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Paracelsus

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Paracelsus by Augustin Hirschvogel

Portrait of Paracelsus by Augustin Hirschvogel

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This profile of Paracelsus is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

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Paracelsus was also known as:

Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim

Paracelsus was noted for:

Making significant strides in the field of medicine, establishing chemistry as a significant tool for physicians, writing dozens of scientific works, and making groundbreaking advances in understanding and treating wounds and diseases.

Occupations:

Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

    Born: Nov. 11 or Dec. 17, 1493, in Einsiedeln, Switzerland
    Burned books of Avicenna and Galen: June 24, 1527
    Died: Sept. 24, 1541 in Salzburg, Austria

Quotation from Paracelsus:

    "Although alchemy has now fallen into contempt, and is even considered a thing of the past, the physicain should not be influenced by such judgments. For many arts, such as astronomy, philosophy, and others, are also in disrepute."
    -- Spagyrical Writings, translated by Arthur Edward Waite

    More Quotations by Paracelsus

About Paracelsus:

Largely self-taught and grounded in practical sciences like metallurgy, Paracelsus traveled extensively, serving as an army surgeon and developing a prestigious reputation as a physician. After his travels he taught at the University of Basel, where he was enormously popular, and where his flamboyant behavior (such as burning books and opening his classes to the general public) antagonized more than the faculty. He fled Basel and kept moving, and writing, until his mysterious death at the age of 48.

For more about Paracelsus, visit your Guide's Concise Biography of Paracelsus.

Achievements of Paracelsus:

  • Wrote a very accurate clinical description of syphilis, asserting that it could be treated with mercury compounds
  • Discerned that the "miners' disease" (silicosis) was the result of inhaling metal vapors
  • Was the first to state that "what makes a man ill also cures him"
  • Was the first to connect goiter with minerals in drinking water
  • Understood and expounded the importance of dosage size
  • Made strides in psychiatric treatment.

More Paracelsus Resources:

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  7. Paracelsus - Alchemist and Physician

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