Zurich Paracelsus Project

Work in Progress

Astronomia Magna (print 1571)

Astronomia Magna (print of 1571)

NPE 11: Astronomia Magna

The "Astronomia Magna" or "Philosophia sagax der grossen vnd kleinen Welt" (philosophy of the wise of the great and the little world), written in 1536/37, is Paracelsus's bold attempt to bring together his philosophical, magical and theological ideas into one great synthesis. The natural magic of the Renaissance, which tries to describe the invisible aspects of nature, is combined with the theology of the inspiring Holy Ghost. The light of nature, which played a dominant role in Paracelsus's early medical and natural philosophic writings, is now confronted with the even greater light of the Holy Ghost. The "Astronomia Magna" can be called Paracelsus's attempt at an early philosophy of science, which could have been groundbreaking for the 16th century, if it would have been received earlier.

The New Paracelsus Edition presents a critical and commented edition of this important, although often misunderstood work.

In preparation