Preface 3, no date (1581), Gerhard Dorn to the Reader (BP185)

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: Gerhard Dorn
Recipient: Reader
Type: Preface
Date: no date
Place: 1581
Pages: 2
Language: Latin
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
Gerhard Dorn, Fasciculus Paracelsicae medicinae, Frankfurt am Main: Johann Spieß 1581, f. 118r-118v [BP185]
CP: Not in Kühlmann/Telle, Corpus Paracelsisticum
Translation: Raw translation see below
Abstract: The text is a preface to the reader defending Paracelsus against his opponents who claim he wrote obscurely and with invented words to conceal his studies. The author argues that Paracelsus' opponents have no real criticism to throw at him, and that if they want to overcome him, they should rely on the scriptures of God, not on the authorities of men, especially infidels. The author also suggests that the opponents' disguised virtues tend towards a destructive end, and that the only origin is either from God or from the devil. Finally, the author invites the reader to judge and correct any mistakes in the text. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[f. 118r] Praefatio ad lectorem.

Aduersarij Paracelsi cum nihil calumniarum habent quod obijciant. Obscurè scripsit (aiunt) excogitatisq́ue vocibus contegere sua de studio voluit, vt non intelligatur, ne fortè reprehensionem censoriam incurrat, hoc velo potest tutiùs in alios animaduertere sine metu retributionis. Ecce quàm insigniter sua iacula in hunc laxata virum in seipsos retorquentur, vt opus non sit alia defensione, quàm aduersariorum frustraneos conatus admirari. Si obscurus estigitur, & eius scripta magis intricata quàm assequi valeant ingenio, vt fateri videntur, alioqui non dicerent obsucra, & non intelligibilia. Quid eos mouit vt reprehenderent quæ non intelligunt, nisi quod inuidos omnes seducere solet, ipsa nimirum cæcitas mentis, fossorem proprium in foueam trahens paratam alteri? Proinde ne & hoc eis obstaculo sit quòd minus intelligant, exponere volui nedum voces, verumetiam ænigmata. Videamus tandem si cautiùs mordere queant incudem quàm fecerunt hactenus, & præter læsionem dentium euadant. Paracelsus Græcorum & infidelium scholam non magis modò quàm viuens olim reformidat. Sciuit enim, quod & eius discipuli non ignorant, rupem & alpes à niuibus non dissolui, neque ab ardoribus liquescere posse, multò minùs à mendacio veritatem euinici. An Græcorum figmenta, verbum Dei, cui soli innituntur [f. 118v] scripta Christianorum, superabunt? Absit, cadet potiùs lucifer hominum in tenebras, quàm lux naturæ, verbo suffulta Dei, vacillet. Summatim vel Græci philosophi sophorum Christianorum discipuli futuri, vel tenebrarum perpetuò mancipia mansuri. Quis non videt palliatam virtutem omnem infidelium in exitiosissimum finem tendere? Omnis enim origo, vel ex Deo est, vel ex Diabolo. Infideles verò lucem ex Deo nullam habent, sed quam habere videntur, pallium est tenebrarum. Quapropter suadeo, si Paracelsum vincere volent eius aduersarij, non hominum, præsertim infidelium, autoritatibus id faciant, sed scripturarum Dei, quibus innititur. Si malè allegare credant, testimonium perhibeant de malo, & malum eius, bono suo, si quod melius habent, euincant, cedemus veritati, cui etiam militamus, non Græcis. Iudica Lector, si quid malè dictum, corrige, & vale.

English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT on 5 April 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 to the reader.

Paracelsus' opponents have nothing of slander to throw at him. They say that he wrote obscurely and wanted to conceal his own studies with invented words so that they would not be understood, lest he incur critical condemnation. With this veil, he can more safely direct his attacks towards others without fear of retribution. See how remarkably his own weapons are turned back against him, so that there is no need for any defense other than to admire his opponents' futile attempts. If he is considered obscure, and his writings more intricate than can be grasped by the intellect, as they seem to admit, otherwise they would not say they are obscure and unintelligible. What prompted them to criticize what they do not understand unless it is the blindness of envy, dragging their own ditch digger into a ready-made pit for another? Therefore, to avoid their obstacle of not understanding, I wanted to explain not only the words but also the enigmas. Let us finally see if they can bite the anvil more cautiously than they have done so far and escape beyond the damage to their teeth. Paracelsus fears no more the school of the Greeks and the infidels than when he was alive. He knew, as his disciples also know, that rocks and mountains cannot be dissolved by snow or melted by heat, much less truth refuted by falsehood. Will the fictions of the Greeks surpass the word of God, on which the writings of Christians alone rely? God forbid, rather the light of nature supported by the word of God will fall before the Lucifer of men into darkness. In short, either the Greek philosophers will be the future disciples of Christian sophists, or they will remain perpetually enslaved to darkness. Who does not see that all the disguised virtues of infidels tend towards the most destructive end? For every origin is either from God or from the devil. But the infidels have no light from God, only what they seem to have is a cloak of darkness. Therefore, I advise that if Paracelsus' opponents want to overcome him, they should not rely on the authorities of men, especially infidels, but on the scriptures of God, on which they rely. If they think that he quotes wrongly, let them testify against his wrongdoing and defeat his evil with their good, if they have something better. We will yield to the truth, to which we also serve, not to the Greeks. Judge, reader, if anything is said badly, correct it, and farewell.