Preface, 1567-01-01, by Jacques Gohory
|Date:||1 January 1567|
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Jacques Gohory: Theophrasti Paracelsi philosophiae et medicinae utriusque universae compendium, Paris: Philippe Gaultier dit Rouillé no date , p. 7-17 [BP089]|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
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[p. 7] Præfatio Leonis Svavii de avtoris vita et operibvs.
Theophrastvs Paracelsus ab Hohenheim in compluribus librorum inscriptionibus Eremita nuncupatur, nécnon ab Erasmo Roterodamo, in epistola ad eum conscripta, quamquidem testem singularis illius doctrinæ hîc inserendam iudicaui. A quibusdam, vt Adamo à Bodenstein, dicitur Philosophiæ & vtriusque Medicinæ Doctor fuisse, vt chirurgiam hoc nomine comprehendant: quæ magno publico malo hodiè separantur & distinguuntur. Extat in Medicos liber eius Labyrinthus Medicorum errantium. Extat in Chirurgos liber de Imposturis eorum, sed lingua tantùm Germanica, quem audio ab homine Germano iam in Latinam conuerti: à cuius manibus habui prognosticon eiusdem xxiiii. annorum, sub ænigmatibus quibusdam graues ærumnas vniuersæ [p. 8] Europæ comminatum. Aliorum eius librorum, quorum notitia ad me peruenerit, Catalogum vobis describam. Fuit is natione Germanus,[m 1] corpore robusto, at ingenio sagaci Natus sum (inquit ipse) in Einzidlen regionis Heluetiorum. A patre Gulielmo ab Honhenheim fundamenta habui adeptæ Philosophiæ. Dicitur à quibusdam generosus, in omníque scientiarum genere expertissimus: sed natalium illius splendorem, propter locorum interuallum & regionum discrimen, non agnosco. Edidit in lucem nonnulla eius volumina Adamus ille ab Bodenstein, quæ suis præfationibus illustrauit, vt hoc de Vita longa, alius de Gradibus & compositionibus receptorum & naturalium, aliud de Tartaro, quod est editum cum annotationibus ex ore docentis Basileæ excerptis. Rectè quidem Adamus,[m 2] si sese intra præfantis cancellos continuisset, nec Venetiarum nunc Principi, postea Dominis Fucharis suam lapidis philosophici cognitionem veram & certam prædicasset: quam nunquàm viri sapientes præ se tulerunt, suisq́ue scriptis ostentationem huiusmodi damnauerunt. Magna præditum artis chymicæ peritia fuisse, eius monumenta [p. 9] satis testificantur, rerum metallicarum traditionibus inspersa, quas ipse nouo verbo Spagyricas appellauit. Verborum enim hac nouitate delectatum se quoque hoc libello de Vita longa palàm affirmat, qua prophanos arceret à lectione, sapientiæ autem alumnos alliceret. Quorum maiorem partem ex ipsius interpretatione, ab aliis eius libris petita, hic enucleabo. Nam, vt Augurellus cecinit,[m 3] in iis artibus occultis:
— — — fari non omnia par est.
Itaque lib[ro] vlt[imo] de grad[ibus] scripsit Paracel[sus] noster.
"Atque isthæc quidem sunt magnalia illa, quibus ego haud iniuriâ ex natura glorior, suntq́ue horum adhuc etiam plura."
Non tamen vsquam tam apertè vel diuino fauore, vel cuiusdam philosophi reuelatione confessus est (quemadmodum Adamus) se Philosophiæ chymicæ perfectam cognitionem esse consecutum. Imò verò vir ille doctus, qui in Dialogo Chrysorrhoa Theophrastum collocutorem finxit protaticum, ei talem orationem tribuit:
"Me verò tentasse quicquam priuati mei emolumenti ergô, nemini vsquam potest esse perspectum. Quamuis à Chrysophilo hæc [p. 10] ad illum Ex his tuis dictis certior factus sum te in ipsi absolutæ scientiæ penetralibus versari. Nónne & tu idem multoties præstitisti? Iam verò id pernegas. Nónne tu deploratissimis morbis tulisti suppetias? quum medicorum scholas nunquam sis ingressus, sed solis illis tuis æthereis qualitatibus & abstractis medicandi facultate omnes Europæ medicos anteuertas: illíque palmam iam-dudum tibi porrigant. Tergiuersari ergò illud diutius sine graui mea offensa non poteris. Cui Theophrastus: Etiam-si hæc pro veris agnoscerem, nosti tamen à sapientibus esse dictum: quod occultum esse vis, nemini dixeris. Fateor me quidem tum ex metallorum, tum metallicorum energia atque efficacia, multa ipsius physices auxilio deprehendisse, quorum praxis ad vtilitatem publicam, ipsamq́ue medendi artem plurimùm confert. Me verò tentasse, &c. quum intelligam id regibus ipsiq́ue Iasoni fuisse exitio, qui à propria coniuge, fortè quia incautiùs hoc mysterium tractasset, vnà cum liberis funditus euersus, libri autem cum aula regia exusti. Expende iam obsecro, an tale quidpiam homini sapienti optandum sit."
[p. 11] Hîc animaduerte, Adame, & agnosce, eos qui hanc sapientiam sint adepti, eam in sinu continere: cuius ostentatio magnum præbeat inscitiæ tuæ argumentum. Nam initio illius dialogi inquit Chrysophilus, Sed video obambulantem illîc Theophrastum ab Hohenheim hominem, si quem Germania vnquam tulit, huius artis absolutum artificem. In hanc sententiam Augurellus cecinit,
Sed quis tam fragili munitus robore pectus[m 4]
Non queat hæc vlli nunquàm reseranda tacere?
Nam quem non prohibet rerum prudentia fari:
Quæ sibi continuò, fuerint quum dicta, nocebunt?
Tutus ab insidiis qua se virtute tueri
Posset, qui præ se ferret se condere paruo
Diuitias loculo ingentes? &c.
Thesauros igitur tantos componere si quis
Iam potuit, mirè sub amica silentia seruat.
Iam, vt ad nostrum Paracelsum redeam (quod nomen autor etiam Dialogi suppressit) legit ipse Basileæ librum suum de Tartaro, quod exponit, fæces omnes humorum interiorum, à quibus varii morbi emanant: Ibi Frobenium typographum insignem morbo periculosissimo liberauit, de quo gratias agit Erasmus ille virtute & eruditione [p. 12] inclitus, opemq́ue in aduersa valetudiene implorat, cum testificatione luculenta raræ illius nouæque in medendi arte peritiæ. Noua enim posuit artis fundamenta, veteráque diruit ac euertit Hippocratis & Galeni græcorum, Auicennæ, Rasis, Mesuésque arabum: maximámque partem remediorum ex officina metallica deprompsit, quemadmodum ex eius scriptis cognosci potest.
Rei medicæ peritissimo doctori Theophrasto Eremtiæ, Erasmus Roterodamus S[alutem].
Non est absurdum medico, per quem Deus nobis suppediat salutem corporis, animæ perpetuam optare salutem. Demiror vnde me tam penitus noris semel duntaxat visum. Aenigmata tua non ex arte medica, quam nunquam didici, sed ex misero sensu verissima esse agnosco. In regione hepatis iam olim sensi dolores, nec diuinare potui, quis esset mali fons. Renum pinguedines ante complures annos in lotio conspexi. Tertium quid sit, non satis intelligo, tamen videtur esse probabile mihi, id mole- [p. 13] stum esse quod vt dixti. Hisce diebus aliquot nec medicari vacat, nec ægrotare, nec mori: tot studiorum laboribus obruor. Si quid tamen est, quod citra solutionem corporis mihi possit lenire malum, rogo vt communices. Quòd si distraheris, paucissimis verbis ea, quæ plusquàm laconicè notasti, fusius explices, aliáque præscribas remedia, quæ dum vacabit queam sumere. Non possum polliceri præmium arti tuæ, studióque par, certè gratum animum polliceor: Frobenium ab inferis reuocasti, hoc est dimidium mei, si me quoque restitueris, in singulis vtrumque restitues. Vtinam sit ea fortuna, quæ te Basileæ remoretur. Hæc ex tempore scripta vereor vt possis legere. Bene vale.
In hac superscriptione Epistolæ deest cognomen Paracelsus, sicut in Dialogo Chrysorrhoas: quod aliquando assumpsit, quum proprium esse Bombast. At hînc vides falsò scriptum à Gesnero, libro Bibliothecæ, floruisse eum Basileæ, anno M.D. vbi quidem legendo & medicando aliquot menses [p. 14] transegit. Iam quod in Adamo sumus criminati, nimis eum clarè suam scientiam ostentare, timeo ne in contrariam reprehensionem Paracelsus noster incidat, qui videtur nimiis tenebris artis suæ lumen obruisse. Nos verò quam potuimus lucem tam ex alienis quàm illius scriptis elicere, eam huc intulimus: quamquidem probus lector æqui boníque consulet. Hoc tantùm adiiciemus, ipsius dehoc libello de Vita longa, in suo de gradibus testimonium lib[ro] iii. c[apitulo] iii.[m 5] "Qua ratione autem hæc in renouatione pristinæ iuuentutis fiant, libro de Vita longa, velut peculiaria quædam mysteria, quæ in rerum natura præter arcana sunt, indicantur."
At in mysteriis scimus semper illud vsurpatum fuisse,[m 6] procul este prophant. Idcircò audite quæ ille ipse in fine lib[ri] de gradibus in hanc rem lectorem admonet: Quamuis hæc qualiscunque demonstratio iis, qui se medicorum nomine passim venditant, obscurior fortassis atque ob id etiam lectu inutilis existat, nihil moramur, neque prætereà eos alia dignamur responsione, nisi quòd ob ipsorum imperitiam excusatos nos volumus. Itaque quicquid posthac scripturi sumus, hoc [p. 15] qualequale est solis dicamus Philosophiæ alumnis: interim tamen rogatos etiam volumus iuniores medicinæ candidatos, ne ista scribendi obscuritate commoti, vel terreantur, vel desperent: quin potiùs artes indagare Spagyricas studeant,[m 7] quibus imbuti, huius scripti nostri rationem atque adeò fundamentum abundè percipient.
Addam superioribus quæ summa cum diligentia reperi.
Petrus Hassardus[c 1] [m 8] in præfatione libri Chirurgiæ maioris attribuit illi libros in Philosophia 136. in medicina 70. in Theologia, Iustitia, Politicis & magia complures. Quorum plerosque iam Adamo à Bodenstein debemus, alios à Ioan[ne] Sculteto Montano propediem speramus.[m 9] Libri quidem illi Chirurgiæ maioris anno præterito in manus meas inciderant Germanica lingua non à Paracelso scripti, èquibus magnam iam partem vertendam ab hominibus linguæ peritis curaueram. Adiiciam Aureolum ipsum dici prænomine in libro de Tartaro[m 10] quem habui cum eius expositionibus è viua voce exceptis. Nuper prorsus alius [p. 16] editus est ex tertia autoris recognitione cum defensionibus vii. aduersus medicos. Petrus quidem Hassardus Philippi etiam nomen illi addit.[m 11] Charta de noua methodo medendi mihi eadem videtur cum eo libello,[m 12] quem Ioannes Vvierus lib[ro] de Præstigiis Dæmonum damnat, sub titulo libri Paragrammon,[m 13] iure quodam vel inuidia[v 1] medicæ professionis, quamquidem Paracelsus inuento principiorum nouorum conatus est funditus euertere: vnde magnas sibi à medicis suæ regionis ætatisque contentiones excitauit, quos passim in omnibus libris suis vehementi stylo perstringit. Sed præcipuè testimonio est libellus vii. defensionum, à quo responsum aduersus Vvierum petere licebit. In libro Labyrinthi latino eius effigies expressa An[no] ætatis 45. staturam ostendit proceram, faciem grauem, cum fronte ampla, sincipite caluo, mediocri capillo: circum quam erat inscriptio ei familiaris, quámque frequenter solebat vsurpare.
Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest.
In lib[ro] de Tartaro germanico, & aliis quibusdam, eius hoc epitaphium reperitur.
[p. 17] Epitaphivm D. Theophrasti Paracelsi, qvod Salisbvrgæ in Nosocomio apud S[anctum] Sebastianum, ad templi murum erectum spectatur lapidi insculptum.
Conditvr hic Philippvs Theophrastvs, insignis medicinæ doctor: qvi dira illa vvlnera, lepram, podagram, hydropisim, aliaqve insanabilia corporis contagia mirifica arte svstvlit: ac bona sva in pavperes distribvenda collocandaqve ordinavit. Anno M. D. XLI. Die XXIIII. Septemb[ris] vitam cvm morte commvtavit.
In tractatu philosophiæ illius ad Athenienses (quiquidem plenus est mysteriorum magnorum, primorum, vltimorum, melosiniæ (verbotenus) pyromantiæ, necromantiæ, chiromantiæ, &c. titulus est Philosophia Theoph[rasti] Bombast ab Hohenhein Sueui Arpinæ germani eremi ad Athenienses.
- ↑ vel inuidia] verbi potiùs
- ↑ In margin: Paracelsi patria, genus, & conditio.
- ↑ In margin: Contra Adamum ab Bodenstein.
- ↑ In margin: Augurellus.
- ↑ In margin: I[ohannes] Augurellus in chrysopeia.
- ↑ In margin: Parac[elsus] de grad[ibus].
- ↑ In margin: mysteriorum cautio.
- ↑ In margin: De artibus spagyricis.
- ↑ In margin: P[etrus] hassardus.
- ↑ In margin: I[oannes] Scultetus.
- ↑ In margin: Aureolus. Lib[ro] de Tartaro.
- ↑ In margin: Philippus.
- ↑ In margin: Charta de noua methodo medendi.
- ↑ In margin: I. Vvierus lib[er] Parag[rammon]
- ↑ Hassardus] corrected from: hassardus
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 12 March 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.
Preface by Leon Svavus on the life and works of the author.
Theophrastus Paracelsus of Hohenheim is known as the Hermit in the inscriptions of several of his books, and also by Erasmus of Rotterdam, in a letter written to him, which I judged to be a singular witness to his doctrine, worthy of being included here. Some, like Adam von Bodenstein, say he was a Doctor of Philosophy and both Medicines, including surgery under that name, which are separated and distinguished to the great public harm today. His book The Labyrinth of Errant Physicians and his book On the Impostures of Surgeons, in German only, which I have heard has been translated into Latin by a German, are still in existence. I have had in my hands a prognostication of his at the age of twenty-four, with some heavy enigmatic predictions for all of Europe, which I heard was from the same person who translated the book. I will describe to you the catalogue of his other books, the knowledge of which has come to me. He was a German by nationality, with a robust physique and a sharp mind. "I was born," he said, "in Einzidlen in the region of the Helvetians. My father, Wilhelm of Hohenheim, laid the foundations for me to obtain a degree in philosophy. He is said to have been noble and well-versed in all kinds of knowledge, but I do not acknowledge the splendor of his birth, due to the distance between places and the differences in regions. Adam von Bodenstein published some of his volumes, which he illustrated with his prefaces, such as this one on Long Life, another on the Degrees and Compositions of Receptors and Naturals, and another on Tartar, which was published with annotations from the teachings of Basel. Adam would have been correct if he had kept himself within the confines of the preface and had not proclaimed his true and certain knowledge of the philosopher's stone to the Prince of Venice and later to the Lords Fuchars, which no wise men have ever claimed and which they have condemned in their writings. He was known to be highly skilled in the art of alchemy, as his works testify, sprinkled with traditions of metallic substances, which he called Spagyric in a new word.
For this novelty of words delights him also in this book on Long Life, which would keep the profane from reading it and attract the disciples of wisdom. I will explain most of them here, as taken from his interpretation of other books. For, as Augurellus sang:
———it is not fitting to reveal everything in those hidden arts.
Therefore, our Paracelsus wrote in his last book on Degrees:
"And these are indeed the great things by which I do not glory in nature without reason, and there are still more of these things."
However, he never openly confessed anywhere, either through divine favor or through the revelation of some philosopher (as Adam did), that he had achieved a perfect knowledge of chemical philosophy. In fact, that learned man who invented Theophrastus as a speaker in the dialogue Chrysorrhea attributed to him the following speech:
"As for me, no one anywhere can see that I have ever attempted anything for my own profit. Although I have become more certain of this from your words, Chrysophilos, that you are engaged in the very depths of absolute knowledge. Haven't you done the same thing many times? But now you deny it. Haven't you come to the aid of the most miserable diseases, never having entered the schools of medicine, but surpassing all the doctors of Europe with your ethereal qualities and abstract ability to heal? They have already given you the palm. You cannot continue to evade this much longer without offending me. To which Theophrastus replied: Even if I acknowledge this to be true, you know that it is said by wise men: do not reveal what you wish to keep hidden. I confess that I have discovered many things about the energy and efficacy of metals and metallic substances with the help of his physics, whose practice greatly contributes to the public good and even to the art of healing itself. But when I understand that this has led to the destruction of kings and even of Jason, who was completely destroyed with his own wife and children, possibly because he treated this mystery too carelessly, and even the books were burned with the royal court. Therefore, I beg you to consider whether such a thing is to be desired by a wise man."
Here, Adam, observe and recognize that those who have obtained this wisdom keep it within themselves, and their display of it is a great indication of your ignorance. For at the beginning of that dialogue, Chrysophilus said, "But I see Theophrastus of Hohenheim walking there, if there ever was a man in Germany who was a complete master of this art." Augurellus sang about this as follows:
"But who, with such fragile strength fortified in their heart, cannot keep these things forever hidden from everyone? For what prudence prevents one from speaking of things that, as soon as they are said, will harm themselves? Who, carrying great wealth in a small purse, could protect themselves from traps with their virtue alone? Therefore, if anyone has been able to accumulate such great treasures, they keep them wonderfully under the friendly cloak of silence."
Now, to return to our Paracelsus (whose name the author of the dialogue also suppressed), he himself read his book on Tartar in Basel, which explains that it is the residue of all internal fluids from which various diseases emanate. There he cured the famous printer Frobenius of a very dangerous disease, for which the illustrious Erasmus thanked him for his virtue and erudition, and implored his help in adverse health with a clear testimony to his rare and new skill in the art of healing. He laid the foundations for a new art, and overturned the old ones of the Greeks, Hippocrates and Galen, and those of the Arabs, Avicenna, Rasis, and Mesué, and derived most of the remedies from the metal workshop, as can be seen from his writings.
To the most skilled doctor in medicine, Theophrastus, the Hermit, greetings from Erasmus of Rotterdam.
It is not absurd for a doctor, through whom God provides us with bodily health, to wish for eternal health of the soul. I wonder where you know me so well from, having seen me only once. I recognize that your enigmas are true, not from medical knowledge, which I have never learned, but from my own miserable experience. I felt pains in the region of the liver long ago, but I could not guess what the source of the problem was. I saw the fat of the kidneys in a lotion several years ago. I do not quite understand what the third thing is, but it seems likely to me that it is what you said. For several days now, I have had no time to heal, to be ill, or to die, as I am overwhelmed with the labors of my studies. However, if there is anything that can relieve my pain without the need for physical intervention, please share it with me. If you have time, please explain more fully in a few words what you briefly noted and prescribe other remedies that I can take when I have time. I cannot promise a reward for your art and your efforts, but I promise a grateful heart: you have brought Frobenius back from the dead, which is half of me, and if you can also restore me, you will restore both of us completely. I hope you are delayed in Basel by fate. I fear that these words written hastily may be difficult for you to read. Farewell.
Erasmus of Rotterdam, in his own hand.
In this heading of the letter, the name Paracelsus is missing, as in the Dialogue Chrysorrhoas, which he sometimes used, when his real name was Bombast. From this, you see that Gesner's statement in his book Bibliotheca, that Paracelsus flourished in Basel in the year 1500, where he spent several months reading and practicing medicine, is falsely written. Now, regarding our criticism of Adam, that he clearly displays his knowledge, I fear that our Paracelsus may fall into the opposite criticism, as he seems to have obscured the light of his art with too much darkness. However, we have brought as much light as we could from both others' and his own writings: which, indeed, a good and fair reader will consider. We only add this, the testimony of Paracelsus himself in this book on Long Life, in his book on Degrees, Book III, Chapter III: "In what way, however, these [processes] are made in the renewal of youthful energy is indicated, in the book on Long Life, like certain peculiar mysteries beyond the secrets of nature."
But in mysteries, we know that one thing has always been forbidden: keep away from the profane. Therefore, listen to what he himself admonishes the reader on this matter at the end of the book on Degrees: "Although this demonstration, of whatever kind it may be, may be somewhat obscure and thus useless to those who sell themselves widely under the name of doctors, we do not delay or dignify them with any other response, except that we excuse ourselves for their incompetence. Therefore, whatever we write hereafter, we will say it only to the disciples of philosophy, of whatever kind it may be. Meanwhile, we also urge the younger candidates of medicine not to be disturbed, frightened, or discouraged by the obscure style of writing, but rather to study the Spagyric arts, by which they will be sufficiently instructed in the rationale and even the foundation of our writing."
I will add to the previous information that I have found with great diligence.
Peter Hassard in the preface of the book "Chirurgiæ maioris" attributes to Paracelsus 136 books in Philosophy, 70 in Medicine, and many others in Theology, Justice, Politics, and Magic. We owe most of these books to Adam von Bodenstein, and we hope to soon receive others from Johannes Scultetus Montanus. I had come across some of these books last year in German, not written by Paracelsus, which I had already translated with the help of language experts. I will also add that he is called "Aureolus" in the book "De Tartaro", which I have, except for his explanations from his oral teachings. A new edition has recently been published, with a third revision by the author and seven defenses against physicians.
Peter Hassard also adds the name "Philipp" to Paracelsus. The "Charta de noua methodo medendi" seems to me to be the same as the book that Johannes Weyer condemns in his book "De Præstigiis Dæmonum" under the title "Libri Paragrammon", either because of some right or envy of the medical profession, although Paracelsus tried to fundamentally overthrow the established principles. This brought him into great conflict with the physicians of his time and region, whom he vehemently criticized in all his books. But the book "VII Defensionum" is especially significant, and a response can be sought against Weyer in it.
In the book "Labyrinthi Latino," his portrait is shown at the age of 45. He has a tall stature, a serious face with a broad forehead and a bald crown, and moderate hair. There is an inscription around his image that was familiar to him and which he frequently used.
"There is no one who can be his own."
In the German book "De Tartaro" and in some others, the following epitaph of Paracelsus can be found:
"Here lies Philippus Theophrastus, the renowned doctor of medicine, who, with his remarkable skills, cured horrible wounds, leprosy, gout, dropsy, and other incurable diseases. He devoted his wealth to be distributed to and used for the welfare of the poor. He passed away on September 24th, 1541, in Salzburg's hospital near Saint Sebastian, and his epitaph is inscribed on a stone on the wall of the church.
In his philosophical treatise addressed to Athenians, which is full of great, first, and final mysteries, including Melosinia, Pyromancy, Necromancy, Chiromancy, etc., its title is "Philosophia Theophrasti Bombast ab Hohenhein Sueui Arpinæ germani eremi ad Athenienses."