Dedication, 1568-11-23, Johann Albrecht (Wimpinaeus) to Wilhelm V., Herzog von Bayern
|Author:||Johann Albrecht (Wimpinaeus)|
|Recipient:||Wilhelm V., Herzog von Bayern|
|Date:||23 November 1568|
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Johann Albrecht (Wimpinaeus): De concordia Hippocraticorum et Paracelsistarum libri magni excursiones defensivae, München: Adam Berg 1569, sig. A2r-A8v [BP.Alb.1569-01]|
|CP:||Edited by Kühlmann/Telle in Corpus Paracelsisticum 2, n° 92|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
|Keywords:||medicine; physicians; Theophrastus Paracelsus; Galenic medicine; natural medicine; illness; diseases; history; politics; architecture; arithmetic (generated by GPT)|
|Abstract:||In this letter, Johann Albrecht argues that it is not beyond the dignity of a prince to know which doctors to trust, which medicines to allow or prohibit, and which ones to prefer over others. Vuimpinensis discusses the importance of natural medicine and the works of authors, such as Theophrastus Paracelsus, and how they can be used to understand medicine. He also explains his approach to medicine, which involves breaking down natural things into their individual parts and reassembling them in a purified form. Finally, he expresses his gratitude to His Most Illustrious Prince and Lord, Lord William, for his patronage and support. (generated by GPT)|
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[sig. A2r] Illvstrissimo Princip ac D[omino] D[omino] Gulielmo Palatino Rheni, ac vtriusque Bauariæ Duci, &c. D[omino] suo clementissimo.
Etsi iam pridem ex scriptis Philosophorum institutisq́ue didici, Illustrissime Princeps, quibus studijs dare operam illi debeant, quos Deus ad gubernacula Rerumpubl[icarum] euexit: libris videlicet primo Politicis, & quibus leges Imperatorum, pontificumque continentur: vt discant, mo- [sig. A2v] dum rationemque iusticiæ æquitatisque colendæ, Reipubl[icae] instituendæ gubernandæq́ue, condendarumque legum: historicis deinde, vt cognoscant prudentum callidorumq́ue, atq́ue etiam peruersorum hominum consilia, successum, exitum, varias rerum vicissitudines, euersiones regnorum, successionem principum, Rerumpubl[icarum] variam gubernationem: tertio libris qui de Architectura conscripti sunt, vt palaciorum, propugnaculorum, murorum, portuum, pontium, aliorumque ædificiorum, tam ad ornatum quam ad necessitatem spectantium, constructionem non ignorentur vltimo Arithmeticæ, vt sciant quantum possint, & ab alijs non facilè decipiantur: hæc, inquam, quam- [sig. A3r] uis ad Principem pertinere non ignorem, tamen hunc meum Librum Medicum T[uae] C[elsitudini] nihilominus dedicare volui: cum à principum dignitate alienum non sit cognoscere, quibus Medicis fidendum: qualiaque medicamenta vel prohibenda vel admittenda: & quæ ex his cæteris sint præferenda. Non minus enim Principes morbis subiecti sunt: neque minori periculo medicamenta sumunt quam cæteri homines: neque semper Principum Medici peritiores fidelioresq́ue cæteris sunt.
Adhæc si ad T[uam] C[elsitudinem] de alijs artibus ac sciencijs quam medicis scripsissem, operam oleumque, vt dicitur, perdidissem: cum [sig. A3v] Libri Arithmetici, de Architectura, Historici, Politicique extent consummatissimi: & quibus nihil aut perparum accedere possit: neque etiam meæ vitæ condicio patiatur, me à Medicis studijs ad alia abduci diuersa: & hic liber necessarius mihi hoc tempore videatur: cum nullus in hoc genere extet: multaque in hoc defendantur, humano generi vtilissima, quæ perperam â multis negligantur, insipienterque contemnantur, stulteque fieri non posse credantur.
Notum enim est quantopere Medici Galentistæ Theophrastum Paracelsus,[in 1] eiusque Sectatores reprehendant: quod veterum doctrinam negligere, noua [sig. A4r] theoremata antiquis ignota constituere, nouaque Medicamenta, & (vt loquuntur) perniciosa introducere videantur. Contra Theophrastistæ Galenistis exprobrant, quod in humores quatuor immersi, diligentius vera rerum principia, veramque morborum materiam non perscrutentur: neque Hydropem aut Epilepsiam, neque podagram aut lepram sanare discant: sed hos morbos tanquam Medicinæ non subiectos, cum principales sint, & medici opera maximê indigeant, è suis scholis amandent: insanabilesque dicant: aduersum quos tamen Deus cuilibet nationi optima præclarissimaque auxilia concesserit. Et si verum fateri licet, Galenistæ quatuor [sig. A4v] illos morbos frigidè admodum attigere: eorumque naturam imperfectè satis explicauere: cum ne millesimus quidem vnum ex plurimis certissimisque Medicamentis sciat, quod prædictis quatuor morbis, aut vni ex ipsis aduersetur. Quod cum ego viderem, non vni Medicorum Sectæ adhærendum esse duxi: sed familiariter omnes quotquot sunt agnoscendas: cum (vt Picus[in 2] inquit) in vnaquaque familia sit ei commune cum cæteris. Cum Græcis itaque Arabes atque Latinos, cum his tribus Theophrastum nostrum Paracelsum:[in 3] cum omnibus vero inquisitionem naturæ coniunxi: didicique authorum scri- [sig. A5r] pta absque naturæ inspectione, intimaque eius perscrutatione, imperfectam rerum cognitionem, & quasi somnium quoddam gignere: naturæ vero contemplationem difficulter absque authorum lectione consistere: minimeque solam Medicum efficere posse. Vt enim hæc incautos imperitosque in admirabiles salebras conijcit, ex quibus se extricare aut nunquam, aut raro, & non sine damno possunt: ita sine hac, quantumuis docti, coguntur ijs Libris credere, qui de natura rerum nobis à Philosophis relicti sunt: sine certa stabilique scientia, sineque vlla cingitione firma. Natura itaque non ex Libris tantum, sed ex seipsa cognosceda: cum Libri quando- [sig. A5v] que varient, & natura vna eademque semper sit: nec vt hominum opinio, ita illa in hanc illamue partem facilè flectatur. Quod cum ego sequor: & vtrumque præstare conor: non tantum nullam laudem, quam non expeto, consequor: sed etiam à maleuolis quibusdam reprehendor: & ab antiqua illa medicina defecisse accusor: quod res eas, quarum naturam, vires operationesque cognoscere studemus, in suas partes resoluamus: singulasque à proprijs suis fæcibus separemus: rursumque purgatas vniamus: vt constet nobis, quantum[c 1] quælibet per se, quantumque omnes vnitæ valeant, sine cumque excrementis. Cum ergo nobis compertum sit, hanc tractationem re- [sig. A6r] rum naturalium adeo necessariam esse Medico, vt sine hac imperfectus sit: (qua de re sæpe confero cum Iohanne Romano,[in 4] viro & docto & bono, artisque Chymicæ peritissimo, & Illustrissimæ matris tuæ fœminæ selectissimæ, & ad iuuandos pauperes natæ pharmacario) volui instituti mei rationem aliquam reddere: vt constet quo nam modo medicinam tractemus: & quid de veteribus eorumq́ue medicina sentiamus: quæ sequamur & cur. Hoc itaq́ue libro, Illustriss[ime] Princeps, T[uae] C[elsitudinis] inscripto vt breuiter ita perspicuè mentem nostram explicauimus: & quid faciendum nos medico censeamus, planè diximus: quem vt clementer accipias, tanquam summæ erga te nostræ obseruantiæ pignus etiam atq́ue etiam oro.
[sig. A6v] Quam gratiam nobis relaturi sint Medici, qui à nobis in hoc Libro veritatem docentur, nescimus: cum ita plerique erga Theophrastum[in 5] animati sint, vt vel perire ægrum malint, quam medicamenta ab ipso præscripta vsurpare. Ego enim etsi nemini ita sim addictus, vt cum res postulat, ab illo discedere non audeam: tamen quia persuasum habent homines, me Theophrastum sequi: mea opera raro aut non vtuntur, nisi quando ab alijs Medicis sunt relicti. Quare mirum non est, si non omnes ægros nostros sanemus. quales tamen sanauerimus, Monachium[ip 1] ipsum nouit: enumerare eos nolo, cum viuant: & ipsimet testentur, quales in ma- [sig. A7r] nus nostras venerint, qualesque nunc sint.
Certè vnum hoc fateri cogor, me medicamentis methodoque Galenica neque Epilepticum, neque Hydropicum, neque leprosum vnquam sanare posse: at methodo Theophrasti, Deo propicio, hoc præstare, nobis difficile non fuerit. Cur itaque Theophrastum non amarem, laudarem, defenderem, cum tot tantaque nobis bona reliquerit? Cur ipsius Medicinam relinquerem, quæ omnium Medicorum Libros, operam, studiumque superat: & quotquot habentur, longo post se interuallo relinquit? Non moueor, aliquos esse, qui [sig. A7v] sub Theophrasto nugas vendant: seque Theophrasticos appellent: cum nihil minus quam Theophrasti mentem intelligant: satis mihi est me scire, quid Theophrastus de grauissimis morbis senserit: quibus medicamentis vsus sit: quomodo ea præparauit: & quantum ijs effecerit. Neq́ue hanc cognitionem alijs inuidemus: sed quantum nos intelligimus, libenter alijs communicabimus: vt non tantum medendo, sed etiam docendo ægris prosimus. Dabimus enim paulò post in lucem Librum nostrum de morbis qui ex tartaro oriuntur: quorum doctrinam ante Theophrastum,[in 6] neque post ipsum vsque ad nos, nemo attigit. Plures quoque subsequentur, quos [sig. A8r] hic enumerabo. Tu itaque Illustrissime Princeps interim clementer hunc Librum accipias, donec meliores vtilioresque à me perficiantur: quos non tantum tibi tuisque me debere agnosco, sed etiam vitam omniaque quæ habeo: cum beneficia quæ ab Illustrissimo Patre tuo, Alberto Bauariæ Duce,[in 7] Mecænate ac Domino meo Clementissimo, accepi, meos conatus longè superent, vt nunquam promereri ea queam. Quicquid tamen potero, id omne & illi & tibi tuisque, totique Bauaricæ familiæ offero consecroque. Vale Princeps Illustrissim[e]: meque ijs annumera, quos Tuæ Celsitudinis obseruantissimos esse scis.
[sig. A8v] Datæ Monachij XXIII. Nouembris, Anno Domini M.D.LXVIII.
Obseruantiss[imus] Iohannes Albertus Vuimpinæus D[octor].
- ↑ quantum] corrected from: qnantum
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 9 March 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 His Most Illustrious Prince and Lord, Lord William, Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Both Bavarias, etc., his most gracious lord.
Although I have long learned from the writings of philosophers and institutions, most illustrious prince, to which studies those whom God has raised to govern republics should devote their efforts, namely the first books of Politics, which contain the laws of emperors and pontiffs, so that they may learn the manner and reasoning of justice and equity in establishing and governing the republic, and in enacting laws. Then, historical books, so that they may know the plans of wise and cunning people, as well as the outcomes, vicissitudes, overthrows of kingdoms, succession of princes, and varied governance of republics. Thirdly, books on architecture, so that they may not be ignorant of the construction of palaces, fortresses, walls, ports, bridges, and other buildings, both for decoration and necessity. Finally, books on arithmetic, so that they may know their abilities and not easily be deceived by others. Although I know that these things pertain to a prince, I still wanted to dedicate my medical book to Your Highness, as it is not beyond the dignity of a prince to know which doctors to trust, which medicines to allow or prohibit, and which ones to prefer over others. For princes are no less susceptible to illness, nor do they take medicines with any less danger than other people, nor are their doctors always more competent and trustworthy than others.
Furthermore, if I had written to Your Highness about other arts and sciences besides medicine, I would have wasted my time and oil, as the books on arithmetic, architecture, history, and politics are already complete and nothing more can be added. Besides, my life's circumstances do not allow me to be diverted from medical studies to other diverse things, and this book seems necessary to me at this time, as there is no other in this genre and many things that are most useful to humanity are often neglected, foolishly despised, and believed to be impossible to achieve.
For it is well known how much Galenic physicians and their followers condemn Theophrastus Paracelsus, accusing him of neglecting the teachings of the ancients, establishing new theories unknown to the ancients, and introducing new and (as they say) harmful medicines. On the other hand, Theophrastan Galenists reproach their opponents for not diligently investigating the true principles of things and the true material of diseases, instead immersing themselves in the four humors. They argue that Galenists do not know how to cure diseases such as dropsy, epilepsy, gout, or leprosy, which are major diseases and require the greatest effort from physicians, but rather reject them from their schools as if they were not subject to medicine, and pronounce them incurable. However, God has granted the best and most excellent remedies against these diseases to every nation. And if it is permitted to speak the truth, Galenists have touched upon these four diseases in a very cold manner and have explained their nature imperfectly enough, not even knowing one of the many certain medicines that can be used against these four diseases or even one of them.
When I saw this, I thought it was not necessary to adhere to one sect of physicians, but rather to recognize all of them on a familiar basis, as Pico said, for in every family there is something in common with others.
Therefore, I have joined with the Greeks, Arabs, and Latins, and with all those who seek knowledge of nature, including our own Theophrastus Paracelsus. I have learned that without inspection and thorough investigation of nature, the writings of authors generate an imperfect understanding of things, like a kind of dream. Conversely, contemplation of nature is difficult without reading the works of authors, and a physician cannot rely solely on either one. For just as nature throws unsuspecting and inexperienced people into admirable labyrinths, from which they can rarely or never extricate themselves without harm, so without certain and stable knowledge and without any firm foundation, they are forced to believe in those books that have been left to us about the nature of things by philosophers, even if they vary from one another. Nature must therefore be understood not only from books, but also from itself, for books sometimes vary, while nature remains the same, and it is not easily swayed in one direction or another as human opinion may be.
Since I follow this principle and strive to achieve both, I not only do not seek any praise but am also sometimes criticized by certain malicious people and accused of having abandoned the ancient medicine because I try to break down the things whose nature, power, and operations we seek to understand into their individual parts and separate each one from its own dross, and then reassemble them in a purified form, in order to know how much each one is worth on its own and how much they are worth together, without any waste products.
Therefore, since it is clear to us that this treatment of natural things is so necessary for a physician that he is incomplete without it, I wanted to explain the reasoning of my approach in some way, so that it would be clear how we approach medicine, what we think of the ancient medicine, what we follow, and why. With this book, Most Illustrious Prince, dedicated to Your Highness, we have explained our thoughts briefly and clearly, and we have clearly stated what we think a physician should do. I therefore beg you to kindly accept this book as a pledge of our utmost respect for you.
We do not know how grateful the physicians who are taught the truth by us in this book will be, since many of them are so biased towards Theophrastus that they would rather see a patient die than use medicines prescribed by him. Although I am not so devoted to him that I would not dare to depart from his teachings when necessary, people are convinced that I follow Theophrastus, and my services are rarely or not used unless they have been abandoned by other physicians.
Therefore, it is not surprising if we do not cure all of our patients, but the city of Munich itself knows whom we have healed. I do not want to enumerate them since they are still alive, but they themselves testify to the condition they were in when they came to us and what they are like now.
Indeed, I am forced to admit one thing, that I can never cure an epileptic, a dropsical, or a leprous patient with Galenic medicines and methods, but with the method of Theophrastus, with God's help, we have been able to achieve this. So why should I not love, praise, and defend Theophrastus when he has left us so many great blessings? Why should I abandon his medicine, which surpasses the books, efforts, and dedication of all other physicians and leaves them far behind? I am not moved by those who sell nonsense under the name of Theophrastus and call themselves Theophrastians, when they understand nothing of his true intention. It is enough for me to know what Theophrastus thought about the most serious diseases, what medicines he used, how he prepared them, and how effective they were. We do not envy others this knowledge, but we gladly share it with others, so that we may help the sick not only by treating them, but also by teaching them.
We will soon publish our book on diseases that originate from tartar, of which no one touched upon the doctrine before Theophrastus, nor after him until now. Many others will follow, which I will list here. Therefore, Most Illustrious Prince, please accept this book graciously until we can produce better and more useful ones. I acknowledge that I owe not only these books to you and your family, but also my life and everything I have, since the benefits I received from your Most Illustrious Father, Albert Duke of Bavaria, my patron and most gracious Lord, far exceed my efforts, and I can never repay them.
Nevertheless, I offer and dedicate everything I can to him, to you, and to your entire Bavarian family. Farewell, Most Illustrious Prince, and consider me one of the most devoted servants of Your Highness.
Given in Munich on November 23, 1568.
Most Devoted to Your Highness,
Johannes Albertus Vuimpinensis, Doctor.