Wunder Artzney

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
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I. Basic information

Printing History, Manuscripts. First printed in 1573, not attributed to Paracelsus. Printed again in 1586, now attributed to Paracelsus.

Editions. Not edited by Huser or Sudhoff.

Relationship between different versions. Further study required.

Structure, genre/form, perspective, style.

Relationship to other texts.

Authenticity, authorship. The Wunder Artzney, when first published in 1573, did not claim to be a work of Paracelsus, but was, according to the title page, “auff die Theophrastisch Medicin gestelt,” i.e. a kind of complement to the Paracelsian writings, and it was written “vor etlich hundert jaren,” i.e. a few hundred years ago. It is actually nothing else than a German version of the Liber de consideratione quintae essentiae by Johannes de Rupescissa (d. after 1365). The 1573 edition was probably printed from the 16th century Basel manuscript cod. D II 24. However, the second edition, printed in 1586, explicitly named Paracelsus as author of the text: Theophrasti Paracelsi, Wunder Artzney Vnnd Verborgine Geheimnisse Allergeheimnissen and even boasted about being “now, in this year 1586, edited for the first time from the autograph manuscripts of Theophrastus Paracelsus,” which constitutes a double misdirection.

Time of writing. Text written in the 14th century by Johannes de Rupescissa. First attributed to Paracelsus in 1586.

II. Sources


  • Basel, Universitätsbibliothek: Cod. D II 24; 46 fols. [not attributed to Paracelsus]

First printed:

  • 1573 (Wunder Artzney/ Vonn allerley leibs gebrüchen/ vnnd zů fallenden kranckheiten […] Alles mit fleiß beschrieben/ vnd auff die Theophrastisch Medicin gestelt: Vor etlich hundert jaren beschrieben/ vnd est diß M.D. Lxxiij. jar/ zů nutz vnd gutem allen liebhabern dieser kunst/ im Truck außgangen (Basel: Sebastian Henricpetri, 1573); VD16 P 725; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 250–252 n° 149) [not attributed to Paracelsus]
  • 1586 (Theophrasti Paracelsi, WunderArtzney Vnnd Verborgine Geheimnisse Allergeheimnissen/ etc. […] Alles erst jetzt im jar 1586. auß den eygnen Handtgeschrifften des Hochermelten Herrn Theophrasti Paracelsi genommen/ vnd zuentledigung grosser Arbeit aller LIebhabern der Theophrastischen Medicin an Tag gegeben (Basel: Sebastian Henricpetri, 1586); VD16 P 726; Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 360–362 n° 209) [attributed to Paracelsus]
III. Bibliography

Essential bibliography: Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, 250–252, 360–362, 695 n° 8; CP 2: 247.

Further bibliographical references:

Hubert Herkommer, “Johannes de Rupescissa,” in Kurt Ruh, ed., Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters – Verfasserlexikon, vol. 4 (Berlin, 1983), col. 724–729.

Udo Benzenhöfer, Johannes’ de Rupescissa ‘Liber de consideratione quintae essentiae omnium rerum’ deutsch: Studien zur Alchemia medica des 15. bis 17. Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart, 1989), 47–48 n° 35.