Mysterium lapidis philosophorum

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First edited in 1625 by Joachim Morsius (using the pseudonym Anastasius Philaretus Cosmopolita) in his Magische Propheceyung Aureoli Philippi Theophrasti Paracelsi, Von Entdeckung seiner 3. Schätzen. The manuscript in Lübeck was written ca. 1589/1590 by Balthasar Walther, who provided Morsius with this text.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. Only one version known.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style.

Relationship to other texts. The last part of the text is written in cipher. This cipher does not seem to be related to the cipher used by Haslmayr, Paul Nagel and others; see Clavis oder Das zehnte Buch der Archidoxen (§ ‎4.25).

Authenticity, authorship. “Spurious without doubt” according to Sudhoff.

Time of writing. Allegedly written in 1527. Probably written in the 1580s.

II. Sources


  • Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek: Hs. Allerheiligen 3, on 382–384
  • Lübeck, Stadtbibliothek: Ms. math. 4° 9, f. 35r
  • New Haven, Beinecke Library: Beinecke MS 309, f. 75r–?

First printed:

  • 1625 (in: Magische Propheceyung Aureoli Philippi Theophrasti Paracelsi, Von Entdeckung seiner 3. Schätzen, ed. Anastasius Philaretus Cosmopolita [=Joachim Morsius] (“Philadelphiae”, 1625); not in VD17; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 539–541 n° 330)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 540–541, 697 n° 49.

Further bibliographical references:

Sten Lindroth, Paracelsismen i Sverige till 1600-talets mitt (Uppsala, 1943), 175.

Peuckert, Pansophie (1956), 493.

Leigh T.I. Penman, “‘Ein Liebhaber des Mysterii, und ein großer Verwandter desselben.’ Toward the Life of Balthasar Walther: Kabbalist, Alchemist and Wandering Paracelsian Physician,” Sudhoffs Archiv, 94 (2010), 73–99, on 94.

Leigh T.I. Penman, “Böhme’s Student and Mentor: the Liegnitz Physician Balthasar Walther (c. 1558–c. 1630),” in Wilhelm Kühlmann and Friedrich Vollhardt, eds., Offenbarung und Episteme. Zur europäischen Wirkung Jakob Böhmes im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Berlin-Boston, 2012), 47–65, on 61.