Article ID: CBB983986033

Quintessence and the Prolongation of Life in the Works of Paracelsus (2018)


In many aspects, Paracelsus (1493/94-1541) can be clearly considered a heir and successor of the medieval tradition of alchemical medicine. However, it seems that he was only temporarily interested in the problematics of the prolongation of life. Only four of his treatises are devoted to this question: the "Archidoxis," "De renovatione et restauratione," "Vom langen Leben," and "De vita longa," all written around 1526/1528. But neither in these treatises, nor in his other works did Paracelsus use the means for prolonging life available in the alchemical medieval tradition, namely the Rupescissan quintessence and the alchemical notion of a universal medicine.The very notion of a universal remedy was quite alien to his thinking, although he occasionnally used it. This probably explains why some Paracelsians tried in several ways to reintegrate the Rupescissan quintessence into the Paracelsian corpus.

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Authors & Contributors
Debus, Allen G.
Giordano, Michael J.
Ball, Philip
Kahn, Didier
Newman, William Royall
Linden, Stanton J.
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Atti e Memorie, Rivista di Storia della Farmacia
Renaissance Quarterly
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
AMS Press
Yale University Press
de Gruyter
Natural philosophy
Natural magic
Medicine and religion
Paracelsus, Theophrast von Hohenheim
Béroalde de Verville, François
Ripley, George
Browne, Thomas
Khunrath, Heinrich
Dee, John
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
14th century
15th century

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