Für Pestilenz

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. Für Pestilenz is so far the earliest known pseudo-Paracelsian medical writing ever printed. It was printed in 1554 by Hans Baumann in Salzburg, edited by Egidius Karl of Salzburg. No later editions. No known manuscripts.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. Only one known version.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. The text is divided into six parts, consisting entirely of recipes. Two of the recipes are explicitly ascribed to Paracelsus.

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship. According to the title page of the only printed edition of this text, this collection of recipes against pestilentia was “drawn from the book of Doctor Philippus Theophrastus Paracelsus” (“auß deß weitberüembten vnd hocherfarnen Doctoris Philippj Theophrastj Paracelsj Bůch gezogen”). On the backside of the title page is printed the earliest known transcript of Paracelsus’s Salzburg epitaph together with a reproduction of his coat of arms. The rest of the text has, according to Sudhoff, “no Paracelsian spirit” whatsoever; to Sudhoff the recipes do not “taste of Paracelsus” at all.

Time of writing. The editor, Ägidius Karl, prior of the Salzburg Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter, had no known medical training or further medical interests at all. According to Telle it is possible that the present collection of recipes against pestilentia has its origin in the Salzburg library of Paracelsus himself, not as a writer but as a book owner. Therefore probably written before 1541.

II. Sources

Manuscripts: no manuscripts known.

First printed:

  • 1554 (Für Pestilentz. Ain seer nützlicher vnnd bewerter Tractat […] auß deß weitberüembten vnd hocherfarnen Doctoris Philippj Theophrastj Paracelsj Bůch gezogen. Welches Er/ von diser Khranckhait beschriben, ed. Egidius Karl (Salzburg: Hans Baumann, 1554); VD16 P 643; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 50–53 n° 33)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 50–53.

Further bibliographical references:

Sepp Domandl, “Paracelsus und Salzburg,” Nova Acta Paracelsica, 10 (1982), 173–180, on 175.

Jürgen Strein and Joachim Telle, “Deutsche Pseudoparacelsica über die Pest: Ein ‘Begriff’ zur Pestdiagnose (1553) und die ‘Tabula de pestilitate’ von Bartholomäus Scultetus (1578),” in Dominik Groß and Monika Reininger, eds., Medizin in Geschichte, Philologie und Ethnologie: Festschrift für Gundolf Keil (Würzburg, 2003), 349–370.