The Philosophia ad Athenienses in the Light of Genuine Paracelsian Cosmology

In: Early Science and Medicine
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  • 1 CNRS, Cellf 16-18 - Sorbonne Université

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Abstract

The pseudo-Paracelsian Philosophia ad Athenienses (1564) draws upon many of the ideas of Paracelsus but combines them with many other elements not found in the genuine works of the Swiss physician. After discussing the details of its edition, we summarize its content, then examine its possible sources, including the authentic texts of Paracelsus by which the unknown author will have taken inspiration. We discuss specifically the question of uncreated prime matter and provide a number of criteria allowing us to consider the treatise as spurious. Finally, we argue that the unknown author wrote this text and ascribed it to Paracelsus in order to produce a more Platonist Paracelsian cosmology than that of the genuine treatises of Paracelsus, which apparently disappointed the unknown author in this regard.

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