Dedication, 1561-01-25, Adam von Bodenstein to Wilhelm Böcklin von Böcklinsau
|Author:||Adam von Bodenstein|
|Recipient:||Wilhelm Böcklin von Böcklinsau|
|Date:||25 January 1561|
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Paracelsus: Liber de duplici anatomia, ed. Adam von Bodenstein, no place , sig. α1v–β3r [BP042]|
|CP:||Not in Kühlmann/Telle, Corpus Paracelsisticum|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
|Back to Paratexts|
Reverendissimo Principi ac Domini, Domino VVilhelm Beckli ab Becklißouu [n 1] , primarij Archiepiscopatus Magdeburgensis Canonicorum præposito dignißimo, principi clementißimo, Adam à Bodenstein philosophiæ & medicinæ Doctor, Salutem per Iesvm Christvm precatur.
Constat uetustissimam esse consuetudinem & ubique gentium à bonis uiris non sine magnis causis comprobatam, amplissime princeps, ut libros ædituri in lucem, dedicarent & ascriberent hominibus, qui uirtute, authoritate & potentia longè cæteros præstarent. Primi enim homines rudes & simplices, sparsim cùm habitarent, quoties uel res diuinas, uel naturales, uel mores honestos docerent, suam doctrinam confirmabatn magnorum uirorum authoritate, quos [sig. α2r] etiam Heroes & Deos uocabant. Talium ergo calculo, scripta aut institutiones comprobata, cunctis uidebantur uera & utilia: Hac ratione complures coniungebantur arctissimo necessitatis uinculo. Deinde autem, ubi hominum uitia uehementer excreuerunt, & inuidia contentionibusq́ue cœperunt flagrare, praui famosos libellos, in magistratum, certasq́ue personas suppressis authorum nominibus scripserunt, factum est, ut non modò omnes cogerentur sua nomina scriptis addere, sed etiam certis doctisq́ue uiris eos tanquam fœtus siue animi proprios fructus iudicandos offerre et dedicare, ut ita extinguerentur hæc genera scribendi mala. Terta accessit causa, etiam non leuis: Quum nihil sit ita sanctum & perfectum, quod non maleuolorum dentibus rodatur, quæsiuerunt sibi huiusmodi dedicationibus patronos, qui cum suis, ab inuidorum omniumq́ue sycophantarum ca- [sig. α2v] lumnijs & morsubus uenenosis, ipsos tuerentur: Quod Pythagoras[in 1] philosophiam ex Aegypto[ip 1] in Italiam[ip 2] traducens ubi negligeret, coactus est Seruio Tullio[in 2] regnante, sibi cœnobiu instituere, & clam docere, unde à potentibus, eius schola & doctrina sublata est: Magnum enim et præclarum est, magnis & laudatis uiris placuisse. Postremo, excellentissimorum etiam uirorum mores totamq́ue uitam conati sunt eiusmodi dedicationibus, tanquam optimis testibus conirmare, & uitam, studia, totamq́ue familiam posteris imitanda proponere, quo constaret, quibus in officijs, quantoq́ue animi uigore uixerint, & qua ratione potissimum excoluerint animum, hominis præstantissimam partem: Non enim omnibus omnia conueniunt, at similia similibus recte coniunguntur: Ego etiam magnifice præsul, cùm omnes dedicandi causas ponderarem, & mecum diligenter deliberarem, cu- [sig. α3r] iusnam patrocinio hoc opusculum doctissimi uiri Theophrasti[in 3] in publicum prodiret, primus haud immerito occurristi, qui authoritate propter generis eximiam nobilitatem, & singula res tuas uirtutes plurimum apud omnes polles: Quis enim non admiratur, illam præclaram tuam iuris scientiam & simul cewrtam experientiam longo usu comprobatam? qui totum ius ita in actiones honestissimas produxisti, ut uideatur illud in te uiuere: Quis etiam non amplectitur & prædicat tuam in familiaribus colloquijs & negotijs suauissimam comitatem et humanitatem? In publicis summam prudentiam, fortitudinem in rebus difficilimis administrandis, in consilijs dandis afflictis & oppressis iuuandis miram promptitudinem? quæ uniuersa cum alijs præclarissimis donis, inuictissimus Imperator Carolvs Qvintvs[in 4] considerans, præ cæteris uiris nobilissimis, te in rebus [sig. α3v] administrandis sibi auxilio esse uoluit, tribuitq́ue officium & uicem teneres Marschalcki imperij, quo plurimos annos maxima cum laude functus es: Sed hæc, quia non solum omnibus Germanis, uerum toto orbi notissima sunt, ne mea oratione ieiuna, tuarum uirtutum laudes potius extenuem & imminuam, quàm amplificem & extollam, nihil de ipsis dicam præter hoc unicum uidelicet, quod cernam eas uehementer exornatas egregia naturalium rerum cognitione, qua ueluti lumine clarissimo non solum præluces uiris generosissimis, sed etiam doctissimis, qui sese philosophos profitentur: Hæc aliaq́ue nonnulla inquam animo dum uoluerem meo, & medicæ artis scientissimi, Theophrasti[in 5] librum de anatomia statuerem omnibus communicare, nullus inter omnes mihi uisus est patronus futurus commodior ipso, qui & rem intelligeret, & eam faci- [sig. α4r] le nominis existimatione tueretur: Quod consilium & propositum meum, ut ad finem perducerem, non potest dici, quantum uir eruditione non uulgari, prudentia & sapientia admirabili, dominus Henrichvs Falkner[in 6] , clarissimæ urbis Basiliensis[ip 3] Cancellarius dignissimus, doctorum uirorum Mecænas optimus me incitarit, & currenti (ut prouerbio fertur) calcar addiderit, quoties tui mentionem facere solet, cuius authoritas non immeritò multum apud me nostrosq́ue ciues ualet: Nam & ipse optime meretur de nostra Rep[ublica] & maiores ipsius summas dignitates nacti plurima beneficia in ipsam contulerunt: Hic inquam uir grauis & facundus, ualde tuas solet prædicare uirtutes, & specimen earum præsens ostendit: Quoniam tradidisti ipsi aquam Chymica arte extractam, quæ homines crudelissimo morbo Apoplexia correptos & prostratos, [sig. α4v] cito reficit ac plerunque erigit, ut aliquoties in nostris ciuibus magno commodo & multorum admiratione experti sumus: Quia in isto multisq́ue alijs morbis exquisitis, cernimus euidentissimè, crassam nimisq́ue compositam illam medicinam parum aut omnino nihil prodesse: At synceram & subtilem, à fecibus suis purgatam, celeriter penetrare uiresq́ue salutares demonstrare. Hæc enim est anima & uita rerum, quæ pauca existit quantitate, actione autem ampla & ingens, ut indies magis ac magis experientia iudicandi ratione certissima disco: Nam aliquot annos (ut ingenuè fatear) hanc præstantissimam physicæ partem, insaniens cum insanis odio persequutus sum, quòd allegoricè & occultè scripta non intelligerem, nec ipsas rerum iucundissimas formas uiderem: Nunc autem aliquo illustratus lumine, quotidie magis magisq́ue huius rei, speculatione coniuncta a- [sig. α5r] ctioni, incendor, uideoq́ue (modo uera fiat separatio rerum arte Spagyrorum) res inueniri suauissimas & utilissimas, in quibus contemplari licet mira omnipotentis Dei opera, quæ plerique, dum non uident nec intelligunt, turpissimè rident & contemnunt, ignorantia etenim horrida bellua semper ueræ scientiæ repugnat, & prauus animus pauca cognoscens, omnia persuadet sibi, se scire, & quæ ignorat arbitratur ea aut non esse uera, aut nullius momenti: Natura enim, mali blandiuntur sibi, suisq́ue uitijs fucum quærunt, & cristas erectas difficilime dimittunt, qui profecto non concedent, nos ex melle syncero aquas & olea distillatione unquam posse separare, quod tamen re uera efficere nouimus: Quid dicerent, si oculis cernerent sales cuiusuis generis ascendere alembicum, ut sapor & odor permaneat in aquis: Hac arte salis armoniaci aquam extraximus, quæ retinet acro- [sig. α5v] rem, totumq́ue saporem sui salis, & est summè penetratiua, adeo ut aurum ducat siue dissoluat in uerissimum liquorem, fermè cærulei coloris: Corallos paucis diebus, re, rusticis & pauperrimis notissima uilissimaq́ue, non toxica, naturaliter dissoluimus, & in limpidissimum liquorem uertimus, qui nemini nocet, & omnes corporis partes celerrimè penetrat, easq́ue naturali uigore reficit: Hoc profecto modo coralli debent sumi, non silices aut imminuti, aut in puluerem digestioni non subiectum redacti, qui ut sumuntur, ita eijciuntur absque ulla concoctione, & ipsorum natura integra, postquam corpus penetrarunt, permanet: Et si concedamus aliquid ipsos corallos siue calculos, corpori humano prodesse, qui unà cum excrementis eijciuntur, Quanto magis ipsa substantia, anima, totáque uirtus resoluta, & ita præparata, ut facilimè in- [sig. α6r] tegris qualitatibus omnia membra queat transire, & re ipsa pro sua natura corpus recreare, & conseruare, nocentia arcere & abigere? Quæ licet magna & utilissima sint, tamen longè mirabliora utilioraq́ue reperiuntur quotidie. Inuenimus artem, qua, hominem uiginit integros annos laborantem morbo caduco, liberamus: Medicina hæc adeo est mitis naturalis, corporiäque conueniens, ut eam sanus bibo absque ullo incommodo. Quid obsecro, mirabilius & efficacius in morbis curandis, quàm olea uitriolata, colchotaris, antimonij, sulphuris, uini, & aliorum complurium? quorum effectus uarij & præclarissimi describuntur, cum alibi, tum in Theophrasti[in 7] libellis de uita longa, quos anno proximo Serenissimis & Amplissimis Dominis meis Venetis, obtuli, typisqúe mandaui.[n 2] De his oleis mediusfidius multa passim scri- [sig. α6v] buntur falsa et uana, ut experientia didici: Quo sit ut etiam homines profecto non pauci, prudentes & eruditi, inq́ue arte hac non mediocritur uersati, nun sint persuasi, hæc aut nunquam posse fieri, aut humano ingenio non inueniri: Vnde præter suam opinionem aliqua si uideant, ualde mirantur, quorum è numero est uir genere nobilissimus, rerum experientia peritissimus, Dominus Vincentius Magius Brixensis,[in 8] , ciuis Basiliensis[ip 4] , & amicus noster charissimus, qui sæpe me inueniens Chymica tractantem, in magnam adducitur admirationem, quod uenerandæ senectutis iam septuagenarius animaduertat miros effectus rerum arte præparandarum, & intelligat maximas & efficacissimas uires in corporum penetralibus latitare, quas Deus omnis boni causa, hominib[us] per certos artifices utendas tradit: Hæc liquor ille tuus, cuius antea fecimus mentionem, mani- [sig. α7r] festè in paralisim, morbum difficillimum probat: Ex quibus non duntaxat clarè constat, te omnes artes & disciplinas amare, doctos fouere & promouere, Verum etiam in hac subtiliori philosophia plurimum delectari, alijsq́ue prodesse: Quod hercle pium studium & humanum, egregiè me incitauit, ut hos de anatomia libellos, contrahendi gratia tecum uir generosissime, maiorem arctioremq́ue amicitiam, tibi dedicarem: In quibus, Anatomiam duplicem autor proponit, alteram rudem et facilem, quam localem appellat, alteram subtilem & aliquanto difficliorem, quam Essatam uocat: quarum illa hactenus sola à doctis & indoctis celebrata & in usu habita est: Hanc uerò longê præstantiorem aut prorsus intactam reliquerunt, aut ueritate coactialia tractando ita obscure notarunt, ut nemo eam in rerum natura existere deprehenderit: Illius quidem periti non carent sua laude, [sig. α7v] quod discant & doceant parium corporis situm, ordinem, & cignationem in cadaueribus dissecandis, quibus cognitis, facilius iudicare possunt, quodnam membrum doleat, & quæ partes cognatæ afficiantur, attamentalis est, (quemadmodum testatur etiam Andreas Vesalius[in 9] ) ut lanij atque carnifices longè sint magis in ea exercitati, quam pleriq́ue medici, & uulgus facilè, modo aliquoties inspiciat resolutionem siue dissectionem partium, discere eam possit. Altera uerò non quærit suam doctrinam ex mortuis, in quibus pleraque principaliora situm uerum, & formam amittunt, sed uiuens, uiuis docet, quæ requirit ingenium, diligentiam & simul multarum rerum peritiam, causarum cognitioni coniunctam: Est enim omnium rerum naturalium, quatenus simpathia conueniunt & cohærent, ad suam communem naturam defendendam scientia: Quoniam nul- [sig. α8r] la existit res in tota hac uniuersitate, quæ non cum alijs complurimis uinculo naturali sit connexa, & alijs multis repugnet: siquidem omnia Herculeo uinculo cohærent: Omniaq́ue uicissim Vatiniano odio disiunguntur, quo euenit, ut similia similibus curentur, & contrariorum contraria sint remedia, quod res concordes & eodem iugo complicatæ, uires suas communicant, suis suppetias ferant, & uno studio eodemq́ue modo contraria arceant ac expellant: Est enim cognatarum rerum, maximis etiam interuallis distantium, una eademq́ue naturalis forma, qua conueniunt, non aliter atque diuersæ formæ in eodem communi genere, quod infinitis exemplis probare possumus, sed unum nobis sufficiet declarandi gratia. Vt cerebri locus, situs, quantitas, externaq́ue forma cum membranis & neruis, per localem anatomiam haud magno [sig. α8v] labore inuestigare licet: Cæterum quæ extra minorem mundum siue hominem in amplissimo mundo, unam eandemq́ue anatomiam naturalem subeant, nemo cognoscet, nisi omnium mundi partium, naturale uinculum, ipsi actioni coniungat: Nam cerebrum habet stellas, astra, certasq́ue cœli regiones, et partes sibi cognata, quæ rectè si habent, & ipsum cerebrum simul communi natura bene affictur, Sin minus, & cerebrum patitur, quod animaduertere quiuis potest, in certis cerebri morbis, qui diuersis temporibus sæuiunt: Deinde inter elementa unum esse coniunctum cerebro, non solum cunctis constat, sed etiam partes aëris, aquæ, & terræ miris modis ipsi conducere: Propterea aliquandi homines misere afflicti malis cerebri, in alijs ac alijs locis cito curantur, & aquis in pristinum restituuntur statum. Cernimus etiam flumina, fontes & thermas aliquot, cerebro prodesse, Ali- [sig. β1r] quot uicissim nocere, propter unam & eandem aut dissimilem naturam: Aliqui eleuantur omni languore unici cognati auxilio, quod multis uidetur fieri miraculose. Quis non miratur mummiam certasq́ue hominis partes suis similibus adplicatas, adeo præsentia esse remedia? Inter bruta diuersa cum sint genera, multæ species communione cerebro utilia sunt, eiusq́ue naturam in prima origine sortitæ. Complures quoque brutorum partes certissimo fœdere ipsi cerebro obligantur: Nemo sanæ mentis etiam dubitat, quin arbores, frutices, herbæ, eorumq́ue partes quamplurime reperiantur, quæ cerebro auxilia res manus præstent: Veteres non citra certam causam planetas coronarias habuere: Postremo, metalla lapidesq́ue esse infinita numero, amica cerebro, obsecro aliquantum uersatus in chymia quis non uidet? cum multa cerebri figuram & formam in exter- [sig. β1v] nis referant, quæ omnia non solum rectè parata & sumpta intrinsicè, cerebrum male infectum reficiunt ac in priorem naturam reponunt, imo etiam sola appensione aut uapore curant. Hoc modo indoctissimi empirici, aliqando unius rei cognatione mira præstant, sibiq́ue nomen & thesauros comparant, Qui iterum turpissimè aberrant, quod rei ueram anatomiam ignorent, & cerebri quæ sunt, cordi admoueant, stomacho, aut pulmoni aut cuiuis corporis parti. Quemadmodum enim cerebrum nec in manibus aut pedibus quærit Localis anatomicus, ita nec Essatus capitalia cuiuis corporis parti administrat: Et uno ore quanuis sumantur medicamina etiam diuersissimi generis, tamen unumquodque ad sibi similem tendit partem: similia similibus congratulantur: Ita & liquor tuus probatissimus, naturaliter cerebri uentriculis conuenit, qui eius præsentia [sig. β2r] propter communem essentiam & amicitiam efficacem, dum periclitantur, miris recreantur modis, qualis refectio non fit alijs rebus ægue calidis, siccis, frigidis, humidis, tenuibus aut etiam crassis, uerum concorde natura solummodo: Quia auxilio multorum aduersa pars longè facilius uincitur. Ergo ut ipse Paracelsus[c 1] [in 10] inquit, Nemo debet iactitare se anatomicum esse, ubi cadauer aliquod, in quo nullus uitæ spiritus existit, dissecare nouit: Sed is potius, qui callet uiuam rerum conuenientiam cum toto corpore & eius partibus: Sunt enim aliqua, quæ omnes præcipuas partes corroborant, in hac & tuam amplitudinem uersatum, non tantum ex liquore antedicto colligo, sed ex alijs quamplurimis, qua ingenium excoluit & experientia multa probauit: prudentes ac periti stupenda animaduerto posse ostendere, quod uarias hominum cu- [sig. β2v] ras audiuerint & experti sint: sic milites prælara in castris ad finem deducunt, quæ nec medici nec Chyrurgi efficere possunt: Rustici in agris, à brutis animalibus plura huius anatomiæ discunt obseruatione, qui optime nouerunt, non quasuis terras pro ferre quasuis plantas: Hi causas cum ignorent, nec experientiam auxilio memoriæ in artem redigunt, pauca posteris relinquunt, licet semper uestigia adpareant. Tua autem clementia, so memoria repetat ea, quæ de tali anatomia uiderit, legerit, audiuerit, & in ea experta sit, pro cul dubio iudicabit hoc opusculum doctum, utile & Theophrasti[in 11] nostro in arte medica uiniuersaq́ue philosophia peritissimo & doctissimo dignum qui nonnulla quidem obscurè tradit, quod nouas artes, nouis uocabulis doceat, quam obscuritatem ego certe aperto planóque sermone conatus sum explicare & illustrare, sed au- [sig. β3r] thoris mentem ubique retinere uolui, & exemplari usu sum ualde intrucato. Itaque si ueritatis studiosi (quos iuuare cupimus ac in rectam uiam deducere) aliqua reperint, non ita perspicua & manifesta, ut ipsi uelint, ne mihi uitio uertant rogo. Maleuolis uerò, qui nil nisi sua probant, consulo, ut omni philautia deposita, hanc anatomiam diligenter considerent ac discant, quo hominibus melius possint prodesse: Hoc consilium bonum & ipsis utilissimum si asper nati fuerint, tua singularis mirandaq́ue authoritas, & magna potesta ueritati coniuncta, istos coeercebit. Faxit Deus Optimus Maximus, ut tua clementia & amplitudo diu nobis omnibus salua atque incolumis uiuat. Vale. Ex ædibus nostris & amicorum, Sole pertranseunte. 15. gradum aquarij, anno M. D. LXI. Basileæ.
- ↑ Paracelsus] corrected from: paracelsus
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 26 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.
It is well known, most noble prince, that the ancient custom, approved by good men everywhere for good reasons, is to dedicate and attribute books to those who excel others in virtue, authority, and power, when publishing them. For the first, rude and simple men, scattered about in habitation, when they taught divine or natural matters, or honest morals, confirmed their doctrine by the authority of great men, whom they even called heroes and gods. Therefore, according to this calculation, writings or institutions that were approved seemed true and useful to all, and thus many were joined together by a tight bond of necessity.
Then, however, when the vices of men greatly increased and envy and contention began to blaze, wicked and infamous pamphlets were written, suppressing the names of the authors, against the magistrate and certain individuals. Therefore, it happened that not only did all have to add their names to their writings, but also they had to offer and dedicate them as their own offspring or fruits to certain learned and wise men, so that these kinds of writing evils might be extinguished.
The third reason is not trivial either: since nothing is so sacred and perfect that it is not gnawed by the teeth of malevolent people, they sought for themselves such patrons through these dedications, who would protect them with theirs from the slanders and poisonous bites of all envious and slanderous people. Pythagoras, when he brought philosophy from Egypt to Italy, was forced to establish a monastery and teach secretly, under the reign of Servius Tullius, where he neglected it, hence his school and doctrine were taken away by the powerful. For it is great and glorious that great and praised men have pleased.
Finally, even the most excellent men have attempted to confirm their character and whole life through such dedications, as if to propose their life, studies, and entire family as an example to be imitated by future generations, so that it would be clear in what duties and with what strength of mind they have lived, and how they have mainly cultivated the most excellent part of man, namely the mind. For not all things are suitable for everyone, but similar things are rightly joined together. I, too, a magnanimous prelate, when I weighed all the reasons for dedicating this work and carefully deliberated with myself under whose patronage this little work of the learned man Theophrastus should come forth to the public, you were the first one to come to my mind justly, as you possess an extraordinary nobility of birth and every virtue that you have is highly esteemed by all, due to your authority. For who does not admire your excellent knowledge of law and at the same time your certain experience proven by long use? You have so applied the entire law to the most honorable actions that it seems to live in you. Who does not also embrace and extol your pleasant sociability and humanity in private conversations and affairs? In public, your highest prudence, fortitude in administering the most difficult matters, and remarkable promptness in giving advice to those in distress and helping the oppressed? When the invincible Emperor Charles V considered all these excellent qualities and many other distinguished gifts, he wanted you to be his aid in administering affairs above all the most noble men and gave you the office and rank of Marshal of the Empire, in which you served with the greatest praise for many years. But since these virtues are not only well known to all Germans, but also to the whole world, I will not speak more of them except for this one thing, namely, that I perceive them greatly adorned with an excellent knowledge of natural things, which shines like the brightest light not only among the noblest men but also among the learned who profess to be philosophers. While I was considering these and other things in my mind, and I decided to share Theophrastus's book on anatomy with everyone, no one among all seemed to me to be a more convenient patron than you, who could both understand the matter and protect it easily by the weight of your name. To carry out my plan and purpose to the end, the very learned man, the very worthy Chancellor of the illustrious city of Basel, Mr. Heinrich Falkner, a most excellent patron of learned men, urged and spurred me on, as the proverb says, whenever he mentions you, whose authority rightfully carries great weight with me and our fellow citizens. For he himself deserves the highest merit from our Republic, and his ancestors have conferred many benefits on it by obtaining the highest dignities. This grave and eloquent man, I say, often extols your virtues and demonstrates them in person. Because you have entrusted him with water extracted by the alchemical art, which quickly restores and often raises people struck down and prostrated by the most cruel disease of apoplexy, as we have experienced several times to the great advantage and admiration of many of our citizens. Because in this and many other rare diseases, we clearly see that that thick and overly compounded medicine is of little or no benefit, but the pure and subtle one, purged from its dregs, quickly penetrates and shows its healing powers.
For this is the soul and life of things, which exists in small quantity, but in action is vast and immense, so that I learn more and more about it every day by the most certain reasoning from experience. For several years (to confess frankly) I pursued this most excellent part of physics with insane hatred, following after the insane, because I did not understand the allegorical and hidden writings, nor did I see the most delightful forms of things themselves. But now, illuminated by some light, both by speculation and action, I am inflamed and I see that (if a true separation of things is made by the art of alchemy) the sweetest and most useful things can be found, in which it is possible to contemplate the wonderful works of Almighty God, which most people, while they do not see or understand, most shamefully laugh at and despise. For ignorant and savage beasts always resist true knowledge, and a wicked mind, knowing only a few things, persuades itself that it knows everything and believes that what it does not know is either not true or of no consequence. For nature flatters itself with its own evils, seeks deception by its own vices, and is very reluctant to give up its arrogant pride. Those who do not admit that we can ever separate pure water and oil by distillation will certainly not concede that we can do so in fact. What would they say if they saw various salts rising in the alembic so that their taste and smell remain in the water? By this art, we have extracted ammonium salt water, which retains its sharpness and the whole taste of its salt, and it is highly penetrating, so that it dissolves gold into a very true liquid of almost blue color. We have dissolved coral, which is known to peasants and the poorest people, in a few days, and turned it into a very clear liquid that harms no one and quickly penetrates all parts of the body, restoring them to their natural vigor. In this way, coral should be taken, not in the form of ground or pulverized stones, which are taken and expelled without digestion, and their natural quality remains intact after penetrating the body. And even if we admit that the coral or stones themselves can benefit the human body, which are expelled along with excrement, how much more would the substance, soul, and entire power be beneficial if dissolved and prepared in such a way that it could easily pass through all the limbs with its full qualities and truly restore and preserve the body according to its nature, warding off and driving away harmful things? Although these things are great and very useful, they are found to be far more wonderful and useful every day.
We have discovered an art by which we can cure a person who has been suffering from epilepsy for twenty years. This medicine is so gentle and natural, and so suited to the body, that I myself, being healthy, can drink it without any discomfort.
I beg of you, what could be more miraculous and effective in curing diseases than vitriolated oils, colchotar, antimony, sulfur, wine, and many others, whose various and excellent effects are described both elsewhere and in Theophrastus' books on long life, which I offered to my Most Serene and Most Honorable Lords of Venice last year and had printed. Of these oils, many false and vain things are written everywhere, as I have learned from experience. Hence it is that not a few men, prudent and learned, and well-versed in this art, are not persuaded that these things can ever be done or found by human ingenuity. Therefore, if they see any of them, they are greatly amazed, among whom is a man of the noblest birth, the most experienced in things, Lord Vincentius Magius of Brixen, a citizen of Basel, and my dearest friend. Finding me often engaged in chemistry, he is greatly amazed that a venerable septuagenarian should perceive the wonderful effects of things prepared by art, and should understand that the greatest and most effective powers lie hidden in the innermost recesses of bodies, which God, for the sake of all good, has entrusted to men through certain artisans to use. This liquid of yours, which we mentioned before, clearly proves its worth in paralysis, a very difficult disease. From these things, it is evident not only that you love all arts and disciplines, and encourage and promote learned men, but also that you take great delight in this more subtle philosophy, and that you are of use to others. By Hercules, this pious and humane pursuit has greatly incited me to dedicate these anatomical books to you, my most noble friend, for the sake of contracting a closer and more intimate friendship with you. In these books, the author proposes a twofold anatomy, one crude and easy, which he calls local, the other subtle and somewhat more difficult, which he calls essayed, of which the former alone has been celebrated and used by learned and unlearned people until now. The latter, however, they have either left altogether superior or, by treating it in an obscure manner, they have rendered it so obscure that no one has been able to discover its existence in nature. Those who are skilled in it, however, are not lacking in their own praise, that they learn and teach the situation, order, and configuration of the body in dissected corpses, and having known these things, they can more easily judge which member is suffering and which related parts are affected. It is a common knowledge (as Andreas Vesalius also attests) that butchers and executioners are far more trained in it than most physicians, and the common people, if they observe the dissection or resolution of the parts a few times, can learn it easily.
However, knowledge does not seek its own doctrine from the dead, in which many essential things are lost and form is lost. Instead, it teaches the living, requiring talent, diligence, and expertise in many things, combined with an understanding of causes. For the defense of their common nature, knowledge is necessary for all natural things that are connected through sympathy and coherence. There is no object in this entire universe that is not connected by natural bonds with many other things and opposed to many others. Indeed, everything is connected by a Hercules-like bond, and everything is separated by Vatinian hatred, so that similar things are cured by similar things, and the remedies for opposites are opposite, and things that are in agreement and united under the same yoke share their strength, come to each other's aid, and with one common effort, ward off and expel what is contrary. Indeed, there is one and the same natural form that is present in related things, even when they are separated by great distances, as evidenced by countless examples, but one is sufficient for the purpose of demonstration. For example, the location, size, external shape with membranes and nerves of the brain can be easily investigated through local anatomy, but no one will know what kind of natural anatomy things beyond the small world, or human, undergo in the vast world, unless the natural bond of all parts of the world is connected to the action itself. For the brain has stars, constellations, and certain regions of the sky that are related to it, which, if they are properly related, and the brain itself is well-treated by nature, but if not, it suffers, which anyone can observe in certain brain diseases that occur at different times. Then, it is well known that one element is connected to the brain, not only to everything else, but also to the parts of air, water, and earth that serve it in wonderful ways. Therefore, sometimes people who are afflicted with brain problems are quickly cured in one place and not in another and are restored to their original state by water. We also see that some rivers, springs, and thermal baths are beneficial to the brain, while others are harmful, due to the same or different nature. Some are elevated by the help of their unique relatives from all languor, which seems miraculous to many. Who is not amazed that a mummy and certain parts of a human applied to their similar counterparts are so present as remedies? Even though there are different types of animals, many species are useful in common with the brain and have inherited its nature from their first origin. Moreover, many parts of animals are bound by a certain agreement to the brain itself. No one in their right mind doubts that trees, shrubs, herbs, and many other parts are found that provide the brain with helpful things. The ancients did not have planetary coronaries without a certain cause. Lastly, infinite numbers of metals and stones are friendly to the brain. Who, having turned somewhat to alchemy, does not see that many of the brain's forms and shapes are reflected in external things? All of these not only properly prepared and taken internally, but also cure a brain that is infected and restore it to its original nature, and even by mere touch or vapor. In this way, the most uneducated empiricists sometimes excel in the knowledge of one thing, gain name and treasures for themselves, but they are also guilty of the most shameful errors because they are ignorant of the true anatomy of things and apply what belongs to the brain to the heart, stomach, lungs, or any other part of the body.
Just as the local anatomist does not seek the brain in the hands or feet, likewise the Essatius does not administer medicines to just any part of the body. And even though medicines of various kinds may be taken with one mouth, each one tends towards its similar part. Similar things congratulate each other. So too, your proven liquor naturally agrees with the ventricles of the brain, which, due to their common essence and effective friendship, are wonderfully refreshed when in danger. Such restoration does not occur equally with other things that are hot, dry, cold, wet, thin, or even thick, but only with nature in harmony. For the adverse part is far more easily conquered with the help of many.
Therefore, as Paracelsus himself said, no one should boast of being an anatomist just because they know how to dissect a lifeless cadaver. Rather, it is the one who knows the living harmony of things with the entire body and its parts. There are certain things that strengthen all the main parts, and I have collected them not only from the aforementioned liquor, but from many other things that have been refined by ingenuity and proven by experience. Wise and experienced people can show astonishing observations, having heard and experienced various human ailments. Thus soldiers bring about great things in the camps, which neither doctors nor surgeons can achieve. Rustics in the fields learn much about this anatomy by observing wild animals, who know well not to plant just any plant in any soil. They do not know the reasons and do not reduce their experience to memory for art, leaving few things for posterity, although their footsteps always appear.
But your kindness, if it recalls what it has seen, read, heard about such anatomy, and what it has experienced in it, will certainly judge this little work as learned and useful, worthy of our Theophrastus, who is very skilled and learned in the art of medicine and universal philosophy. He teaches some things obscurely with new terms, which I have certainly tried to explain and illustrate in plain and clear language, but I wanted to retain the author's meaning everywhere and use the example he gave me, although it was very difficult.
So, if those who seek truth (whom we desire to help and guide onto the right path) find anything not so clear and manifest as they wish, I ask that they not blame me for it. But to the malicious, who approve only of their own, I advise that they carefully consider and learn this anatomy, setting aside all self-love, so that they can better help people. This is a good and very useful advice for them, and your extraordinary and wonderful authority, combined with great power for truth, will restrain them if they are too rough.
May God Almighty grant that your kindness and generosity may live long and safe for all of us.
From our house and that of our friends, on the 15th degree of Aquarius, in the year 1561, in Basel.