Heimlichkeit des Herrn Wilwold

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Brief von Wilwold an Paracelsus
Tinctura Doctoris Wilibaldi Parisiensis

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First printed in 1756, edited by “B.A.” in Chymischer Versuche zweyte Sammlung. One manuscript, dating from ca. 1570/1575.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. The 16th century manuscript and the 18th century printed text have the same text, only the language of the printed version is modernized.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. Written in the form of an alchemical process allegedly sent by Wilwoldt (1756 edition: Weilwalden), doctor in Paris, to Paracelsus and dated 1 January 1529.

Relationship to other texts. Basically the same text is found in two manuscripts in Vienna, not connected with Paracelsus, but entitled “Opus magistri Willibaldini doctoris Parisicus” and “Tinctura Doct. Willibaldi Parisiensis. Fixatio Solis,” respectively. The text is Latin with a few German words. The first of these was written in the late 15th century.

Authenticity, authorship. Karl Widemann, in one of his catalogues of manuscripts, associated the Heimlichkeit des Herrn Wilwold with yet another Willibald: “Practica Wilibaldi Storch Itali, Doctoris & Rectoris vniuersitatis Parisiensis pro veritate laboris tam Vniuersalis quam Particularis proprio tractatu.” This leads to a text found in a Kassel manuscript by “Willibaldus Storch Italus Doctor ac Rector Alme Vniuersitatis Parisiensium […] Anno 1480” which is especially interesting since it mentions “hoheim”, identified by Hartmut Broszinski as Paracelsus. It is not known if there is any connection with “Wilbold (alias Willibald) Storch,” who was in imperial service in 1504 and was granted by Emperor Maximilian I the castle of “Clauß am Piern” (today probably: Klause am Pyhrn) in 1512, where he died in 1523.

Time of writing. Allegedly written in 1529. – Only the manuscript has a note at the end, dated 4 May 1547, stating that the text was copied by “Christoff Esch” (?) from a manuscript owned by “Marttin Mulpacher.” It is not clear, however, if the text was attributed to Paracelsus at this time already. The oldest manuscript of the original text is from the late 15th century.

II. Sources


  • Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek: Cod. Guelf. 18.13 Aug. 4°, f. 210v–211r
  • Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Cod. 5230, f. 39v [15th century, not attributed to Paracelsus]
  • Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Cod. 11355, f. 342r–? [not attributed to Paracelsus]

First printed:

  • 1756 (Chymischer Versuche zweyte Sammlung, ed. by “B.A.” (Frankfurt a.M.-Leipzig, 1756); not in Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: missing in both Sudhoff’s Bibliographia Paracelsica and Paracelsus-Handschriften.

Further bibliographical references:

Telle, “Paracelsus in pseudoparacelsischen Briefen” (2006–2007), 155 n. 28.

Broszinski, Manuscripta chemica in quarto (2011), 296.