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 Paracelsus
PARACELSUS.

PARACELSUS.
(1493 - 1541)

(Born: Sihlbrücke, near Einsiedeln, Switzerland, 10 November 1493; Died: Salzburg, Austria, 24 September 1541) Swiss physician & alchemist.

Paracelsus is also known as Theophrastus von Hohenheim, Eremita (of Einsiedeln), and Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. It is now established that the family originally came from Würtemberg, where the noble family of Bombastus was in possession of the ancestral castle of Hohenheim near Stuttgart until 1409; Paracelsus is the Latin form in common use among the German scholars of the time. Among his teachers, Paracelsus mentions a prolonged interval spent in the laboratories of Sigmund Fugger at Schwaz who made him familiar with metallurgy. All his life restless and eager for travel, he attended the most important universities of Germany, France, and Italy, and, in 1526, went to Strasburg, where, already a doctor. His teaching, as well as his opposition to the prevailing Galeno-Arabic system, the burning of Avicenna's writings in a public square, the polemical tone of his discourses, which, contrary to all custom, were delivered in German, his dissensions with the faculty, attacks on the greed of apothecaries, and to a certain extent, also, his success as a practitioner-All drew upon him the hatred of those in authority. In February he fled from Basle to Colmar.

Biographical references: Aberle, G., Schädel und Abbildungen des Theophrastus Paracelsus. Salzburg, 1891. DBA: I 558, 176; 931, 276-350; II G 6, 6-10; 982, 197-304. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. Ferguson, Bibliographia Paracelsica. Glasgow, 1877. Great Chemists: 47-64, portrait. Hartmann, The Life of Paracelsus and the Substance of his Teachings. London, 1886. Jaffe, Crucibles: The Great Chemists, 1936: 18-33, portrait. Meixner, Mineralogischen Erforschung Kärntens, 1951: p. 17. Mook, Theophrastus Paracelsus. Würtzburg, 1876. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 2, col. 357. Schaedler, Biographisch Handwörterbuch, 1891: 87-8. Schroeter, Joachim., "Die Stellung des Paracelsus in der Mineralogie des 16. Jahrhunderts," Schweizerische mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, 21 (1941), p. 313-331. [A study of the Swiss native Paracelsus' influence in sixteenth century mineralogy.]. Strunz, Theophrastus Paracelsus sein Leben und Persönlichkeit. Leipzig, 1903. Sudhoff, Karl., "Ein Beitrag zur Bibliographie der Paracelsisten im 16. Jahrhundert," Centralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 10 (1893), 316-26 & 385-407. WBI.

Ettliche Tractatus, 1570

1. German, 1570 [First edition].
Ettliche Tractatus | Des Hocher= | farnen vnnd berümbte= | sten Philippi Theophrasti Pa= | racelsi/ der waren Philosophi vnd | Artzney Doctoris. | I. Von Natürlichen dingen. | II. Beschreibung etlicher kreütter. | III Von Metallen. | IV. Von Mineralen. | V. Von Edlen Gesteinen. | Cum Piruilegio Cæsareo ad | decennium. | Getruckt zů Straßburg am | Kornmarckt/ bey Christian Mül= | lers Erben/ Anno | 1570.

8°: *8 A-Z8 Aa-Kk8 Ll2; 274l.; [16], 1-532 p. Page size: 151 x 92 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs/=*1], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs/=*2r-*3v], "Privilegium."-dated 25 September 1568.; [10 pgs/=*4r-*8v], Dedication.; 1-391, "Das Bůch von natürlichen dingē."; 391-457, "Zwen tractat von Mineralibus, das ist, von früchten des wassers, des Hochgelehrten Philippi Theophrasti Bombast von Hohenheym, der Philosophei, beyder artzney Doctoris. Alles auss seiner eygen Handtschriffft mit sondem fleiss vnd arbeyt dargethon."; 458-532, "Philosophie Theophrasti Paracelsi das viert vuch, vō Element wasser, vnd seinen früchten, aussgetheylt in fünff Tractat. Das ist von Metallen, Mineralien, Saltzen vnd gesteinen, &c. Alles auss Theophrasti handtschrifft mit sonderm fleiss an tag geben."

Very rare. Edited by Michael Toxites [see note below] from previous publications and previously unpublished manuscript material. The text begins with a long section describing various "natural things." This is divided into 17 chapters describing: (1) turpentine, (2) the black and white varieties of the medicinal hellebore plant, (3) "Wasserblüt," (4) salt and its compounds, (5) the Saint James Wart, (6) the magnet, which predates William Gilbert by 30 years, (7) sulfur, (8) vitriol, (9) arsenic, (10) a further tract on turpentine, (11) honey and its varieties, (12) descriptions of various herbs, (13) "Persicaria," (14) salt and its manufacture, (15) the English Thistle, (16) coral, and (17) the manufacture of magnets. Two tracts published from manuscript material concerning minerals and mineral waters follow. Finally, descriptions of elemental water (in the Aristotelian element sense), metals, minerals, salts, and precious stones close the work.

The Paracelsian view expounded throughout all of his works is that metals and minerals are formed and grown within the earth, each in its own time, from congealing elemental water and comprise: (1) metals, (2) gems, (3) salts, (4) mineral springs, (5) silver and golden marcasites, (6) common stones, including marble, slate, alabaster and jasper, (7) sulfurous earths such as yellow (amber) and black (jet), and (8) coral, eagle-stone, most petrifications and `lusta naturae' (sports of nature). The colors of gems are due to included metal impurities, thus the green of emerald comes from copper, golden hue of carbuncle due to gold, red of ruby to iron, blue of sapphire to silver, white sapphire to tin, hyacinth to mercury, and each in turn corresponding to particular planet. This is where each substance derives its medicinal virtue.

Paracelsus' view on the generation of metals, stones and minerals owes much to the Arabic authors. He criticised the old theory that they were composed of only mercury and sulfur, believing that salt also entered into their composition. He recognized seven metals, corresponding with the planets, of both male and female types, thus iron was female while steel was male. He recognized that many undiscovered metals might exist.

Michael Toxites. (Born: Stoerzingen, Graubündten, Germany, 1515; Died: Hagenau, Germany, 1581) German physician. Toxites studied at the University of Tübingen, where for a long period he was also an instructor. After he made a tour of Italy, Toxites was named the city physician of Hagenau, where he remaind the rest of his life. He was a liberal thinker, and is best known for his commentaries on the work of Paracelsus.

Bibliographical references: Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 424. NUC: 440, 587-605 [NP 0073257]. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 2, 115-51, portrait. Schroeter, Joachim., "Die Stellung des Paracelsus in der Mineralogie des 16. Jahrhunderts," Schweizerische mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, 21 (1941), p. 313-331. [A study of the Swiss native Paracelsus' influence in sixteenth century mineralogy.]. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 1894: no. 120. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 4780. (Toxites) Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 5, 709. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Sudhoff, Karl., "Ein Beitrag zur Bibliographie der Paracelsisten im 16. Jahrhundert," Centralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 10 (1893), 316-26 & 385-407.

2. German, 1582 [2nd edition].
[In black:] Etliche Tractat | [in red:] Philippi Theo= | phrasti Paracelsi/ des be= | [in black:] rümbtesten vnd hocherfarnen der | wahren Philolosophey vnd | Artzney Docton. | I. Von Natürlichen dingen. | II. Beschreibung etlicherer Kreutter. | III. Von Metallen. | IIII. Von Mineralen. | V. Von Edlen Gesteinen. | [in red:] Jtzt [!] wider von newem auß Theo= | [in black:] phrasti Handschrifft mit fleiß | vbersehen vnd Corrigirt. | Cum gratia & Priuilegio Cæsareo. | [in red:] Getruckt zu Straßburg/ durch | [in black:] Christian Müllers Erben. | M. D. LXXXII.

8°: A-Z8 Aa-Ii8 Kk4; 260l.; [12], 1-499 (i.e., 507), [1] p. Pages 162-163 and 446-451 are repeated in the sequence. Title page in red and black. Page size: 155 x 100 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Title page, verso blank.; [10 pgs/=A2r-A6v], "Vorrede''-signed, Michael Toxites, 1 March 1570.; 1-369, Das Bůch Von Natürlichen dingen.; 370-432, Zwen Tractat vonn Mineralibus.; 433-499 (i.e., 507), Das vierdt Bůch, vom Element wasser.; [1 pg/=Kk4v], Blank.

Very rare. Usually considered rarer than the first edition of 1570, this work is essentially a reprint of the original edition with the text completely reset.

Bibliographical references: Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 424A. NUC: 440, 587-605 [NP 0073251]. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 1894: no. 192.

3. German, 1587 [3rd edition].
Etliche Tractat Philippi Theophrasti Paracelsi, des berümbtesten vnd hocherfarnen der wahren Philolosophey vnd Artzney Docton. I. Von Natürlichen Dingen. II. Beschreibung etlinger Kreutter. III. Von Metallen. IIII. Von Mineralen. V. Von Edlen Gesteinen. Jetzt von newem auß Theophrasti Handschrifft mit fleiß wider vbersehen vnd Corrigirt. Cum gratia & Priuilegio Cæsareo. Getruckt zu Straßburg, durch Antonium Bertram. M.D.LXXXVII.

8°: A-Z8 Aa-Ii8 Kk4; 260l.; [12], 1-499 (i.e., 507), [1] p. Pages 162-163 and 446-451 are repeated in the sequence. Title page in red and black.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Title page, verso blank.; [10 pgs/=A2r-A6v], "Vorrede''-signed, Michael Toxites, 1 March 1570.; 1-369, Das Bůch Von Natürlichen dingen.; 370-432, Zwen Tractat vonn Mineralibus.; 433-499 (i.e., 507), Das vierdt Bůch, vom Element wasser.; [1 pg/=Kk4v], Blank.

Rare. Essentially a reprint of the 1587 edition with a new imprint on the title page.

Bibliographical references: NUC [no copy listed]. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 1894: no. 214.

4. German, 1597 [4th edition].
Etliche Tractat Philippi Theophrasti Paracelsi, des berümbtesten vnd hochersarnen der wahren Philosophy vnnd Artzney Doctorn. I. Von Natürlichen dingen. II. Beschreibung etlicher Krüter. III. Von Metallen. IIII. Von Mineralien. V. Von Edlen Gesteinen. Jetzt wider von newem auß Theophrasti Handtschrifft mit fleiß vbersehen vnnd Corrigirt. Getruckt zu Straßburg, durch Antonium Bertram. M.D.XCVII.

8°: A-Z8 Aa-Ii8 Kk4; 260l.; [12], 1-499 (i.e., 507), [1] p. Pages 162-163 and 446-451 are repeated in the sequence. Title page in red and black.

Contents: [2 pgs/=A1], Title page, verso blank.; [10 pgs/=A2r-A6v], "Vorrede''-signed, Michael Toxites, 1 March 1570.; 1-369, Das Bůch Von Natürlichen dingen.; 370-432, Zwen Tractat vonn Mineralibus.; 433-499 (i.e., 507), Das vierdt Bůch, vom Element wasser.; [1 pg/=Kk4v], Blank.

Rare. Essentially a reprint of the 1587 edition with a new title page.

Bibliographical references: NUC: 440, 587-605 [NP 0073252]. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 1894: no. 241.

5. German, 1616-8 [Collected works].
Opera. Buecher und schrifften ... [bound with] Chirurgische Buecher und Schrifften. Strassburg, Lazarus Zetzner, 1616 & 1618.

3 vols in one. (2nd work in 4 parts.). *6, a-z6, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, AA-ZZ6, 3A-3D6, 3F8; (:)4, a-z6, A6(but lacking A5), B-2M6; ):(6, A-L6, M-N4, O-2D6, 2E8, 2F-2U6, 2X8, 2Y-3Y6, 3Z-4A4. Two title-pages with elaborate woodcut architectural borders. Woodcut portrait of Paracelsus. Illustrated with some diagrams and woodcut illustrations (particularly in magic section) and typographic tables. (folio). Page size: 12 1/2x7 3/4 in.

Rare. Edited by Johannes Huser. Massive collected edition of Paracelsus's works; very rare, and one of the most important texts in the transition from medieval to modern medicine. "Paracelsus is a phenomenon in the history of medicine, a genius tardily recognized, who in his impetuosity sought to overturn the old order of things, thereby rousing bitter antagonists..." Paracelsus firmly opposed the humoral theory of disease championed by Galen, advocated the use of specific remedies for specific diseases, introducing many chemicals (e.g., laudanum, mercury, sulfur, iron, and arsenic) into use as medicines; and noted relationships such as the hereditary pattern in syphilis and the association of cretinism with endemic goiter and of paralysis with head injuries. Paracelsus was a violent reformer who had a hot-blooded, polemical style and controversially lectured in German rather than the standard Latin. In his thirties he fled his post in Basle to live the life of a peripatetic visionary: "A typical vagrant, his subsequent life was spent in continual wandering, surrounded by a troop of adventurers, with the reputation of a charlatan, but all the while observing all things with remarkable zeal, and busied with the composition of his numerous works." (Senfelder). This is one of the Huser editions, considered the best of the early collections, but still with some spurious works.

Bibliographical references: Catholic Encyclopaedia. NLM 17th Century Books (Krivatsy): no. 8558 & 8568. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 1894: 300-2. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, 4809 & 4812.

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