Zurich Paracelsus Project

Work in Progress

Philosophia Magna I (1923)

Matthiessen Edition Edited by Wilhelm Matthießen

Matthießen Edition of Paracelsus

Wilhelm Matthießen (1891-1966)

In the second volume of his "Versuch einer Kritik der Echtheit der Paracelsischen Schriften" (1898), Karl Sudhoff had extensively described the unedited manuscripts of Paracelsus's theological writings. So he was aware of the importance and the impact of the theological writings for understanding Paracelsus. He originally wanted to give them out concurrently with his edition of the natural philosophic and medical writings. Intended as a help on this project, Sudhoff had gained Wilhelm Wilhelm Matthießen (1891-1966)(1891-1966), a young religion scholar who had submitted a doctoral dissertation on Paracelsus as theologian.

In 1923, Matthießen managed to bring forth a first volume of Paracelsus's theological work containing writings on the vita beata. The book, which also contained editorial and philological remarks pertaining to both his and Sudhoff's edition, must have been prepared in great haste, for there are several mistakes including omitting lines and a whole page of the Heidelberg manuscript on which it is based. For reasons unknown, this first volume was also to be the last of Matthießen's, and Sudhoff mentioned him never again.