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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Paracelsus"

Paracelsus [Astro*Index]


(1493-1541) Swiss physician, alchemist, and astrologer. Born at Einsiedeln, Schwyz; died at Salzburg, Austria.

Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim adopted the name Paracelsus (which means "better than Celsus") during a period when the Latin writings of Celsus were enjoying great popularity. He learned medicine from his father, a professor at a school of mines. He also studied at the University of Basel, and in various Austrian mines. His life marks the change from alchemy to chemistry. He held that the purpose of alchemy was to discover medicines for the treatment of disease, rather than to perfect manufacturing methods. He was first to use a tincture of opium, derived from plants, as a medicine; he was careless in using compounds of mercury and antimony, even though they were known to be toxic. Rejecting theories of demonic posession, he described problems of mental disease, paralysis caused by head injuries, and retardation caused by goiter.

See also:
♦ Celsus, Aulus Cornelius


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine