Elemental  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An elemental is a mythological being first appearing in the alchemical works of Paracelsus. Traditionally, there are four types:

The exact term for each type varies somewhat from source to source, though these four are now the most usual. Most of these beings are found in folklore as well as alchemy; their names are often used interchangeably with similar beings from folklore. The sylph, however, is rarely encountered outside of alchemical contexts.

The basic concept of an elemental refers to the ancient idea of elements as fundamental building blocks of nature. In the system prevailing in the Classical world, there were four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. This paradigm was highly influential in Medieval natural philosophy, and Paracelsus evidently intended to draw a range of mythological beings into this paradigm by identifying them as belonging to one of these four elemental types.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Elemental" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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