemy, and the End of Time: John of Rupescissa in the Late Middle Ages (New York, 2009).
  • Udo Benzenhöfer Johannes‘ de Rupescissa. Liber de consideratione quintae essentiae omnium rerum deutsch. Studien zur Alchemia medica des 15. bis 17. Jahrhunderts mit kritischer Edition des Textes. Steiner, Stuttgart 1989.

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