image MS_38_121v
Image number: RS.16884
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Ouroboros, dragon eating its own tail




Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 166mm
width (page): 116mm



A common symbol in alchemy, this dragon is eating its own tail. The symbol is called 'ouroboros' and has a meaning of infinity and wholeness.

The drawing is added to the last page of a French manuscript about the philosopher's stone, entitled: 'Clangor Buccinae: Leson de la Trompete ou du Clarion. Traite excellent et admirable racuielly d'une escripture fort ancienne; descourant a tous philosophes fidellement et physicalement de la pierre des Philosophes. Mis en Francois par I. Fornier. 1573.'

It is possible that this particular copy was made later than 1573. It is not clear what the original text is, or in which language it was originally written.

Object history

The Royal Society catalogue indicates that this is a notebook of Robert Boyle's.

Related Fellows

Robert Boyle (1627-1691, British), Natural philosopher

Associated place