In: Nuncius
Author: Didier Kahn

De pestilitate is an interesting treatise on plague falsely attributed to Paracelsus and published as such by Johann Huser (who believed it authentic) in Paracelsus’s Bücher und Schrifften (1589–1591). It can be dated from before 1578. This article shows that it features conflicting cosmologies issued in different works of Paracelsus. This article also discusses its theory of plague, based on the correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm, as compared with the authentic plague theory of Paracelsus.

In: Daphnis
In: Socinianism and Arminianism
Author: Didier Kahn


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.

In: Early Science and Medicine