From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Theophrastia, book three

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. Not printed, no known manuscripts. Carboantes is the last of three works composing the book Theophrastia, according to Valentius de Retiis (see § ‎1.24). Like Parasarchum (1.11), it is apparently spurious, although nowhere to be found. There are many lengthy quotations from Carboantes in Leonhart Thurneisser’s מֶלִיצָח καὶ Ἑρμενεία Das ist ein Onomasticon published in 1583. Sudhoff holds these quotations to be fictitious. Was it also the opinion of Huser, who did not include any of it in his edition?

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. It is not certain that the text existed at all.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. Valentius de Retiis described it thus: “The third [is] called Carboantes, in which he [Paracelsus] explains the transmutations in form and in being (in forma et esse).” Karl Widemann characterized the text as follows: “The 72 books of Carboantes deal with the transmutation of metals.” The Dresden Catalogus summarizes the text: “Carboantes de Occultis lib 66. Separatio Vtilis ab inutili. Transmutatio in forma et esse. <Aurum> potabile. Quinta essentia. Lapis Philosophorum et Margaritae.”

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship. Both Parasarchus and Carboantes are mentioned in different 16th and 17th century lists of works written by Paracelsus. Gerhard Dorn and Michael Toxites both believed in the existence of Theophrastia, Sudhoff denotes it as “more than legendary,” Gilly doubts its existence while Kühlmann and Telle reject any such doubts as “unjustified.”

Time of writing. Further study required.

II. Sources

Manuscripts: no manuscripts known

First printed: not printed

Historical Manuscript Catalogues: Toxites, Zugesagte Bücher (Dresden), n° 6; Libri Theophrasti (Dresden), fol. 5vb; Scripta Theophrasti (Wien); Widemann, Unausgangene Bücher (Hannover), n° 1

III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 142, 338; Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, 188, 546; CP 1: 585, 590, 593, 595–596, 617; CP 2: 26, 165, 234, 245, 324, 326, 330; CP 3: 388.

Further bibliographical references:

Peuckert, Pansophie (1956), 325, 460.

Joachim Telle, “Johann Huser in seinen Briefen. Zum schlesischen Paracelsismus im 16. Jahrhundert,” in Joachim Telle, ed., Parerga Paracelsica (Stuttgart, 1991), 159–248, on 196, 220, 230 n. 135.

Gilly, Paracelsus in der BPH (1993), 37, 38.

Gilly, Adam Haslmayr (1994), 97, 103.