John Aurelio Augurello, (1441–1524) Italian alchemist who tried to impress Pope Leo X with his knowledge of Alchemy.
John Aurelio Augurello was born in Rimini, Italy, in 1441. He distinguished himself as a professor of belles lettres in Venice and Trevisa. Fascinated by alchemy, Auguerello prayed earnestly to God to be given the secret of the philosopher’s stone. He spent all of his money on alchemical equipment and supplies but failed in his efforts. When he had no more money with which to continue his work, he conceived of an idea to extract a grant of funds from Pope Leo X. He composed a mediocre poem, “Chryospeia,” in which he pretended to know the secret of transmutation, and dedicated it to the pope. Leo, being an astute judge of poetry, was most unimpressed by the poem, and he also disapproved of alchemy in general. When Augurello petitioned him for money, Leo—with great ceremony—presented him with an empty purse.
Augurello never achieved his dream and died in extreme poverty at age 83 in 1524.