posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 01:37 PM
reply to post by VeritasAequitas
You wrote: QUOTE
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the majority theory is that al-kīmīā is derived from χημία, which is derived from the ancient
Egyptian name of Egypt (khem, khame, or khmi, meaning "black earth", contrasting with the surrounding desert.)
Therefore, alchemy is the "Egyptian art". However, it is also possible that al-kīmīā was derived from χημεία, meaning "cast together".
Clearly, the OED does not really know for sure from what etymological source this curious ancient term ('Alchemia') actually derives - and as we all
know, 'majority opinions' often change when new information surfaces...
Certainly 'Al-Khem' could mean 'from Egypt' (lit. 'from the Black' land i.e. the land of blackened Nile silt) or it could mean '[from] the Blackened'
i.e. '[arising from] the Nigredo' i.e. the very first stage in all Alchemical processes. This final derivation certainly seems plausible.
The issue with using the Greek term 'Khemeia' as the root for Alchemy is that the term is actually 'Al-Khemiea' which begins with a two letter Arabic
particle 'al-' (i.e. functioning here as a definite article, meaning 'the', i.e. 'The Black' ) and AL as a two letter grammatical combination is not
recognized in Greek - unless it is a imported 'barbarian term' i.e. a foreign word being transliterated into Greek letters, or made into a kind of
portmanteau technical term using the two languages mixed together, - after all there was the Hellenisation of Egypt after Alexander the Great's
conquest c. 331 BCE.
Since Al- is a common Arabic particle (with various and sundry linguistic usages) presumably Al-Khem would be the best solution for the true root for
the term Alchemy (i.e. 'from the Black')
Just my $.02
edit on 17-4-2013 by Sigismundus because: stutteringggggg computerrrrrrr keyyyboarddd