Paracelsus – Introduction


There are moments in history when person, place, and time fall into sublime synchronicity. Paracelsus in Basel during 1527 appeared to be such a juncture. Paracelsus, however, did not carefully plot his career strategies as to how best to make an impact on the Basel academic scene. He continued to construct his philos­ophy of medicine based on experience and curiosity (experientia and curiositas) and to explore chemical cures in lectures at Basel University, delivered in his native German. As if the latter fact alone were not enough to proclaim his scientific and medical iconoclasm, he allegedly destroyed the Canon of Avicenna at a public book burning on 24 June. This attack on the medical authorities of antiquity signaled to the medical establishment in Basel and beyond that a revolution in medicine was afoot, a revolution that was to raise violent clashes among the university-trained physicians. Still, Paracelsus did enjoy support among some of the brightest minds of the European Renaissance.

If this was Paracelsus’s moment, he squandered it recklessly. The academic opposition gathered its strength; events took a bad turn. Froben died. The offended university faculty and their allies struck back, ridiculing Paracelsus and his new science in print as “Cacophrastus.” Furthermore, Paracelsus got into a financial dispute with a wealthy burgher over the amount owed for treatment. As he had done so many times before, Paracelsus resorted to flight to extract himself from these increasing difficulties. His wanderings through a good part of central Europe would continue until his death in 1541, at which point only a fraction of his vast output of writings had been printed.[2]

Paracelsus’s notoriety preceded his fame by several decades. His moment was not to come during his lifetime, but, to the extent that there was a genuine Paracelsian moment, it began during the second half of the sixteenth century. It expanded to a movement that continued to flourish into the early decades of the seventeenth century. Scholars such as Michael Toxites, Adam von Bodenstein, and Gerhard Dorn scoured central Europe in search of Paracelsus’s manuscripts. By 1570 a wide-ranging Paracelsian revival was under way. Learned academics such as Theodor Zwinger and Gunther von Andernach began to take Paracelsus seri­ously. At the turn of the century, Paracelsus’s ideas were central to debates about pharmacology and medicine across northern and central Europe; his theories on the nature of healing, elemental spirits (Elementalgeister), and the relationship between mankind and the cosmos were ceaselessly rehearsed, with much accla­mation and occasional derision, in the burgeoning early modern literature on witches and wonders.

Beginning with the tremendous success of the Grosse Wundarznei (1536), Paracelsus’s work enjoyed an increasingly vigorous reception that continued to grow substantially for many years, especially in the decades after his death in 1541. His influence reached, considerably altered, into the twentieth century. Paracelsus became the favorite subject of the emerging discipline of the history of medicine in Germany, owing, for the most part, to the pathbreaking editorial work of Karl Sudhoff, who devoted his professional life to assessing the manu­script and print history of Paracelsus’s works and publishing the scholarly edi­tions that remain authoritative to this day.[3] Despite this auspicious start, the assessment of Paracelsus’s life and work has, in many ways, been more problem­atic in the twentieth century than during the early modern period. This develop­ment was due in part to Sudhoff’s and his collaborators’ conviction that the Paracelsian corpus would reach the modern reader and scholar to the best advan­tage if it were neatly divided into two halves, broadly speaking: a scientific and a religious one. The important and influential religious aspects of his worldview were relegated to the specialists in religion and intellectual and social history, leaving the empirical tracts to the researchers in medical history.[4] Furthermore, the ideologically driven trilogy of Erwin Guido Kolbenheyer based on Paracelsus’s life greatly shaped the popular image of Paracelsus in Germany.[5] Presented as a hero to right-wing nationalists, Paracelsus was coopted by the Third Reich for its own propaganda purposes, a phenomenon that reached its ahistorical culmina­tion in the 1943 Ufa film Paracelsus, directed by G. W. Pabst.[6]

The reception of Paracelsus across the Channel and across the Atlantic never reached the level of enthusiasm that it did in German-speaking territories. He had an impact on pharmacology, and some of his alchemical writings influenced the development of chemistry, but relatively few English speakers were familiar with more than the occasional concept from the vast body of his writings.[7] Movements such as the radical spiritual vision associated with Paracelsus, the “Theophrastia

Sancta,” took hold among some of the radical religious groups that appeared dur­ing the English Civil War (1642-49). At the time when Paracelsus was enjoying a scholarly reappraisal on the Continent, the study of Paracelsus in the Anglophone world remained largely in the hands of occultists and spiritualists such as Arthur Edward Waite.[8] While interest in Paracelsus increased within the medical-historical community in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, more cautious Anglo-American historians such as Lynn Thorndike remained dismissive of his scientific contribu­tion. After 1945, Third Reich refugees like Henry Sigerist and Owsei Temkin inau­gurated more serious research on Paracelsus in the United States. But it was not until Walter Pagel and Allen Debus published their seminal work that Paracelsus became one of the icons in the history of early modern science among English- language scholars. In recent years, the integration of Paracelsus into the larger narrative of the scientific revolution has been further advanced by Charles Web­ster. Scholars such as Jole Shackelford and Ole Peter Grell have followed Debus’s lead in pursuing the influence of Paracelsianism beyond Germany.[9]

At this point in the development of the history of science and medicine, Paracelsus is attracting the attention of scholars the world over. In addition, a number of regional societies devoted to the study of his work are furthering the publication of new and exciting Paracelsus research.[10] The most salutary develop­ment of the post war era has been the appearance of a scholarly edition of Paracel­sus’s religious corpus, a task undertaken by Kurt Goldammer and now carried forward by Urs Leo Gantenbein. Scholars such as Robert Jutte, Bruce Moran, and Joachim Telle have investigated and continue to offer new insights into the socio- historical aspects of Paracelsianism. Bea Lundt, Hildegard Elisabeth Keller, Gun- hild Porksen, and Katharina Biegger, among others, have advanced our understanding of issues of gender, sexuality, and marriage in Paracelsus’s writings. Scholars such as Udo Benzenhofer, Ute Gause, Carlos Gilly, and Hartmut Rudolph have also turned their attention, to great effect, to the religious dimension of Paracelsus’s thought.[11]

Furthermore, the growing interest in Paracelsus’s oeuvre bore fruit in a series of conferences and publications in 1993 and 1994 celebrating the five-hundredth anniversary of Paracelsus’s birth.[12] These publications, welcome as they are, also point to the abiding desideratum of Paracelsus studies, namely the challenge of publishing Paracelsus’s complete works and the related task of producing ade­quate scholarly translations and study and research aids. The translations of his writings frequently focus on the most esoteric works or those of questionable authenticity, and they must be used with great caution.[13] Finally, there has been no lack of popular interest in Paracelsus, as can be seen in a number of biogra­phies and mythologizing entries in recent reference works.

The collection of essays assembled here takes its place among those studies that seek further to broaden access to Paracelsus’s works and aid the understand­ing of his influence. This book is not about Paracelsus only, but about the wide range of issues explored by Paracelsus himself and taken up by many who were directly or indirectly affected by the same mental universe that sustained his thought and his writings. This volume’s title, Paracelsian Moments, is meant to articulate a subject considerably larger than Paracelsus himself. Rather than sug­gest that Paracelsus’s ideas were at the heart of whatever was progressive or inter­esting in early modern natural philosophy, magic, mysticism, and healing, these essays probe the early modern discourse where it concerns itself with the world as it presented itself from 1490 to 1680. Men like Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Francois Rabelais, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Athanasius Kircher, and Johannes Praetorius can, upon closer inspection, be put forward as exemplars of this move­ment that touched Paracelsus or was touched by him. Because of the intense interest his work has generated, both in the early modern world and among con­temporary scholars, Paracelsus is the most appropriate figure to be selected as the standard-bearer of this volume. His obscure medical dicta, his belief in the reality of elemental spirits such as nymphs and mountain spirits, his pronouncements on procreation and sexuality, and his quirky Marian piety make him very much a pre-Enlightenment figure. Furthermore, his interdependent vision of gender, his espousal of alternative medicine, and his deeply spiritual, nonconfessional piety mark him as a thinker and experimenter worthy of continued scholarly attention.

This volume also reflects the fertile international dialogue over the last decades among scholars of early modern science, history, gender, and literature. Recent scholarly trends have created a nonpositivistic, interdisciplinary climate where challenging connections among disciplines can be made. Thus, our Paracelsian Moments is less a celebration of Paracelsus a la Sudhoff than an attempt to present the conversation that is now occurring among scholars of literature, social history, and the history of science. It aims to illuminate a singular phenomenon, Paracelsus and his mental universe, through a multiplicity of disciplinary strategies.

“Paracelsian moments” is also meant to invoke a way of thinking and writing about the natural world that had roots in Italian Neoplatonism, crossed the Alps into the Northern Renaissance, and found its most memorable and inspiring, if somewhat idiosyncratic, expression in the writings of Paracelsus. The decades after 1570 witnessed a full-fledged Paracelsian reception that played a critical role in the scientific debates that excited early modern Europe before Paracelsianism lost its paradigm-shaping power to the mechanical philosophy of nature in the late seven­teenth century. Long after his hypotheses were losing their “scientific” prestige, the type of religious-alchemical concerns elucidated by Paracelsus enjoyed a signifi­cant afterlife in popular writers like Johann Praetorius as well as among the Faust adaptors Georg Widman and Johannes Pfitzer. To this must be added the Euro­pean encounter with the New World, which forced early moderns to ask funda­mental questions about the nature of humanity itself.[14] Equally challenging to the early modern mental universe were the multifaceted reform movements of the six­teenth century, which constructed new visions of biblical and spiritualist author- ity.[15] All of these factors worked together to provoke the most profound speculations on fundamental questions of early modern intellectual life.

Paracelsus having been placed at the center of the story, Charles Gunnoe’s essay on the anti-Paracelsian attempt to discredit Paracelsus examines the controversial nature of Paracelsus in his era. Gunnoe offers a study of Thomas Erastus’s efforts to damage Paracelsus’s reputation by forming a composite image of Paracelsus in his four-volume Disputations on the New Medicine of P. Paracelsus (1571-73). Erastus was a medical professor at the University of Heidelberg and one of the more important Protestant natural philosophers of the late sixteenth century. He represents the extreme of the common tendency of humanistically trained aca­demic physicians to repudiate Paracelsus’s innovations. With excellent connec­tions at the imperial court and in Paracelsus’s Swiss homeland, Erastus was able to gather numerous biographical morsels concerning Paracelsus. Through careful management of his sources, Erastus constructed a biography that emphasized Paracelsus’s heretical-to-demonic beliefs, his undependable and dissolute per­sonal habits, and his ignorantly prescribed and frequently lethal medical thera­pies. Given the clearly partisan slant of Erastus’s work, it must be used with care as a historical source. Nevertheless, it gives a clear indication of how threatened many academic physicians felt by new medicine as the Paracelsian revival reached its apogee.

The late-sixteenth-century controversy over Paracelsian medicine is also on display in Mitchell Hammond’s investigation of the Augsburg medical commu­nity. Hammond provides something unusual in Paracelsian historiography: a social history of the reception of Paracelsian practitioners in one German town. Although Augsburg had been the home of an early and vocal supporter of Paracelsus, in the person of the city physician, Wolfgang Thalhauser, Augsburg’s learned physicians initially had the upper hand in limiting the activity of Paracel­sian practitioners in their city. In 1582, a College of Medicine had been sanc­tioned by the town council to have wide jurisdiction in regulating medical practitioners. If Hammond’s account were limited to the legal history, we would leave it thinking the university-trained supporters of traditional Greek medicine a la Hippocrates were well armed to keep Paracelsianism at bay. Hammond has been able to find a number of cases, however, where Paracelsian practitioners gained the sanction of the city council to treat a large pool of patients even when they were opposed by the College of Medicine. The alliances made by these alter­native practitioners with burghers from both the upper and middle levels of the city enabled them to outmaneuver the College of Medicine in conflicts with the city council. From the cases Hammond brings to light, it appears that the acute need of the townspeople for medical treatment usually trumped the authority of learned physicians. This pathbreaking archival study sheds much light on the sociohistorical paths that Paracelsian knowledge traveled.

Jole Shackelford’s study is informed by the recent discussion led by Stephen Pumfrey and others on whether the term Paracelsianism has been so broadly defined in recent scholarship as to be largely meaningless.16 Shackelford contin­ues this line of inquiry by asking the basic question of whether the prominent natural Danish philosophers Caspar Bartholin and Ole Worm can fairly be con­sidered Paracelsians. There is evidence that both figures, following in the wake of their famous countryman Petrus Severinus, had more than a passing interest in aspects of Paracelsian theory and practice. However, the apparent surface Paracel- sianism of Bartholin and Worm disappears under closer scrutiny. All the progres­sive trends of their scholarship cannot be reckoned upon the ledger of Paracelsian influence. The tendency toward basing knowledge on experience was nourished by neo-Aristotelian, Galenic, and natural-historical schools, and in fact these scholars frequently repudiated Paracelsus’s own most distinctive ideas. Shackel­ford offers a nuanced vision of the interaction between the schools, and his work goes a long way to explaining why the Aristotelian model remained persuasive and continued to make substantial contributions to the knowledge of the natural world in the early modern era.

Moving across the water to England, Lynda Payne investigates the many ways in which the Company of Barber-Surgeons solidified its professional, social, and economic status in sixteenth-century England. As in all social ascents, the trip was not accomplished without difficulty, and Payne devotes special attention to the manner in which the barber-surgeons’ expertise in anatomy could have become a social and legal liability. Turning a potential weakness into a strength, the barber­surgeons asserted their monopoly over autopsy as a hallmark of their medical superiority over both unlearned quacks and university-trained physicians. Here a special group of learned surgeons waged a multifront campaign as they made their case in print, sought and obtained the enhanced professional status from the state, and celebrated their victorious rise in skillful artistic self-promotion. Rather than advocate the radical vision of medical renewal associated with Paracelsus that was so widespread on the Continent, the learned surgeons drew from the same sanctioned Greek sources of knowledge that inspired their university- trained rivals. As the century drew to a close, a few celebrated episodes of the unveiling of notorious quacks further solidified the public confidence in and respectability of the Company of Barber-Surgeons.

From the professionalization of the medical profession in early modern England, we turn to Hildegard Keller’s investigation of the gendered aspects of Paracelsian medicine. Paracelsus’s “gendered epistemology” details his thinking about the world, humankind, and the relationship of males and females to both. Scholars have been fascinated and not a little confused by Paracelsus’s unconven­tional approach to gendered medicine, specifically in the context of male and

  1. Pumfrey, “Spagyric Art,” 21-51.

female pathologies and their association with perception, the human “seeing” of the macrocosm. A worthy physician does not only see the microcosm (man and woman) reflected in the macrocosm and vice versa; according to Paracelsus, he also knows that traditional humoral medicine is insufficient to recognize the dif­ference between the “smallest world” (woman) and the “small world” (man), between their illnesses, and how best to treat them. Accordingly, the physician does not “see” the woman’s illness just by looking at her outward appearance. The illness lies hidden within woman, in her matrix, which itself is hidden within her body. Far from being threatening or dangerous, this mystery can and will be rec­ognized and treated by the physician who understands the relationship between the diagnostic gaze (“the physician’s eyes”) and the macrocosm and the micro­cosm. Before his gaze, the secrets (Heimlichkeiten) of human nature, specifically of woman, will be revealed. Once he “sees” with his own eyes the secrets of the matrix and its relationship to the cosmos, he can treat and heal, making use of experience and knowledge.

Turning from Paracelsus’s medical preoccupations and following in the foot­steps of continental scholars such as Kurt Goldammer and Hartmut Rudolph, Dane Thor Daniel has begun the journey of coming to terms with Paracelsus’s unique religious vision and its relationship to natural philosophy. Daniel contrib­utes to the knowledge of Paracelsus’s sacramental theology through a study of Paracelsus’s conception of baptism. While Paracelsus composed a number of trea­tises on the sacraments that still await publication, his sacramental thought can­not be seen in isolation from his more widely known works of natural philosophy such as the Astronomia magna. In both genres Paracelsus endeavored to develop his unique vision of the “immortal philosophy.” The sacraments are critical com­ponents of this vision, as it is through them that the spiritual flesh that will inherit the kingdom of God is vouchsafed to the Christian believer. While maintaining a high vision of baptismal efficacy, Paracelsus develops a broadly evangelical focus on what makes a legitimate baptism. Daniel proves yet again how difficult it is to force a confessional label on Paracelsus. Daniel’s study also adds weight to the interpretation of scholars such as Charles Webster and Erik Midelfort that Paracelsus’s worldview was not driven by Hermetic, Neoplatonic, or even Gnostic concerns but rather was largely determined by his own literal, if idiosyncratic, reading of the Bible.[16]

Heinz Schott turns to arcana of a different kind. He explores one of the most important and influential ideas of natural philosophy, the idea that all bodies, including the human organism, are connected to each other by a network of mag­netic influences, called magnetism. The focus here is on the relationship of magne­tism to the power of imagination that joins humankind to the whole of nature, the microcosm to the macrocosm. An essential concept in Paracelsian epistemology, imagination was also central to the discussion of white and black magic, from Ficino to van Helmont to Mesmer. The close relationship between the Paracelsian imagination and magnetism is evident in the writings of many early modern natu­ral philosophers, including William Gilbert, Johannes Kepler, and Athanasius Kircher. Their studies imported some of the most original and influential ideas of Paracelsus into the scientific and philosophical discourses of the sixteenth and sev­enteenth centuries. However, while both imagination and magnetism were fully accepted as objects of scientific exploration, it was not until the late eighteenth century that Franz Mesmer combined the two into his psychosomatic theories, thereby ensuring the survival of some essentially Paracelsian ideas into the modern period.

Astrology, a way of “seeing” the heavens, understanding the universe, and knowing God’s plan for mankind, was a consuming passion of Renaissance people, learned and lay alike. It loomed large in Paracelsus’s medical and philosophical writings, revealing the influences of Italian natural philosophers on scholars and writers north of the Alps. Sheila Rabin explores the seemingly contradictory pro­nouncements on astrology’s role advanced by Giovanni Pico, first in his 900 The­ses , and, toward the end of his life, in the Disputations against Judicial Astrology, where he vigorously inveighed against the practice on religious, philosophical, technical, and historical grounds. Pico rejected the idea that stars can be manipu­lated to serve mankind in its undertakings; he was critical of the use of astral magic. Pico noted that stars have physical effects: they provide light, heat, and motion. Upon closer inspection of his writings, it appears that Pico moved in the direction of a materialistic view of the universe, a universe that is controlled by God, but not necessarily by angelic or satanic intelligences. He suggests that the alleged powers of the stars over people and events need to be proven, not just asserted, and that the true order of the planets cannot be established by astrologers.

Some forty years later, Rabelais ridiculed the divinatory arts in his Histories of Gargantua and Pantagruel, even though, as Dene Scoggins demonstrates, he was widely known and respected as a writer of almanacs and prognostications, being in fact much better known as a physician and astrologer than as a poet. His expertise and success in the field and his negative assessment of the astrological arts puzzles the modern reader. Scoggins’s careful review of Rabelais’s pronouncements on astrology in the five books of Gargantua reveals that he did not reject astrology but rather that he criticized those who placed greater trust in stellar signs than in the more direct path provided by the divinely inspired knowledge of the human body itself. He devotes much humorous discussion to the very difficult question that lies at the heart of all astrological writings, whether people can penetrate the unknowable and gain access to the future by practicing astrology. At the core of Rabelais’s thinking about astrology lies a quintessential Paracelsian paradigm: the body as microcosm reflects the universe as macrocosm. Thus, any self-respecting physician would treat the human body according to the concordances that are organized in layers of cosmic correspondences. The body, with its physical and spiritual needs, is the universal hub on which cosmic influences focus the energies that are then turned back toward the universe. Paracelsus’s plague metaphor comes to mind. The divine cannot be known through signs, although knowledge of the body, of human physiology, can lead to knowledge of the greater world, allowing for a new kind of human exploration, in human anatomy. God’s secrets lie as much in the human body as in the cosmos, and the philosopher must strive for the understanding of both.

With his study of Robert Boyle’s use of Hebrew, Michael Walton examines the intellectual context of both the emerging discipline of chemistry and Christian Hebraism in seventeenth-century England. One of the intellectual giants of the seventeenth century, Boyle is remembered for achievements such as removing the magical-occult associations—a direct inheritance from Paracelsus—from chem­istry, his espousal of a corpuscular view of matter, his contribution to the Royal Society, and, not least, Boyle’s Law. Boyle’s experimentalism was coupled with a firm belief in the relevance of biblical revelation both for knowledge of salvation and for insight into the natural world. Given the continued relevance of the cre­ation accounts in Genesis for scholarly inquiry, Boyle developed a passionate desire to master Hebrew in order to understand the biblical texts better. That he became quite proficient is shown by his use of Hebrew literature and by the high praise bestowed on him by noted Orientalists of his era. Boyle employed his exe- getical insights in support of a reading of Genesis that supported his corpuscular understanding of matter. Given Boyle’s seminal role in seventeenth-century sci­ence, Walton argues that understanding Boyle’s Christian Hebraism supplies a crucial context for understanding the cultural milieu of the scientific revolution.

One of the most enduring of Paracelsian theories, his ideas about elemental spirits, looms large in Johannes Praetorius’s (1630-1680) writings on strange and wondrous people. Gerhild Williams looks at Praetorius’s three-volume study on the Silesian giant Rubezahl, the Daemonologia Rubinzalii. Like Paracelsus, Pra- etorius had a passion for observing, collecting, categorizing, and explaining the wondrous, the preternatural, in God’s creation. Giants in general, and Rubezahl in particular, are specimens of the early modern marvelous that border, on occasion, on the demonic. Inhabiting the Silesian mountains of the Riesengebirge, and thus at the intersection between wilderness and early modern civilization, Rubezahl is the purveyor of great wealth, a keeper of secrets, a shape shifter, a temperamental weather maker, a magician, and a spirit privy to human frailty, pride, and foolish­ness. Much like Paracelsus, Praetorius explores the Book of Nature and writes about wonders to satisfy the curious minds of his readers and gain insights into the secrets of creation. Sublunar or monstrous spirits such as Rubezahl dwell in their own “chaos,” as do other elemental spirits. The Daemonologia provides an exam­ple of the popular and semiscientific reception of Paracelsian theories about natu­ral philosophy and cosmology.

Rounding off this collection of essays with a contribution to the sixteenth-cen­tury debates about the reliability of visual perception, Stuart Clark explores the question whether human vision provides trustworthy access to the real world. The idea that reality is constructed by human consciousness and that this con­struction can go far in deceiving the senses affected early modern views on witch­craft, the power of the Devil, optical observations, astronomy, and experimental science. It influenced the reception of skeptical thought introducing radical doubt about the reliability of senses, specifically the eyes, into the debates about the effi­cacy of Catholic and Protestant religiosity. To Keller’s “medical seeing,” Clark adds the “sacramental seeing” of sixteenth-century worship. The confrontation of visual experience with reality in the case of witchcraft, for example, can deceive the senses to such a degree that any concept of the real becomes subject to discon­certingly “radical visual indecision.” Demonology, the notion that the Devil as the inventor of virtual (occult) reality wields power granted to him by God, confirms that human perception can be successfully deceived. Aside from recommending that witches who fell prey to the Devil’s dissimulations be burned, early modern intellectuals, natural scientists, and/or demonologists wrote vast and learned tomes on the construction of satanic reality, on optics, and on all sciences. This learned preoccupation with seeing and making visible oftentimes brought them perilously close to magic and satanic subterfuge themselves.

The essays assembled in this volume confirm once again that the depth and breadth of the influence of Paracelsus on many aspects of early modern culture continue to offer exciting challenges to archivists, scholars, teachers, and students. This volume is intended as a part of the continuing intellectual conversation about the man, his work, and the amazing longevity of his ideas.

[1] Gerhild Scholz Williams, “Paracelsus,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 3:212.

[2] Robert-Henri Blaser, Paracelsus in Basel (Muttenz: St. Argobast Verlag, 1979).

[3] Karl Sudhoff, Versuch einer Kritik der Echtheit der Paracelsischen Schriften, I. Theil: Bibliogra- phia Paracelsica: Besprechung der unter Hohenheims Namen 1527-1893 erscheinenen Druckschriften (Berlin, 1894; repr., Graz, 1958).

[4] See Peter Dilg, “Paracelsus-Forschung gestern und heute: Grundlegende Ergebnisse, geschei- terte Versuche, neue Ansatze,” in Resultate und Desiderate der Paracelsus-Forschung, ed. Peter Dilg and Hartmut Rudolph, Sudhoffs Archiv Beihefte, 31 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1993), 2-24.

[5] Erwin Guido Kolbenheyer, Die Kindheit des Paracelsus (1917), Das Gestirn des Paracelsus (1921), Das Dritte Reich des Paracelsus (1926).

[6] See Udo Benzenhofer, “Ecce Ingenium Teutonicum: Bemerkungen zur Paracelsus-Romantrilo- gie Erwin Guido Kolbenheyers,” in Paracelsus: Das Werk—die Rezeption, ed. Volker Zimmermann (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1995), 161-70; and idem, “Zum Paracelsus-Film von Georg W. Pabst,” in Parega Paracelsica: Paracelsus in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, ed. Joachim Telle (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1991), 359-377.

[7] This point has recently been energetically made by Stephen Pumfrey, “The Spagyric Art; or the Impossible Work of Separating Pure from Impure Paracelsianism: A Historiographical Analysis,” in Paracelsus, ed. Ole Peter Grell (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 21-51. See Allen G. Debus, The English Paracel­sians (New York: Franklin Watts, 1966).

[8] See Andrew Cunningham, “Paracelsus Fat and Thin: Thoughts on Reputations and Realities,” in Paracelsus, ed. Grell, 53-77.

[9] Walter Pagel, Paracelsus: An Introduction to the Philosophical Medicine in the Era of the Renais­sance , 2d ed. (Basel: Karger, 1982); Debus, The English Paracelsians; idem, The French Paracelsians (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991); and Charles Webster, From Paracelsus to Newton: Magic and the Making of Modern Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

[10] These included the Austrian-based Salzburger Beitrage zur Paracelsusforschung, the Swiss series Nova Acta Paracelsica, and the more recent Heidelberger Studien zur Naturkunde der fruhen Neuzeit.

[11] See especially the respective studies in Paracelsus, ed. Grell; and Heinz Schott and Ilana Zinguer, eds., Paracelsus und seine internationale Rezeption in der fruhen Neuzeit (Leiden: Brill, 1998). Paracelsus, Samtliche Werke. II. Abteilung: Theologische und religionsphilosophische Schriften, ed. Kurt Goldammer (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner, 1955-).

[12] E.g., Peter Dilg and Hartmut Rudolph, eds., Resultate und Desiderate der Paracelsus-Forschung (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1993); Heinz Dopsch et al., Paracelsus (1493-1541): “Keines andern Knecht…” (Salzburg: Verlag Anton Pustet, 1993); and Joachim Telle, ed., Analecta Paracelsica (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1994). See bibliography for a more complete listing.

[13] Among the most pressing needs of English-language Paracelsus scholarship is a comprehen­sive assessment of all English-language translations of Paracelsus’s works.

[14] See Ingo Schutze, Zur Ficino Rezeption bei Paracelsus, in Parega Paracelsica, ed. Joachim Telle (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1991), 39-44.

[15] See Andrew Weeks, Paracelsus: Speculative Theory and the Crisis of the Early Reformation (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997).

[16] See H.C. Erik Midelfort, A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999); and Charles Webster, From Paracelsus to Newton: Magic and the Making of Modern Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).