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I read in my old Polish history handbook about the black powder recipe that was taken from some medieval manuscript, if I remember correctly. One of the ingredients was called “salpotricon”, but years passed and I still have no clue what could it be.

So, I'm asking the internet to solve this mystery. Maybe it's a Latin word, I'm not sure.

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    $\begingroup$ Could this be Saltpetre? Otherwise known as Potassium Nitrate. $\endgroup$ – Waylander Jan 13 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ Using google translate (so take this with a handful of Sodium chloride) I get "If you want to make strong gunpowder, take four pounds of pure saltpeter, one pound of sulfur, one pound of coal, one ounce of salpotricon * and one ounce" which implies Saltpetre and salpotricon are different things. In that case I have no idea what the later may be, and a very, very quick scan of the wikipedia article on gunpowder leaves me no wiser. $\endgroup$ – Ian Bush Jan 14 at 10:04
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    $\begingroup$ If you read Polish I suspect it is fairly clear. Just google "salpotricon", it's one of the very few hits. Unfortunately it seems to be hidden behind some sort of login $\endgroup$ – Ian Bush Jan 14 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ You mean this link forum.vmc.org.pl/viewtopic.php?t=1023&start=125 unfortunately there is no answer for this question $\endgroup$ – Marthaa Jan 14 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ OK, I asked one my Research Associates who is half-Polish. She didn't know, so she asked her Polish mother, who is also trained as a translator. She didn't know either, saying "It sounds rather old and yes, nobody seems to know. I've even checked my old printed encyclopaedia, but nothing there either. It definitely is not an originally Polish word, it seems verbatim ("c" never appears in that kind of an ending in Polish) taken from a different language." So it is quite a puzzle - and I'm beginning to suspect a languages group might be better than this chemistry one. The on suggests Greek ... $\endgroup$ – Ian Bush Jan 14 at 20:53