Preface, 1572-07-09, Thomas Erastus to Johannes Pontanus

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: Thomas Erastus
Recipient: Johannes Pontanus
Type: Dedication
Date: 9 July 1572
Place: Heidelberg
Pages: 2
Language: Latin
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
Thomas Erastus, Disputationum de medicina nova Philippi Paracelsi pars tertia, Basel: Pietro Perna 1572, p. ²81-82 [BP.Erastus.1572-01]
Translation: Raw translation see below
Abstract: Thomas Erastus writes Pontanus, reminiscing about the dispersion of the University due to the plague. Erastus had hoped to relocate to a place beneficial for his studies but was directed to Mosbach, where he found the conditions unsuitable. He brought only works by Galen and Aristotle and some personal papers, intending to review and sort them. The cramped conditions prevented him from studying these texts. Instead, he reviewed various letters, including those sent to Pontanus in 1556 about disease causes. On rereading, Erastus regretted not including testimonies from Galen and made additions and corrections. He integrated testimonies from Galen and elaborated on vague points. He also included content from another letter concerning treatment. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[p. ²81] Pietate virtvte, doctrina ornatissimo viro, D[octori] Iohan[ni] Pontano Illustriß[imorum] Principum & Ducum Saxoniæ, &c. Medico experientißimo, &c. Thomas Erastus S[alutem] P[lurimam] D[icit].

Dißipata superiorib[us] annis Schola nostra propter pestem, vir in omni præstante doctrina eruditissime, dum alij aliò, vt in simili calamitate fieri solet, dilaberentur, atque ipse quoque de seceßu aliquo meis studijs oportuno cogitare cœpißem, non ita res cecidit, sicut sperabam & optabam. Etenim non quò ego volebam, sed Moschbachum, quò illustriß[imi] Principis Electoris consilium concesserat, proficisci iußus sum. Qua in vrbecula facilè prospiciebam, locum me studijs meis accomodatum nequaquam habiturum. Quamobrem nullos mecum hinc libros, præter Galeni & Aristotelis opera, asportare volui: sed hisce chartas meas quasdam eo consilio coniunxi, vt, si explicandis libris locus non eßet, eas recognoscerem, vtilesq́ue ab inutilibus separarem. Cùm illò perueni opinione mea nihil falsus sum, sed deteriora quàm metui omnia inueni. Nam in angusto mihi cum vniuersa familia hypocausto hybernandum vidi in quo tantùm aberat, vt libros explicare poßem, vt ne reponendi quidem aputs locus aliquis concederetur. Itaque consilio de lectione Galeni & Aristot[elis] deposito, ne nihil facerem, chartas meas de rebus longè diuersis ad amicos diuersos perscriptas relegere examinareq́ue cœpi. Incidi ergo in illas quoque li- [p. ²82] teras, quas ad te, de Continente morborum causa Schleusinga perscripserim, anno 1556: cùm me profectioni in Italiam iterum accingerem. Quas cum perlegißem, id mihi præcipuè displicuit, quòd nullis eas Galeni testimonijs. de cuius tamen sententia imprimis disputatur, communitas cernerem. Quanquam non nesciebam, me, cùm eas ad te exararem, Gal[eni] locos citare non potuisse: propterea quòd toto illo anno libris meis omnib[us] caruißem, ac memoriæ, quam habere me fluxilem & infidam, si quisquam alius, recordabar, confidere non poßem. Iccirco testimonia ex Galeno depromta suis locis inter relegendum inserui: & quæ verba perperam vel transcripta, vel omissa vissa sunt, emendaui: quæq́ue festinanti mihi alijsq́ue rebus animum occupatum habenti obscurius dicta putaui, paulò verbosius ac planius exposui. Leges ergo eandem illam Epistolam secundò, cum non inutili, vt mihi persuadeo, fœnore. Etenim hanc ipsam recognitam, & non nulla in parte locupletatam, imò planè transformatam, & prope aliam factam videbis. Deinde alius etiam epistolæ partem, quam de Curatione ad amicum quendam defunctum scripseram, addidi, in qua multa sunt, quæ ad causæ propositæ declarationem faciunt. Vale felicißimè, remq́ue Medicam pro ergregijs tibi à Domino conceßis dotibus ornare perge. Heidelbergæ VII. Idus Iulij, Anno M. D. LXXII.

English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT-4 on 15 August 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.

To the man distinguished in piety, virtue, and knowledge, Dr. Johannes Pontanus, the esteemed physician to the most illustrious Princes and Dukes of Saxony, etc., Thomas Erastus extends his warmest greetings.

Years ago, our school was dispersed due to the plague. Renowned in all learned doctrine, while others scattered in typical fashion during such calamities, I too began considering a withdrawal beneficial for my studies. However, things did not unfold as I had hoped and wished. Instead of my desired location, I was directed to go to Mosbach, following the counsel of the illustrious Elector Prince. Arriving in that small town, I quickly realized it was not conducive to my studies. Therefore, I chose to bring only the works of Galen and Aristotle, alongside some of my papers, to possibly review and separate the useful from the superfluous. Upon arrival, the conditions were worse than I feared. I had to winter in a cramped space with my entire family, which was so confined that there wasn't even room to store, let alone peruse, my books. Abandoning my intention to study Galen & Aristotle, I began reviewing letters I had written on various topics to different friends. Among these, I found letters I sent to you in 1556 from Schleusingen on the subject of the continuity of disease causes as I was preparing for my second trip to Italy. After reading them, I regretted not substantiating them with testimonies from Galen, whose views are primarily debated therein. I recalled that I couldn’t cite Galen when writing those letters, for I had lacked access to all my books that entire year. Relying solely on my unreliable and fleeting memory wasn’t feasible. Thus, during my review, I inserted testimonies from Galen, corrected any improperly transcribed or omitted words, and elaborated on points that seemed vague. You will find this letter enriched and almost transformed. Additionally, I included a part of another letter on treatment which I had written to a now-deceased friend, which contains insights pertinent to our discussion. Farewell, prosper greatly, and continue to grace the medical profession with the exceptional gifts bestowed upon you by the Lord. From Heidelberg, July 9th, 1572.