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boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=690416

As a Harvard Ph.D. organic chemist, I believe the Oil of Vitriol in Borgias refers to morphine sulfate. The threads talk about sulfuric acid and, indeed, all sulfates are made using sulfuric acid [oil of vitriol, named for it's viscous oily properties]. The reaction of ethanol and sulfuric acid does form diethyl ether as many suggest.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_of_vitriol

Pure sulfuric acid has a vapor pressure of <0.001 mmHg at 25 °C and 1 mmHg at 145.8 °C, and 98% sulfuric acid has a <1 mmHg vapor pressure at 40 °C. Pure sulfuric acid is a viscous clear liquid, like oil, and this explains the old name of the acid ('oil of vitriol'). Commercial sulfuric acid is sold in several different purity grades.

www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oil of

Oil of vitriol definition is - concentrated sulfuric acid. Post the Definition of oil of vitriol to Facebook Share the Definition of oil of vitriol on Twitter

www.nndb.com/people/159/000092880

Alexander VI, given name Rodrigo Borgia, Roman Catholic Pope from 1492 until his death, is the most memorable of the corrupt and secular popes of the Renaissance. He was born at Xativa, near Valencia in Spain, and his father's surname was Lanzol or Llançol; that of his mother's family, Borgia or ...

answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130531145404AAoateF

what was the drug vitriola in the 1400's rome? it was referred to in the show The Borgias....the pope was addicted to it. ... There was also something called Blue Vitriol, which is a copper sulfate pentahydrate. ... It's no surprise then why pope Alexander VI began taking the drug (dull his pains) and why he was was filled with the holy spirit ...

www.audioenglish.org/dictionary/oil_of_vitriol.htm

Definition of oil of vitriol in the AudioEnglish.org Dictionary. Meaning of oil of vitriol. What does oil of vitriol mean? Proper usage and audio pronunciation (plus IPA phonetic transcription) of the word oil of vitriol. Information about oil of vitriol in the AudioEnglish.org dictionary, synonyms and antonyms.

www.thefreedictionary.com/oil+of+vitriol

Define oil of vitriol. oil of vitriol synonyms, oil of vitriol pronunciation, oil of vitriol translation, English dictionary definition of oil of vitriol. ... oil of vitriol; Oil of wine; oil of wintergreen; oil paint; oil painter; oil painting; oil palm; oil pan; oil patch; oil pipeline; oil pressure; oil production; oil pump; oil refinery ...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ether_addiction

In the second season of the television series Borgia, Rodrigo Borgia, named Pope Alexander VI, and his mistress become addicted to sweet oil of vitriol (a sixteenth century name for diethyl ether). Delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations plague the pope as he falls deeper into his addiction.

www.patheos.com/.../2009/07/the-unholy-grail-pope-alexander-vi-1431-1503

The year was 1492, and Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI. Among the most notorious of all papacies, Borgia’s family was the inspiration for Mario Puzo’s Godfather books.

www.reformation.org/borgia-ch5.html

"the “cantarella," deadly poison of the borgia,' the secret of its preparation has been lost—"eternity powders" and "time poisons"—rich cardinals forced to drink the fatal cup-raising money for the armies of the pope's son—the banquet of death with the grim goddess nemesis as an unbidden guest—the last days of alexander, and his horrible end.