Category Archives: Cinnebar and Nanocheops

4/2/12-FROM THE DESK OF DR. HILDY-Series 2- BioEthnoticity and Nanotechnology – Cinnabar and Nanocheops

From the Desk of Dr. Hildy™

© March 6, 2012

Series 2: BioEthnoticity & Nanotechnology 

CINNABAR and NANOCHEOPS

Emperor Qin Shibuangdi, First Emperor of the Ming-dynasty

Emperor Qin Shibuangdi, First Emperor of the Ming-dynasty

Cinnabar was “truly one” with Qin Shibuangdi, First Emperor of the Ming-dynasty (ruled 221-210 BCE) and the earliest known imperial patron of alchemy, next to Rudolf the Great of Hapsburg in 1218 AD for Europe.  Despite the time periods Confucian disapproval of both the First Emperor and his fondness of alchemy, the ingestion of gold – or, rather, the transformed gold- appears to have remained quite popular throughout the Han dynasty.   However, most Han dynasty alchemists worked with cinnabar, sometimes with fatal results.  Cinnabar (mercury sulfide) is an ore of mercury that is a deep vermilion in color.  When heated, cinnabar produces liquid mercury, and further heating and combination of mercury and sulfur will in turn reproduce cinnabar (a cyclical transformation that particularly intrigued Chinese alchemists).  Mercury was further amalgamated with other metals (gold and lead in particular) producing elixirs to be ingested. While cinnabar itself was non-toxic- indeed it still maintains a prominent place in traditional Chinese medicine –

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