Zurich Paracelsus Project

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Theophrastus of Hohenheim
called Paracelsus
1493/94-1541

Paracelsus

Copper engraving from 1538 by the monogrammer A.H.

Paracelsus - Life and Works

"Alterius not sit, qui suus esse potest."

"Who can be himself, shall not belong to someone else."

This was the motto of Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim, generally known under his humanistic name Paracelsus, which may be a simple latinization of his family name "Hohenheim", the one living at a high place.

His life as a physician and lay theologian was one of restless wanderings, never staying at the same place for a long time. Nevertheless and almost unbelievably, in this constant state of inquietude, Paracelsus found time to produce a vast written work, which will fill, when completely edited at last, up to thirty stately volumes.

In this way, Paracelsus belongs to the most active German language writers in the early modern period, second only to Luther in extensiveness. His writings cover a wide range including medicine, natural philosophy, theology and even prophecy and magic.