Early Reception of Paracelsian Theory: Severinus and Erastus

Petrus Severinus and Thomas Erastus were among the first learned physicians to publish detailed responses to the theories of the German physician and reformer Theophrastus Paracelsus. Severinus' Idea medicinae (1571) explained Paracelsian metaphysics to several generations of readers and was be...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The sixteenth century journal
Main Author: Shackelford, Jole
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Published: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, Inc. 1995
In: The sixteenth century journal
Year: 1995, Volume: 26, Issue: 1, Pages: 123-135
Online Access: Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
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Parallel Edition:Non-electronic
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Summary:Petrus Severinus and Thomas Erastus were among the first learned physicians to publish detailed responses to the theories of the German physician and reformer Theophrastus Paracelsus. Severinus' Idea medicinae (1571) explained Paracelsian metaphysics to several generations of readers and was best known for promoting the concept that diseases arise from seedlike causes or semina morborum. One year later, Erastus published his vituperous criticism of Paracelsus' philosophy and its religious implications. It is demonstrated in this paper that Erastus used the Idea medicinae as one of his sources, and therefore was attacking not only Paracelsus, but also Severinus. Other evidence suggests that Severinus saw the danger in theological denunciation of Paracelsian medical doctrines and chose not to publish further. If others reacted as Severinus, it may be that the fear of appearing heterodox at a time of growing orthodoxy was more effective in suppressing Paracelsian treatises than was the Hermetic or Pythagorean love of secrecy.
Contains:Enthalten in: The sixteenth century journal
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.2307/2541529