Melchior Cibinensis

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Melchior Cibinensis as pictured in Maier's Symbola Aureae Mensae

Melchior Cibinensis was a Hungarian[1] alchemical writer active in the first part of the 16th century. He is known for the Processus sub forma missae, an alchemical mass,[2] now dated to around 1525; it was published in the Theatrum Chemicum of 1602, and formed part of a celebrated later collection Symbola Aureae Mensae from 1617 of Michael Maier.[3]

The identity of Melchior is still a subject of debate. The candidate proposed by Carl Jung was Nicolas Melchior Szebeni.[4] This Nicolas was chaplain and from 1490 court astrologer to Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary to whom the Processus was dedicated.[5] It has more recently been proposed that Melchior was a pseudonym of Nicolaus Olahus.[6] Another name given is Menyhért Miklós.[7]


  • Kiss, Farkas Gábor; Láng, Benedek; Popa-Gorjanu, Cosmin, The Alchemical Mass of Nicolaus Melchior Cibinensis: Text, Identity and Speculations, Ambix, Volume 53, Number 2, July 2006, pp. 143–159


  1. ^ Craven, J. B. Count Michael Maier. Dawsons of Pall Mall, 1969 (reissue of 1910 ed.); p. 82
  2. ^ Online translated text, perhaps incomplete.
  3. ^ As Melchior Cibinensis Ungarus. See his inclusion in the frontispiece of 12 alchemical worthies.
  4. ^ Jung, Psychology and Alchemy (1953 second edition in English translation), p. 396. Jung devotes a section to the Processus.
  5. ^ Authority for the dedication, one of the few hard facts in the case, is Petrus Borelius.
  6. ^ See this PDF, by Cristina Neagu; the identification is not claimed to be definitive. See also the 2003 book Servant of the Renaissance: the Poetry and Prose of Nicolaus Olahus, ISBN 0-8204-5906-2, ISBN 978-0-8204-5906-6, by the same author.
  7. ^ This page, in Hungarian. Szebeni in Hungarian corresponds to Cibinensis or Cibiniensis in Latin, i.e. from Sibiu, Transylvania, now in Romania. Herman(n)stadt being the German name of the city, the name Nicholas Melchior of Hermanstadt or Hermannstadt is also given.