Brief an Poldörfer

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
De reductione metallorum in primam materiam / Arcana de lapide philosophorum
Aqua Sallabri Paracelsi

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First edited in 1608 by Benedictus Figulus in his Rosarium novum olympicum. No manuscripts known. Translated into Latin from Figulus’s edition and edited in 1684 by Johann Seger Weidenfeld in his De secretis adeptorum.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. Only one known version.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. Written in form of a letter from Paracelsus allegedly written in Pressburg (Bratislava) to a “Doctor Poldörffer” in Lereckaw, a place not identified. Poldörffer is said to have been a former “Wandergesell” (fellow traveller) of Paracelsus. The text is written in the first person and directly addresses Poldörffer (“Du wilt von mir wissen …”).

Relationship to other texts. Accompanied in Figulus’s edition by other short texts: Figierung auf Mercurium Saturni Theophrasti, Borras Theophrasti and Aurum diaphoreticum Theophrasti (see § ‎4.31). These texts seem to have been originally independent and gathered as a group only by Figulus.

Authenticity, authorship.

Time of writing. Further study required.

II. Sources

Manuscripts: no manuscripts known

First printed:

  • 1608 (in: Benedictus Figulus, ed., Rosarium novum olympicum et benedictum. Das ist: Ein newer Gebenedeyter Philosophischer Rosengart (Basel, 1608); VD17 12:133068G; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 482–485 n° 283)
  • 1684 [Latin; in Johann Seger Weidenfeld, De secretis adeptorum sive de usu spiritus vini Lulliani libri IV (London: H. Hills jun., 1684)]
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 696 n° 20; CP 3: 317.

Further bibliographical references:

Telle, “Paracelsus in pseudoparacelsischen Briefen” (2006–2007), 155 n. 29.