Homunculus, or homunculus - one of the secrets of medieval alchemists and one of their most important and serious experiments, which consisted in the "cultivation" of a living creature by artificial means.
The essence of the concept of "homunculus"
Alchemists have tried to achieve such lofty goals that modern scientists do not dare to dream of. In the same list with the philosopher's stone and the transformation of lead into gold was the creation of homunculi - creatures similar to humans, but not born, but grown artificially.
Although the concept of "homunculus" was widespread in the XII century, this topic became really popular only a century later, when Arnaldus de Villanova, a doctor and alchemist from Spain, created the theory of "making" people and, according to rumors, conducted a number of successful experiments, which others it has not been possible before. For a long time it was believed that he was the only one who was able to achieve the result, but three centuries after the death of Arnaldus, Paracelsus supported his idea and even proposed his own recipe for growing an artificial man.
It was assumed that the homunculus would not be just an artificially grown body or a kind of soulless robot. The alchemists believed that this consciousness would have both feelings and reason, and indeed it would begin to resemble a person in many ways.
How alchemists tried to create a homunculus
There were several different methods for creating homunculi, but almost all of them were based on one idea: the sperm should become the basis for this creature, because it is he who eventually turns into a person in the womb of his mother. The process of carrying a child to alchemists in the Middle Ages seemed akin to the process of growing a homunculus, only they wanted to do without the "standard" methods. Moreover, it was assumed that the sperm is a man, only tiny, and in the mother's womb it only increases in size, nothing more.
One of the most popular recipes for growing a homunculus belongs to Paracelsus. He proposed taking human sperm, heating it in a special way in a test tube, magnetizing it, burying it in horse manure, and also performing a number of other manipulations, the essence of most of which was not clear even at the time of the development of this method. Next, it was necessary to keep the test tube with the homunculus in special conditions, from time to time feeding the little man so that he would grow and develop. It was supposed to be fed with human blood. According to Paracelsus, it was possible to achieve the result in this case in the shortest possible time: the homunculus needed 40 days to "mature". By this time, the growth of the creature should have already reached about 30, 5 cm.