Brief an Theodor

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Processus tincturae antimonii / Tinctura antimonii

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First edited in 1608 by Benedictus Figulus. Five manuscripts.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. The text consists of two parts: the letter addressed to Theodor, and a practical part (“processus tincturae antimonii”). The Hamburg manuscript has the practical part only, while the Berlin manuscript and Figulus’s edition have the letter part only and lack the practical part. The practical part has many variations in the different copies.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. Written in the first person in the form of a letter. In some manuscripts the recipient is named only in the last paragraph of the letter. The text is said to have been copied by the recipient himself from the autograph letter of Paracelsus.

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship.

Time of writing. The letter is dated 17 May 1535 in the first Kassel manuscript and 17 May 1536 in all other copies. Probably written in the late 16th century.

II. Sources


  • Berlin, Staatsbibliothek: Ms. germ. oct. 927, 1–3
  • Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. alchim. 668, f. 199v–200v
  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 8, f. 297r–298v
  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 35[4, f. 41r–43v
  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 72, f. 243r–245r

First printed:

  • 1608 (in: Heinrich Khunrath, De igne magorum philosophorumque secreto externo & visibili, ed. Benedictus Figulus (Strasburg: Lazarus Zetzner, 1608); VD17 23:716355P; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 489–490 n° 286)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 489–490; Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, 721, 778 n° I/14; CP 3: 1071.

Further bibliographical references:

Telle, “Paracelsus in pseudoparacelsischen Briefen” (2006–2007), 154 n. 25.

Broszinski, Manuscripta chemica in quarto (2011), 26, 129, 323.