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‘Theophrastia Sancta’. Paracelsianism as a religion in conflict with the established churches

‘Theophrastia Sancta’.  Paracelsianism as a religion in conflict with the established churches

By Carlos Gilly


In 1569 an enthusiastic Paracelsist called Lambert Wacker wrote from Berlin that Theophrastus Paracelsus von Hohenheim had not only been a ‘monarcha et princeps medicorum’, a monarch and prince of physicians, but also king of theologians and chief of lawyers, or, as the author put it: ‘I could also say: Theologorum rex et Iurisconsultorum caput’ – as he had ‘in everything shot nearer the mark than anyone before him’.1

We shall ignore the lawyers, for whom Paracelsus, as well as for logicians and rhetoricians, did not care much anyway.2 But king of theologians? Even Paracelsus himself, who was anything but modest, had never gone that far. True in his book Paragranum of 1529-1530 he had challenged the entire medical world by proclaiming his proud ‘according to me and not according to you’ and his provocative ‘Mine will be the monarchy’, thus appointing himself ‘monarcha medicorum’. And when in the same book he took offence at the epithet ‘the Luther of physicians’, this was only because he felt that the title awarded him by his opponents was too slight:

‘What is this mockery with which you insult me, that I am a ‘Lutherus medicorum’, meaning I am a heresiarch? I am Theophrastus and more than those with whom you compare me. I am the same, and moreover I am the monarch of physicians… I will let Luther defend his cause and I will defend my cause, and I will defeat those of my colleagues who turn against me!’

And further on:

‘Do you mean, I am only Luther? I will give him and you some work to do!’3

The latter promise Paracelsus did indeed fulfil, but only decades after his death. Generations of polemical theologians, Lutheran or other, first had to rack their brains over the writings of the famous Swiss physician, before they could even begin to attack some of the religious dissidents and radical church critics of the late sixteenth and the entire seventeenth century.

While Paracelsus knew very well that he had called into life a new school of medicine with his works on medicine and natural philosophy – or, as he puts it, a ‘Theophrastian sect, which will triumph, so you will have to acknowledge my philosophy’,4 in his theological writings he had expressly refused to style himself the head of a new religious movement.

And yet: in theology, too, Paracelsus remained loyal to his famous motto: ‘Alterius non sit, qui suus esse potest’. There is no need to doubt the statement circulated by his former medical assistant Oporinus, ‘When he began to write, he wanted to send them [Luther and Zwingli], and the Pope all the more, back to school’5 Already in his early work De septem punctis idolatriae christianae of 1525. Paracelsus had turned away from the ‘Mauerkirche’ [the stone church] of Rome, which he felt had absolutely nothing to do with the ‘catholic’ church of the spirit, conscience and prophecy which he so desired.6 And in his book De secretis secretorum theologiae six years later, Paracelsus exposed not only the Pope, but this time also the reformers to bitter criticism:

‘Anyone will say, I proclaim the gospel, I proclaim the basic truth, I proclaim the Word of God etc. do not believe this; […] One man seeks the gospel amongst the Papists in Rome, another amongst the Zwinglians, a third one amongst the Lutherans, a fourth one amongst the Anabaptists etc’. ‘Do not believe any of these, because it can never be found there. […] they call each other impostors, and that is true; because that is what they are. That they call each other liars, now that is true; because they lie. That they call each other false Christians, now that is true; because on both sides they are false Christians. That they call each other false prophets, is all true: because God has not sent them to be prophets, but to be destroyers of their own kingdom […] The Pope and his party cry out for blood: kill, hang, burn, drown etc. The others have killed many thousands of men in a few years’ time, and also scream: kill, drown etc. Those are their fruits, which they offer, by which we shall recognize them […] Against it all with the sword, with fire! This is what the Pope does, as is apparent, and Luther, too, as is apparent, that nobody is allowed to speak against them with impunity, but risks being hanged!’ […] ‘Christ did not send you Luther, Zwingli, Bucer, Lambert etc.; because these, too, are […] like monks and priests, who are born liars.’7

What Paracelsus was aiming at with his theological writings was not to establish a new sect, but on the contrary to try and deny all religious parties combating each other the very reason to exist, since he strove for a church of the spirit, subject only to God and nature.8 Paracelsus himself knew best that such an attempt was hopeless, as he prophetically wrote in his book De imaginibus on the subject of religious schisms:

‘Then soon after Luther appeared with his doctrine and one sect after the other under the guise of Lutheran doctrine, and still there is no end to this. Because there will be more sects, and each one wants to have the last word and be better and holier than the other with respect to its doctrine. And there will be no cohesion and peace in religion and in the churches, until the golden and last age’.’9

His solution was not to get involved with any of the religious factions, but to maintain silence with regard to the outside world until the completion of his medical, philosophical and theological work, and to show only few people, what ‘has been in my pen’. He wrote the following about the ruling churches in a late introduction to his entire theological work:

‘I have kept my silence, so that thunder and storm would not strike my soil. I have managed to survive in this way until now and have not bothered about them.’10

Because of these prudent tactics in an age of growing intolerance, Paracelsus was spared denunciation and persecution by the ruling religious parties during his lifetime, unlike for instance Sebastian Franck, Caspar Schwenckfeld or Miguel Servet. But because of this withdrawal he surrendered at the same time the immediate effect he could have had on his contemporaries. His explosive theological and philosophical manuscripts, which had been deposited in a safe place,11 proved to be dangerously charged sleepers, which in the generations to come threatened to blow up the religious monopoly of the confessional churches and the epistemic rules of conservative scientists.


After Paracelsus had died in Salzburg in 1541, at first there was silence. Only very few people new about his vast written work. Conrad Gessner for instance, the city physician of Zürich and an authority on book matters, in his Bibliographia Universalis of 1545 could only mention the Basel broadsheet, the printed Wundartznei, a manuscript of the Basel lectures, together with ‘I do not know what sort of theological works for the Abbot of Sankt Gallen, which I do not believe were published’.12

In view of this unfamiliarity it is not surprising that it was the same Conrad Gessner who sixteen years later publicly issued the first theological condemnation of his countryman, when he wrote in a letter in 1561: ‘I am entirely convinced that Paracelsus was a follower of Arius’. With respect to the Paracelsian manuscript heritage, the famous bibliographer furthermore reported in the same letter that he neither possessed a catalogue of Paracelsian works, nor had he ever made the effort to obtain one, because Paracelsus ‘must have been an irreligious man and a magus, who commerced with the devil, and so unworthy to be listed together with good and civilized writers, whether Christian or heathen’.13

Gessner’s opinion of Paracelsus was shared by Johannes Crato von Crafftheim, to whom the letter had been addressed. He initiated the first public attack on Paracelsus and his followers in a long preface to a work by Johannes Baptista Montanus, printed in Basel in 1562. The fact that Paracelsus was not explicitly mentioned here, was not Crato’s decision, but that of the highly committed Basel printer Peter Perna, who deliberately struck the name of Paracelsus from the preface. Yet it was obvious to any reader against whom Crato’s insults, such as ‘Magister Enthusiastarum’, ‘ignorant adventurer’, or ‘damned and criminal apostate’ were directed.14

The by now unstoppable flood of editions of works by Paracelsus on medicine and natural philosophy issuing from the Basel, Cologne and Strassburg presses began to experience increasing opposition from the celebrities of orthodox medicine, although they used not so much the weapons of their own discipline, but rather arguments drawn from theology. They were the first to recognize the explosive theological force of these works and were furthermore convinced (as Rotondò has formulated it) that the most effective defence of a pattern of thought which the academic world then considered to be scientifically orthodox should have to begin with the defence of its theological framework.15 Almost without exception they were men from the medical world, such as Gasser, Stenglin, Weyer, Solenander, Marstaller or Reussner, who in the first years of the so-called ‘Paracelsan Revival’ loudly proclaimed the charge of heresy with respect to Paracelsus and his followers.16 This campaign reached a climax in 1571-1572 with the outpouring of malice and defamation in the first part of Thomas Erastus’ Disputationes de medicina nova Paracelsi . Erastus did not hesitate to demand capital punishment for the adherents of the magus Paracelsus, and he also tried to influence one of the most authoritative theologians of the reformed party, the Zürich leader Heinrich Bullinger, in this respect: ‘I swear to you by everything that is holy to me: neither Arius, Photin, nor Mohammed, nor any Turk or heretic were ever so heretical as this unholy magus’.17

Neither Erastus nor any of his fellow defamers had for that matter read a single word of the theological works of Paracelsus. Apparently they did not really consider this necessary, because, after all, they had all read Oporinus’s notorious letter of 1565 with the anecdote relating to Paracelsus’ religious way of life.18 But even Oporinus’ nephew, the cautious Theodor Zwinger, who a few years later came to acknowledge the greatness of Paracelsus as a result of his thorough study of Hippocrates, and publicized his views to the horror of his academic colleagues, appears at first to have hardly occupied himself with the theological writings of Paracelsus. In 1564 he wrote in a letter often copied at the time:

‘I do not wish to comment on the morals of Paracelsus, as I find this unnecessary; because whether good or bad, they have no impact on his scientific approach. On the other hand, I can only testify concerning Paracelsus’ piety and godliness, that he has written many works on religion, which are even today treasured by his followers as priceless jewels. But it is common knowledge, that Paracelsus was a declared atheist.’19

The first adherents and editors of Paracelsus found it difficult to oppose this wide-spread opinion, and found themselves on the horns of an uncomfortable dilemma. Either they left the theological accusations unanswered and confined the debate to the medical and nature philosophical field – a near-impossible task in an author like Paracelsus with his comprehensive cosmosophical ideas. Or else they had to decide, in order to elucidate matters, to publish the theological works of Paracelsus. In the light of the easily inflammable ‘rabies theologica’ of the theologians of all confessions at that time this might have impeded any further dissemniation of Paracelsus’s medical works for decades.20

A number of Paracelsists, such as Bodenstein or Toxites, decided to dodge the specific theological issues in the prefaces to their editions of Paracelsus with a few empty general phrases. Others, such as Quercetanus or Bovio, chose explicitly to distance themselves from the theological ideas of Paracelsus.21 Gerard Dorn for his part attempted amongst others, to mitigate the force of the gnostic cosmogony presented in Philosophia ad Athenienses and to explain it in a more orthodox Platonic sense.22

Only a few of the better known early Paracelsists of the sixteenth century did not shun direct confrontation in the theological field. The Frenchman Bernard Penot, for instance, in a public letter addressed to the rabid antiparacelsist Andreas Libavius, pointed out not only that the charges of atheism against Paracelsus lacked any ground, but in addition characterized the theological works of Paracelsus as directly inspired by God.23 In a work written in 1584 the Englishman Thomas Moffet reproached Erastus for trying to discredit his medical competitors by means of his coarse theological arguments and his outrageous call for executions. For let us assume, the commonsensical Englishman wrote, that Paracelsus’ views on the creation of the world and divine rule really differed from those expressed in the Mosaic books – what did that have anyway to do with medicine or in which respect did he then differ from the arch-heathen Galen, whom Erastus and his colleagues almost idolized?24 Alexander von Suchten from Danzig simply mocked the ‘Rag-books of Master Doctor Förtzle [‘Fartling’!] of Heidelberg’, who, although he ‘had read a great deal in Aristotle, Zwingli and Arius’, had as ‘a good dialectician and rhetorician’ had not understood the slightest thing about the books of Paracelsus and their ‘stylo magico’. This kind of magic was neither witchcraft nor the work of the devil, as Erastus loudly proclaimed, ‘but the very greatest wisdom of the work of God and an acknowledgement of hidden nature’.25 Or, as Suchten expressed it even more radically in his De tribus Facultatibus: ‘The wisdom of the old magical books of theology, of which only the Old and New Testaments had survived’.26

The Bible as a magical book! It is easy to imagine what sort of momentous consequences the publication of such a work at this early stage would have had for the nascent ‘Paracelsan Revival’. This would also apply to the Paracelsian Theologica, which were passed on from hand to hand and copied with a frequency which makes up for the loss of the Paracelsian autographs.


As a result of this enforced clandestinity, theological Paracelsism of necessity established contacts with other marginal religious movements such as the Osiandrists, Schwenckfeldians, Castellionists and other adherents of Tauler or the Theologia Deutsch. That this confrontation was an enrichment for Paracelsism needs hardly be questioned. But it also caused a further radicalisation, as the common factors in these movements, the spiritual attitude regarding the established churches, the practice-oriented ethics and the prophetic-eschatological world view were now mutually reinforced.

An example of this is the famous Cyclopaedia Paracelsica Christiana of 1585, which as far as radical language is concerned outbids just about everything which Paracelsism had until then produced. Mention may here be made first of all of the fact that the manuscript of the Cyclopaedia came from the library of a Schwenckfeldian, Marquard von Hattstein, who incidentally as the Catholic Bishop of Speier was the formal representative of the Roman Catholic Church in his diocese. Secondly, the editor, too, was a well-known Schwenckfeldian, namely Samuel Eisenmenger alias Syderocrates, who was expelled from the orthodox-Lutheran university of Tübingen on account of his religious views. Finally, it must be noted that here, too, Eisenmenger did not fail to quote prominently from Sebastian Castellion’s book against Calvin, De calumnia.27

Eisenmenger’s favourite student, the Schwabian physician and astrologer Helisäus Röslin, was a Schwenckfeldian, Paracelsist and also a chiliast of note, known in the history of science mainly for his prolonged controversy with Kepler. In his book De opere Dei creationis seu de Mundo hypotheses of 1597 Röslin explained a cosmology ‘in harmony’ with the biblical story of creation and the Paracelsian doctrine of the elements which was to play a not unimportant role in the later alchemy debate between Quercetanus and Jean Riolan in Paris in 1604.28 His main work, however, was the Speculum mundi and the Speculum Ecclesiae Harmonicum, which appeared in print in 1604 in an incomplete and unauthorized edition. In this book Röslin attempted to explain the entire history of the world and that of the church on the basis of a prophetic system of coordinates, modelled on the prophecies of Daniel, the Apocalypse and mostly the fourth book of Esdras (‘vere propheticus liber’).29

As an adherent of a general church of the spirit and in the firm hope of an imminent and final reformation under the sign of the ‘Trigonus Igneus’, which had been ruling in the heavens since 1583, Röslin strongly rejected the four existing religious parties – ‘Papist, Lutheran, Calvinist or Anabaptist’. At the same time, however, he proposed in the majority of his works unlimited confessional freedom (‘Libertas Religionis, Freyheit der Religion oder Freyheit des Glaubens’) as prerequisite for the restoration of religious peace, political balance and economic prosperity in the German-speaking lands of the Holy Roman Empire. Röslin’s call for religious tolerance, strongly reminiscent of Sebastian Castellion and his Conseil à la France désolée in its wording, was based rather on Paracelsus’ principle of tolerance, which in turn was rooted in cosmosophy, astromancy, eschatology and apocalypticism. Röslin did not fail to include in his call for tolerance the postulate of free academic research: ‘Das aber diese vnsere jetzige Zeit, die Zeit seye der Freyheit der Religion’ [These our present times are the times of religious freedom], he wrote in Prodromus Dissertationum Chronologicarum of 1612, dedicated to the newly-elected Emperor Matthias I. The new times were not only announced by the comets and the new stars of latter years or the biblical prophecies from the fourth book of Esdras and the Apocalypse, but also by the latest achievements in science, and therefore, according to Röslin, should ‘allen Gelehrten, beydes in Religions Sachen uvnnd andern Künsten, der freyhe Lauff gelassen werden’ [all scholars, both in religious matters as well as in the other arts, be given free rein].30

When Röslin died in 1616, his unpublished astrological, theological and kabbalistic works were absorbed in the manuscript collection of Karl Widemann.31 The name of the Augsburg city physician Widemann is a household name for every Paracelsus researcher, because he copied and collected works of Paracelsus untiringly for more than thirty years and so succeeded in preserving many unprinted works by Paracelsus for posterity. Few people on the other hand know that as a leading Schwenckfeldian, he also possessed and similarly rescued a large part of Schwenckfeld’s manuscripts as well as virtually the entire estate of his closest collaborators, Valentin Krautwald and Adam Reissner.32 After completing his medical studies Widemann worked in Prague as secretary to the English alchemist Edward Kelley at the court of Emperor Rudolph II in the years 1587-1588 and in Trebon with the Rozmberks, which enormously facilitated his contacts with most contemporary Paracelsists. His circle included the earliest propagandists of the Rosicrucian Manifestos and the first publishers of the Paracelsian Theologica and the Weigelian and pseudo-Weigelian writings.33

A discussion of Valentin Weigel’s writings nowadays is no easy matter, because recently the number of works definitively to be attributed to Weigel has been drastically reduced.34 For the evolution of Paracelsism into a religion, however, the distinction between genuine and spurious works by Weigel plays a secondary role, because first of all the entire corpus of ‘Weigelian’ works had a simultaneous and integral effect, and secondly both Weigel as well as his collaborators, continuators and/or forgers were all enthusiastic readers of the theological and nature philosophical works of Paracelsus. Whether Weigel’s collaborators also meddled with the works of Paracelsus cannot be ruled out entirely. Even if they did, they only continued an already existing tradition of both impatient radicals and able propagandists, who used Paracelsus as a stepping stone to rid themselves once and for all of the double yoke of the Roman Antichrist and the apocalyptic beast (this is how the old Paracelsist Johannes Montanus used to characterize the Augsburg confession).35 These pseudepigraphic products, too, are amongst the historical witnesses of Paracelsism and therefore deserve to be taken into account.

Around the year 1600 the corpus of medical and philosophical works of Paracelsus was already available in print. The collected edition by the Catholic Johannes Huser and his Protestant collaborator Paul Linck, authoritative to this day, appeared in Basel from 1589 with the financial support of the Archbishop of Cologne. As was to be expected, the theological works were ignored as subversive and unredeemable – to some extent even to this day. The last one who had access to the theological autographs of Paracelsus and who excerpted them profusely was the above-mentioned co-editor Paul Linck, in an unpublished chiliastic work Rechter Bericht von den dreyen Seculis und Judiciis divinis post diluvium of 1599-1602, which presents Paracelsus (and also Joachim of Fiore, Brigitta of Sweden, Johann Tauler and Guillaume Postel) as the proclaimer of an imminent Golden Age (‘einer Guldenen Welt’).36

Paracelsus had now been promoted to the status of seer. It is therefore no surprise to find that the majority of the works by Paracelsus which was published separately between 1605 and 1635 consist of prophecies.37 What is more, he became posthumously the founder of a new religion: the religion of two lights (the light of grace and the light of nature), which, as the Paracelsist Oswald Crollius enthusiastically put it in the famous preface to Basilica Chymica, joined together ‘the summum of theological and philosophical truth and the foundation of perfect religiousness from the book of grace and the book of nature’.38

And this religion also soon obtained a name: ‘Theophrastia Sancta’, Holy Theophrastia.


The first to use the term ‘Theophrastia Sancta’ in print was the widely-travelled Paracelsist Benedictus Figulus. In the preface to Pandora magnalium naturalium aurea et benedicta of 1608 he announced his plan to ‘promote’ in print the ‘Cabbalistic and theological books of our dear highly-gifted leader and teacher Ph. Theophrastus of blessed memory’ to the ‘eternal benefit and salvation of all Christendom’, and also for the first time publicly proclaimed himself a student of the ‘Sacrosancta Theophrastia and immortal philosophy of Christ’.39

Figulus himself had not coined this phrase. He became familiar with the term as a result of his acquaintance with Adam Haslmayr, a Tyrolean schoolmaster, musician and alchemist, who hadstudied the theological books of Paracelsus so intensively that he spoke only of the holy Theophrastia.40 Adam Haslmayr or Haselmeier is known to all those interested in the history of the Rosicrucians, because he was the first to respond in public to the then as yet unprinted Rosicrucian Manifestos, for which reason (as can be read on the title-page of the first edition of the Fama Fraternitatis of 1614) he ‘was imprisoned by the Jesuits and bound in chains on a galley’. Only recently did I locate the long looked-for original edition of Haslmayr’s response, dated 1612, the full title of which will now be communicated as a ‘scoop’: Antwort An die lobwürdige Brüderschafft der Theosophen von RosenCreutz N.N. vom Adam Haselmayr Archiducalem Alumnum, Notarium seu Iudicem ordinarium Caesareum, der zeyten zum heiligen Creutz Dörflem bey Hall in Tyroll wohnende. Ad Famam Fraternitatis Einfeltigist geantworttet. Anno 1612.41

In this response Haslmayr had thanked the Rosicrucians, who were otherwise unknown to him, for their ‘Theophrastiam and divine gift’, because he saw in them ‘those, who are now chosen by God, to spread the eternal Theophrastiam and divine truth, which has been miraculously preserved until now’. Haslmayr felt that Rosencreutz and Paracelsus had aimed at the same goal and he accordingly appealed to the members of the invisible brotherhood, finally to come forward, to help realize the hoped-for breakthrough of the new religion of the ‘evangelical freedom, which Theophrastus and Christian Rosencreutz promised this latter world’.

In a letter of December 1611 Haslmayr also called upon his closest friends to respond to the Rosicrucians: ‘Respond you lords and doctors, especially those whom God exhorts, to the Fama Fraternitatis C.R., so that one time we will be worthy to have these men as teachers, and the disagreeable bad world will recognize the magnalia and will be converted, causing our good old pious Lorentz Lutz to heave a heart-felt sigh, because of these Rosicrucian people, who revealed the Theophrastiam’.42

This Lorentz Lutz of Meran was not only Haslmayr’s teacher, but notably also the last living medical assistant of Paracelsus.43 Whether Lutz had recommended this idea to Haslmayr, or whether the lattter had thought of it himself while reading the Paracelsian manuscripts kept by his teacher, is not clear. The main thing is that Haslmayr proclaimed and defended the newly founded religion, the ‘Theophrastia Sancta’, in the majority of the 200 works which he wrote between 1605 and 1630. Here are some of the titles:

— ‘Theophrastia vom Geist und Leben ad Augustum von Anhalt’.
— ‘Eu Angelica Philosophia, darinn verfasst ist die gantze Thëophrastia. Warumb der Mensch erschaffen und was sein Ambt ist hie auf erden’.
— ‘Thëophrastia in iter Iesu, das ist die Teütsche Theologiam gründtlich zue versteen, das ist der warhaftige Weg Iesu Christi den Alle geen müessen welche seligkeit begehren, per Theophrastum’.
— ‘Von falscher gewalt vnnd vbermuth / auch verführung des Volckes / ein Göttliche offenbarung. Von falscher Gewalt und Übermut. Theophrastia Revelationis’.
— ‘Sacro-Sancta Thëophrastia Von der Wahren seligmachenden Religion und von Krefften des Glaubens ahn die Fursten und Potentaten Europae und an die Ersten rätd der Reichstätte’.
— ‘Sacro-Sancta Thëophrastia von der Ordnung Gottes und Weltlichen Regiment als ewiger Religion Iesu Nazareni Regis Iudeorum an das gantze R[ömische] R[eich] Europae und sonderlich der zerstörtesten lesten Christenheitt Teütscher Nation, anno 1624’.
— ‘Thëophrastia Paracelsi christiana Vom Langen gsunden Leben der werden christen’.
— ‘Prophecei ex S. S. Thëophrastia über das Vatter Unser, doraus Alle vernufft sehen und erkennen kan, ob ein Glaub in der Weldtt seÿ an Alle Gelerte und Ungelerte Christen auf dise leste Zeitt zuer Warnung und Ermanung gesteldtt, anno 1626, von einem verworffenen Menschen’.
— ‘Thëophrastia de Partu Virginis, Darinn auf dise leste Zeit geoffenbaret wirt Wahin man verfüert hat das gantze Menschliche Geschlecht durch die selbslauffende unnutze und ohnmächtige Lerer, dorauff die Mechtigen, die Reichen diser Weldt wohl achtung geben mögen. Höher kan die verfüerung nicht mehr kommen durch Alle ständ der christenheitt’.
— ‘Thëophrastia Sacro-Sancta de Anfractu christianorum a Seculo 1600 annorum usque ad 1660 Christi, Darinnen gefunden Aller christen Irrtumb, Übermuet, falscher gwalt und verfüerung des Volckhes per Theophrastum Paracelsum magnum’.
— ‘Schuel der Geheimnussen […] Theophrastia alma an die alte Reichstadt Augspurg / vnd an die Praedicanten zu Nürnberg / sonderlich die Theophrastum in den erleuchten Mann Gottes M. Valentino VVigelio verwerffen’.
— ‘Sacro-Sancta Thëophrastia, oder Thëologia Paracelsica intacta. Von der Narren oder falschen kirchen zuer offentlichen Apologia wider die 99 gantz Nerrische Puncten D. Matthiae Hoÿe […] zue Dresden wider die Reformiertten oder calvinisten erdacht’.
— ‘Thëophrastia luminosa sive lux oriens Mortalium de perpetua religione seu Evangelica Philosophia, darinn das gantze Leben und Ordnung, Mandat, Recht undgerechtigkeit Iesu Christi unsers ainigen gesetzgebers und Erlösers, Wie es seitt der geburt und Himmelfart Christi hette sollen jederzeit in Aller Welt gehaldten sein worden, wolten wir kaine feind und Plagen Jemalen im christentumb gehabt haben, begriffen wirdt, auf dise leste Römische Monarchei ann Tag gegeben durch Thëophrastum Paracelsum magnum secretarium Christi vor 80 Jaren bschriben, ietzt gefunden, an das R[ömische] R[eich] und sein haubt de anno 1623’.
— ‘Thëophrastia sancta von Recht und gerechtigkeit Iesu Christi, Wie es seider des Lesten Abendmals einsetzung gehaldten soll sein worden bis zue ende der Weldtt, wolte Man nicht Im fluech und Maledeiung sein gefallen vor Gott. Also daß der Türckh die christen solte meistern, durch Thëophrastum magnum Eremitam ad Ferdinandum II. Imperatorem’.
— ‘Thëophrastia de Verbo Dei vivo und vom langen Leben In gmeinen auf diser Lesten Zeitt Völcker gesteltt von einer verurteidtten Person, 1622. Wider Alle selbs lauffende Propheten und Apostel dobei auch Cura Lunaticorum, id est, die sich das gstirn regiern lassen Inn und under Allen Ständen’.
— ‘Thëophrastia de Vita longa Principum, und Ursachen, warumb den Potentaten und Fursten Ir Leben abgekürtztt wirtt, und wie disem fürzuekommen sei, ex Thëophrasto’.
— ‘Theophrastiae Cabalisticae Isagoge’.

Those interested in these and many other titles by Haslmayr only have to consult the final pages of the second volume of Karl Sudhoff’s Bibliographiaa Paracelsica, where they are reproduced in full by Sudhoff, who did not know who the author of these books was.44 The titles can also, and even better, be read in Joachim Morsius’s Nuncius Olympicus, printed in 1626, because this work is in fact the sale catalogue of 228 manuscripts in the fields of theology, Kabbalah, magic, chemistry, medicine and philology, written by an ‘ancient and famous philosopher and physician’.45 That the author was Haslmayr can be learnt from the catalogues of the library of Karl Widemann, who marked a large part of the titles listed in the Nuncius with the abbreviation ‘A.H.’, that is, Adam Haslmayr. In his catalogues, Widemann also mentioned the total number of manuscripts by Haslmayr deposited in his Augsburg home: ‘Adam Haselmarii Manuscripta: In Folio 66, in Quarto 94, together 160’.46

Of these 160 manuscripts I have located some 40 during my research for the Rosicrucian bibliography. The manuscripts are either in Haslmayr’s own hand, or in Widemann’s. In addition, the libraries of Florence, Hannover, Gotha, Innsbruck, Kassel, Copenhagen, London, Weimar and Wolfenbüttel contain a further 50 autographs by Haslmayr unrecorded in either the Nuncius or in Widemann’s own catalogues. See my Adam Haslmayr which discusses these manuscripts in greater detail. Here it may already be noted that some of Haslmayr’s works even appeared in print, and under the name of Paracelsus. These are the Astronomia Olympi Novi or the Theologia Cabalistica von dem volkommenen Menschen, which were included in the Paracelsian-Weigelian compilation Philosophia Mystica of 1618.47 The pseudonymous publisher Huldrich Bachmeister of Regenbrunn, alias Johannes Siebmacher of Nuremberg, obviously took these two works for works by Paracelsus.48 Only in the case of the added ‘Particulae’ did Siebmacher express doubts as to its Paracelsian authorship, because he could not decide whether this was only the work of a ‘disciple of the holy Theophrastia’.49


What Haslmayr actually understood by ‘Theophrastia’, repeated not only in titles, but also in almost every one of his discourses, can be deduced an oration (Oratio reuelatoria), sent by Haslmayr to his sovereign, the Archduke Maximilian of Tyrol, immediately before being sentenced to the galleys in August 1612.

In this Oratio reuelatoria Haslmayr reported how he, too, ‘while so many writers and high prophets these latter days’ had manifested themselves, also began to speak out and as ‘a simple Tyrolean’ had to make a stand against such ‘prophets’, who ‘hold themselves in such esteem, that heaven should depend on them, or nothing is right, but what they teach, imagine and write’. In reality, however, as theologians they are as good ‘as the jugglers and charlatans are good poets or Cicero a preacher of Christ’. These theologians now upbraid him that it does not become him, Haslmayr, to write ‘Revelationes theologicas’, because he is only ‘a common layman’, and has not completed the Aristotelian ‘cursum philosophicum’ at any university, as if ‘Narristoteles’ [the fool Aristotle] ‘ever completed, or even came near, our Christian curriculum’. ‘What, then, should we care about the heathen’s curriculum?’, Haslmayr adds.

‘May the spirit of God, not go where it wants, or must he first consult the universities and bishops? All men may fully share in the grace of God and the school of the holy Apostle is as open as it was during Pentecost, only now it is lodged in the mind and in the truth, in asking, seeking and appealing, and not in the anointment of humans or the tonsure […] as Doctor Paracelsus Magnus explains, the mighty Cabalista.’

‘The Sancta Theophrastia’, according to Haslmayr, ‘is not based (God be praised) on the elements of the common world, but on Christianity, and proves that all arts and faculties are to be slighted, which do not have their feet or foundation and cornerstone in theology’. Haslmayr believed that this was especially true for the ‘eternal Sophia sancta’, which, ‘in particular under this new monarchy and century from 1600 onwards’, ‘calls us all and invites us to learn from her all the sciences, art and wisdom, a wisdom which is nobody or nothing else, but Christ’. Not surprisingly, Haslmayr concludes his discourse with a plea for the Rosicrucians and with a passage from the Fama Fraternitatis:

‘Do we then need Narristoteles [that fool Aristotle] or Galen or Cicero in Christian schools? Now under the Reign of the Holy Spirit? We do not need them at all. Blessed the country, which has us only learn the 12 lights of God, because these teach us nothing else, but Jesus, who is above all wisdom, wherefore also we have from the Holy Spirit of the Ancients the wonderful adage: JESUS NOBIS OMNIA’.’50

Haslmayr understood the ‘Theophrastia Sancta’ to be a sort of perpetual religion, practised in concealment since the days of the apostles until the time when the ‘German Trismegistus, Philippus Theophrastus’, began publicly to expound its meaning. The basis for this true Theophrastia (and at the same time the way and the method for a true progress in all arts and sciences) were the ‘Tria cabalistica prima’. The three Kabbalistic principles where already described by Paracelsus, following Matthew 7:7, in the Philosophia Sagax as the road to all research as it is ordained by God and nature: ‘As all things to be studied are based in three principles, in ‘Bitten, Suchen und Anklopfen’ [asking, seeking and appealing]’.51 Haslmayr added to these three Kabbalistic principles the ‘four rules of our Christendom’ and ‘eight virtues of holiness’ based on the Sermon on the Mount, which he described in many of his works, including the Verweisung to Hippolytus Guarinoni of 1611 and the Theologia Cabalistica printed in 1618: ‘I. To love our enemies; II. To abandon selfhood; III. To patiently suffer slander inflicted on us; IV. To refuse to accept all honour bestowed’. Haslmayr considered these four rules to be the ‘key to the holy secret science and the magnalia of God’ and at the same time the ‘law, order and policy’ of the true Christians, whose lives are based on the Sermon on the Mount or, as Haslmayr formulated it again and again, are concerned to excel in ‘the eight virtues of blessedness’. Through the principle of ‘Nosce teipsum’, that is through the observation of the three spirits lodged in man (animal, astral or syderial, and divine) he can penetrate the sacrament of the element and the word.52

In order to clarify this ‘elementi verbique sacramentum’, Haslmayr developed his own hieroglyphic sign in 1612 (in imitation of John Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica). In many of his works he called this sign ‘Trimonas’ (threefold one), ‘Monarchia Stellae signatae’, or simply the ‘Signatstern’ (‘sign star’) of Paracelsus. This sign, which he often explained in philosophical, medical or alchemical terms, but often also expounded in a purely theological or chiliastic sense, was used by Haslmayr to visualize the close relationship between the ‘mystery of theology’, the ‘secret of philosophy’ and the ‘purpose of medicine’.53 Haslmayr symbolized by means of the ‘stella signata’ the relation between the Rosicrusians’ ‘ergon’ and ‘parergon’, that is, the close connection between the higher religion and sciences obtained through practice in the ‘theosophico oratorio’ (through imitation of God’s works) and in the ‘chymico laboratorio’ (through the personal study of nature).54

Following the Rosicrucians (Confessio Fraternitatis, ch. 10) Haslmayr, too, reiterates that it is possible to glean ‘all sciences and faculties from the Bible’. But at the same time Haslmayr depreciates the value of the ‘external’ biblical text, as did Thomas Müntzer, Ludwig Hätzer, Sebastian Franck, Servet or Castellion, but also Paracelsus:55

‘The books of the Christians are the living creatures. The books written on paper by the prophets are no more than memorials and witnesses, so that we men are reminded of what is in us, because the sense is not in the book, but in the spirit, now the spirit houses in men, which we must allow to work in us freely, and listen, to what God tells us inside of us’.56 The living word of God was for Haslmayr not to be found in the ‘external characters’ of the Bible, but in the inner being of man. And at the same time also in all creatures in the world, since, as he wrote in other places, ‘all creatures’ are ‘the living incarnate word FIAT of God’ and ‘all men have impressed in their hands the signs with which to recognize the works of God’.’57

Through practical, ‘hands-on’ work, that is through the individual and immediate experience of things and not through mere speculation or an appeal to ‘paper’ authorities Haslmayr believed felt the ‘textus libri Naturae’ could be deciphered and the ‘Mysterium of the word and the elements’ could be solved. In the same way as the ‘true’ followers of Christ were recognized, ‘not for rhetorical discourse’, not for ‘talking and preaching of God’, ‘not for making the sign of the Cross’, but for ‘carrying the Cross’ and for fulfilling the ‘works of Christ’, so must he who wishes to be ‘the follower of God and Nature’ prove himself through his own works.58

It was only deeds which mattered in this entire debate, as Haslmayr demonstrated so explicitly by means of a quotation drawn from Paracelsus: ‘Note, therefore, dear reader, that he who is not tried and proved in theology and in medicine through his works, has lost his case and wins even less in arguing’.59

This caution applied to those physicians and philosophers whose knowledge did not spring from practical experience and experimental discovery, but was only founded on the authorities of Antiquity; those who with unbelievable arrogance and self-confidence declared the sciences to be already complete and rounded off, and who cried out for the henchman, if anyone but dared to question the sacrosanct authority of an Aristotle or a Galen. The caution also extended to the theologians of the several churches, who, priding themselves on their dogmatic confessions, engaged in bitter mutual controversies, persecuted dissidents, always seeking the patronage of the powerful or placing themselves at the helm of power.

The attitude of the adherents of Paracelsus regarding theory and practice was quite different: In religion or science, what counted ‘the recognition of each thing from experience/ from action and feeling/ from the works of truth […] because knowledge and learning flows forth from experience’, as Johann Arndt formulated it in the first of his Vier Bücher vom Wahren Christentum.60 Many Paracelsists in consequence where not too concerned with the dogmatism and orthodoxy of the theologians. In this sense they belonged to those who surpassed not only the confessional confines of the existing churches, but also rejected and combatted them, because they were a part of ‘external Christendom’.

This radical rejection of the ‘churches of stone’ and the advocacy of a church of the spirit, not bound by ‘external ceremonies’ or certain ‘places, cities or people’ (‘pure man is the temple’, as Haslmayr put it once),61 was something which not only Paracelsus, but also Weigel had advocated. It is no surprise therefore that Haslmayr in his Pansophia also promoted the minister of Zschopau to one of the chief teachers of the ‘Theophrastia Sancta’:

‘Now you Romish and Protestant and you mercenary sectarians and all you factions, look at this complete Büechlein vom gebett by Weigel and Informatorium also (to lead you to the narrow path to Christ) and all other books of the 2 men most enlightened by the spirit of God, D[ominus] D[octor] Theophrastus Eremitus Germanus et primus philosophus Christianorum and then M[agister] Valentin Weigel’.

Both had aimed at one thing only, namely the divine word, which is hidden in all creatures and which forms the centre and life of all things. This in contrast to the ‘so-called holy temple-lords’, who of old in their ‘bricked-up temples’, ‘extinguished and obscured’ self-knowledge or ‘holy Gnothi Seauton.62

For, ‘if the Theophrastian works had been taught in the faculties of the universities in Christendom for the past 100 years instead of the pagan writings’, Haslmayr fulminated in his anonymous Pansophia illuminati cuiusdam Viri, doraus die falschen Propheten erkannt werden of 1619 ‘ there would now be enough Magi or Theosophists’ to overcome the ‘false teachers’, namely ‘the Pope, Luther, Calvin and their ilk’, ‘but when the haughty get up to rule and teach, the humble theosophers and the pious true Christians hide themselves’.63

But soon, or so Haslmayr hoped, referring to the Fama Fraternitatis, the era of the ‘Gloria Dei intacta’ and the ‘Evangelion Libertet’ would dawn, in which ‘all classes and religions, factions and sects will meet’, in order publicly to seek out these ‘concealed theosophers’. The adherents of the Pope will then have to confess: ‘We, poor confused and far too clever Papists have trusted far too much in the alleged saints, who have abandoned the road of truth’. The Protestants, too, ‘with all their followers’ will confess publicly: ‘And we, Lutherans of all sorts, have taken everything to be good and just and true, which the lascivious women’s theologian Luther or Calvin or Zwingli or Flacius Illyricus, Hus, or the Anabaptists told us […] and also fed ourselves with lies, no less than the Papists’.64

For Haslmayr at any rate the following was clear: not until the acknowledged and unacknowledged churches saw the errors of their ways and turned away from the false teachers, would the true Christian church of the prophets and apostles be established, being a church founded not ‘on the rich Simon Magus, but on the poor holy Peter’, built not with walls of brick, but ‘in the spirit’. Then ‘the school of the Pentecost and the Olympian languages of all wise believers in Christ will stand open’, so that the ‘Latinists’ and other ‘cacosophists and world-learned Doctors’ will not even ‘be worthy to serve as stokers for the wise’. Then only ‘the Theophrastia Sancta and the eternal Sophia will flourish and be made public’.65


Unfortunately there is no room to discuss the intensive religious contacts between the ‘Catholic’ Adam Haslmayr in Tyrol, the ‘Lutheran’ Karl Widemann in Augsburg and the ‘Calvinist’ Prince August von Anhalt in Plötzkau between 1611 and 1631. But it may be said of their mutual strategy for the propagation of the ‘Sancta Theophrastia’, that Haslmayr had been appointed to lead the secret printing press of August von Anhalt from the summer of 1611 onwards, in order to allow publication of the theological works of Paracelsus and also the works of Weigel. Haslmayr’s arrest and other adverse circumstances meant that only few works were actually produced by this secret printing press. Most of the works intended for publication had to be given to other publishers such as Cristoph Bismarck in Halle, Johann Francke in Magdeburg or Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt, who for a full decade supplied the German-speaking market even in the remotest corners with the books of the ‘Theophrastia Sancta’, that is with the editions of Weigel and Paracelsus, but also Lautensack, Egidius Gutmann, and, of course, Haslmayr himself. Widemann or August von Anhalt supplied the manuscripts for many of these editions, while Anhalt often also provided the funds.66

When August von Anhalt abandoned these hazardous activities in 1621 after having assumed responsibilty for affairs of state, Widemann and Haslmayr, who had returned from the galleys, attempted to win Herzog August in Wolfenbüttel for the plan to publish further theological works of Paracelsus, ‘Taulerian and Eckhardian books’ and other ‘Theological manuscripts… against the errors and mistakes of the Papists, Lutherans, Calvinists’ through the presses of the Stern brothers in Lüneburg. ‘After all’, Widemann wrote to Herzog August, ‘the works of Weigel and Arndt, too, managed to evade the censorship of the theologians’.67 August, however, immediately put a halt to this plan. He informed Widemann ‘that the Theophrastian and Weigelian books are not allowed to be printed in these domains; as they would cause great confusion in our theology’.68

The theologians had already seen to it that the feared confusion was halted. The great number of Weigelian and Paracelsian editions had soon provoked a true avalanche of works by the orthodox theologians from the Lutheran and Calvinist camps (the Catholics did not get involved: to them it was in-fighting between heretics and enemies).69

The guardians of Lutheran orthodoxy in the German lands were the most vehement in their reactions. The reading-public and market aimed at by these German-language works justifiably caused them to think they were the immediate target of the Theophrastic and Weigelian ‘rubbish’. The majority of these ‘seditious’ books was printed in Lutheran cities, without the theologians being able to prevent their publication. All that was left for them to do, was to warn against the danger of this ‘new and fanatical theology’ in increasingly strong terms, and to try to counteract the damage already done with a plethora of rabid polemics. The Wittenberg minister Nicolas Hunnius, for instance, responded at first in Latin in his Principia Theologiae Fanaticae, quae Paracelsus genuit atque Weigelius interpolavit (1618), later in German in the Christlicher Betrachtung der neuen Paracelsischen und Weigelianischen Theologie (1622). The Halle minister Andreas Merck in the Treuherzige Warnung vor dem Weigelianismo (1620), the Hamburg theologian Johannes Schellhammer in the Widerlegung der vermeinten Postill Weigelii (1621), the Tübingen Professor Theodor Thumm in his Impietas Weigeliana (1622) and many others responded in similar fashion.70

As far as the response of the German Calvinists is concerned, it took them a rather longer time to refute the ‘Weigelian errors’, but they were more thorough in return, as is evident above all from the Exercitationes Theologicae by the Anhaltian Christian Beckman, published in Amsterdam in 1641,71 or the Antiweigelius of Johannes Crocius, printed in Kassel in 1652. There cannot have existed an initial sympathy, or even political complicity on the part of the Calvinists with the Rosicrucian and Weigelian movement (which many Lutheran theologians were only too happy to believe at the time, a fact which some historians even today cite as evidence).72 Because it was precisely at the reformed university of Marburg and at the command of the Calvinist Landgrave Moritz von Hessen-Kassel that the first, and also normative, inquisitorial trials in Germany against the Rosicrucian, Weigelian and other errors of ‘the Theophrastic sort’ were conducted in the years 1619-1620.73

In Marburg, for instance, the son-in-law of the printer of the Rosicrucian Manifestos, Philipp Homagius, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a fortress town on the charge of having recommended and propagated the works of the ‘excellent and enlightened essential theologians Weigel and Theophrastus’ as the keys to the understanding of Holy Scripture; he also praised the Rosicrucians as ‘true and highly enlightened perfect Christians’ and ‘had held them in a higher esteem than he could express in words’; exposing himself to be one of their faithful adherents: ‘the Brothers of the Rosicrucian Fraternity’, Homagius declared, ‘and the followers of Theophrastus and Weigel agree in the fundamental articles of faith, although one reached a higher degree of faith than the other’.74

The orthodox theologians knew very well who had been responsible for the errors for which Weigel was being denounced: it was Paracelsus. Each, after his own strength, was concerned to reiterate and, where possible, to surpass in separate chapters the slanders and taunts against Paracelsus which had been collected since the days of Oporinus and Erastus. As scholars steeped in theology they were, however, wise enough not to get involved in the medical and nature philosophical arena, and so they fulminated in particular against their apostate colleague Weigel, whose theological terminology was probably more easily accessible to them.

That is why these opponents all liked to speak of Weigelianism rather than Theophrastia or Paracelsism, which could have led to misunderstandings amongst the medical profession and other professional groups, because the merits of Paracelsus ‘in physics, in chemistry and in the medical art’, as Christian Beckmann conceded, could not but be acknowledged even by the theologians.

Thus ‘Weigelianism’ was an invention of the theologians, who styled it the chief heresy of the seventeenth century in Germany (‘unde factum est, ut Religionem Fanaticam nostra aetas vocare coeperit VVeigelianam’),75 although from a historical viewpoint – and this in contrast to the followers of Schwenckfeld, Paracelsus, Jacob Böhme or even Johannes Arndt – hardly anybody in the baroque era considered or called himself a Weigelian.

Abraham von Franckenberg hit the mark when in 1637 he gave his epochal work on the correspondences between the teachings of the ancient gnosis and the views of his co-religionists the significant title Theophrastia Valentiniana. The adjective ‘Valentiniana’ here stands for the gnostic heretic Valentinus from the first century CE, while the substantive noun ‘Theophrastia’ was meant to denote the newly founded spiritual and theosophical movements of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, which with this designation were led back to their real origin, to Paracelsus.

Paracelsus, therefore, was very prescient, when he wrote a hundred years earlier in his book Paragranum: ‘I will give Luther and you some work to do!’76


An enlarged German-language version of this article was published in Analecta Paracelsica. Studien zum Nachleben Theophrast von Hohenheim im deutschen Kulturgebiet der frühen Neuzeit. (Heidelberger Studien zur Naturkunde der frühen Neuzeit), eds. W.-D. Müller-Jancke and J. Telle, Stuttgart 1994.

1 Karl Sudhoff, Versuch einer Kritik der Echtheit der Paracelsischen Schriften, II. Teil: Paracelsus-Handschriften, Berlin 1899, 300; Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke II, Theologische und religionsphilosophische Schriften, ed. Kurt Goldammer. Supplement: Religiöse und sozialphilosophische Schriften in Kurzfassungen, Wiesbaden 1973, 170-171.

2 Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke I, ed. Karl Sudhoff, Munich/Berlin 1922-1929, III; Paracelsus, Theologische und religions-philosophische Schriften I, ed. Wilhelm Matthießen, Munich 1923, 103-104.

3 Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke I, ed. Sudhoff, VIII, 62-63, 43.

4 bid., 56.

5 ‘Wann er [Paracelsus] anfieng zu schreiben, wollte [er] sy [Luther und Zwingli] und auch den Bapst erst recht in die Schül füren’, cf. Theodor Zwinger, Theatrum humanae vitae, ed. Basel 1571, 1480; ed. Basel 1586, 2583; Carlos Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation. Theodor Zwinger und die religiöse und kulturelle Krise seiner Zeit, Part I, in «Basler Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Altertumskunde», 77 (1977), 57-137; II, «ibidem» 79 (1979), 125-223 (quot. I, 100).

6 Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke II, ed. Goldammer, III, XXVI-XXVII.

7 Ibid. 227, 175-176, 206-209. For Paracelsus’ criticism of the Roman-Catholic and the Reformed churches cf. Kurt Goldammer, Paracelsus. Natur und Offenbarung, Hannover-Kirchrode 1953, 89-92; K. Goldammer, Paracelsus in neuen Horizonten. Gesammelte Aufsätze, in «Salzburger Beiträge zur Paracelsusforschung» 24 (1986), 164-171 and passim; Hartmuth Rudolph, Einige Gesichtspunkte zum Thema ‘Paracelsus und Luther’, in «Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte» 78 (1981), 34-53; H. Rudolph, Individuum und Obrigkeit bei Paracelsus», in «Nova Acta Paracelsica», NF 3 (1988), 69-76.

8 Theophrasti Paracelsi vonn Hohenhaimb Schreiben ahn einen glertten, von grundt des Alten vnd Neüen Testaments vnnd vnserer Seeligkait (the claim that this work is spurious is unsubstantiated) contains the words: ‘Lieber N: daß du allein gegen alle Doctorn der Romischen, oder (so es den Göttern gefelt) der Christlichen kirchen, die von der Apostell zeit ahn biss auff dise heütige stundt einen grossen Rhuem gehabt, fülest und glaubest vnd wolst lieber Allein gegen alle halten, dann mit allen oder mitt dem Mehrern Thaill irren, Meines bedunckhens thuestu Recht daran, vnd Ich zweifel nit, es soll dir solche Meinung ie lenger, ie mehr gefallen, vnd ich bitt auch Gott, Er woll dich darin stercken. Dann […] Ich gwißlich glaub, das die eüsserlich Kirch Christi mit sambt Ieren gaaben vnd Sacramenten durch einreissung vnd verwüestung des Antichrists, ahn stund nach der Apostell Zeitt inn Himmell aufgefahren sej, vnd Ihm Geist vnnd Warheit verborgen lig, also das von tausend vierhundert Jahren kein eüsserliche versammelte kirchen, noch kein Sacrament gewest seindt, Ich gantz sicher bin’, cf. Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, (see note 1), 556-558. [Dear N: that you alone against all Doctors of the Roman church, or (so it may please the gods) against the Doctors of all Christian churches, who have been renowned from the time of the Apostles until the present, feel and believe and prefer to hold out on your own against all others, rather than err with the majority, I believe you are right to do so, and I do not doubt, such an opinion will please you more and more, and I also pray God, that He shall strengthen you in this. For […] I certainly believe, that through the appearance and the ravages of the Antichrist, the visible church of Christ with all its gifts and sacraments was assumed into heaven one hour after the time of the Apostles, and that she is hidden in the spirit and in truth; in short that these fourteen hundred years there has been no visible assembled church nor a single sacrament, of that I am quite sure].

9 Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke I, ed. Sudhoff, XIII, 373.

10 ‘Mein mund hab ich zugehalten, darmit mir das wetter und der donder nit in acker schlüge. darmit hab ichs hindurch bracht bis auf die zeit und hab mich nit bekümbert umb sie’, cf. Prologus totius operis christianae vitae (Preface to De secretis secretorum theologiae christianae) in, Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke II, ed. Goldammer, III, 171.

11 On the preservation of Paracelsian manuscripts in Neuburg an der Donau cf. Joachim Telle, Kurfürst Ottheinrich, Hans Kilian und Paracelsus. Zum pfälzischen Paracelsismus im 16. Jahrhundert, in Von Paracelsus zu Goethe und Wilhelm von Humboldt’, «Salzburger Beiträge zur Paracelsusforschung» 22, Vienna 1981, 130-146.

12 Konrad Gessner, Bibliotheca Vniversalis, siue Catalogus omnium scriptorum locupletissimus, in tribus linguis, Latina, Graeca et Hebraica: extantium et non extantium, veterum ac recentiorum in hunc usque diem, doctorum et indoctorum, publicatorum et in Bibliothecis latentium, Zürich 1545, 614; cf. Robert Henri Blaser, Paracelsus in Basel, Sieben Studien über Werk, Wirkung und Nachwirkung des Paracelsus in Basel published by the Swiss Paracelsus Society, Muttenz/Basel 1979, 76; Edwin Rosner, Studien zum Leben und Wirken des Paracelsus in St. Gallen, in «Nova Acta Paracelsica», NF 3 (1988), 32-54, esp. 46.

13 Conrad Gessner, Epistolarum medicinalium libri tres, Zürich 1577, ff. 1r-2v. Thus Milt’s claims, according to which Gessner in his latter years was to have interested himself for no other person so much as for Paracelsus, prove to be very exaggerated, cf. Bernhart Milt, Conrad Gesner und Paracelsus, in «Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift», 59 (1929), 486-488, 506-509.

14 Joannes Baptista Montanus, In nonum librum Rhasis ad R[egem] Almansorem lectiones restitutae a Ioanne Cratone, Basel 1562, fols. a2v-b4r: ‘Mirifica igitur quorundam fanaticorum, ex magistri sui [Paracelsi] falsa persuasione, est fatuitas, qui totam artem atque tam veteres quam nostri seculi summos artifices, propter errata quaedam et humanos in arte lapsus vituperant, ac more Enthusiastarum in Theologia omnia scripta vetustatis tanquam falsa atque erronea reiiciunt, sibique Deum firmamentum et nescio quae alia libros Medicinae esse fingunt, quos de suo lumine naturae interpretentur, et Alchymia, nova Astronomia rerumque universitatis Anatomia, cuius se investigatores atque abstrusissimarum rerum inquisitores esse somniant, confirment’; Gessner, Epistolarum medicinalium, (see note 13), f. 15r. ‘Legi tua quae in Theophrasteious scripseras in praefatione illa, quam Perna mutilavit’. On Crato’s opposition to Paracelsism, cf. Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), I, 98s, 119s, 133s.

15 Antonio Rotondò, Pietro Perna e la vita culturale e religiosa di Basilea fra il 1570 e il 1580, in Rotondò, Studi e ricerche di storia ereticale italiana del Cinquecento, Turin 1574, 273-392, quot. 389.

16 Anonymous, Thyrsus onagou In Tergum Georgii Fedronis, s.l. 1565; Lucas Stenglin, Apologia adversus Stibii spongiam a Michaële Toxite aeditam, Augsburg 1569; Gervasius Marstaller, Oratio de Theophrasto Paracelso, 1570 (Erlangen, Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen-Nuremberg, Ms. 991, ff. 8v-26v); Bartholomäus Reussner, Ein kurtze Erklerung und Christliche widerlegung, Der unerhörten Gotteslesterungen und Lügen, welche Paracelsus in den dreyen Büchern Philosophie ad Athenienses hat außgeschüttet, Görlitz 1570; Bernardus Dessenius, Medicinae veteris et rationalis adversus oberronis cuiusdam mendacissimi atque impudentissimi Georgii Fedronis, ac universae Sectae Paracelsicae imposturas, defensio, Cologne 1573; Johannes Weyer, De praestigiis Daemonum et incantationibus ac ueneficiis libri sex, Basel 1566, 1568, 1577, 1583. In the first editions of Weyer’s De praestigiis, Basel 1563 and 1564, the name Paracelsus does not occur, the first mention being the edition of 1566 (book 2, ch. 18 and bk. 5, 13); the criticism of Paracelsus and the Paracelsists is repeated in the edition of 1568 (196ss, 493), was partly mitigated in 1577 (219-220, 442), but reinforced in 1583 with new quotations. The new English translation (Witches, Devils, and Doctors in the Renaissance. Johann Weyer, De praestigiis daemonum, ed. George Mora, Benjamin Kohl, tr. John Shea (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 75), Binghamton, New York 1991) is only based on the 1583 text, without indicating the important changes and additions made to the text of the earlier editions.

17 Thomas Erastus, Disputationum De Medicina Nova Philippi Paracelsi Pars Prima – Quarta, Basel [1571]-1573; Rotondò, Pietro Perna e la vita culturale e religiosa di Basilea, (see note 15), 389; Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), Part II, 182.

18 Udo Benzenhöfer, Zum Brief des Johannes Oporinus über Paracelsus. Die bislang älteste bekannte Briefüberlieferung in einer Oratio von Gervasius Marstaller, in «Sudhoffs Archiv» 75 (1989), 55-63 (also for the literature quoted so far). For the time it took to write the letter, cf. Gilly, ‘Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation’, (see note 5), Part 1, 93-94. To what has already been said it should here be added that Oporinus’ letter to Johann Weyer and to Reiner Solenander, ‘medicum illustrum ducis Juliacensis excellentissimum’, could not have been written on the date suggested by Petrus Foreest (26-11-1555). The date proposed by Johann Staricius (‘Epistola anno 1565 ex Basilea de judicio admirandi medici Paracelsi’) has now been confirmed by the discovery of a manuscript from Daniel Keller at Wolfenbüttel [Cod. Guelf. 13.7 Aug 4°, 231r-232v: ‘Ex Oporini Epistola 26 Novembris anno [15]65 Basilea ad D. Vierium scripta’).

19 Theodor Zwinger, Letter to Gervasius Marstaller of 7 January 1564 on the teachings of Paracelsus and the activities of the Paracelsists in Basel (contemporary manuscript copies in Erlangen, Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen-Nürnberg, Ms. 991, fols. 15r-21v; Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Fonds Dupuy 797, ff. 55-70; and Paris, Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Ms. 1458, fols. 34-42). Critical edition of this letter (Latin and German translation) in W. Kühlmann-J- Telle, Corpus Parcelsisticum II (in print), nr. 82.

20 As a good example of this ‘rabies theologica’ may serve the response of the Strassburg cathedral preacher Elias Schade, who was possibly the first orthodox theologian, in 1588, to have been requested to give a private Judicium on ‘certain theological writings’ of Paracelsus. Schade’s annihilating judgment concluded with the words: ‘Derhalben ist mein Raht zuvorderst, daß jhr [die Empfänger des Judicium] aller dings solcher Schrifften müßig gehet, darinn weder leset, noch darauß abschreibet: Darnach daß jhr die Bücher, sie kosten gleich wenig oder viel, auffs fürderlichst verbrennt, oder in ein Profey werfft, als deß Teuffels Dreck’. [Therefore my advice is foremost that they [the recipients of the Judicium] will by all means avoid such works, and not read them, nor copy from them: Next that you shall burn these books in future, be they cheap or expensive, or throw them in a cesspool as if they were the devil’s own dung]. Cf. Ralf Georg Bogner, Das ‘Judicium’ des Elias Schade (1589). Ein frühes Zeugnis der ‘Verketzerung’ Theophrast von Hohenheims, in Parerga Paracelsica, ed. J. Telle, Heidelberg 1992, 122-139.

21 Joseph Du Chesne (Quercetanus), Ad Iacobi Auberti de ortu et causa metallorum Explicationem […] Responsio, Lyon 1575, fols. b1v-b2r: ‘Ad Paracelsum vero quod attinet, equidem mihi nequaquam proposui ipsius Theologiae patrocinium suscipere, neque ipsi in omnibus astipulari unquam cogitavi, tanquam in eius verba iurassem’; on Du Chesne and the French Paracelsists cf. Hugh Trevor-Roper, Renaissance Essays, London 1985 (9. The Paracelsian Movement); on Tommasso Zefiriele Bovio cf. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, 13, 565-566; see also Magia, alchimia, scienza dal ‘400 al ‘700: l’influsso di Ermete Trismegisto / Magic, alchemy and science 15th-18th centuries : the influence of Hermes Trismegistus (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana – Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica), edited by Carlos Gilly & Cis van Heertum, 2 Vol., Firenze, Centro Di, 2002, quot. vol. II, 124-127.

22 Gerhard Dorn, De naturae luce physica ex Genesi desumpta iuxta sententiam Theophrasti Paracelsi Tractatus. Cui annexa est modesta quaedam admonitio ad Thomam Erastum, Frankfurt 1583, 11, 32f., 370f.; Theatrum Chemicum, Strassburg 1659-1660, vol. I, 327, 332ff. cf. Carlos Gilly, Das Bekenntnis zur Gnosis von Paracelsus bis auf die Schüler Jacob Böhmes, in From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme: Gnosis, Hermetism and the Christian Tradition, ed. by R. van den Broek and C. van Heertum, (Pimander: Texts and Studies published by the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, 4), Amsterdam 2000, 385-425, quot. 395-397.

23 Bernardus Penotus a Portu S. Mariae Aquitanus, Apologiae in duas partes divisa ad Iosephi Michelii Middelburgensis Medici scriptum […] Adjuncta est […] Epistola Bernardi Penoti ad D. Andream Libavium, Frankfurt 1600, ff. +1r-++6v: ‘Praeterea (D. Libavi) non tu solus, sed tui similes quoque nobis Paracelsi impietatem, atheitatem nobis obiicitis, quod vel quilibet facile proferre et effutire, probare autem sufficienter minime poterit. Longe aliud enim scripta Paracelsi Theologica, praesertim libri ipsius de Philosophia aeterna conscripti tractant. Nam si vel primam huius Philosophiae partem […] legisses, non tantum omni ipsum impietatis suspicione liberares, sed et peculiari spiritus sancti illuminatione instructum ipsum haec scripsisse affirmares […] O ter quaterque beatum felix regnum, cuius Paracelsus Dux eius. Porro regnum aureum merito dici poterit. Ibi etenim cunctorum hominum malorum finis et terminus erit (huius aetatis respectu) Rabularum causidicorumve loquacitas, omnisque denique iniustitia cessabit. Theologastrorum, sectarum haereses quoque terminabuntur. Aristotelis Philosophia opinionibus suffulta pessum ibit’. That Penot at a highly advanced age was to have distanced himself from his earlier enthusiasm for Paracelsus, as Libavius and others claimed repeatedly, is not correct. In the fourth edition of his Tractatus varii, de vera preparatione, et usu medicamentorum chymicorum, Basel 1616, 7, the 97-year-old Penot addressed the traditional Galenists: ‘O laureati magistri, ab erroribus pedem retrahite et veritatem mendaciis sopprimere desinite: Paracelsi Theodidacti scripta acri iudicio perlegite; ad rectam viam redite, ne forte rerum opifex […] irascatur’. On the antiparacelsist attitude of the arch-conservative Libavius cf. Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), Part 1, 67-70; Part 2, 175-176, 221; cf. also ‘The “fifth column” within Hermetism: Andreas Libavius’, in Magia, alchimia, scienza dal ‘400 al ‘700 / Magic, alchemy and science 15th-18th centuries (see note 21), vol. I, 399-415.

24 Thomas Moffet, De iure et praestantia chymicorum medicamentorum Dialogus Apologeticus, Frankfurt 1584, 11 (also in Theatrum Chemicum, ed. 1659, I 69). For Moffet see Allen G. Debus, The English Paracelsians, London 1965, 71-76; Blaser, Paracelsus in Basel, (see note 12), 200-209; Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), Part 1, 109-111.

25 Dialogus introducens duas personas interlocutrices, sc. Alexandrum et Bernhardum [written around 1575], in Alexander von Suchten, Chymische Schrifften, Frankfurt 1680, 305-356, esp. 337-339; cf. Wlodzimierz Hubicki, Alexander von Suchten, in «Sudhoffs Archiv für Geschichte der Medizin und der Naturwissenschaften» 44 (1960), 54-63.

26 De tribus Facultatibus, in A. von Suchten, Chymische Schrifften, (see note 25), 357-382, esp. 370-374. From a theological viewpoint Suchten’s work De tribus Facultatibus or Kurtzer Bericht von der Wahrheit und Sophisterei dreyer der furnembsten Faculteten, nemlich Theologiae, Astronomiae et Medicinae belongs to the most daring works of the entire Paracelsist movement. Here the reformers were for instance reproached for having thrown out the child with the bathwater when abolishing the rituals of the old church: ‘Es haben ettliche Klüglinge wol gesehen, das Meß hören, Singen, Orgeln, Wachs, Oel, und Saltz uns nit seelig machen, darum haben sie es verworffen’ […] Also haben sie solcher Magischen und Apostolischen Satzung viel verworffen, […] gedachten lang nicht, daß es Magische Bücher waren, die uns so viel, ja auch besser lehreten, dann die geschriebene Bücher, zuverstehen das Geheimniß Gottes’ […] Dieweil ihre Bücher möchten verlohren werden […] haben sie [die Magi] einer jeden [Facultät] solch Zeichen gegeben, die nicht also vergehen können. Also daß die Bücher der Theologiae, von welchen uns die beyden Testament überblieben, gaben sie auch der Theologiae ihr Zeichen, auff das, so wir die Bücher verlohren, ander Bücher hätten die nicht also könten verlohren werden: Das sind die Zeichen, und alles was sie in die Kirchen gegeben haben’; cf. Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), Part 1, 76-82; cf. also Magia, alchimia, scienza dal ‘400 al ‘700 / Magic, alchemy and science 15th-18th centuries (see note 21), vol. I, 185-198.

27 Sudhoff, Versuch einer Kritik der Echtheit der Paracelsischen Schriften, I. Teil: Bibliographia Paracelsica, Berlin 1894, 352-255; Sudhoff, Gedanken eines unbekannten Anhängers des Theophrastus Paracelsus von Hohenheim aus der Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts über deutschen Jugendunterricht, in «Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für deutsche Erziehungs- und Schulgeschichte» 5 (1985), 83-90; Heinz-Peter Mielke, Schwenckfeldianer im Hofstaat Bischof Marquards von Speyer (1560-1581), in «Archiv für Mittelrheinische Kirchengeschichte» 28 (1976), 77-83; Telle, Johann Huser in seinen Briefen, in Parerga Paracelsica, (see note 20), 221-223, esp. note 109. On the basis of a few typographical characteristics I expressed the view in Johannes Valentin Andreae (1586-1986). Katalog einer Ausstellung in der Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam 1986, 23-25, that the Cyclopädia was to have been published in Strassburg or Basel. The place of printing was in fact Strassburg, as Eisenmenger’s pupil Helisäus Röslin explicitly confirmed in his Prodromus Dissertationum Chronologicarum, Frankfurt 1612, c2r: ‘Hievon aber weitleufftig gehandelt ist in einem Buch Anno 1585 zu Straßburg bei Jobin getruckt, außgangen, Cyclopaedia Paracelsica Christiana intituliert’. Unfortunately Röslin did not also reveal the identity of the author, as a few pages later he again refers to the ‘Cyclopaedia Paracelsica incerti authoris vor 20 Jahren zu Straßburg außgangen’.

28 Helisaeus Röslin, De opere Dei creationis seu de mundo Hypotheses orthodoxae quantumvis paradoxae: continentes summa summarum artium principia, Physices, Chymiae, Medicinae, Astronomiae, Astrologiae, Metaphysices: nec non praecipua fundamenta Philosophiae et veteris et novae, Frankfurt 1597. On Röslin’s readership of the texts of Paracelsus cf. also the same, Historischer, Politischer vnd Astronomischer Discurs Von heutiger zeit Beschaffenheit, Wesen vnd Standt der Christenheit, vnd wie es ins Künfftig in derselben ergehen werde, Strassburg 1609, a3r-v; Röslin, Prodromus Dissertationum Chronologicarum, (see note 27), 3, 11. on Röslin as owner of autograph manuscripts of Paracelsus cf. J. Telle, Johann Huser in seinen Briefen, in Parerga Paracelsica, (see note 20), 223f.

29 [Röslin, Helisäus], Speculum et Harmonia Mundi: Das ist, Welt Spiegell Erster theil. Mit vergleichung der Monarchien vnnd Welt Regimenten durch die Vmbstende der Orter Zeitten vnd Personen auß Gottes Rathschlag mit denselbigen nach seinem Werck der Creation vnnd Schöpfung fürgenommen von anfang der Welt biß zu End gefürt. Darinnen vns zum rechten Verstand der Prophecey Danielis vnnd Offfenbarung Johannis gute anleitung geben wird. Zuerkündigung dieser geferlichen letzten zeiten menniglich dienstlich, sonderlich aber den Potentaten vnnd Regenten der Christenheit zu nutz Warnung vnd auffmuderung gestelt vnd geschrieben. Getruckt zu Lich, in der Graffschafft Solms, durch Wolgangung (sic) Kezelium. Jm Jhar, 1604; further title editions, with only the first gathering replaced, appeared in 1616 and 1617 ‘bei Johann Carl Unckel, Buchhändlern zu Franckfurt am Mäyn’. These editions were unknown to both Röslin’s bibliographer Paul Diesner and Martha List, cf. Paul Diesner, ‘Der elsässische Arzt Dr. Helisaeus Röslin als Forscher und Publizist am Vorabend des dreißigjährigen Krieges’, in Jahrbuch der Elsaß-Lothringischen Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Straßburg, 11 (1938), 192-215; Martha List, Helisäus Röslin – Arzt und Astrologe, in Schwäbische Lebensbilder, ed. by Hermann Haering and Otto Hohenstatt, III, Stuttgart 1942, 468-480; The work is also omitted in the otherwise excellently documented work of Robin Bruce Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis in the wake of the Lutheran Reformation, Stanford 1988. Manuscripts of the first part of the Welt Spiegel can be found in Stuttgart (Württembergische Landesbibliothek, cod. Theol. 2 72), in Stockholm (Rikaerkivet, Skoklostersaml. Fol. 16) and in the Halle university library (Ms. 23 B 3). Karl Widemann’s collection furthermore contained two other unprinted chapters of the Welt-Spiegel as well as the complete Kirchen-Spiegel under Röslin’s pseudonym ‘Lampertus Floridus’, cf. Kassel, Landes-und Murhardsche Bibliothek, Ms. chem. Fol. 7, ff. 59-123; of Röslin’s ‘Geheime Auslegung in das vierdtte Buech Esdrae Prophetae auf das gaist[liche] vnd Weltliche Regiment’ Widemann produced in 1619 an (abbreviated?) Latin translation ‘Interpraetatio Mÿstica et Vera in Quartum librum Esdrae Prophetae’, which he sent to King James I of England, cf. London, British Library, Ms. Royal 2D XX, 1r-53v. On the meaning of the 4th book of Esdras in heterodox literature cf. Alastair Hamilton, The Book of ‘vaine fables’: the reception of 2 Esdras from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, in Kerkhistorische opstellen aangeboden aan Prof. dr. J. van den Berg, Kampen 1987, 45-61; Idem. The Apocryphal Apocalypse: the reception of the second book of Esdras (4 Ezra) from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, Oxford 1999.

30 Helisäus Röslin, Mitternächtige Schiffarth, Von den Herrn Staden inn Niderlanden vor XV Jaren vergebenlich fürgenommen […] Ein künstlicher Philosophischer Tractat, Oppenheim 1611, 103-114; Röslin, Prodromus Dissertationum Chronologicarum, (see note 27), a3r-a4r. On Paracelsus’ eschatology and views on tolerance cf. Kurt Goldammer, Paracelsus in neuen Horizonten. Gesammelte Aufsätze (Salzburger Beiträge zur Paracelsusforschung, 24), Vienna 1986, esp. 87-176, 250-262; on Castellion cf. Hans R. Guggisberg, Castellio and der Ausbruch der Religionskriege in Frankreich. Einige Betrachtungen zum Conseil à la France désolée, in «Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte» 68 (1977), 253-267; Guggisberg, The Defence of Religious Toleration and Religious Liberty in Early Modern Europe: Arguments, Pressures, and some Consequences, in «History of European Ideas» 4 (1983), 35-50; cf. also the new biography by the late Hans R. Guggisberg, Sebastian Castellio – Humanist und Verteidiger der religiösen Toleranz im konfessionellen Zeitalter, Göttingen 1997, 208, 284; (1st ed. in English) Sebastian Castellio, 1515-1563: humanist and defender of religious toleration in a confessional age, transl. Bruce Gordon (St. Andrews studies in Reformation history), Burlington, VT : Ashgate, 2002. That the spiritualist und rationalist Castellion was sometimes moved by chiliastic motives in his writings is demonstrated in his preface to the Latin Bible edition addressed to King Edward VI (cf. Religiöse Toleranz. Dokumente zur Geschichte einer Forderung, ed. Hans R. Guggisberg Stuttgart-Bad Cannstadt 1984, 99-102), which induced Christoph Besold to quote large passages from Castellion immediately after quotations from Paracelsus and Brocardo in a Dissertatio Historica de veteribus novisque Chiliastis, cf. Besold, Discursus Politici, I. De Monarchia, Strassburg 1623, 245-248; on Castellio and Röslin cf. also C. Gilly, Sebastian Castellio und der politische Widerstand gegen Philipp II. von Spanien, in «Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis» 77 (1997), 23-40; Idem, Sebastiano Castellione, l’idea di tolleranza e l’opposizione alle politica di Filippo II, in «Rivista storica italiana» 110 (1998), 144-166.

31 In the manuscript catalogues mentioned above (Kassel, Landes-und Murhardsche Bibliothek, Ms. chem. Fol. 7, ff. 59-123) Widemann extensively described various manuscripts of Röslin under the name ‘Lampertus Floridus’ with precise indications of format and length. A number of them were also included as entries 213-215, 217-219, 221-223 in the printed catalogue of Joachim Morsius’ Nuncius Olympicus Von etzlichen geheimen Bücheren vnd Schrifften, Philadelphia [Amsterdam] 1626. The Nuncius Olympicus has been reproduced in facsimile in C. Gilly, Adam Haslmayr. Der erste Verkünder der Manifeste der Rosenkreuzer (Pimander. Texts and Studies published by the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, 5), Amsterdam 1994, 238-291. In the last volume of the bibliography of the early Rosicrucians planned by the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam, I shall attempt to give for the edition of Widemann’s catalogues bibliographical records of Röslin’s manuscripts which are generally believed to be lost.

32 Irena Backus, Valentin Crautwald, in Bibliotheca Dissidentium. Répertoire des non-conformistes religieux des seizième et dix-septième siècles, ed. A. Séguenny, VI, Baden-Baden 1985, 9-70. For the manuscripts by Adam Reissner, Schwenckfeld and Paracelsus which were sold to Wolfenbüttel cf. Widemann’s letters in Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Bibliotheksarchiv, 44-47. For Widemann see C. Gilly, Johann Valentin Andreae 1586-1986. Amsterdam 1986, 46-51, 94-98.

33 The Trebon state archive, Archivium Schwarzenbergicum, Rozmberk family, section 25, holds the autograph farewell letter to Vilém Ursinus Rozmberk [autumn 1588]. For Widemann cf. Robert J.W. Evans, Rudolf II and his World. A Study in Intellectual History 1576-1612, Oxford 1973, 216. Manuscript DD V 34 from the Strahov library in Prague quoted by Evans (see note 33), 226 (‘Alia purificatio… Vom Engelender aus Wittgenaw H. Edu. Keleo 1588’, which is also listed in Kristeller, Iter Italicum III, 168, as Paracelsi Testamentum) is incidentally an autograph recipe book by Karl Widemann, in which are also copied letters from Kelley’s assistant Johann Grueber. For Widemann’s circle of friends see C. Gilly, Iter rosicrucianum. Auf der Suche nach unbekannten Quellen der frühen Rosenkreuzer, in Das Erbe des Christian Rosenkreuz. Vorträge gehalten anlässlich des Amsterdames Andreae-Symposiums, Amsterdam 1988, 62-89, esp. 73-82; Julian Paulus, Alchemie und Paracelcismus um 1600 – Siebzig Porträts, in Analecta Paracelsica, ed. J. Telle, Stuttgart 1994, 335-406 (includes a critical edition and a facsimile of Widemann’s autograph register of spagyrical physicians from about 1600-1630).

34 Cf. Horst Pfefferl, Die Überlieferung der Schriften Valentin Weigels (doctoral dissertation, partly published), Marburg/Lahn 1991. The author has drastically reduced the number of works attributed to Weigel to a minimum, so that a full appreciation of Weigel’s works cannot be made until Pfefferl’s evidence has been published in its entirety. Cf. the splendid third volume in the series of new collected works of Valentin Weigel which came out in 1996, Vom Gesetz oder Wille Gottes – Gnothi Seauton, ed. Horst Pfefferl, Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt. Basing himself on new research findings, Pfefferl speaks of an actual work division between Weigel and Benedict Biedermann.

35 August von Anhalt, letter to Widemann, Plötzkau 1. September 1614 (Staatsarchiv Oranienbaum, Abteilung Köthen, A 17a Nr. 100, f. 94v): ‘[…] ersuch des [Daniel] Sudermanns büchlein mir etwa zukommen zu laßen, praesertim des C[aspar] S[chwenckfeld] bedencken vber die A[gustana] confess[io], welche der alte Montanus pflegte, die bestiam zu nehnnen, so vom meer aufsteigt, will ich damitt göttliche gnaden zu aller wolfart befohlen haben’.

36 Rechter Bericht Von den Dreyen Seculis vnd Judiciis Divinis post Diluvium, Als nemblich: 1: Von der Zerstörung Jerusalem vnd Untergang der gantzen Jrrdischen Policey. 2: Von der grossen Trübsal über den gantzen Erdtkreis vnd Vntergang aller Ständ der Welt. 3: Vom Jungsten Gerichte oder Letzten Tag der gantzen welt, welcher in der H. Schrifft τ τλoς [to telos] finis vnd Συvτλεια τo αvoς [synteleia tou aionos] Consumatio Seculi genennet wird. Geschrieben durch Paul Lincken Med. Doctore[m] anno 1599, Mense Januario vnd Volgends, Anno 1602 vermehret vnd Vollendet (Hamburg, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Theol. 1914, 1-615; Rostock, Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. Theol. Fol. 72, unfoliated; Wolfenbüttel HAB, 981 Helmst., Bl. 1-241). For Linck cf. Joachim Telle, Johann Huser in seinen Briefen, in Parerga Paracelsica, (see note 20), 215-216. Paul Linck’s Bericht is not mentioned by Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis. Apocalypticism in the wake of the Lutheran Reformation, (see note 29), or Enrico de Mas, L’Attesa del secolo aureo (1603-1625), Florence 1982. The same applies to the work of the Paracelsist Julius Sperber, written in 1597, Von dreyerley Seculis oder Hauptzeiten, Tröstlicher Prophecey vnd Weissagung. Von der zunahenden güldenen als der Dritten vnd Letzten Zeit vnd dem gantzen zustande derselben (Mss. in Wolfenbüttel, 772 Helmst., ff. 173-287, and in the Heimatmuseum Köthen, printed in Amsterdam in 1663).

37 Karl Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, (see note 27), nos. 288, 296, 316, 317, 318, 322, 330, 338-354. A friend of Libavius characterized Paracelsus as a ‘Guckguck Grossvater’, of the ‘newen ungeweyheten und unberufenen Weissager, die vielleicht Eulenspiegels Prophetenbeer gekostet’, cf. Melior [!] Rudolph Janicola, Strena […] Was von den newen Paracelsischen Propheten, vnd Thurneuserischen Warsagern zu halten, Hamburg 1601; Nicolaus Hunnius in his Gründtlicher Beweiss wie Theophrastus Paracelsus, Weigel, Felgenhauer, Teting ud andere […] mit falschen Weissagungen umbgehen, s.l. 1634, 33, also wrote about Paracelsus as the source and beginning of ‘so viel wunderbarlicher seltzamer Propheceyunge’, who ‘in diesen jetzigen sehr Trübseligen zeiten an das Licht der Welt, mündlich und schriftlich, herrfür komen’.

38 Oswald Croll, Basilica Chymica continens Philosophicam propria laborum experientia confirmatam descriptionem et usum Remediorum Chymicorum Selectissimorum e Lumine GRATIAE et NATURAE desumptorum, Frankfurt [1611-2], 69. For Croll see Telle, ‘Johann Huser in seinen Briefen’, in Parerga Paracelsica, (see note 20), 204-205; Wilhelm Kühlmann, Oswald Crollius und seine Signaturenlehre. Zum Profil hermetischer Naturphilosophie in der Ära Rudolphs II., in Die okkulten Wissenschaften in der Renaissance’, ed. by August Buck, «Wolfenbütteler Abhandlungen zur Renaissanceforschung» 12 (1992), 103-124; Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), Part 2, 174-175, 220-221; Oswaldus Crollius, De signaturis internis rerum, eds. W. Kühlmann and J. Telle, Stuttgart 1996.

39 Benedictus Figulus, Pandora Magnalium Naturalium aurea et Benedicta. De Benedicto Lapidis Philosoph[orum] Mysterio, Strassburg 1608, ff. **rv **8r: cf. Joachim Telle, Benedictus Figulus. Zu Leben und Werk eines deutschen Paracelsisten, in «Medizinhistorisches Journal» 22 (1987), 303-326. quot. 323-324.

40 For the relations between Figulus and Haslmayr see C. Gilly. Adam Haslmayr (see note 31).

41 It was for that matter the very first mention of the word ‘Rosenkreuz’ in a printed book. The title-page has already been reproduced in the exhibition catalogue Paracelsus in der Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam 1993, 84. The complete facsimile edition is included in my Haslmayr study (see note 15). The text is furthermore reprinted in the first edition of the Fama fraternitatis, cf. Allgemeine vnd General REFORMATION, der gantzen weiten Welt. Beneben der FAMA FRATERNITATIS, Deß Löblichen Ordens des Rosenkreutzes, an alle Gelehrte vnd Häupter Europae geschrieben: Auch einer kurtzen RESPONSION, von dem Herrn Haselmeyer gestellet, welcher deßwegen von den Jesuitern ist gefänglich eingezogen, vnd auff eine Galleren geschmiedet: Jtzo öffentlich in Druck verfertiget, vnd allen trewen Hertzen communiciret worden. Gedruckt zu Cassel, durch Wilhelm Wessell, Anno M. DC. XIV. English translation in F.N. Pryce, The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of the Fraternity of R.C., commonly of the Rosie Cross. With […] a Translation of the letter of Adam Haselmeyer, Margate 1923, 57-64. For Haslmayr cf. Walter Senn, ‘Adam Haslmayr. Musiker, Philosoph und “Ketzer”‘, in Festschrift Leonhard C. Franz, (Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft, 11), Innsbruck 1965, 379-400; C. Gilly, Johann Valentin Andreae 1586-1986, 45, 50, 55, 94-98; Gilly, ‘Iter rosicrucianum’, (see note 33), 63-89, esp. 73-75; Gilly, Adam Haslmayr (see note 31).

42 Haslmayr, Letter to K. Widemann dated 24 Dezember 1611, copied in Karl Widemann, Sylva Scientiarum (Hannover, Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek, Ms. IV 341), 356.

43 ‘Lorentz Lutz. burger vnd Bader im Algundt 1/4 Meil von Meron im Etschland. Obiit. Diser hatt Theophrastum selber kenndt und ist […] Gabriel von Marwisen bei Ime doselbsten zur herberg glegen, auch […] Adam Haslmayr mitt Ime geraisst. Hat vill scripta Theophrastica so noch nit gmein’, cf. C. Gilly, Johann Valentin Andreae 1586-1986, 48; Paulus, Alchemie und Paracelcismus um 1600 – Siebzig Porträts (see note 33), 368.Lutz is furthermore mentioned in Widemann’s Sylva scientiarum, (see note 42), 274: ‘De mercurio praeparando: [Dieses] braucht der Lorentz Lutz, Theophrastischer alhie noch lebender diener, zu seinem feüren, retulit oretenus Adam Haslmayr’; cf. also Wolfgang Irtenkauf, ‘Abraham Schnitzer, der ‘gelehrte Scharlatan’. Leben und Werk eines Bergmeisters im 16. Jahrhundert’, in Veröffentlichungen des Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, 64 (1984), 9-56, esp. 23 and 41.

44 Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, (see note 1), 755-764.

45 Anastasius Philareta Cosmopolita [Joachim Morsius], Nuncius Olympicus Von etzlichen geheimen Bücheren vnd Schrifften, so ein fürnehmer Gottesgelehrter vnd hocherleuchter berümbter Theosophus vnd Medicus, in Theosophia, Cabala, Magia, Chemia, Medicina vnd Philologia, durch viel beschwerliche Reisen vnnd grosse Vnkostung, Ecclesiae vnd Reip[ublicae] literariae commodo zusammen gebracht, darin die gröste Himlische vnnd Jrrdische Weißheit begriffen ist […] Gedruckt PHILADELPHIAE [Amsterdam?] 1626. This book lists 227 manuscripts with their full titles.

46 Kassel, Landes-und Murhardsche Bibliothek, Ms. chem. Fol. 7, f. 53v: ‘Adamj Haselmarij Manuscripta: In Folio 66, in Quarto 94, Zsammen 160. Plurima hic tractantur secretissima in naturalj et supernaturalj lumine. Diser fromme Mann ist 2 1/4 Jar vf der galeeren gefangen ghalten worden. Durch die Jesuwider in Tirol dahin deputirt, weil er Ieren bedrug vnd Abgötterej gestrafft’. Both Sudhoff, Paracelsus-Handschriften, (see note 1), 748 as well as Will-Erich Peuckert, Das Rosenkreuz, Berlin 19732, 71, have failed to notice the italicized words.

47 [Adam Haslmayr] ASTRONOMIA OLYMPI NOVI, Das ist: Die gestirnkunst deß newen Himmels, welche allein auß dem Glauben entspringet, darauß der Mensch alle Magnalia Gottes vnd der Natur, die den glaubigen seynd zuwissen, sehen vnd erlernen mag. Authore Paracelso ab Hohenheim and THEOLOGIA CABALISTICA De perfecto homine in Christo Iesu, et contra de perdito animali homine in Adam, qui Lunaticus dicitur. Das ist: Von dem vollkommenen Menschen in Christo Jesu, vnd hergegen von dem verdorbenen thierischen Menschen in Adam, welcher ein Mondsüchtiger genennet wirdt. Authore Theophrasto Paracelso ab Hohenheim, in PHILOSOPHIA MYSTICA, Darinn begriffen Eilff vnterschidene Theologico-Philosophische, doch teutsche Tractätlein, zum theil auß Theophrasti Paracelsi, zum theil auch M. Valentini Weigelii, gewesenen Pfarrherrn zu Jscopaw, bißhero verborgenen manuscriptis der Theosophischen Warheit liebhabern. An jtzo in zweien Theilen zum Christlichen Vorschub, beyde Liechter, der Gnaden vnd der Natur, in vns zuerwecken, in offenen Truck gegeben. Deren Titul vnd Nahmen, wie ein jedes insonderheit von den Authoribus selbst genennet, die nachfolgende seite zeigen wirdt. Gedruckt zur Newstadt [Frankfurt], vnd zu finden bey Lucas Jenes [Jennis], Buchhändler, 1618, 33-39 and 40-53; cf. Sudhoff, Bibliographia Paracelsica, (see note 27), 514-516.

48 The first of the appended Particulae concerns a letter of Haslmayr to his sovereign Archduke Maximilian of Tyrol. The authorship of Haslmayr is confirmed by an informative printing variant in a number of copies of the above mentioned Philosophia Mystica, note 47: ‘Es hat mein vertrawter Herr, Bruder und Freundt Ad[am] H[aslmayr] N[otarius] P[ublicus] C[aesareus] diß nachfolgende Tractätlein oder Philosophiam de lunaticis hominibus, auß unsers hochthewren Magistri und Praeceptoris seliger Gedächtnuß, Magni Monarchae Aureoli Ph. Theophrasti Paracelsi etc. Astronomischen Schrifften gezogen, einer fürstlichen Person, dessen Nahmen ich dißmals billich verschweige, praesentiert und uberliefert’; on page 48 this message is signed: ‘Benedictus Fig[ulus] Utenhovias, Fr. P.L.C. Theologus: Theosophus; Philosophus; Medicus; Eremita. D.T.P.D.G.N.’ Copies with these printing variants are in the BPH Amsterdam and in the HAB Wolfenbüttel. For the identification of ‘Huldrich Bachsmaier’ as Johannes Siebmacher cf. Johann Valentin Andreae, Ein geistliches Gemälde. Entworfen und aufgezeichnet von Huldrich StarkMann, Diener des Evangeliums. Nach dem wiedergefundenen Urdruck, Tübingen 1615, ed. by Reinhard Breymayer, Tübingen 1991 [1992], XX-XXII. As in the case of Andreae, Huldrich here stands for Johannes, while Bachsmeier and Regenbrunn are anagrams for Siebmacher and Nürnberg. It is the same man, whom Widemann in his list of Spagyric physicians called ‘Johann Sibmacher. Philosophus vnd chymicus zue Nörnberg’.

49 The BPH Amsterdam recently acquired an (autograph?) manuscript of Siebmacher from 1607 with the same text which was printed at the end of Philosophia mystica: Huldrich Bachmeir von Regenbrun, Introduction Hominis, das ist, Was der Mennsch inn disem Leben fürnemblich Studiern und lernen soll, in 4º, 68 ll. This manuscript of the Introductio hominis of 1607, recently acquired by the BPH, is the key to identify the author of one of the most fascinating alchemical-theosophical books: the Wasserstein der Weisen (Frankfurt 1619), subsequenty known also under the title Das Goldene Vliess (Leipzig 1736, 1737) and Das allerhöchste, edelste, kunstreichste Kleinod (Frankfurt 1755). Unlike the printed edition (1618) of the Introductio hominis at the end of Philosophia Mystica (‘Newstadt’ 1618), this manuscript already contains the sayings with the author’s initials I.S.N. (Inn GöttlichenSachen Soll Welt weisheit Nichts; Iesus Salvator Noster). In the appendix to the Introductio hominis (both manuscript and printed edition), a certain Uldrich Bachsmeier von Regenbrun alludes to another treatise by the author, entitled the ‘Guldene Flüs or the allerhöchst Edelst, Kunstreichste Cleinoth und Uhrälteste verborgene Schatz der Weisen’. As Uldrich Bachsmeier von Regenbrun is an anagram of Johannes Siebmacher von Nürnberg, he must also be the I.S.N. who authored the Hydrolithus sophicus seu Aquarium sapientum, as the Wasserstein is called in the Museum Hermeticum, cf. now also Magia, alchimia, scienza dal ‘400 al ‘700 / Magic, alchemy and science 15th-18th centuries (see note 21), vol. II, 151-153.

50 Innsbruck, Tyroler Staatsarchiv, Pestarchiv VII 18, ff. 13r-17v: Ad Reuerendissimum et Serenissimum Principem meum, Maximilianum Austriae, Teutonici Ordinis Magistrum vigilantissimum, Oratio Reuelatoria (Subscript: ‘Vnderthenigister Clyens et Alumnus Adamus Haslmaÿr, N[otarius] C[aesareus] von Hall’). For the Innsbruck documentation on Haslmayr cf. Walter Senn, Adam Haslmayr. Musiker, Philosoph und ‘Ketzer’, (see note 41), 1965, 379-400.

51 [Adam Haslmayr], Extractus et Theophrastiae cabalisticae Isagogen, Das ist, Die einlaittung der Heilligen gehaimen Khunst vnd Weißheit der Propheten. Ohn welche Khunst vnnd gnaden kheiner die heilig Schrifft verstehen noch gründtlich erkleren khan (Weimar, Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Ms. Q. 286/20, 1r-5r, here 2r); cf. also Paracelsus, Sämtliche Werke I, ed. Sudhoff, XII, 185.

52 Adam Haslmayr, Verweisung vnd Vnderweisung, wie Guarinonius, Statt phÿsicus zu Hall in Tÿrol halt den volgenden Text, Matth. 24, [15] von whuest vnd Greul soll außgelegt haben, vnd die Christenheit nicht in verrere Ihrsallen gefhiert, als biß her beschehen ist durch Europa (1611), Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Ms. 17.30 Aug. 4, ff. 165v-173; Paracelsus [Adam Haslmayr], Theologia Cabalistica de perfecto homine, in Philosophia Mystica, (see note 47), 42. I have found the first enumeration of these four main points in the introduction to the Thesaurinella Alchimiae of Benedictus Figulus of 1609 (Kassel, Landes- und Murhardsche Bibliothek, 8 Ms. Chem. 25, f. 1): ‘TRIA CABALISTICA prima Ex ore Spagÿri Trismegisti I[esu] Christi Domini et Redemptoris nostri prolata: PETERE, QUAERERE, PULSARE. Die 4 Haupt Puncten Des Wahren Christenthumbs alß der vnvberwindlichen CABALAE: 1) Unsere Feindt alle lieben, 2) Aygens verlassen, 3) Angethane Schmach gedultig leyden, 4) Anerbottene Ehr allenthalben verniechten’. For the conflict between Haslmayr and Guarinoni and Haslmayr being sentenced to the galleys, cf. Gilly, Adam Haslmayr, (see note 31), 39-60. For the recently recovered autobiographical report of Haslmayr’s arrest at Innsbruck, the interrogation, deportation to Genua and his experiences as a galley convict, cf. Carlos Gilly, Cimelia Rhodostaurotica. Die Rosenkreuzer im Spiegel der zwischen 1610 und 1660 entstandenen Handschriften und Drucke. Ausstellung der Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica und der Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Amsterdam 19952, 34; for a longer discussion of this same report see Walter Schneider, Adam Haslmayr, in «Der Schlern» 70 (1996), 42-51, 544-48.

53 The first work of Haslmayr in which I have found this sign, is the Philosophia Sagax addressed to Archduke Maximilian, which Widemann received for Christmas from Genua in 1612 (Hannover, Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek, Ms. IV 341, 501-508, ‘Ex Autographo Adami Haslmayr Senioris’). Haslmayr then adapted this work a year later for the Astronomia terrestris vonn der Sphaera oder Himmell Saturni (ibidem, 521-528); Nuncius Olympicus no. 48); the sign reappears in a new guise on the title-page of Novum Lumen Physico-Chymicum, Das ist: Ein Newes Liecht der Chimischen Phÿsica, welches vor Aller Zeiten die hohen Philosophi vnd König gehabt, vnd sich dardurch zum Langen Leben, gerechten Reichtumb vnd ewigen Weißheit, gebracht haben (Florence, BN, Ms. Magliab. XVI 104, ff. 32-41, Haslmayr’s autograph), dedicated to the Grand Duke of Tuscany and signed by ‘Adam Haslmaÿr von Bozen auß Tÿrol etc. der Freÿen vnd geheimen Kunsten der Philosophei vnd Medicin Requisitor, der Zeit Gfangner in das 4t. Jar, daselbsten auff S. Georgen Galeen in Genoa. 16 Aprilis 1616’. This work was translated into Latin by Haslmayr under the title Novum Lumen Physicae intactae and dedicated to the Genoese Andrea Grimaldi (Florence, BN, Ms. Magliab. XVI 104, ff. 42r-49r, Haslmayr’s autograph); the Italian translation was based on this edition. Lume nuovo de la phisica mai tocata. La quale é el solo desiderio Christiano. De Lapide philosophico (Florence, BN, Ms. Magliab. XVI 104, ff. 50r-57r): All three versions contain cryptic quotations from the Fama Fraternitatis, but only the first one contains Haslmayr’s sign. The sign appears again in AHT Sermo ad Filios. Gmeine philosophei Paracelsi Magni. An meine Kinder (Hannover, NSLB, Ms. IV 370, 1 16, Haslmayr’s autograph). Haslmayr’s sign with the accompanying text appeared in print in Liberius Benedictus’s German and Latin edition, Nucleus Sophicus, oder Außlegung in Tincturam Physicorum Theophrasti Paracelsi and Nucleus Sophicus seu Explanatio in Tincturam Physicorum Theophrasti Paracelsi, both published by Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt in 1623, 76-78 esp. 62-64. Haslmayr’s most detailed report on the sign appeared in a tract in 1629: Amphitheatrum Chimicum Sacrum Wider die Sophistischen Spötter vnd vnuerstendigen Mercatänter, welche ihnen traumt laßen, die Alt Spagyrische Scienz sei nur ein gedicht der Betrüger, vnd derhalben sei nichts recht, als was sie thun, handlen, lehren, vnd üben, widerlegt von einem Armen Schüler Theophrastischer Disciplin, (Kassel, Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek, 2 Ms. Chem 15, ff. 206r-212v and 260v, Haslmayr’s autograph).

54 [Adam Haslmayr], Consideratio Figurae Ergon et Parergon (Kassel, Landesbibliothek and Murhardsche Bibliothek, 2 Ms. Chem. 19, 115r-119r, Widemann’s hand, ‘Ex autographo, octobri anno 1626’); Lübeck, Stadtbibliothek, Ms. Hist. 4 25, ff. 820r-830r, Joachim Morsius’s hand). The ‘ERGON et PARERGON Fratrum R.C. Cabalistica deductio de Olÿmpo Terrae’ already appeared without the ilustration in Michael Maier, Tractatus Posthumus sive Ulisses… Una cum annexis Tractatibus de Fraternitate Roseae Crucis, Frankfurt, Lucas Jennis, 1624, 183-186.

55 For the attitude of these and other spiritualists to the ‘external Word’ (‘den äußeren Buchstaben’) of the Bible, cf. Carlos Gilly, Das Sprichwort ‘Die Gelehrten die Verkehrten’ oder der Verrat der Intellektuellen im Zeitalter der Glaubensspaltung, in Forme e destinazione del messaggio religioso. Aspetti della propaganda religiosa nel Cinquecento, ed. by Antonio Rotondò, Florence 1991, 229-375, esp. 273-275, 284-289, 325-327. For Paracelsus cf. Labyrinthus Medicorum errantium, in Paracelsus, Die Kärntner Schriften, ed. by Kurt Goldammer, Klagenfurt 1955, 108.

56 [Adam Haslmayr], Pansophia illuminati cuiusdam Viri, doraus die falschen Propheten, Apostel vnd Schreiber vnserer lesten vnd gferlichen Zeitt, Im gaist- vnd welttlichem Statu gantz aigentlich mögen erkanndt werden (Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Ms. 60.1 Aug. 2, ff. 256-290, in Widemann’s hand), 271f.

57 [Adam Haslmayr], Amphitheatrum Chimicum Sacrum, (see note 52), f. 211r; Paracelsus [Haslmayr], Theologia Cabalistica de perfecto homine, in Paracelsus, Philosophia Mystica, (see note 47), 45; Haslmayr, Philosophia Sagax von Heylung allerley Kranckheiten, (Hannover, Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek, Ms. IV 341), 508.

58 Haslmayr, Oratio reuelatoria, (see note 49), 40r; [Haslmayr], Pansophia, (see note 56), 277.

59 [Haslmayr], Pansophia, (see note 55), 273. Cf. also H. Rudolph, Einige Gesichtspunkte zum Thema ‘Paracelsus und Luther’, (see note 7), 24, note 30.

60 Johann Arndt, Vier Bücher von wahrem Christenthumb […] Das erste Buch, Jena, Tobias Steinmann, 1907, 388 (book I, cap. 37). For Arndt and Paracelsus cf. Edmund Weber, Johann Arndts Vier Bücher vom wahren Christentum als Beitrag zur protestantischen Irenik des 17. Jahrhunderts. Eine Quellenkritische Untersuchung, Marburg 1971 ( 3th ed. in «Studia Irenica» 2, Hildesheim 19783); Gilly, Zwischen Erfahrung und Spekulation, (see note 5), Part 1, 97, 112-113; Gilly, Iter Rosicrucianum (see note 33), 80; Hans Schneider, Johann Arndts Studienzeit, in «Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Niedersächsische Kirchengeschichte» 89 (1991), 133-176; Schneider, Johann Arndt als Lutheraner?, in Die lutherische Konfessionalisierung in Deutschland: wissenschaftliches Symposion des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte 1988, hrsg. von Hans-Christoph Rublack (Schriften des Vereins für Reformationsgeschichte ; 197), Gütersloh 1992, 274-298.

61 Ex Manuscripto eiusdem Viri illuminati [Haslmayr] de Baptismo Optime propter falsos Prophetas at Pseudoapostolos Vltimi Temporis notanda, qui salutem in externis ponunt et collocant contra Christum vnicam Veritatem. (Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Ms. 60.1 Aug. 2, ff. 290-302, in Widemann’s hand): ‘[…] im armen Geist, alß der teütsche Edle Philosophus Christi Primus D.D. Theophrastus Eremita vnd andern ein Exempel ist, deme nun alle Nationen nach müessen wandlen vnd er aber nitt Inen nach, dorauff sich nuhn die wahre Theosophische Turba Fratrum R.C. (zue diser Lesten Römischen Monarchia herfürgeben dise ware Kirchen Christi wider einzuesetzen, wie sie zue der Apostelln Zeitten war) […] Dise H[eilige] Kirche ist nicht gebunden (sagen sie) an eüsserlichen ceremonien, Ortt, stött oder Menschen, dann Christus da allain Haubt ist vnd bleibett inn Ewigkeitt; Pura mens ist der Tempel […] die falschen Kirchen (1) ist ain sichtbare versamlung der Menschen (Weltmenschen) (2) Nicht auß Gott, (3) sonder auß der gailen Natur gebornen, (4) gebunden an gwisse Örter, Personen, Ceremonien inn (5) villfachen Secten, Rotten zerrissen vnd zertailtt (6) da Christus nicht das Haubt ist, sonder ettliche aufgeworffene Lehrer vnd Menschen alß Babst, Luther, Caluin, Zwingl, Flaccius, Tauffer vnd dergleichen etc. deren (7) was aigen nutz suecht (8) vnd das ewige Liecht nicht versteen auß dem Natürlichen Liecht’.

62 [Haslmayr], Pansophia, (see note 55), 256, 272.

63 Ibid., 287.

64 Ibid., 287-88.

65 [Adam Haslmayr], Theosophia Decretalis. Vom Weltlichen Regiment zue den stoltzen Fursten und Landen Vermanung vnd Prophecey inn 7 Reglen verfasst Auff die 7 Bitt des heiligen Vatter Vnser, Ahn die gantze Christenhait, sonderlich aber ahn die stoltze Fürsten vnd Landt, so sich halber nit kennen, auch nit bessern wollen, [written in 1612, revised in 1627]. (Halle, Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. 22 E 7, 350-368, in Widemann’s hand): ‘In sollichem christlichen Leben befinden wir noch keinen Salomonem oder Hermetem, das ist keinen Kaiser oder König der Christenheit, die Iere vermeindtte Reichthumb oder zergenkhliche güetter nicht mitt Schaden wider die Lieb des Ne[ch]stens eroberett hetten, alß eben der groß Monarcha Paracelsus, stella signata christicolarum Sophorum, alß in seinen Büechern vber die Propheten vnd über die Büecher der Weißheit, vnd des Neüen testaments, sonderlich über die Psalmen Dauids vnd in den Secretis secretorum Theologiae, vnder andern vill 1000 seiner Monarchischen Büechern zue ersehen, Diser hatt gesehen, was der Neüe Willen Gottes vnd das ‘nequaquam uacuum legis Iugum’ seÿ, wie auch die verborgenen Fratres Thëosophi vom Rosen Creütz werden tempore predestinato offenbaren’ […] ‘Das ist das Studium Sapientiae aeternae Theophrastiae, darzue vns dann durch die Gnaden Gottes kaine Büecher manglen’ […] ‘Was im Brott vnd inn allen creaturen sey, dise Arcana machen ine, Theophrastum, zum Monarcham der Smaragdischen Taffell vnd Neüen guldenen Ierusalem’… ‘Eure vermaindtten Hoche Schuelen der 7 Secten oder freyen Künsten sollen dem Vulturno, ia dem nechsten lufft zuegeweichet vnd inn Rauch gehengkht werden vor allen Weisen Christi solt Ir ein Namenkappen sein […] Eure edle Lateiner sollen wissen, die auch dardurch den Himmel versprochen vnd Ir inen Schuelen vnd Collegia gebauen vnd aufgerichtet, daß die Olympischen linguae, ia die Sprachen der Schuel des Pfingsttages, die Lehrer des h. Geistes, die Theophrastia, die ewige Sophia müesse floriern vnd offenbar werden, vnd sie eure Latiner sollen nicht wertth sein, calefactores der Weisen zue sein’; cf. also Adam Haslmayr, Theologia intacta Mysteriarchae Theophrasti Eremitae germani, Darinn alle Irthumb, falsch, Lugen vnd Betrug der falschen selbst erwehlten, vngeschickhten, vnkundigten, Söldnerischen Apostel vnd betrüglich listigen Lehrer begriffen vnd angezeigt werden. Zur Fursehung auf dise gefehrlichste Letzte Zeit an Tag gegeben. 1622 etc. Mit wahren, gwaltigen, vnpartheÿschen, grundtlichen vnderricht, wie man die falschen Apostl, vnd Allen Betrug versehen vnd erkenen soll, auß Christi vnsers Erlösers Mundt selbsten. Jtem wie man seider seiner Himelforth biß hero solte gelebt haben, das wir vns der seeligen hoffnung in Glauben zu getrosten hetten zur gwißen Seelikeit. Auch wie man dan iezt, nach Reformation der ganzen Welt hinfort an wirt leben in Aller Welt Nationen, Sprachen vnd Völckern Mit kurzen, doch gruntlichen Argumenten niemant weiters von der Seelikeit verfhiert werde aufs einfeltigist furgestelt. V[on] einem Theophilo. (Hannover Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek, Ms. I 69 [alt 24], 1-16, Haslmayr’s autograph).

66 More of this in Gilly, Adam Halsmayr (see note 31), 132.

67 Widemann, Letter to Duke August, Augsburg, 29 and 17 June 1621: Wolfenbüttel HAB, Bibliotheksarchiv, cover ‘Widemann’, fols. [4r- 5r].

68 Duke August, letter to Hainhofer, Hitzacker, 16 June 1621, in Der Briefwechsel zwischen Philipp Hainhofer und Herzog August d.J. von Braunschweig-Lüneburg, ed. by Roland Gobiet, München 1984, 334.

69 Paracelsus himself had long since been placed on the index of prohibited books. Only during the inquisitorial trials against Johann Baptista van Helmont in Brussels in 1634 did Roman-Catholic theologians make a concerted effort to subject the teachings of Paracelsus to detailed censorship, cf. C. Broeckx, Notice sur le manuscript Causa J.B. Helmontii, déposé aux Archives Archiépiscopales de Malines, in «Annales de l’Académie Royale d’Archéologie de Belgique» (1852), 277-327, 341-347; Robert Halleux, Helmontiana, in «Academiae Analecta. Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België», 45 (1983) No. 3, 33-63, esp. 35-36 and 53-54.

70 Julius Otto Opel, Valentin Weigel. Ein Beitrag zur Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte Deutschlands im 17. Jahrhundert, Leipzig 1864, esp. 70-120; Winfried Zeller, Theologie und Frömmigkeit. Gesammelte Aufsätze, ed. by Bernd Jaspert, Vol. 1 («Marburger Theologische Studien» 8), Marburg 1971, 51-84; Siegfried Wollgast, Philosophie in Deutschland zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung 1550-1650, Berlin 1988, 522-534.

71 Christian Beckmann, Exercitationes Theologicae. In quibus De argumentis pro vera deitate Christi Servatoris nostri Contra Fausti Socini, Valentini Smalcii, Christophori Ostorodi, Ioannis Crellii Franci, et similium recentissimas molitiones: Ut et De argumentis pro vera humana Natura Christi ejusdem, Contra Mennonem Simonis, Theophrastum Paracelsum, Valentinum Weigelium, Paulum Felgenhauerum et alios huius notae, Amsterdam 1642, 343-488. His great knowledge of then as yet unprinted theosophical works and his familiarity with dissident circles makes the Anhaltian theologian one of the best sources for the study of contemporary heterodox movements in Germany.

72 This thesis, already put forward by Johann Salomo Semler, Unparteiische Sammlungen zur Historie der Rosenkreuzer, I, Leipzig 1786, 112, was presented by Frances A. Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, London 1972, as her own discovery and subsequently it obtained wide acceptance. In order to supplement the rather flimsy documentation adduced by Yates to underpin her thesis, I could mention numerous political pamphlets, prophecies and songs or works by participants in the Rosicrucian debate (Johannes Plaustrarius, Paul Nagel, Paul Felgenhauer, Philipp Ziegler, Isaac Habrecht, ‘Johannes Germanus’, Johannes von Röhrig, Wilhelm Eo, Irenäus Heiland, Simon Partlicius, Gottfried von Schwanbach and even Widemann or Haslmayr), in which from 1618 onwards the cause of the Elector Palatine and King of Bohemia Frederick V is advanced and which have been completely ignored by Yates. Most of these men would have supported any other prince opposed to the growing power of the Habsburgs and the Jesuits in Central Europe. However, this late spate of publicity, which made propagandistic capital out of the ‘prophecy of the lion from the north’, and even the Fama of the Rosicrucians, in support of the policy of Frederick V of the Palatinate or the glory of Gustav Adolph of Sweden, did not play any role in the origin of the Rosicrucian movement. On the contrary: in 1605 Tobias Hess for instance saw in Duke Frederick of Wurttemberg the political promotor of the future world reformation, while Haslmayr did all he could to persuade his protector Prince August von Anhalt to assume this role. The latter declined in a letter dated 5 June 1612 with the words: ‘Wenn ich der leo [der Löwe aus Mitternacht] sein solt, so würde die liebe posteritet ubel versogt sein’. The court at Heidelberg was hardly interested in the Rosicrucians; if at all, it condemned them, as did for instance the influential Palatine theologian Abraham Scultetus under the pseudonym Matthias Ehinger 1623: Iudicium De fundamentis, quibus in praedictionibus suis utuntur NOVI PROPHETAE in Germania, Nagelius, Zieglerus, Geigerus, Plaustrarius, Praetorius, Stifelius, Faulhaberus, Wilhelmus Eo, alij, Coloniae [Berlin] 1623, or in German: Bedencken vnd Vrtheil MATTHIAE EHENGERI, Von den fürnehmen gründen, derer sich in Jhren weissagungen dick vnd offt gebrauchen Die NEWE PROPHETEN Jn Deudschland, Nagelius, Ziegler, Geiger, Felgenhawer, Praetorius, Stifel, Faulhaber, Wilhelm Eo, vnd andre Fladder vnd Wirgeistere. Erstlich Gedruckt im Latein zu Cöln [Berlin] Anno M. DC. XXIV. For the identification of ‘M. Ehinger’ with A. Scultetus cf. Caspar Landorpius, Acta Publica, Second Part, Frankfurt 1630, 292 295.

73 Karl W.H. Hochhut, Mittheilungen aus der protestantischen Secten-Geschichte in der Hessischen Kirche, Vierte Abtheilung: Die Weigelianer und Rosenkreuzer, in «Zeitschrift für die Historische Theologie», NF 26, 1862, 86-159; NF 27, 1863, 169-262; NF 28, 1864, 301-315. The original documents of Homagius’ trial are deposited in Marburg, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, 4i N 235 (402 leaves); contemporary copies of the interrogations of Homagius and his co-defendant Georg Zimmermann are also available in Darmstadt, Gießen, Lüneburg, Schleswig and Wolfenbüttel. Three years after this Marburg trial an ‘Inquisition über Rosenkreuzerei und weigelianische Schwärmerei’ was also instituted at the Lutheran university of Gießen against its professor Heinrich Nollius because of his Rosicrucian work Parergi Philosophici Speculum, Gießen 1623, because whatever was right for the alchemy enthusiast Landgrave Moritz von Hessen-Kassel, was certainly proper for Landgrave Ludwig von Hessen-Darmstadt, who was hostile to alchemy, cf. Heinrich Klenk, Ein sogenannter Inquisitionsprozess in Gießen anno 1623, in «Mitteilungen des Oberhessischen Geschichtsvereins», NF 49/50, 1965, 39-60. The relevant original documents are partly deposited in Gießen, Universitätsbibliothek, Universitätsarchiv 8 and 99 (1183 leaves), partly in Darmstadt, Hessisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Abteilung 6 1, Gießen, Konv. 19, Fasc. 7; Abt. 5 A1, Konv. 41, Fasc. 9. Both trials will be dealt with at length in my forthcoming bibliography of the early Rosicrucians.

74 The outcome of the Marburg trial is well-known. Zimmermann, who made a show of remorse, was banished the land. Homagius on the other hand, who insisted in his advocacy of Paracelsus, Weigel and the Rosicrucians, was sentenced to ‘eternal imprisonment’ on the express order of Landgrave Moritz. Quite misleading in this context is Bruce T. Moran, The alchemical world of the German court. Occult philosophy and chemical medicine in the circle of Moritz of Hessen (1572-1632) («Sudhoffs Archiv», Beiheft 29), Stuttgart 1991, 128ff. Moran incomprehensibly placed the Marburg trial against Homagius in Rostock (‘one Philipp Homagius who had already been condemned in Rostock as a seditious hereticus’) and concentrated solely on the Gießen trial against Nollius, in order to polish up the brilliance of the ‘hermetical patronage’ of Hessen: ‘How different were the intellectual sympathies of the Kassel court! There, what was condemned at Giessen reigned as official philosophy. In Moritz’s circle, Noll’s Rosicrucian essays amounted to standard fare in the court’s hermetic-alchemical diet. Neither were his Paracelsian interpretations, at least as they related to medicine and alchemy, in any way eccentric to the court’s intellectual and religious views. Rather, as we shall see next, they took a place beside other uses of Paracelsian natural philosophy that served diverse alchemical, magical, and religious court interests’. In the meantime Moran has had to admit that there were limits to the Hermetic enthusiasm at the Kassel court, cf. B.T. Moran, Paracelsus, Religion, and dissent: The case of Philipp Homagius and Georg Zimmermann, in «Ambix» 43 (1996), 65-79.

75 Balthasar Meisner, In Systematis theologici partem primam generalem De Religione et ejus articulis […] Disputatio XVI. De Religione Fanatica […] [respondit] Johann Spleiß, Wittenberg 1626, a2v: ‘Hinc quoque est, quod Religio haec a Paracelso Paracelsica inscribitur […] ‘Non ausus vero fuit Paracelsus dum esset in vivis, bellum suum foetum quem parturiebat, in Ecclesiae sinum promere, quamvis non raro dicere solitus feratur, se aliquando Lutherum et Melanthonem in Theologia non aliter reformaturum, atque fecerit in Medicina Galeno et Hippocrati. Itaque praeceptoris sui Theophrasti opera usus M. Valentinus VVeigelius, hypersapistes illius acerrimus, in homiliis suis super Evangelis Dominicalia, in Dialogo de Christianismo, in Gnothi seauton et hujus furfuris libellis aliis hoc mysterium iniquitatis abunde nobis revelavit. Unde factum est, ut Religionem Fanaticam nostra aetas vocare coeperit VVeigelianam’. For the central role awarded to Weigelianism by the orthodox historiographers, cf. Johann Georg Walch, Historische und Theologische Einleitung in die Religions-Streitigkeiten außer der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Kirche, Jena 1733-1736 (Facsimile reprint Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt 1985), IV.2, 1024-1090. Walch, who bibliographically recorded a great number of Weigelian and anti-Weigelian books, did not hesitate to begin the relevant chapter with the words: ‘Unter den Fanaticis, welche sonderlich in Deutschland bekannt worden, sind die Weigelianer als die Vornehmsten mit anzusehen’.

76 [Abraham von Frankenberg], Theophrastia Valentiniana. Das ist: Ein unpartheyischer Schrifft und Naturmässiger Bericht Uber ein Fragmentum Von der Lehre Valentini, genommen aus einem Büchlein, Welches durch Gerhardum Lorichium Anno 1540 zu Cölln ediret, Und Vallum Religionis Catholicae intituliret, Im Jahre Christi 1703, in Gottfried Arnold, Supplementa der Kirchen-Historie, Frankfurt 1703, 10-48; also printed in the later editions of Arnold’s Unpartheiischer Kirchen- und Ketzer-Historie. Cf. Gilly, ‘Das Bekenntnis zur Gnosis von Paracelsus bis auf die Schüler Jacob Böhmes’, (see note 22), 385-425.