Twelve Keys of Basilius Valentinus is one of the most important alchemical works available to modern students. His writings contain much of interest to the student of alchemy. Whether Basil Valentine is the correct name of the author or an alias does not matter since it detracts nothing from his work or the value of his experiments.
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About the Author
It is believed that Basilius Valentinus was born in 1394 and that he joined the Benedictine Brotherhood, eventually becoming Canon of the Priory of St. Peter at Erfurt, near Strasburg, although we have no proof. Basil Valentine was the originator of many chemical preparations of importance. Among these are the preparation of spirit of salt (hydrochloric acid), oil of vitriol (sulfuric acid), and the extraction of copper from its pyrites by transforming it first into copper sulfate then plunging a bar of iron into the solution. He is also said to have discovered antimony.