Dritter Teil der Großen Wundartzney

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First printed in 1579, edited by Georg Forberger, in a volume entitled Kleine Wundartzney Theophrasti von Hohenheim drey Bücher begreiffendt. No manuscripts known.

Editions. Edited by Huser in Chirurgische Bücher vnnd Schriften (1591), 335–399. Edited by Sudhoff in Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke, I/10: 423–479.

Relationship between different versions. Only one known version.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. The “third part of the Great Surgery” consists of (1) a dedication to Ferdinand (1503–1564), Archduke of Austria, King of Bohemia, later Holy Roman Emperor, dated 4th June 1537 in Mährisch Kromau (Moravský Krumlov); (2) a long preface; and (3) the text itself, composed of two sections: the first section, divided into 9 chapters, discusses the “French disease”; the second section (“Der Ander Tractat” in Forberger’s edition, but “Der Dritte Tractat” in Huser’s edition) is divided into 4 chapters and deals with the “French disease” in its relation to man and his conditions. Both sections are written in the first person and addressed to the reader.

Relationship to other texts. The first and second part of the Große Wundarznei were brought into print by Paracelsus himself in 1536. The first part was published by Hans Varnier in Ulm. Annoyed by many misprintings, Paracelsus turned to another printer, Heinrich Steiner in Augsburg, and published a revised version of the first part as well as the second part of the Große Wundarznei in the same year with the new printer. A second printing, not supervised by Paracelsus, appeared in 1537. The third, fourth and fifth part of the Große Wundarznei remained unpublished, and possibly in part unwritten. Georg Forberger published a “third part” of the Große Wundarznei in 1579, having been notified by Johannes Montanus that the hitherto unpublished three last parts of the “Große Wundartzney” survived in manuscript at Mährisch Kromau. Huser obviously used the same manuscript as Forberger, but was able to read many words unreadable to Forberger.

Authenticity, authorship. The authenticity of the Dritte Teil der großen Wundartzney was not questioned by Forberger or Huser, however seriously questioned by Sudhoff: the dedication to Ferdinand seems to him clearly spurious, the text itself highly suspicious or even spurious. Achelis regarded the whole work as a forgery.

Time of writing. Allegedly written in 1537 (date of the dedication). Probably written or compiled in the 1570s to replace the missing books of the Große Wundarznei.

II. Sources

Manuscripts: no manuscripts known

First printed:

  • 1579 (in: Kleine Wundartzney Theophrasti von Hohenheim drey Bücher begreiffendt, ed. Georg Forberger (Basel: Pietro Perna, 1579); VD16 P 480; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 315–318 n° 182)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 317/318, 357, 413; Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, 777; Sudhoff, “Vorwort,” in Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke, I/10: XXIV–XXXIV; CP 3: 370–382 n° 112.

Further bibliographical references:

Johann Daniel Achelis, “Zur Frage der Echtheit des dritten Buches der Großen Wundarznei,” in Achelis, Über die Syphilisschriften Theophrasts von Hohenheim (Heidelberg, 1939), 34–42.