Brief an Johannes Oekolampad

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I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. Discovered ca. 1980, transcribed and prepared for an edition by Hartmut Rudolph in 1983 (unpublished draft). First published in 2014 by Nikolaus Czifra. One single manuscript.

Editions. Not edited by Huser, Sudhoff or Goldammer.

Relationship between different versions. Only one known version.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style. Written in the first person in the form of a letter, directly addressing the recipient Johannes Oecolampadius (1482–1531), the Basel humanist and reformator. The letter comprises salutatio and narratio, but is missing datum and subscriptio in the manuscript.

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship. While Goldammer was uncertain about its authenticity, Czifra considered it to be the Latin translation of an authentic letter; to him there seems to be no significant argument against its authenticity. Urs Leo Gantenbein considers the letter to be “rather inauthentic.”

Time of writing. Probably written ca. 1528 (if authentic). The manuscript was dated by Goldammer from the end of the sixteenth century.

II. Sources


  • London, British Library: Harley MS 508, f. 2r–6v

First printed: not printed before Czifra (2014)

III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Czifra, Paracelsus’ Abendmahlschriften (2014), 37–39, 274–288.

Further bibliographical references:

Katharina Biegger, “Wie gelangten theologische Paracelsusschriften nach London?,” Nova Acta Paracelsica, N.F. 4 (1989), 24–37, on 33–35.

Kurt Goldammer, “Aufgaben der Paracelsusforschung,” in Joachim Telle, ed., Parerga Paracelsica (Stuttgart, 1991), 1–26, on 13.