Gerhard Dorn, Apologia qua Theophrasti respondetur adversariis, no date (1568) (BP109)

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: Gerhard Dorn
Title: Apologia qua Theophrasti respondetur adversariis
Type: Other Text
Date: no date [1568]
Pages: 3
Language: Latin
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
Paracelsus, Philosophiae magnae collectanea quaedam, ed. Gerhard Dorn, Basel: Pietro Perna no date [1568/69], sig. )(5v–)(6v [BP109]
CP: Not in Kühlmann/Telle, Corpus Paracelsisticum
Translation: Raw translation see below
Abstract: This text is an Apology where the author defends Paracelsus against accusations typically levelled against him by his adversaries. The detractors claim that Paracelsus wrote his books while inebriated and that he wrote in the vernacular because he was ignorant of Latin. The author refutes these accusations and suggests that they are slanderous rumors spread by those who are resistant to the truth that Paracelsus brings forth. He goes on to argue that such criticisms do nothing to diminish the value of Paracelsus' work and that the naysayers, in their attempts to defame Paracelsus, only end up discrediting themselves. The text ends with a plea to the reader to form a fair judgment and not to fall for false rumors and slanders. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[sig. )(5v] Apologia qua Theophrasti respondetur aduersarijs.

Hæc sunt quæ in Paracelsum ab inimicis eius eiaculari solent: quòd aliud nihil habeant, quo hominem aggrediantur.
In primis (inquiunt) non nisi potus, & obrutus vino suos conscripsit Libros.
Alterum, vulgariter scripsit, quòd Latinæ linguæ prorsus ignarus foret.

Similia solent in vulgus conficta nimium spargere, præter suæ conscientiæ testimonium: saltem vt pium virum errores pseudodoctorum veritate reformare conantem, hominibus exosum reddant. Non secus Pharisæi de Christo, discipulis eius & Apostolis dixerunt, indiesq́ue dicunt. Sed videamus quàm insciè cupientes alios denigrare, se prorsus in carbones, imò prunas conijciant. Ponamus verum fore, quod somniare libenter non erubescunt. Nunquid maximo debet adscribi dedecori tam eximijs doctoribus, quales ipsi [sig. )(6r] se reputatione saltem simulant, quòd homini poto, necnon vulgari (vt aiunt) doctrina velint nolint cedere debeant? Indicio est, quia nihil adferre possunt ex suæ sapientiæ thesauris, quo tam ardua sui reformatoris argumenta refelli queant, præter calumnias perperam excogitatas. Si dixerint ea minus digna redargutione, quod solent: eo se conuictos iam fassi fuerunt, quum nihil nisi falsum redargui debeat: hac ratione verum erit quod Paracelsus loquutus est. Hoc refugij habent quotquot ignari sunt, ad quod velut ad sacram anchoram periclitantes confugiunt: & clypeus eorum optimo iure vocari potest. Iam vt ex vno mendoso conuitio cætera confictissima fore pateat apertius: nonne maximam vniuersitatibus faciunt iniuriam, & Basiliensi præsertim, quæ reliquas inter celebris, Paracelsum ad Medicinæ lecturam ordinariam per aliquot annos libenter admisit? An non flagitiosum id fore videtur, Academias nempe diffamare mendis, ab his qui membra sunt earum: dum tacitè diuulgant facultates in eis vulgari sermone legi? quod falsum esse scitur. Contra hos, epistolam istius Paracelsi ad Erasmum Latinè datam in testimonium adferemus. Profectò nisi Latinum atque doctum virum agnouisset Erasmus Paracelsum, in vniuersitate[c1] Basiliensi tempore suo degentem docentemq́ue, non Latinis, at vulgaribus ei literis re- [sig. )(6v] spondisset. Item adiungemus & literas ab ipso Paracelso Tigurinæ scholæ cœtui Latinè manu marteq́ue proprijs exaratas, & alteras ad D. Christophorum Clauserum Doctorem Medicum atque Philosophum apud Tigurinos. Fortius Liber eius de Tartaro, necnon alia complura Opuscula per ipsum etiam edita Latinè, testantur contra liuidos istos diffamatores, eorum calumnias merè confictas fore. Sed vide quæso, Lectore optime, quàm friuola sunt hæc aduersariorum eius figmenta: quæ si etiam vera forent, nihil inferre possunt. Ac si nulla Philosophia, Medicina, vel alia doctrina quæuis, præterquam Latinè tractari valeat: vulgariter non. Hac sua ratione liberales artes nullæ dici poterunt, sed literatis idiomatibus adstrictissimè subiectæ. Quid non ab inferis adferent, quo scabiem suam regant? Hac via sanè minimè fecerint. Quin potius eam permittunt medicari veris & salutiferis, quæ Paracelsus adfert remedijs? Faciant isti quod possint: aliquandiu veritati resistent: at in posterum velint nolint succumbere cogentur cum ignominia maxima. Satius nimirum foret nobiscum vt à fouea pedem retraherent, prius quàm in eam sese præcipites dedant. Lector optime iudicium huius ex æquo faciens, Vale.



  1. vniuersitate] corrected from: vniuertate

English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT-4 on 29 June 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.

Apology in which Theophrastus responds to his adversaries.

These are the accusations typically hurled against Paracelsus by his enemies: they have nothing else with which to attack the man. Firstly, they claim, he wrote his books only when drunk, or under the influence of wine. Secondly, they assert he wrote in the vernacular, as he was ignorant of the Latin language.

Similar rumors are spread wildly by the masses, contrary to their own consciences: at least with the intention of making a man who attempts to reform the falsehoods of fake doctors with truth, hated by the people. The Pharisees said and continue to say the same about Christ, his disciples, and his Apostles. But let's see how unwittingly, in their desire to tarnish others, they throw themselves completely into coals, even into hot coals. Let's assume what they shamelessly dream is true. Should it not be considered a great disgrace for those esteemed doctors, who at least pretend to have such reputation, that they must unwillingly yield to a man drunk and, as they say, vulgar in his teachings? It's telling that they can't bring anything from their treasure of wisdom that can refute the powerful arguments of their reformer, except for falsely conceived slanders. If they claim these are less worthy of refutation, as they often do: they have already confessed to being convicted, since only the false should be refuted: thus, what Paracelsus spoke is true. Those who are ignorant have this refuge, to which they flee as if to a sacred anchor when in peril: and it can rightfully be called their shield. Now, to make it clearer that other accusations are pure fabrications from one false insult: do they not cause great harm to the universities, and especially to the University of Basel, which is famous among the rest, and gladly admitted Paracelsus to the ordinary lectures on Medicine for several years? Isn't it disgraceful to defame the Academies with lies, by those who are members of them: as they quietly disseminate the faculties in them with vulgar speech? which is known to be false. Against these, we will bring the testimony of that letter of Paracelsus given to Erasmus in Latin. Certainly, unless Erasmus had recognized Paracelsus as a Latin and learned man, teaching in the University of Basel in his time, he would not have responded in Latin, but in vulgar letters. Likewise, we will add the letters written in Latin by Paracelsus himself, hand and pen, to the assembly of the Zurich school, and others to Dr. Christophorus Clauserus, a Doctor of Medicine and Philosophy in Zurich. His book on Tartarus, and many other small works also published in Latin by him, testify against these envious defamers, that their slanders are purely fabricated. But please see, dear reader, how frivolous are these fabrications of his adversaries: which even if they were true, can do no harm. And if no Philosophy, Medicine, or any other doctrine can be dealt with, except in Latin: not in the vernacular. By this reasoning of theirs, there will be no liberal arts, but they will be most strictly subject to learned idioms. What will they not bring from the underworld, to manage their itch? They certainly won't go this way. Rather, why don't they allow it to be medicated with the true and health-giving remedies that Paracelsus brings? Let them do what they can: for a while they will resist the truth: but in the future, whether they want to or not, they will be forced to succumb with the greatest disgrace. It would certainly be better for us if they were to step back from the pit, before they throw themselves headlong into it. Dear reader, making a fair judgment of this, farewell.