Dedication, 1560-02-01, Adam von Bodenstein to Duke and Magistrate of Venice
|Author:||Adam von Bodenstein|
|Recipient:||Doge und Magistrat von Venedig|
|Date:||1 February 1560|
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Paracelsus, Libri quatuor de uita longa, ed. Adam von Bodenstein, 1560 [BP039]|
|CP:||Edited by Kühlmann/Telle in Corpus Paracelsisticum 1, n° 6|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
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See English translation below.
[sig. a1v] Serenissimo Venetiarvm Principi, Amplissimóque magistratui Veneto, Dominis clementissimis, Adam ab Bodenstein philosophiæ & medicinæ Doctor, S[alutem] D[icit].
Nihil uidetur in rerum natura adeò penetrabilibus inclusum, inuolutum, & absconditum esse, quod non paulatum (Deo fauente) eruatur magnis exantlatis laboribus, euoluatur hominum industria, & reueletur mirabili quodam lumine, uiri illustrissimi prudentissimíque: Cernimus enim temporis successu plurima noua & præclara inueniri, quibus semper æternus pater summam beneuolentiam, & amorem singularem erga genus humanum declarat: Quia ipse summum existens bonum, principium & finis, ut omnia in hominum usum creauit, ita perpetuò eos ceu filios suos, per unigenitum suum ei reconciliatos, fouet ac tue- [sig. a2r] tur, multísque & uarijs donis pro sua immensa liberalitate & magnificentia diuináque natura exornat, nec ullus ex omnibus, modo ipsi obedientiam præstet, hæreditate cœlesti, aut terrena, priuatur, quod sit natura optimus, potentissimus, beneuolus & clementissimus, ac omnium bonorum thesaurus, qui nunquam exhauriri potest, imò nunquam ulla ex parte imminui. Qua de causa complures impiè conqueruntur, Deum olum fuisse patrem & naturam eius ministram, benignam, et magnificam in omnes matrem: Nunc uerò ipsum semper seuerum agere uitricum, ac naturam mutato ingenio duram præbere sese nouercam, qui Marcionis hæreses uitantes, tanquam stulti in contrarium blasphemias incurrunt iniquissimas. Ego sanè, ut de alijs quamplurimis beneficijs, ijsq́ue maximis, quæ nobis minimè meritis pro sua bonitate largitus est, taceam, abhinc biennio certissimè accepi diuino fauore lapidis philosophici ueram et certam materiam, imò ipsum lapidem, quem plurimi uarijs & certissimis rationibus depinxe- [sig. a2v] runt, nec ipsum supressi & celaui, quasi inuidus quispiam, uerùm ut omnes pij, muneris Dei participes fierent, ipsum agnoscerent, & periti artis chymicæ rem tantam perficerent, longa epistola typis excusa, & epitomæ in Ioannis Arnoldi de nuoa uilla Rosarium à me confectæ præfixa, ad dominos Fuggaros, quid inuenerim, quibúsque argumentis præter unum aut alterum persuasus sim in medium adductis, liberè & ingenuè significaui. Nunc etiam dico & testor, me cuiuspiam boni uiri auxilio, posse demonstrare modum aquas ducendi in sublime, hoc est, in eminentiorem locum, ut collem aut montem, longè minoribus sumptibus, quàm hactenus effectum est. Et quod mirabile magis, ac fermè dictu incredibile existit: Noui cum uno aut altero magia naturali instrumenta conficere, quæ per cœlestes & elementares uirtutes, perpetuò motu circumaguntur & voluuntur, quantum commodi hinc exoriatur, nouerunt ij optimè, qui horologia quíue instrumenta mathematica fabricant. Hæc tria maxima & utilißima demon- [sig. a3r] strabimus (Deo adiuuante) non uerborum iactantia, aut lenocinio, sed re ipsa absque omni fuco. Iamdudum si artis Chymicæ melius fuissem edoctus, & per negotia licuisset, hunc lapidem rudem philosophicum absoluissem. Obruor namque multis negotijs, quod sit mihi familia satis ampla alenda & præparatio hæc requirat hominem industrium, diligentem, peritum & mediocriter pecunijs instructum, utpote, qui huic negotio soli & diligenter operam det. Malè itaque ratiocinantur aliqui dicentes: Quod si hic haberet lapidem philosophicum, auri & argenti maximam uim conficeret, nec alijs indicaret se habere. Istis iterum respondei, me non profiteri absolutum mihi esse lapidem, sed me cupere alios eum expolire atqui perficere: Hac etenim ratione motus, cupiui, & adhuc cupio alios huius rei participes reddere. Cæterum, inquiunt, non exprimis rem ipsam nomine, nec cuiuis ostendis: Asseris quidem te habere, At quis tibi credet in huiuscemodire maxima & difficilima? in qua, tot, oleum et operam (ut prouerbio [sig. a3v] fertur) perdiderunt: Si demonstrares effectum, crederemus. Talibus omnibus partim in epistola altera, partim & hîc paucis respondemus. Non omnibus omnia conuenire, nec debere me, uel cogi, rem tantam quibusuis absque fructu indicare, sicuti neminem cogo ad hoc, ut credat me quicquam in arcanis naturæ scire, aut argumentis siui ui conatus sum in meam sententiam attrahere, ut credat, me prædictam materiam habere: Nec etiam blanditijs aut precibus unquam egi cum ullo homine, mihi ista in re fidem ut habeat: Quia talis lapis, siue hæc materia non componitur nec dissoluitur hominum opinionibus, sed natura ipsa, à qua suas habet præclaras utilißimásque uirtutes, paucissimis notas, ob imperitiam & ingratitudinem nostram. Noui per Herculem magnam esse multitudinem etiam inter doctos, quæ negat ea esse aut fieri posse, quorum causas & effectus ignorat: Quasi huiusmodi homines fastu tumentes, ueluti chamæleon ex australi uento, omnia scirent, ac Protagoræ pessimi sophistæ opinio esset uera, qui solet di- [sig. a4r] cere, Hominem omnium rerum esse mensuram, et tales cuique res esse, quales uidentur, quæ opinio, ut falsa iam diu à Platone, Aristotele reliquísque philosophis damnata est: quia res ipsa non mutatur opinionibus, neque constat. Plurimi clamant cum rem nouam & præclaram audiunt narrari, hoc nunquam prius est auditum, est incredibile, absurdum est, fictum & falsum est, et quod longè absurdissimum existit, non potest uerum esse: quia antea nunquam audiui, nec legi similia. Ah bone Deus, quasi singula & uniuersa ex ipsorum ignorantia dependeant. Tandem omnium turpissimum & sceleratissimum quod asserunt, Hic si talia habet, unde haberet, quam ex Diabolo? Istos omnes uelim monitos & rogatos, ut deposita arrogantia & maleuolentia, perpenderent, infinita esse, quorum ipsi nullam unquam sint habituri cognitionem, & Dei bonitatem potentiámque non adeò esse imminutam, ut nihil amplius largiri queat: Platonem, Aristotelem, Plinium, Hippocratem, Galenum & doctissimos alios viros palàm est plurima latuius- [sig. a4v] se, quæ nobis diuina adsistente gratia innotuerunt. Sícque nonnulla egregia ob nostram pigritiem & ingratitudinem[c 1] quotidie obliuioni traduntur. An non Horologia, quæ rotis certísque ponderibus mouentur, horásque exactè indicant, sunt nouum inuentum? Et quid illi sensissent ante multos annos de pyxide magnetis siue compasso, cuius usus est quammaximus? Quid maiori admirationi esse potest, quàm quòd ferrum magnetis Borea parte fricatum, inclinat se uersus Austrum? Et altera parte fricatum petit Septentrionem? Quid de arte Typographica dixissent? quæ infinita fermè commoda nobis præstat. Tormentis, quibus à sono imposuerunt nomina Bombardas, strenuè negassent, glandes siue globos tanta ut potuisse torqueri. Ego superioribus annis quum essem in aula illustrissimi sapientissimíque ducis, electoris imperij Otthonis Henrichi, Palatini comitis, uidi in arce, Altze leonem magnum, item canem robustum Anglicum, & hominem fatuum uni in loco uersantes, cibúmque simul capientes, & leonem tan- [sig. a5r] tum adeò mitem atque cicurem, ut me, plurimósque alios admiserit tangentes ipsum & demulcientes. Res erat uniuersis admirationi, tamen fiebat, quemadmodum & alij quamplures uiri nobiles, fidéque dignissimi una mecum nouerunt, ipséque princeps mihi admiranti tantam discordem concordiam, respondebat, dignam esse rem historijs ut mandaretur: hoc ne ipsi scioli negarent, fieri posse? Addam adhuc unum: Aliquibus indicaui me tenere artem, qua possum terram sterilem & arenosam efficere fœcundam ac pinguem, absque fimo vulgari, longéque minori sumptu id fieri, quàm in nostra patria hucusque stercoratione communi effectum sit: quod non perpauci rerum imperiti & superbi, risu exceperunt, negarúntque naturaliter fieri posse. Constat utique ex doctorum hominum scriptis, & ipsa experientia (quæ omnium præstantissima est magistra) rusticos in Cisalpina Gallia lupinis arua sua fœcundiora facere. Possem sexcenta huiusmodi exempla communi ex usu adducere, quæ lippis tonsoribúsque (ceu dicitur) [sig. a5v] notissimæ sunt, ac insipientes, sapientes dicere uolui, negant fieri, nisi et ipsi sensibus obtusis apprehenderint. Tales clamitant, nullum posse sub sole perpetuum inueniri motum, quia nihil sub sole perpetuum, et quod caret alterna requie durabile non est: Necquicquam ex elementis compositum semper permanet. Quibus lilcet possim respondere, ac eas obiectiones non uulgares, soluere: attamen, quia nesciunt, quid naturalis magia possit efficere in hac elementari regione, et ex solutione, quasi per demonstrationem non possint non recto tramite percipere eas, et similes occultas artes, quæ ipsis contemptui sunt, nec meum est docere ipsos, quorum animi impuriores sunt, quàm ut considerent subtiliora et præclariora: Hæc toleranda forent, si non plerique profiterentur sese anagogistas, doctores, duces populi et iuuentutis, qui in mundi externo et sensibus exposito permanent, adeóque immersi sunt hisce elementis, ut nequeant à mundo corporeo et pugnantibus composito partibus, animum extollere, ac intelligentem et spiritualem intueri, ubi uera mundi anima ueráque uita operatióque naturæ pura mente inspi- [sig. a6r] titur. Hi non cogitant semper duplicem fuisse philosophiam, externam et internam, subtilem et crassam, formalem et corporalem, cœlestem et terrestrem, diuinam et humanam, æternam et caducam, rationis et sensus: Vtramque docet euidenter satis uetus et nouum Testamentum: Postea, Patres sacrarum literarum interprætes: Nam, primi Dei præcepta et reuelationes, ubi acceperunt, et miracula uiderunt diuinam philosophiam maximè coluerunt, quod liquet in Cabala, in Mercurio trismegisto, Beroso, Orpheo, Pythagora, Platone, totáque philosophia Aegyptiorum, Chaldæorum et Assiriorum. Illi, de mente, Deo, diuinis et occultis causis multa docuerunt. Post Platonem Græci maiori ex parte à nobiliori defecerunt ad crassiorem & elementarem, in qua Aristoteles plurimum excelluit, eò, quod in præstantiori tam multos annos operam dederit Platoni, causáque omnium rerum traduxerit ad externam naturalem, quam homines sensibus apprehendere possunt: Vnde non est mirum, Aristotelem fuisse iniquiorem præceptori, quem 8 annos uiuum audiuit, quàm Galenum Hippocrati, quem nunquam uidit: laudat enim hic suum doctorem in eadem materia: uituperat ille suum in diuersa & [sig. a6v] non rectè intellecta: Nam Plato uetustioris philosophiæ postremus, omnia ad primas causas ideas, Deúmque ipsum accomodauit. Aristoteles parum aut nihil de ipsis tractat, nisi aliquando coactus propter ordinem naturæ exterioris: Hinc Græci Platonem appellabant diuinum, et Aristotelem naturæ miraculum & dæmonium: vterque in suo genere excellens fuit. Nec Socrates moralis philosophiæ inuentor priorem damnabat: Repræhendebat quidem homines, ideò, quod ea quærerent, quæ altissima essent, et communem captum excederent, & seipsos negligerent: Verùm, noluit homines (ceu ex Platone manifestum est) agere duntaxat contemplatores, qui præter nomen & uerba nihil habent, sed exprimerent ipsi minores mundi existentes, operationem & œconomiam totius uniuersitatis: Ergo ex cœlo siue totius mundi harmonia pulchrè philosophiam moralem deduxit, hominibúsque ostendit rationem uiuendi, qua Deum immitarentur, & mundo maximo, animalíque pretiosissimo responderent. Propte- [sig. a7r] rea, tot tantæq́ Platonis Socratis discipuli, laudes apud ecclesiasticos scriptores extant: ut Dionysius Areopagita, Augustinus, & Iustinus martyr, cum alijs multis ex Platonis schola ad Christvm sunt deducti: Augustinus sanè in libro de uera religione ait, Platonici paucis mutatis Christiani fierent. Porrò in confessionibus inquit, sese proœmium Ioannis Euangelistæ totum propemodum apud Platonicos reperire: Ac Iustinus Martyr diu uersatus in ecclesijs christianorum, Platonem asseruit rectè de Deo sensisse, suáque inuolucris intexisse, ne ipsi malè tanquam Socrati cederet. Theologi autem, qui Aristotelem secuti sunt, turpissimè in multis aberrarunt, ac hæreses nimis fœdas in ecclesias inueerunt: quia sacra prophanis & cœlum terræ miscuerunt. Itaque nos dum puriori & synceriori philosophiæ incumbimus, fructúmque ex ea non vulgarem percipimus, quem alijs communicamus, non deberent Christiani reprehendere, ac tam temerè, ac tam temerè damnare quasi Diabolus nos hæc & similia doceat, nec dominum uete- [sig. a7v] rem unicum patrem ista posse largiri, aut uelle, quos admonitos iam (dum sapere uolunt) relinquo omnipotenti, omniáque scienti Deo, iudici iustissimo, à quo unico omnium creatore & redemptore peto & habeo salutem, bonáque externa, nec ab reiectis angelis, impurissimo maledictóque spiritu diabolo quicquam affecto, nec expecto quem maledici & impij pro sua natura audent Deum statuere, ipsiq́ue gloriam Dei tribuere, qui solus scrutatur et cognoscit omnia, omnia bina largitur, licet multis utatur medijs non maledictis & damnatis. Istorum certè hominum ora impurissima, magistratus deberet obstruere & compescere, (si nouisset) quo discerent quid sit absque ratione nefarias blasphemias proferre, quid sit diabolo ascribere, quæ omnipotens, æternum bonum nullo diabolii auxilio fecit, & donat hominibus quibus & quando uoluerit. Nos cum Terentio istos remittimus in seipsos, dicimúsque benè si dixissent, audissent benè: Et bonis hæc aliaq́ue nostra scribimus, impijs consulimus, ut abstineant: Quemadmodum etenim Cyrenensibus [sig. a8r] (ueluti Plutarchus dicit) rogantibus Platonem, ut ipsis leges tanquam alijs rebuspublicis præscriberet, totámque rempublicam rectè informaret ac institueret, Plato negabat se id posse facere, quod Cyrenenses persuasi essent, sese nouisse, quæ requirerentur in republica bona: sic & istis maledictis & sciolis nequimus mirabilia domini Deo dona ostendere, quod arbitrentur sese omnia scire, quæ scienda sunt, & quæ sciri possunt. Nunc uobis serenissimi uiri, utriusque Philosophiæ exemplar offerimus, non ex nostro quidem penu depromptum, sed ex doctissimi uiri Theophrasti Paracelsi locupletissimo thesauro desumptum. Fuit hic natione Germanus, genere nobilis, corpore robusto, ingenio sagaci, acuto & liberali, professione philosophus & medicus, animo erga Deum syncero & pio, quod eius libri complures testantur, quibus Dei laudes miris modis celebrat, & omnium hominum, Theologorum, magistratuum, reliquorúmque uitia maximoperè reprehendit: uirtutésque [sig. a8v] extollit. In omni disciplinarum genere mira & stupenda scripsit, nouis principijs est usus, quæ sacris literis ipsáque experientia probat, aut omnibus si non probat, conatur, tamen uerissima esse declarare. Occultissima scrutando, mira adinuenit, quæ maximi uiri non sunt adsecuti, imò nihil adeò abstrusum & abditum in rerum natura est, de quo ipse non probabilia scripserit, eius industriam licet iudicare ex libello de chirurgia ædito, de impostoribus, déque labyrintho medicorum, et de prædictionibus, multifarijsq́ue libellis imò sapientiam ipsius timorémque & reuerentiam erga diuina, quis æquus non uideret in commentarijs siue diario eiusdem, scripto supra reuelationem Ioannis? Attamen plerique iudicarunt ipsum hominem indoctum, quod sua non ostentârit, non ambitiosus, sed contrito corde, non auarus, sed liberalis, non iracundus, sed manusetus fuerit: (meminerat etenim dicti prophetæ, irascimini & nolite peccare, & nouis principijs ac methodis sit usus, confirmabátque per ea, quæ alijs plerunque ignota erant. Libri eius nunc primùm [sig. b1r] à tineis uindicantur, quod & ipse prædixit, ac maximas rerum publicarum mutationes iamiam[v 1] instare præsensit. Referunt ipsi, qui omnes ferè eius libros habent, ipsum scripsisse circiter 300, ex quibus utilissimos mysterijsq́ue plenos (ut ipse author aliquo loco recitat) de uita longa in publicum emittimus, quo cuncti cernant experientiáque comoprobent, quantas commoditates adferat, utramque philosophiam coniunxisse? Præscribit in hisce libris quampaucissimis fieri potest, rationem curandi corpus malè affectum, & conseruandi sanum longo tempore in bono statu, ac uiuus reipsa præstitit: Nam exiguo simplicium pondere & quantiate difficillimos curatu morbos curabat, cœestem & elementarem naturam pulcherrimè coniungebat. Duplicem hic hominem proponit, corporeum alterum, externum, fragilem, caducem:[c 2] alterum constantem, subtilem omnia more spirituum penetrantem, formalem, cœlestem & æternum, qui duo simùl iuncti, uerum & perfectum hominem constituunt, qui tunc primum [sig. b1v] incipit laborare, ubi partes malè conueniunt, nec altera pars siue homo absque alterius ope & consensu uiuere potest in hoc mortali statu. Externum hominem & caducum omnes medici fermè conati sunt conseruare, et male affectum curatione sanare, quod fieri non potest: quia alterum dum curant, alterum separant & soluunt coniunctinis uinculo: Non enim potest immortalis homo redigi in tam crassam & impuram materiam, nec elementare corpus omnino transferri in spiritale: nec morbus est aliquod accidens, sed substantia corporea, tenuis & subtilis, corpus elementare, penetrans ac possidens, suámque in naturam redigens, cuius imaginem accipit. Qua de causa morbus totum corpus occupans, omnia membra habet, ut caput, collum, brachia, uentrem, pedes, stomachum, cor ac reliqua omnia sicuti autor refert: Sin partem possidet, eius partis membra sortitur: Nec uiolenter morbus est extrahandus, aut abigendus, uerùm porrigenda sunt ipsi conueniantia, quibus elicitur ac discedit: Siquidem om- [sig. b2r] nis medicina (ut uno concludam uerbo) habet se ad morbum, ut fœmina & amica ad marem & amatorem: Nec putamus alia ratione Galenum asseruisse, dum conatur causas morborum ex corpore elicere, cathartica & humorem peccantem debere in natura siue qualitate non contraria sed sibi similia esse, ut ad educendum choleram, cholagogon opus fore &c.[c 3] Vestræ autem amplitudini et clementiæ hos libros quatuor nomine quidem longos & primo aspectu paruos, sed reuera magnos & amplos dedico et offero, quod nullam rempublicam nouerim, in qua tot tantíque uiri, omni disciplinarum genere doctissimi magistratu fungantur, summáque prudentia, iustitia & æquitate multas prouincias & regna gubernatis: Vobis inprimis significo noua & mirabilia quæ inueniuntur, uestrísque auspicijs publicantur ea, ex quibus ad uos & posteros magna commoda prouenire beneficio æterni patris possunt, & nunc undique uenenosis morsibus petuntur, à quibus omnibus uos pro uestra singulari eruditione, autoritate, excellenti [sig. b2v] & illustri prudentia, toto orbe celeberrima facilè potestis uindicare, quod uestrum iudicium syncerum & acre omnibus sit grauissimum. Valete, Adami uestri studium & industriam bonam in partem accipite: et huius philosophi Theophrasti longéque magis admiranda & utiliora in naturalibus nos aliquando communicabimus. Iterum ualete et cœptis fauete. Datum ex Musæo nostro Basileæ quarto Kal[endas] Februar[ii].
- iamiam] iam tum CP 1, 117
- ingratitudinem] corrected from: ingratiudinem
- caducem] corrected from: caducm
- &c.] corrected from: &ç.
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 25 February 2023. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.
To the Most Serene Prince of Venice and the Most Illustrious Venetian Magistrates, my most merciful lords, Adam Bodenstein, Doctor of Philosophy and Medicine, sends greetings. There seems to be nothing in nature so hidden, folded, and concealed that it cannot be gradually revealed (with God's help) through great efforts and the industry of men, and illuminated by a wondrous light of the most illustrious and wise men. For in the course of time we see many new and splendid things being discovered, by which the Eternal Father always demonstrates his utmost benevolence and singular love for the human race. For as he is the supreme good, the beginning and the end, so he created all things for the use of men, and thus he always nourishes and protects them like his own children, reconciled to him through his only begotten Son, and adorns them with many and various gifts for his immense generosity, magnificence and divine nature, and no one among all, as long as he obeys him, is deprived of celestial or earthly inheritance, since he is the best, most powerful, kind and merciful of all good things, which can never be exhausted, but rather can never be diminished in any way. For this reason, many impiously complain that God was the father and nature his minister, benign and magnificent as a mother to all, but now he always acts as a harsh stepfather and gives a harsh nature, changing his mind, and they incur the most unjust blasphemies in opposition, as fools avoiding the heresies of Marcion. I, indeed, will not speak of many other benefits, even the greatest ones, which he bestowed on us out of his goodness without any merit on our part. However, two years ago, I certainly received, by divine favor, the true and certain matter of the philosopher's stone, or rather the stone itself, which many have depicted with various and most certain reasons, nor did I suppress or conceal it like some envious person, but rather so that all the pious might become participants in God's gift, recognize it themselves, and accomplish such a great thing through their knowledge of the art of alchemy. I freely and candidly set forth what I found and with what arguments I was convinced, besides one or two, in a long letter printed in type and prefixed to the epitome of John Arnold's New Rosary, which I sent to the Fuggar lords. Now, I also say and testify that, with the help of any good man, I can demonstrate a way of raising water into the air, that is, to a higher place such as a hill or a mountain, with much less expense than has been done thus far. And what is even more amazing and almost incredible to say: I know how to make with one or two natural magical instruments that are constantly rotated and turned by celestial and elemental powers, which those who make clocks or mathematical instruments know best how much benefit can arise from this. We will demonstrate these three great and useful things (with God's help) not with boasting or deception, but with the truth itself, without any trickery. If I had been better instructed in the art of alchemy and had the opportunity, I would have completed this philosophical stone. However, I am overwhelmed with many responsibilities, as I have a large family to support and this preparation requires a diligent, skilled, and moderately wealthy person who can devote their time solely to this task. Some argue that if I had the philosophical stone, I could make a great amount of gold and silver without revealing that I have it. To them I respond that I do not claim to have completed the stone, but I desire to help others polish and perfect it. My motive is to share and involve others in this pursuit. Some may say that I do not name the substance or show it to anyone. They ask me how anyone can believe such a great and difficult thing, where so many have failed. They say they would believe it if I could show them the result. To them, we respond in this letter and in a few words here. Not everything is suitable for everyone, nor am I obliged to reveal such a great thing to anyone without any benefit. I do not force anyone to believe that I know anything about the secrets of nature or to persuade them to my opinion through arguments, nor have I ever used flattery or entreaties to gain their trust. This stone, or substance, does not depend on human opinions, but on nature itself, from which it derives its excellent and useful virtues, known only to very few due to our ignorance and ingratitude. By Hercules, I know that there are many among the learned who deny that it exists or can be made, simply because they do not know its causes and effects. They swell with arrogance, like chameleons in a southern wind, thinking they know everything. This is the opinion of the worst sophist, Protagoras, who used to say that man is the measure of all things and that things are what they appear to be. This opinion has long been condemned as false by Plato, Aristotle, and other philosophers because things themselves do not change with opinions, nor are they certain. Many shout that something new and magnificent is impossible, absurd, false, and the most absurd thing is that it cannot be true because they have never heard or read anything like it before. Good God, as if everything depends on their ignorance alone. Finally, it is most shameful and wicked of all when they assert that if someone possesses such things, it must be from the devil. I wish to warn and ask all of them to put aside their arrogance and ill-will, and to understand that there are infinite things that they will never know, and that the goodness and power of God is not so limited that He cannot bestow more. Plato, Aristotle, Pliny, Hippocrates, Galen, and many other learned men have openly hidden many things that have been revealed to us by divine grace. Therefore, some outstanding things are forgotten every day because of our laziness and ingratitude. Are non-mechanical clocks, which are moved by specific gears and weights and indicate time precisely, a new invention? And what would they have thought many years ago about the magnetic compass, whose use is so important? What could be more amazing than the fact that iron rubbed with a magnet's north pole tilts towards the south and the other side towards the north? What would they have said about the art of printing, which provides us with almost infinite benefits? They would have vigorously denied the existence of cannons, which they named "Bombardas," and the ability to throw such large balls or globes. In the past years, when I was in the court of the most illustrious and wisest duke, electoral prince OTTHONIS HENRICHI, Count Palatine, I saw in the castle a large lion, a robust English dog, and a foolish man all in one place, eating together. The lion was so gentle and harmless that he allowed me and many others to touch and pet him. Although everyone was amazed by this, the prince himself replied to my admiration by saying that it was worth recording in history, so that even ignorant people would not deny that it could be done. I will add one more thing: I told some people that I possess the knowledge to make barren and sandy land fertile and rich without using common manure, and at a much lower cost than has been done in our country so far. However, many ignorant and arrogant people laughed at me and denied that it could be done naturally. Yet it is well known from the writings of learned men and from experience itself (which is the best teacher of all) that farmers in Cisalpine Gaul make their fields more fertile with lupines. I could give hundreds of such examples, which are well known to barbers and other common people, but ignorant and wise alike deny them unless they can perceive them with their own dull senses. They claim that nothing can be found under the sun that can last forever, because nothing under the sun is eternal, and what is composed of elements does not always remain. Although I can respond to these objections and solve them, because they do not know what natural magic can do in this elemental region, and because they cannot perceive them through demonstration, it is not my job to teach them. Their minds are more impure than to consider subtle and more glorious things. These objections would be tolerable if not for the fact that many who claim to be anagogists, doctors, leaders of the people and youth, who remain in the external world and are exposed to the senses, are so immersed in these elements that they cannot lift their minds from the physical world and its warring composite parts and see the intelligent and spiritual world where the true soul of the world, true life and operation of nature, is breathed into a pure mind. They do not always realize that there have been two philosophies, external and internal, subtle and gross, formal and corporeal, celestial and terrestrial, divine and human, eternal and perishable, of reason and of the senses. Both are taught clearly enough by the Old and New Testaments, and later by the interpreters of the sacred writings, for when they received God's commandments and revelations and witnessed miracles, they most greatly cherished divine philosophy, as is evident in the Cabala, in Hermes Trismegistus, Berosus, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, and in the whole philosophy of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians. They, in their minds, taught many things about God, divine and occult causes. After Plato, the Greeks for the most part turned away from the nobler philosophy to a coarser and more elementary one, in which Aristotle excelled greatly because he brought all things to the external natural cause, which humans can apprehend with their senses. Therefore, it is not surprising that Aristotle was more unfair to his teacher, whom he listened to live for eight years, than Galen was to Hippocrates, whom he never saw. Here, Galen praises his teacher in the same subject matter, but he criticizes his own in different and not properly understood matters. For Plato, the last philosopher of the ancient philosophy, adapted everything to the first ideas and even to God himself. Aristotle little or not at all treated them except occasionally, forced by the order of external nature. Hence, the Greeks called Plato divine and Aristotle a marvel and a demon of nature, both of whom were excellent in their own way. Even Socrates did not condemn the inventor of moral philosophy before him. He did, however, criticize people for seeking things that were too lofty and beyond common understanding and for neglecting themselves. But he did not want people, as is evident from Plato, to act only as contemplators who had nothing beyond names and words but to express the existence of the smaller world, the operation and economy of the entire universe. Therefore, from the harmony of heaven or the whole world, he beautifully derived moral philosophy and showed people how to live a rational life so that they could imitate God and respond to the greatest world and the most precious animal. Therefore, so many and such great disciples of Plato and Socrates have praises among ecclesiastical writers, such as Dionysius the Areopagite, Augustine, and Justin Martyr, among many others, who were led to CHRIST from Plato's school. Augustine indeed said in his book On True Religion that the Platonists, with a few changes, would become Christians. Furthermore, he said in his Confessions that he found the entire preface of the Gospel of John almost entirely among the Platonists. And Justin Martyr, who lived for a long time in the Christian churches, said that Plato had rightly understood God and had woven his ideas so that he would not be wrongly considered a follower of Socrates. However, theologians who followed Aristotle have strayed shamefully in many ways and have brought too many hideous heresies into the churches because they have mixed sacred and earthly things. Therefore, while we pursue a purer and more sincere philosophy and derive from it an uncommon fruit that we share with others, Christians should not criticize us and so rashly condemn us as if the devil taught us these and similar things, nor should they assume that the Lord, the one and only Father, cannot bestow or desire these things for those who are already warned (if they want to be wise), leaving them to the Almighty and omniscient God, the most just judge, from whom the only creator and redeemer of all things, I seek and have salvation, good external things, and do not expect anything from the rejected angels, the most impure and cursed spirit of the devil, nor do I expect anyone to dare to establish God or give glory to God who alone scrutinizes and knows all things, bestows all things in pairs, though he uses many means that are not cursed or condemned. Indeed, the mouths of these people should be silenced and restrained by the magistrate (if he knew how) so that they would learn not to utter nefarious blasphemies without reason and to attribute things to the devil that the Almighty, eternal good, made and gives to humans without any devil's assistance, to whom and when he wants. We send those people back to Terentius themselves, and we say that they spoke well if they listened well. We write these and other good things for the virtuous and advise the impious to abstain. For just as, according to Plutarch, the Cyrenians asked Plato to prescribe laws for them as for other republics, and to properly inform and establish the entire republic, Plato denied that he could do that which the Cyrenians believed he knew, namely what was required for a good republic. Thus, we cannot show the wondrous gifts of the Lord God to those who believe they know everything that should be known and can be known, through their insults and ignorance. Now, we offer you, most serene men, an example of both philosophies, not taken from our own stores, but rather drawn from the most learned man, Theophrastus Paracelsus, and his wealth of knowledge. He was a German by birth, of noble descent, with a robust body and a sharp, astute, and generous mind. He was a philosopher and a physician by profession, with a sincere and pious attitude towards God, as many of his books attest, in which he praises God in wondrous ways and sharply reproves the vices of all people, theologians, magistrates, and others, while extolling their virtues. He wrote marvelously and stupendously in every kind of discipline, using new principles which he proved with the Holy Scriptures and with experience itself, or at least he attempted to demonstrate that they were truly so. By scrutinizing the most obscure things, he discovered wondrous things which even the greatest men had not attained, in fact, there is nothing so abstruse and hidden in the nature of things that he has not written something probable about it, and his industriousness can be judged from the book on surgery, the impostors, the labyrinth of doctors, and the predictions, as well as from his many other writings. Moreover, his wisdom, fear, and reverence towards divine things are evident to all who read his commentary or journal written above the Revelation of John. Nevertheless, many judged him to be an unlearned man because he did not show off his own knowledge, was not ambitious, but rather had a contrite heart, was not greedy, but generous, and was not angry, but gentle (for he remembered the words of the prophet, "Be angry and do not sin"). He used new principles and methods, and confirmed them by things that were mostly unknown to others. His books are now rescued from moths, which he himself predicted, and he foresaw the greatest changes in public affairs already imminent. Those who have almost all of his books report that he wrote about 300, from which we are publishing the most useful and full of mysteries (as the author himself says in one place) about long life, so that everyone may see and experience how many benefits come from the union of both philosophies. He prescribes in these few books as much as is possible for the method of healing the body when it is ill, and of keeping it healthy for a long time in a good state, and he actually did this while using only a small weight and quantity of simple substances, he cured very difficult diseases by beautifully combining the celestial and elemental nature. He presents two types of people: one physical, external, fragile, and mortal; the other constant, subtle, penetrating everything like spirits, formal, heavenly and eternal. Together, these two create a true and perfect human being who only begins to struggle when the two parts do not agree, as neither part or person can live without the help and consent of the other in this mortal state. Almost all doctors have tried to preserve and heal the external and mortal person, which cannot be done, for while they treat one, they separate and dissolve the bond that connects the two. An immortal human being cannot be reduced to such coarse and impure matter, nor can an elemental body be completely transformed into a spiritual one. Disease is not an accident, but a bodily substance, a thin and subtle elemental body that penetrates and possesses, and adapts to its own nature, taking on its image. For this reason, the disease, occupying the entire body, affects all the limbs, such as the head, neck, arms, stomach, feet, heart, and all the rest, as the author reports. But if it possesses a certain part, it affects the limbs of that part. The disease should not be violently extracted or driven away, but suitable means must be provided for it to be eliminated and depart. For all medicine (to sum up in one word) is related to the disease as a woman and friend to a man and lover. And we do not believe that Galen asserted otherwise when he tried to elicit the causes of diseases from the body and claimed that cathartics and the offending humor should not be of a quality contrary to nature, but similar to itself, such as requiring cholagogue to extract bile, etc. But to your greatness and kindness, I dedicate and offer these four books, which are long in name but small at first sight, but are actually great and comprehensive, because I do not know any republic where so many and so great men, the most learned in every kind of discipline, hold office with the highest wisdom, justice, and fairness, and govern many provinces and kingdoms. I especially inform you about the new and wonderful things that are discovered and published under your auspices, from which great benefits can come to you and your descendants by the grace of the eternal Father. They are now sought out from all directions by poisonous bites, from which you, with your unique erudition, authority, excellent and illustrious prudence, can easily protect yourself, since your sincere and sharp judgment is the most weighty of all. Farewell, accept the diligence and good industry of your Adam in good part, and someday we will share more of the wonderful and useful works of this philosopher Theophrastus in natural things. Farewell again, and favor my endeavors. Given from our Museum in Basel on the fourth day before the Kalends of February.