Buch mit der Sackpfeife

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
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Büchlein mit der himmlischen Sackpfeife

I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First edited in 1608 by Benedictus Figulus. Four manuscripts of the whole text. – The text consists of two parts that are probably originally independent. The first part, Vom gelben und roten Mann (“Of the yellow and the red man”) was first printed in 1598 in a collection called Aurum Vellus and in 1610, edited by Joachim Tancke. Four manuscripts in Kassel. The second part, Das wahre Aurum potabile (“The true aurum potabile”), was first printed in 1604 in a continuation of the Aureum Vellus with the title Tractatus de vitriolo philosophorum or Vom philosophischen Vitriol.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. In some copies the first part is addressed to a prince (Werl manuscript and Figulus: “eur fürstlich gnaden,” also one manuscript of Vom gelben und roten Mann: “eur churfürstlichen genaden”) while others directly address the reader (Heidelberg manuscript: “du,” Bamberg manuscript: “ir”). The latter two are both written – at different times and with a different context – by Martin Sturtz.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style.

Relationship to other texts. Vom gelben und roten Mann has basically the same text as the first of part of the Buch mit der Sackpfeife, but the order of paragraphs is different in some cases, and there are also a few extra sentences. One manuscript of Vom gelben und roten Mann is rewritten and considerably enlarged. The same is true for Vom philosophischen Vitriol: comparing with the second part of the Buch mit der Sackpfeife, some sentences are missing, and there are some extra sentences as well.

Authenticity, authorship. The Buch mit der Sackpfeife is anonymous in the Werl manuscript, attributed to a “Comes a marca” (Bernardus Trevisanus?) in the Bamberg and Heidelberg manuscripts, and attributed to Paracelsus in the Kopenhagen manuscript and in Figulus’s 1608 edition. The first part, Vom gelben und roten Mann, is – in the 1598 edition only – attributed to “Melchior cardinalis et episcopus Brixiensis,” who can be identified as Melchior von Meckau (or Meggau), provost of Meißen, prince-bishop of Brixen (ca. 1440–1509). Melchior, however, would rather have been the prince addressed by the author, if this ascription is reliable at all. The title of the text, Buch mit Sackpfeife, is a complete mystery. Since there is no reference to a “bagpipe” in the text or a reference to any musical instrument at all, the only explanation that we can think of is that there was at some time a manuscript with an illustration containing a bagpipe.

Time of writing. The oldest manuscripts are from the 1570s. Attributed to Paracelsus in the 1590s or 1600s. The first part may have been written ca. 1490–1510.

II. Sources


Buch mit der Sackpfeife

  • Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek: Msc. nat. 7, 66r–70v
  • Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. Sal. VIII, 96 Bd. 4, 36v–39v
  • Kopenhagen, Det Kongelige Bibliotek: GKS 1720 kvart, f. 78r–85v
  • Werl, Stadtarchiv: Familienarchiv v. Papen-Lohe, Akte A III g 1, Kasten 215, f. 85r–89r

Vom gelben und roten Mann

  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 60[2,7, 23–26
  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 60[8,2, f. 191v–194v
  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 60[9,2, f. 230r–231r
  • Kassel, Landesbibliothek: 4° Ms. chem. 72, f. 275va–276ra

First printed:

  • 1598 (in: Aurei velleris Oder Der Guldin Schatz vnd Kunstkammer Tractatus III (Rorschach, 1598); VD16 T 1961; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 424–427 n° 244); reprinted 1610 (ed. Joachim Tancke) (Vom gelben und roten Mann)
  • 1604 (in: Aurei Velleris Oder Der Guldin Schatz: und Kunstkammer Tractatus Quintus & Vltimus (Basel: Jacob Treuw, 1604); VD17 14:646499H; not in Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica) (Vom philosophischen Vitriol)
  • 1608 (in: Thesaurinella Olympica aurea tripartita. Das ist: Ein himmlisch güldenes Schatzkämmerlein, ed. Benedictus Figulus (Frankfurt a.M.: Wolfgang Richter for Nicolaus Stein, 1608); VD17 3:302600E; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 477–479 n° 280) (Buch mit der Sackpfeife)
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 696 n° 17; Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, 225–226, 780 n° II/20.

Further bibliographical references:

Gerhard Eis and Gundolf Keil, “Nachträge zum Verfasserlexikon,” in Studia neophilologica 30 (1958), 232–250, on 236: “Bernhard von der Mark” (by Gerhard Eis).

Joachim Telle, “Ein altdeutsches Spruchgedicht nach der Turba Philosophorum,” in Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, 95 (1976), 416–443, on 422.

Rainer Rudolf, “Bernhard von der Mark,” in Verfasserlexikon. Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters, vol. 1 (Berlin, 1978), col. 771–772.

Joachim Telle, Review of Rudolph Zaunick, Der sächsische Paracelsist Georg Forberger (Wiesbaden, 1977), Sudhoffs Archiv, 63 (1979), 102–104, on 103.

Broszinski, Manuscripta chemica in quarto (2011), 226, 287, 294, 325.

Volker Zapf, “Bernardus Trevisanus,” in Deutsches Literatur-Lexikon. Das Mittelalter, ed. Wolfgang Achnitz, vol. 6 (Berlin-Boston, 2014), col. 1055–1057.