Authors/Benedictus Figulus

From Theatrum Paracelsicum

Personal Bibliography

Dedications, Prefaces, Postfaces

from: Benedictus Figulus, Carmen Heroicum Insignia Megalandri Lutheri complectens, Stuttgart: Marx Fürster, 1600
This very short dedication by Benedictus Figulus in his Heroic Poem is a tribute to Georg am und vom Wald, a distinguished figure in law, philosophy, and medicine, acknowledging him as a patron and revered parental figure.
from: Bartholomaeus Petrus Piscator, Petrus Larvatus, no date [1605]
from: Benedictus Figulus, Petrus Larvatus, no date [1606]
from: Benedictus Figulus, Petrus Larvatus, no date [1606]
Figulus emphasizes the importance of verses for memory retention. He has compiled testimonies, especially from Papist writings, to challenge and refute the adversaries of his beliefs. The first book argues that the Pope is the true Antichrist based on scriptural evidence. The second delves into histories from the Antichrist's reign, while the third critiques the over-reliance on Church Fathers, suggesting that many Catholic teachings were borrowed from Pagans. Figulus presents this as a brief overview of his work, urging readers to appreciate his efforts and to consider his arguments.
from: Thesaurinella Olympica aurea tripartita, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Frankfurt am Main: Wolfgang Richter, 1608
Figulus passionately defends and promotes alchemy, emphasizing its ancient, beneficial, and divine nature. He argues that alchemy is not just a practical art for purifying metals but also a spiritual pursuit, divinely inspired and capable of curing incurable diseases, as demonstrated by daily experiences and beyond the reach of skepticism. Figulus acknowledges the skepticism and mockery faced by alchemy and its practitioners but insists on the veracity and importance of the art, citing its historical and ongoing contributions to medicine and the transformation of metals. He references notable alchemists and physicians like Conrad Khunrath, Joachim Tancke, and Johann Thölde, who have validated alchemy through their works and teachings.
The text also delves into esoteric and prophetic aspects, mentioning Elias Artista, a legendary figure in alchemical tradition, prophesied by Paracelsus, and expected to bring significant revelations in alchemy. Figulus expresses his anticipation for Elias Artista's arrival, believing it will lead to a greater understanding and acceptance of alchemy, and ultimately, to the glorification of God.
Figulus then describes his own journey and dedication to alchemy, highlighting his collection of significant alchemical writings. He has compiled these works into a publication titled "Thesaurinella Aurea Tripartita," intending to share this knowledge for the betterment of mankind and the advancement of alchemical studies.
from: Pandora magnalium naturalium aurea et benedicta, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Straßburg: Lazarus Zetzner, 1608
The dedication is a homage to the ancient wisdom of philosophers and the importance of understanding the divine truth. Figulus laments the misinterpretation and misuse of ancient knowledge by contemporary society, emphasizing the significance of living in harmony with divine laws. He contrasts the eternal wisdom of God with the fleeting knowledge of the world, highlighting the importance of understanding one's own nature and the broader universe.
  Figulus underscores the value of three primary books: the vast book of Nature (Macrocosmus), the smaller book representing Man (Microcosmus), and the Holy Scriptures (Sacra Biblia). These books, he believes, offer profound insights into the divine and human nature, guiding individuals towards eternal truths.
  However, Figulus expresses his discontent with those who have suppressed or distorted these ancient teachings, especially the works of Theophrastus, a revered philosopher. He accuses certain individuals of hiding, altering, or selling these invaluable texts for personal gain, thereby depriving humanity of their profound wisdom. He is particularly critical of those who have kept the most essential works hidden, especially Theophrastus' theological writings, which he believes are crucial for understanding divine truths.
  In the context of the present book, which he titles "Pandoram Novam Auream & Olympiacam" and which discusses the Philosopher's Stone, Figulus aims to share this knowledge openly, especially since it contains treatises that have never been seen before. He dedicates the book to esteemed lords and patrons, acknowledging their support for alchemical and spagyric arts. He humbly requests their continued patronage and protection against detractors and mockers of these noble arts.
  Figulus concludes by expressing his commitment to defending the teachings of Theophrastus and promoting the truth. He places his trust in divine protection and hopes that with God's grace, he can continue to serve the pursuit of knowledge and truth. The dedication serves as a testament to Figulus' dedication to ancient wisdom, his critique of its misuse, and his hope for a future where these teachings are revered and understood.

from: Paracelsus, Kleine Wund-Artzney, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Straßburg: Paul Ledertz, 1608
Figulus expresses deep admiration and trust towards Kumpfmüller. He discusses the widespread deceit and misuse in medicine and surgery, lamenting the harm caused to thousands of patients over centuries. He highlights the contributions of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim, revered as a monarch of medicine, who exposed the falsehoods in medical practices based on principles derived from nature and the Holy Spirit. Figulus criticizes the persistent ignorance and deceit in the world, where truth is often hated and persecuted. He notes that many practitioners, including wound doctors and barbers, cling to outdated methods and fail to adopt the foundational principles laid out by Theophrastus. To address this, Figulus has prepared the Small Surgery by Paracelsus, along with treatises by the late Doctor Bartholomäus Carrichter, aiming to guide practitioners towards true healing principles. Recognizing that many practitioners lack Latin knowledge, he has translated Paracelsus' work, combining German and Latin, and revised it. The translation is intended to be accessible and useful, purged of errors. Figulus commends Kumpfmüller for his passion for Theophrastian surgery and medicine, and for his interest in alchemy. He dedicates the translated work to Kumpfmüller as a token of their friendship and mutual respect, urging him to accept and appreciate the book.
from: Paracelsus, Kleine Wund-Artzney, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Straßburg: Paul Ledertz, 1608
Figulus emphasizes the Christian duty to love and serve God and others, particularly the sick and needy. He advocates for compassion and assistance in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, contrasting this approach with the unmerciful attitudes of the priest and Levite from the biblical parable. He identifies himself as a simple Christian devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ and committed to resisting falsehood and devilish behavior. He stresses the importance of following Christ's teachings and living a life of love and faithfulness towards all, including enemies and persecutors.
Figulus discusses his experiences and observations during his travels, lamenting the neglect and ruin he has witnessed in both internal medicine and surgery. He criticizes the incompetence and ignorance of many doctors and surgeons, highlighting their failure to properly heal and care for patients. This concern for the well-being of patients is rooted in a Christian understanding of compassion and service. Furthermore, Figulus mentions his work in refining and correcting the Small Surgery of Paracelsus and his efforts to make this knowledge accessible to all, particularly to those in the field of wound medicine. He also references the writings of Doctor Bartholomew Karrichter, noting their importance and the need for a key or guide to fully understand and utilize them.
from: Paracelsus, Kleine Wund-Artzney, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Straßburg: Paul Ledertz, 1608
  • Preface, Benedictus Figulus to the Reader; Latin
Source: Paradisus Aureolus Hermeticus, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Frankfurt am Main: Nicolaus Stein for Wolfgang Richter, 1608, sig. G2r–G3r = pag. 51–53 [BP.Figulus.1608-01]
The preface speaks of the divine, magical, and celestial aspects of alchemical art, emphasizing its ancient respectability, uncorrupted truth, unique nobility, and remarkable excellence, alongside its miraculous and ineffable benefits. Figulus opts not to delve into an extensive discourse on these merits, noting the availability of numerous scholarly works praising the study of alchemy in his time.
He then traces the history of alchemy post-Hermes Trismegistus, highlighting its flourishing among Egyptians, Arabs, Greeks, and others. Notably, he mentions Philippus Theophrastus Paracelsus, a seminal figure in the field, who advanced and refined alchemical practices, leaving behind significant treatments for diseases previously deemed incurable. Figulus acknowledges the contributions of Paracelsus’s disciples and followers who continued his work across Europe, demonstrating the art's effectiveness in treating desperate illnesses and expanding the knowledge of alchemy.
A significant portion of the preface is dedicated to a contemporary Hermetic philosopher of Polish origin, whose works and achievements in the realm of alchemy Figulus praises highly. This philosopher, through the guidance of an Arab teacher and divine grace, has purportedly achieved great heights in the practice, even acquiring the supreme treasure of the Philosophical Stone.
Figulus concludes by recommending a philosophical dialogue, shared with him by a friend, for publication alongside other works on the Philosophical Stone. He expresses a desire for this dialogue to serve as encouragement for others to explore the innermost secrets of Hermetic wisdom and truth, assuring readers of the nobility and value of such pursuits.
Source: Guido Magnus de Monte, Auriga benedictus spagyricus minor, maioris prodromus, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Nuremberg: Georg Leopold Fuhrmann, no date, no date [1609], sig. (:)2r–(:)10v [BP.Figulus.1609-01]
Figulus outlines his contributions to the alchemical discourse through published and forthcoming treatises. He highlights his work on the Philosophical Stone and the Universal Tincture, emphasizing the encouragement of their publication for the benefit of scholars. Figulus expresses hope that his patron, known for his support of Theophrastian Medicine, will favorably receive his exposition on the alchemical Mercury, a substance distinct from common mercury and foundational to alchemy. This Mercury, essential for transforming base metals into gold and silver, is described as a blend of Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt, embodying the properties necessary for metal transmutation. Figulus elaborates on the process of coagulating this Mercury with gold and silver under specific conditions to achieve perfection and stability. He then ventures into the philosophical origins of Mercury, tied to the natural world's transformation by the sun's heat, leading to the creation of metals. This exploration culminates in identifying Mercury as a primordial substance, crucial for alchemy, yet its source remains a closely guarded secret among philosophers. Concluding, Figulus underscores the significance of his treatise as a guide to alchemical practice, hoping for the patron's support in advancing the study of these arcane subjects.
Source: Guido Magnus de Monte, Auriga benedictus spagyricus minor, maioris prodromus, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Nuremberg: Georg Leopold Fuhrmann, no date, no date [1609], sig. (:)11r–(:)12v [BP.Figulus.1609-01]
In the preface addressed to the reader, the author conveys his disappointment that not all of his works expected to be published at the fair have been released. Despite this setback, he has prepared and published a short treatise, urging the reader to accept it as a valuable interim resource. The treatise is intended to guide readers through complexities and misconceptions within the Hermetic and alchemical practices. The author promises that future publications, including a diverse range of works on alchemical and philosophical subjects, will be available at the next fair. These forthcoming works include titles on the Cabalistic revelations of nature, diaphoretic gold, noble stones, and a compilation of writings by Latin philosophers on the alchemical stone, among others. The author lists his publishers and outlines several other anticipated publications, including texts on geomancy, jatrochemical medicine, and lesser universal alchemy. He concludes by asking for the reader's patience until these works can be made available and requests to be kept in their prayers, signaling a deep connection to his audience and a shared commitment to advancing the study of alchemy and Hermetic philosophy.

Notices, Editorial Remarks etc.


from: Benedictus Figulus, Carmen Heroicum Insignia Megalandri Lutheri complectens, Stuttgart: Marx Fürster, 1600
The poem begins by emphasizing Amwald's widespread influence, with writings and songs sent from distant shores, all expressing deep devotion to him. Figulus contrasts Amwald's virtuous reputation with the deceitful voices of detractors, particularly emphasizing their false accusations and ill intentions. These critics, despite their venomous words, are depicted as inferior, misguided, and ultimately inconsequential. The poem also highlights the support Amwald receives from influential figures, including princes and theologians, underscoring his esteemed position. Figulus condemns the critics, suggesting they are driven by envy, ignorance, and pride. He invokes divine favor upon Amwald, emphasizing that God's blessings and protection are evident in his life. The poem concludes with a hopeful note, suggesting that the virtuous "Panacea" will endure as long as there's a need for healing in the world.
from: Benedictus Figulus, Glückwünschung Zu den Hochzeitlichen Ehren deß ... Philippi Einhovers Hochzeiters und Regina Bablingerin Hochzeitterin, no place, 1601
Figulus extols the virtues and noble lineage of both the bridegroom, Philipp Einhover, and the bride, Regina, who is praised for her piety and noble birth, being the daughter of Ulrich, a man known for his integrity and faith. The author expresses heartfelt prayers for the couple's joyous and untroubled wedding day, and for their marriage to be blessed in every aspect. The writer invokes divine guidance and protection over their union, wishing them a future filled with good fortune, peace, health, and ultimately, everlasting tranquility.

  • Poem, Benedictus Figulus to Joachim Tancke; Latin
Source: Paradisus Aureolus Hermeticus, ed. Benedictus Figulus, Frankfurt am Main: Nicolaus Stein for Wolfgang Richter, 1608, sig. A2r–A3v = pag. 3–6 [BP.Figulus.1608-01]
This poem is both a tribute and an entreaty, weaving together the themes of friendship, divine grace, and the pursuit of alchemical knowledge. Figulus expresses a deep reverence for Tancke, framing his approach as one of humility and genuine desire for connection. He touches on the philosophical and spiritual quest for the Stone of the Sages, emphasizing that true wisdom and its attainment are gifts from God, bestowed upon those who worship with sincere hearts and persistent faith. Figulus suggests that the mysteries of alchemy and the divine are accessible not through human wisdom alone but through divine favor towards the faithful and humble.
The poem also serves as an introduction to a booklet Figulus offers to Tancke, hoping it will be received as a sign of his respect and desire for friendship. He reflects on the plight of the poor and the hidden talents that go unrecognized, invoking a hopeful vision where divine intervention uplifts the needy.


Other Texts

from: Benedictus Figulus, Carmen Heroicum Insignia Megalandri Lutheri complectens, Stuttgart: Marx Fürster, 1600
The poem celebrates the profound significance of the Cross and the salvation it symbolizes through Christ. It urges believers to rejoice in the Lord and find solace in the divine. The Cross is depicted as the source of all goodness and the singular beacon of hope for the devout. These believers are likened to roses, drawing peace and protection from their faith, especially amidst life's adversities. The narrative underscores the Cross's protective nature. Even when faced with life's harshest challenges, the righteous remain steadfast, their faith acting as a shield against worldly turmoil. The Cross isn't just wood; it's described as a purified golden emblem, emphasizing its divine significance. The poem culminates in highlighting the eternal joys awaiting believers, made possible by Christ's sacrifice. These joys are undying, enduring through all adversities. The overarching message is one of hope, resilience, and the transformative power of faith.