Speculum sapientiae

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Güldenes Testament
Testament d’or

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First printed in 1705. Several manuscripts.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. Only one known version.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style.

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship. Written by “J.G.M.” to his “dear friend and son” (“an meinen lieben Vetter und Sohn”) Johann Heinrich Vierordt. The author was identified by Mike Zuber as Johann Gottmann. In at least one manuscript (London, Society of Antiquaries), not known to Zuber, there is a “statement, dated 27 March 1672, […] (fol. 242v) at the end of a final paragraph describing the transmission of the text from Paracelsus via a German count, and a MS found in a chapel in the Thuringian Forest by two young German doctors who took it to Leiden.” This is an obvious allusion to the anonymous Von der Reise Friederich Galli Nach der Einöde S. MichaEl [sic], in: Floretus a Bethabor, Traum-gesicht/ Welches Ben-Adam/ zur Zeit der Regierung Rucharetz/ des Königes von Adama / gehabt (Amsterdam: Hans Fabel, 1648), 11–24.

Time of writing. Dated 1672

II. Sources


  • London, Society of Antiquaries of London: MS 225, f. 235r–242v

further manuscripts

  • Gotha, Forschungsbibliothek: Membr. II 175
  • Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. alchim. 649, 644–85
  • Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. alchim. 671, 484–509
  • Hannover, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek/Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek: LH 37,6, f. 32r–45v
  • London, British Library: Sloane MS 3797, f. 53r–95v
  • Strasbourg, Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire: ms. 2.034, 1–44. Several other French manuscripts are found in a number of public libraries in France and abroad.

First printed:

  • 1705 (in: Quadratum Alchymisticum: Das ist: Vier auserlesene rare Tractätgen Vom Stein der Weisen (Hamburg: Christian Liebezeit, 1705), 3–54; VD18 10197648) [not attributed to Paracelsus]

Further bibliographical references:

Didier Kahn, “Paracelsisme, alchimie et diplomatie dans le contexte de la Paix de Westphalie”, in Christian Mouchel and Colette Nativel, eds., République des lettres, République des arts. Mélanges en l’honneur de Marc Fumaroli (Geneva: Droz, 2008), 103–121.

Mike A. Zuber, “The Duke, the Soldier of Fortune, and a Rosicrucian Legacy: Exploring the Roles of Manuscripts in Early-Modern Alchemy”, in Ambix 65 (2018), 122–142.