From Theatrum Paracelsicum
I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First printed in 1564, edited by Michael Toxites as a separate publication. The Heidelberg manuscript is probably a copy from the 1564 printed edition with very few variant readings.

Editions. Edited by Huser, Chir. 1605, 327–329. Not edited by Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. In 1565, one year after his first edition, Toxites published a second edition which left the first three sections mostly untouched but had heavy changes in sections four and five.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. The Holtzbüchlein is a compilation from authentic texts of Paracelsus on the medical use of Guaiacum with a short introduction and some other small portions not taken from authentic texts. Sources are Drei Bücher/ von den Frantzosen and De xylohebeno [otherwise known in a Latin translation by Johannes Oporinus].

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship. Although Huser included the text in his edition of the Chirurgische Bücher vnd Schrifften, he included a warning in the heading: “I do not consider this text to have been outlined in this manner by the author [i.e. Paracelsus], but rather to have been compiled by some other from his [i.e. Paracelsus’s] writings.”

Time of writing. The Holzbüchlein was compiled by Hieronymus Wolf, probably in the early 1560s, though his name was suppressed by the editor, Michael Toxites.

II. Sources


  • Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. Pal. germ. 220, f. 3v–8r

First printed:

  • 1564 (Holtzbüchlein Des theuren/ Hocherfarnen/ von Gott hochgelehrten/ weisen Theophrasti Paracelsi, ed. Michael Toxites (Strasburg: Christian Müller, 1564); VD16 P 471; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 90–92 n° 61)
  • 1565 (in: Drey Bücher des Theuren/ Hocherfarnen/ von Gott Hochgelehrten/ weisen Theophrasti Paracelsi, ed. Michael Toxites (Strasburg: Christian Müller, 1565); VD16 P 472; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 106–109 n° 68)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 458; Sudhoff, “Vorwort,” in Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke, I/3: XLIV–XLVI; Sudhoff, “Einleitung,” in Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke, I/7: 10; CP 1: 632, 637; CP 2: 68, 81, 295.

Further bibliographical references:

Wilhelm Ganzenmüller, “Glastechnisches aus einem ‘Kunstbuch’ des 16. Jahrhunderts,” Glastechnische Berichte, 14 (1936), 321–326; reprinted in Ganzenmüller, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Technologie und der Alchemie (Weinheim, 1956), 61–71.

Wolfram Brechtold, Dr. Heinrich Wolff (1520–1581), MD thesis (Würzburg, 1959), 153–157.

Carlos Gilly, Die Manuskripte in der Bibliothek des Johannes Oporinus (Basel, 2001), 33 n° 5.