Authors/Israel Harvet

From Theatrum Paracelsicum

Personal Bibliography

Bibliographia Paracelsistarum/Israel Harvet

Dedications, Prefaces, Postfaces

Source: Israel Harvet, Discours par lequel est monstré ... qu’il n’y à aucune raison que, quelques vns puissent vivre sans manger, Niort: Thomas Portau, 1597, sig. A2r–A3v = pag. 3–6 [BP.Harvet.1597-01]
In this letter, Israel Harvet addresses Marie du Fou, the widow of Charles Eschalard, a distinguished lord and official in the French court, praising her noble lineage and virtuous character. Harvet discusses the universal vice of ambition, which he sees as the root of societal and political turmoil, including wars, rebellions, and the downfall of cities and kingdoms. He criticizes the way flatterers encourage the powerful to pursue glory at any cost, leading to widespread corruption and impiety, even within the realm of religion.
Harvet reflects on the nature of human sciences and philosophy, noting the abundance of conflicting opinions and the ambition that drives philosophers to challenge ancient wisdom. He points out the irony in the pursuit of truth, where the ambition to overturn established ideas is often cloaked in the guise of seeking knowledge. Despite acknowledging the freedom to question the ancients like Hippocrates and Aristotle, Harvet argues that true honor lies not in the challenge but in upholding truth, even if it seems effortless compared to the struggles against it.
He concludes by commending Marie du Fou for her magnanimity and dedication to truth, despite her noble status and the expectations of her social position.
Source: Israel Harvet, Discours, par lequel est prouvé ... que la concoction du ventricule, Niort: Thomas Portau, [1597], sig. A2r–A2v = pag. 3–4 [BP.Harvet.1597-02]
In this letter, Israel Harvet addresses André Gallier, a distinguished counselor and president in Fontenay-le-Comte, expressing a change in his perspective on the topic of whether it's better to eat more at dinner than at lunch. Initially viewing the question as simplistic and only of interest to those outside the medical field, Harvet's opinion shifts upon reading Laurent Joubert’s paradoxical argument that digestion is more efficient in individuals who stay awake rather than those who sleep. This insight leads him to recognize the validity of discussing such matters at the dinner table. Harvet decides to write about Joubert’s paradox and, following a conversation with Jean Garnier de la Guérinière at Gallier’s house, chooses to present his writings in French to make them accessible to a broader audience. He acknowledges Gallier’s significant influence and support in his life, noting that Gallier introduced him to his circle of friends and emphasizing Gallier’s role as his son-in-law. The letter concludes with Harvet dedicating his work to Gallier as a testament to their relationship and Gallier’s impact on his intellectual journey.
from: Hermetis Trismegisti tractatus vere aureus, ed. Dominicus Gnosius, 1610
Israel Harvet dedicates his philosophical work to Alstein, a renowned Theosophist, Jurist, and Physician, respected across Europe. Harvet equates himself to fire, bending all objects into his nature over time, and metaphorically softening even the most steadfast minds. He presents his philosophical writings to Alstein, suggesting their shared intellectual struggle, in which Harvet ultimately aims to be victorious, is akin to the biblical struggle of Jacob and Israel. Harvet acknowledges Alstein's superiority in experience and judgement, requests his understanding, and promises more refined works in the future, with divine allowance.
from: Hermetis Trismegisti tractatus vere aureus, ed. Dominicus Gnosius, 1610
The postface is a heartfelt expression of gratitude to Jacob Alstein, the author's mentor and guide. The author attributes his philosophical advancements to Alstein's insightful conversations, comparing their impact to the teachings of Alexander the Great. He discusses the pursuit of truth, the significance of faith, and condemns superficial learning, emphasizing that true wisdom is often sought by only a few. He reflects on the paradox of earthly pursuits versus divine wisdom, using alchemy as a metaphor. Citing the wisdom of philosophers Hermes and Alan, the author advises devotees to place their love for God above their pursuit of philosophical knowledge. He asks Alstein to carefully examine and refine his work, and cautions others not to dismiss the work due to complex linguistic aspects.

Notices, Editorial Remarks etc.



Other Texts