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Paracelsus: Selected Writings Paperback – October 8, 1995

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Paracelsus: Selected Writings + The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus--Two Volumes in One + Paracelsus, His Mystical and Medical Philosophy
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Editorial Reviews


"The importance of Paracelsus lies in the link which he provides between medieval and scientific thought. Believing in and practicing alchemy, magic, astrology and various divinatory techniques, he was also 'the first modern scientist,' and the 'precursor of microchemistry, antisepsis, modern wound surgery, homeopathy and a number of ultra-modern achievements.' In this readable anthology a full picture of the man and his thought is presented. . . in the form of a cleverly constructed mosaic of direct quotations from the fifteen volumes of his collected works."--The Times Literary Supplement

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German, Latin

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (September 18, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691018766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691018768
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on May 5, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The main thread of Paracelsus' theology is that man is the "Little Universe" while the Universe is the "Great Being." To Paracelsus, however, this is not just a passing thought or a nice philosophy, but one to be explored, understood, and lived every day.
This selction of works gives a basic overview of Paracelsus' writing and thought in a comprehensive, yet, fairly easy to digest compendium. Edited by Jolande Jocobi for the Princeton "Mythos Series" does a wonderful job splicing together many of Paracelsus' works together in a rather cohesive and streamlined format. The subjects range from the creation of the universe to the practice of the physician to alchemy and art in general. If one is looking for a specific aspect of Paracelsus, this may not be the book to get, however, if one just wants to read or get a trace of his writings, then there is no better book to buy.
The writing is somewhat archaic, however, if one takes the time to understand what is written in the first couple of pages, then one can appreciate the point of view Paracelsus is coming from. In another way of saying this, according to Paracelsus, God and Man are intricately united and there is nothing on this Earth or the Universe that can separate the two. From this understanding Paracelsus stems all his other experiences and revelations.
The introduction by Jacobi is a fairly extensive biography of Phillipus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hoenheim called Paracelsus (which means "beyond celsus"). Throughout the book are many engravings from various artists from his books or other various books that pertain to the topic at hand. As stated, the book offers a wide variety of subjects for the reader to chew from which may make this book limited in range as it is a book of "Selected Writings", however, I believe if one is beginning to look into the works of Paracelsus, this might be the best place to start.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BlueJay54 on November 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Overall, this is a decent effort. The long introductory essay puts Paracelsus' life and works in perspective. And the many wood-block reprints from the general period are interesting--if a bit distracting, since they are interpolations not drawn by Paracelsus himself and not appearing in the original works. But certainly, after hearing so much about Paracelsus from various readings in alchemy (including Jung, who wrote the Preface here), I quite enjoyed reading Paracelsus himself. The downside is that this primer is composed of short paragraphs plucked from all of Paracelsus' published works, shorn of context, then thrust into juxtaposition with whatever else the editor thought fit into the same category. So the readings are jumpy, paragraph by paragraph leaping amongst all 13 or so of Paracelsus' collected works. Many of the most interesting subjects are not covered at all or only thinly, including Paracelsus views on astrology, alchemy, magic and medicine. And much of it is given over to his (largely Christian) theological speculations--even tho' no one reads Paracelsus for his theology. All in all, this primer will whet your appetite for something more substantial. Personally, I can't wait to get a copy of "Archicoxes of Magic" or the A.E. Waite collection. But this book will point you in the right direction.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Spotswood on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be fascinating. Paracelsus seemed way ahead of his time medically. He was against the medicine of humors then current. Paracelsus was against autopsies for studying how the body works, because he felt it to be more important to study the living and their environment, rather than the dead. He championed metallic medicines, and the distillation of natural plants for medicines. His attitude was if something doesn't work as a cure, throw it out, it's not worth keeping just because it's "been written." Paracelsus would study with village healers, and "witches," if they were successful healers. He advocated sensible diets, sleep patterns, exercise and cleanliness. Paracelsus lectured in the vernacular, German, not Latin. He even anticipated the genetic theories of Mendel over three hundred years earlier when he spoke of seeds, not genes, for all the body parts. If all the seeds came from the father you would be an exact duplicate of your father, but you're not because some of the seeds came from your mother.
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