Paracelsus (2783 words)

  • Urs Leo Gantenbein (University of Zurich)

Paracelsus was one of the most controversial and dazzling figures on the threshold between the Middle Ages to Modern Times. Trained as a physician and surgeon, he tried to overcome certain medical and philosophical concepts common at his time. He replaced them with a natural philosophy comprising a peculiar mixture of Neoplatonic lore and Christian thought based on the Biblical word. Deeply influenced by the ideas of medieval alchemy, both theoretical and practical, he believed in the importance of experience in contrast to mere speculative theories. Following alchemical guidelines, he introduced a number of new medicinal preparations which would become influential for centuries. His attempt to explain bodily processes as alchemical …

Gantenbein, Urs Leo. "Paracelsus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 October 2005
[, accessed 22 October 2016.]