Liber mercuriorum

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
De mercuriis metallorum

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First printed in Latin in 1582, along with the Manualia (§ ‎8.9). A German translation was printed in 1605, edited by Johann Huser. Two German, one Latin manuscript.

Editions. Edited by Huser, Chir. 1605, Appendix, 98–99. Not edited by Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. Probably originally written in German: the Latin text printed in 1582 preserves some German words. The Latin text of the Kassel manuscript is different from the Latin text printed in 1582, according to Sudhoff.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style.

Relationship to other texts. A short process in Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 8, f. 59v may be related to the “Mercurium solis” process of the Liber mercuriorum. Further study required.

Authenticity, authorship. Rejected as spurious by the writer of the Lübeck manuscript, by Huser and Sudhoff.

Time of writing. Probably written in the 1570s.

II. Sources



  • Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. Pal. germ. 598, f. 151r–157r [German]
  • Lübeck, Stadtbibliothek: Ms. med. 4° 12 [German; lost in war]


  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 18, f. 37v–38r [Latin]

First printed:

  • 1582 (Latin; in Aureoli Theophrasti Paracelsi Archidoxorum seu de Secretis Naturae mysteriis libri decem (Basel: Pietro Perna, 1582), 173–180; VD16 P 399; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 331–334 n° 191)

Historical Manuscript Catalogues: cf. Libri Theophrasti (Dresden), f. 6rb; cf. Widemann, Unausgangene Bücher (Hannover), n° 35, 127; Widemann, Verzeichnisse (Kassel), n° I, 156; Thomasius (1699), 140; Binz (1791), 153

III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 463; Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, 118, 156, 735, 777.

Further bibliographical references:

Broszinski, Manuscripta chemica in quarto (2011), 57.

Pamela Kalnig, Matthias Miller and Karin Zimmermann, Die Codices Palatini germanici in der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg (Cod. Pal. germ. 496–670) (Wiesbaden, 2014), 263–264.