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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
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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 ?
SALZBURG, Austria, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Requiring only a quick upgrade to their existing Elekta Synergy linear accelerator, physicians at SALK and Paracelsus Medical University began using the new Agility (TM)* 160-leaf multileaf collimator(MLC), treating 33 patients on its first day.
Unlike Paracelsus, I have an understanding and healthy appreciation of the cumulative detrimental effects of 10,000 sub-lethal events.
Paracelsus lived in a time of extraordinary intellectual turmoil, during the late stages of the Italian Renaissance and at the time of the Reformation.
Although Agrippa's methods of creation are different, and though he is much vaguer about his methods than is Paracelsus, it is clear that both men are referring to the production of an artificially made human--or, more precisely, an organic entity with a human form.
While Paracelsus cannot be claimed for any particular confession, Webster reveals his theological and social sympathies to align best with the spiritualistic and apocalyptical Anabaptists of South Germany.
A brief summary of the life of Paracelsus is in order at the start of a book of this sort, but Webster takes a wider approach by first reflecting on positive and negative aspects of socioeconomic life in the sixteenth century.
Paracelsus scholars would also prefer that works of dubious authenticity, such as Concerning the Nature of Things, be identified as such.
1567 marks the beginning of French reaction against Paracelsus and his followers.
The 16th century alchemist Paracelsus believed the appearance of a plant gave clues as to what it could be good for medicinally.
Covering alchemy, medieval magic, and some alternative healing techniques, and herbal remedies, this groundbreaking work includes an introduction by Stephen Skinner, which offers a brief biography of the Swiss physician and author Paracelsus, as well as an overview of how Paracelsus' work influenced the Western Mystery Tradition for centuries to come.
1200-1280); Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535); and Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better and more conveniently known as Paracelsus (1493-1541), have typically downplayed the importance of that reading.
The 54-year-old worked at the Paracelsus Clinic in Hanover, which has had Hollywood stars and royalty among its patients.