En la historia de la ciencia, la etimología de la palabra química es un asunto controversial. Está claro que la palabra alquimia es europea, derivada de una arábica, pero el origen del radical kēme es incierto. Palabras similares a ésta se han encontrado en muchos lenguajes antiguos, con muchos significados diferentes, sin embargo, de alguna forma relacionadas con la alquimia. De hecho, los persas, griegos, chinos e indios usaban términos que denotaban cambio o transmutación. La mayoría de historiadores, sin embargo, aceptan que los Egipcios fueron los primero químicos. El químico francés Antoine Foutcroy, por ejemplo, en 1782 en Leçons élémentaires d'histoire naturelle et de chemi, divide divide la historia de la química temprana en cuatro épocas: Egipto, Los Arabes, alquimia, y química farmacéutica iniciada por Paracelsus.
Las raíces de la palabra "química", esencialmente, derivan de el estudio antiguo de como transmutar metales "de tierra" en "oro" en combinación con conjuros alquímicos así como esfuerzos por encontrar la Piedra filosofal. La mayoría de autpres aceptan que la palabra "química" tiene un origen egipcio, basada en la antigua palabra egipcia kēme (quem), que significa tierra.   La mayoría acepta que la alquimia nació en el antiguo Egipto, en donde la palabra kēme era usada para referirse a la fertilidad del suelo alrededor del Nilo.
Algunos, sin embargo, sostienen que la palabra "química" tiene su origen en la palabra griega χημεία (khemeia) que significa "mezcla de líquidos". Otros afirman que la palabra alquimica deriva de la palabra griega para "El Arte Egipcio".
Tracicionalmente, la ciencia de la alquimia fue considerada como surgida de la gran figura egipcia llamada por los griegos "Hermes Trismegistus" (el "tres veces grande" Hermes, celebrado como sacerdote, rey y erudito), quien se piensa es el fundador de esta arte. Hermes, de quien se decía que vivió alrededor de 1900 a. C., fue muy célebre por su sabiduría y destreza en las operaciones de la naturaleza. En 1614 Isaac Casaubon demostró que el trabajo que se le atribuía -- el llamado "corpus Hermético" -- fue escrito bajo seudónimo durante los tres primeros siglos de nuestra era.
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In general, knowing that Egypt was founded as a state in c. 776BC. it is likely that the Greek alchemists adopted Egyptian terminology. however the time difference between them is too long. Some other Researchers believe it is from Old Persian word "Kimia" meaning gold. The alchemical theories associated with Hermes Trismegistus, is the syncretism of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth. Moreover, it is known that the four chemical gods of the Egyptians, the female-male original principle of Osiris (male Sun) and the corresponding Isis (Wife-sister, female Moon), as well as Mercury and Vulcan, became eight gods and finally twelve gods, who were later taken over by the Greeks. This origin theory, in chemistry, was generally known as the "pyramid of composition" and was utilized in the writing of Michael Maier, who in turn influenced Isaac Newton in his alchemical writings in the 1680s. Hence, the ancient "Egypt" word kēme (3000 BC), which stands for earth, is a possible root word of chemistry; this later became "khēmia", or transmutation, by 300 AD, and then “al-khemia” in the Arabic world, then alchemy in the Dark Ages, then “chymistry” in 1661 with Boyle’s publication, and now “chemistry”.
The birthplace of alchemy then, according to most references, was ancient Egypt, where, in Alexandria, it began to flourish in the Hellenistic period; simultaneously, a school of alchemy was developing in China. The writings of some of the early Greek philosophers might be considered to contain the first chemical theories; and the theory advanced in the 5th century BC by Empedocles—that all things are composed of air, earth, fire, and water—was influential in alchemy.
Likewise, according to noted chemistry historian James R. Partington, from his four-volume magnum opus History of Chemistry (1969), the reference to which "all historians of chemistry remain profoundly indebted", “the earliest applications of chemical processes were concerned with the extraction and working of metals and the manufacture of pottery, which were forms of crafts practiced many centuries before the Bronze Age cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia.” Thus, according to Partington, alchemy came from Egypt and Mesopotamia.
In sum, as to the derivation of the word there are two main views which agree in holding that it has an Arabic descent, the prefix al being the Arabic article. But according to one, the second part of the word comes from the Greek χημεία, pouring, infusion, used in connexion with the study of the juices of plants, and thence extended to chemical manipulations in general; this derivation accounts for the old-fashioned spellings "chymist" and "chymistry". The other view traces it to khem or khame, hieroglyph khmi, which denotes black earth as opposed to barren sand, and occurs in Plutarch as XvAda; on this derivation alchemy is explained as meaning the "Egyptian art". The first occurrence of the word is said to be in a treatise of Julius Firmicus, an astrological writer of the 4th century, but the prefix al there must be the addition of a later copyist. Among the Alexandrian writers alchemy was designated as Xpvvoi TE Kai apyipou 7roc7Jvews TEXvn Oda Kai iepa or k7fc6TY ] �7] iepa. In English, Piers Plowman (1362) contains the phrase " experimentis of alconomye," with variants alkenemye " and " a] knamye." The prefix al began to be dropped about the middle of the 16th century (further details of which are given below).
According to the Egyptologist Wallis Budge, the Arabic word al-kīmiyaˀ actually means "the Egyptian [science]", borrowing from the Coptic word for "Egypt", kēme (or its equivalent in the Mediaeval Bohairic dialect of Coptic, khēme). This Coptic word derives from Demotic kmỉ, itself from ancient Egyptian kmt. The ancient Egyptian word referred to both the country and the colour "black" (Egypt was the "Black Land", by contrast with the "Red Land", the surrounding desert); so this etymology could also explain the nickname "Egyptian black arts". However, according to Mahn, this theory may be an example of folk etymology. Assuming an Egyptian origin, chemistry is defined as follows:
Thus, according to Budge and others, chemistry derives from an Egyptian word khemein or khēmia, "preparation of black powder", ultimately derived from the name khem, Egypt. A decree of Diocletian, written about 300 AD in Greek, speaks against "the ancient writings of the Egyptians, which treat of the khēmia [transmutation] of gold and silver".
Arabic al-kimia, according to some, is thought to derive from Greek word khemeia (χημεία) meaning alchemy. According to Mann, the Greek word χυμεία khumeia meaning "pouring together", "casting together", "weld", "alloy", etc. (cf. Gk. kheein "to pour"; khumatos, "that which is poured out, an ingot"). Assuming a Greek origin, chemistry is defined as follows:
The word alchemy comes from the Arabic al-kīmiyaˀ or al-khīmiyaˀ (الكيمياء or الخيمياء) which is probably formed from the article al- and the Greek word for alchemy, khemeia (χημεία). This is also thought to be connected with the Greek words kheein "to pour" and khumeia "poured together", "cast together", "weld", "alloy", and khumatos, "that which is poured out, an ingot".
Some researchers believe it is from the Old Persian word "kimia" which is meaning gold and the science of transformation of elements, which was later transferred to Europe by Arabs
De la alquimia a la química
It was the famous mineralogist and humanist Georg Agricola who first dropped the Arabic definite article and began, in his Latin works from 1530 on, to write "chymia" and "chymista" instead of the earlier "alchymia" and "alchymista". As a humanist, Agricola was intent on purifying words and returning them to their classical roots. He had no intent to make a distinction between a rational and practical science of "chymia" and the occult "alchymia", for he used the first of these words to apply to both kinds of activities. The modern denotational distinction arose only in the early eighteenth century.
During the rest of the sixteenth century Agricola's new coinage slowly propagated. It seems to have been adopted in most of the vernacular European languages following Conrad Gessner's adoption of it in his extremely popular pseudonymous work, De remediis secretis: Liber physicus, medicus, et partim etiam chymicus (Zurich 1552). This work was frequently re-published in the second half of the sixteenth century, and the earliest known occurrences of forms of the French "chimie," the German "Chemie," the Italian "chimica," and the English "chemistry" are found in early translations.
Notas y referencias
|Este articulo se basa en el articulo Química_(etimología) publicado en la enciclopedia libre de Wikipedia. El contenido está disponible bajo los términos de la Licencia de GNU Free Documentation License. Véase también en Wikipedia para obtener una lista de autores.|