(redirected from Paracelsian)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Paracelsian: Paracelsus
Philip von Hohenheim
BirthplaceEgg, near Einsiedeln, Old Swiss Confederacy (present-day Switzerland)
NationalitySwiss, German


Philippus Aureolus , real name Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. 1493--1541, Swiss physician and alchemist, who pioneered the use of specific treatment, based on observation and experience, to remedy particular diseases
Enlarge picture
Paracelsus. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.

Paracelsus (1493-1541)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

"Paracelsus" Philippus Aurelis Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim was born in Switzerland, near Einsiedeln, in the canton Schwyz. He named himself Paracelsus, probably as an indication that he was superior to Celsus, the first century Latin medical writer.

Paracelsus studied at the University of Basle and, later, with the abbot of Sponheim. In 1529, after a controversial three years of lecturing on medicine at the university, during which he burned the works of Avicenna and Galen, he was thrown out and wandered Europe. He settled in Salzburg in 1541 under the protection of Archbishop Duke Ernst of Bavaria. There he died in September of that year, some say from being thrown down a steep hill by his enemies.

Paracelsus earned a reputation as an alchemist and was certainly a doctor with a great gift for healing, believing that the body and soul must be treated together to bring about a cure. Although he looked askance at ceremonial magicians, he did believe that they possessed greater healing power than did his contemporary physicians. He strongly believed that there was a "natural" magic available that came from deity and conferred on the user the true power to heal. His beliefs included the use of talismans and the study of astrological influences. Paracelsus's Astronomica et astrologica opuscula (Cologne, 1567) features a woodcut illustration of him holding a sword with the word "Zoth" engraved on the pommel. It was generally believed that his famous sword had a demon named Azoth imprisoned in that pommel. Grillot De Givry, however, points out that azoth was the word Paracelsus used for the so-called "vital mercury" of the alchemists.

Paracelsus was the first to describe zinc and to introduce the use of chemical compounds into medicine. A book of his medical theories, Die grosse Wundartzney, was published in 1536.

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, Hester's collection of Paracelsian remedies seem to display similar attitudes to menstruation and menstrual blood as more Galenic tracts do, viewing both as dangerous in too great or too little a quantity.
13) On the chemical revolution and the Paracelsian rejection of Galenism, see Debus and Pagel.
The scientific hubris of Frankenstein is not Paracelsian, Darwinian, Galvanic, or Davian.
James, suggests a theology that is more than merely Paracelsian and not at all Reformed.
A group of the most highly active compounds are now being evaluated for anti-cancer activity in human tumor models of breast and prostate cancer as part of a collaborative research agreement Paracelsian recently announced with the Southern Research Institute, one of the nation's leading cancer research centers.
In the first chapter, "The Mummy Cure," Noble provides background on corpse pharmacology, highlighting its Paracelsian foundations but also outlining how Galen and later Ficino emphasized the human body's extraordinary curative power.
After decades of hot debates, however, a new pharmacopeia published in 1618 by the Royal College of Physicians in London contained paracelsian remedies.
As will become clear in this review, Campanella can also be considered a practitioner of the Paracelsian chemical philosophy that stretched down to Sir Isaac Newton and the Scientific Revolution.
Topics include music's role in Early Modern Paracelsian thought, chemical medicine and Paracelsianism in Italy in 1550-1650, medical and political reform in Commonwealth Oxford, the origins of the UK's Royal Society, the legacy of Puritan reform in Bristol (1647-1720), the evolution of infant welfare services in New Zealand and Britain in the first half of the 20th century, scientific language and French politics, and international recruitment of nurses to the UK.
In fact, one of the earliest references to the weapon salve (outside of the contested Paracelsian sources) appeared towards the end of the sixteenth century in the influential Magiae naturalis libri viginti of Giovanni Battista della Porta (1535-1615); the 1589 edition of the Magiae included a brief description of the salve and attributed its discovery to Paracelsus.
Paracelsian and its partners will seek patent protection and regulatory approval of these newly developed products prior to marketing them in the U.
To end the first section, Herbert Breger shifts the focus of psychological analysis from writers about Paracelsus to seventeenth-century scientists, and claims to find a correlation between certain personality traits and sympathy for the mechanist or Paracelsian conceptions of nature.