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Source for this?[edit]

"Paracelsus' most important legacy is likely his critique of the scholastic methods in medicine, science and theology. Much of his theoretical work does not withstand modern scientific thought, but his insights laid the foundation for a more dynamic approach in the medical sciences." We need a source for this. (talk) 10:33, 4 October 2016 (UTC)


Please also note that regardless of the above, because this is a Chemistry-related article the spelling of "sulfur" uses the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry agreed international form as defined here. Please do not copyedit the spelling back to "sulphur".

Unhelpful addition[edit]

The addition that is not at all very helpful

...never settling for more than a year or two due to violent opposition precipitated by his characteristically extreme actions.

Word coinage question[edit]

Were the words alcohol and zinc indeed coined by him? Aren't they of Arabic origin? Jorge Stolfi 20:38, 3 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Adding some notes on zinc now. Jamesday 15:22, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Please see the etymology of alcohol and the discussion in Talk:alcohol. Alcohol was discovered by Islamic alchemists (possibly Geber or Al-Razi) in the 8th-9th century. I would think that both the substance and the word were introduced in Europe much earlier than Paracelsus, perhaps in the 12th or 13th centuries when the Islamic works began to be translated into Latin.
Jorge Stolfi 04:41, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I have independently arrived at the same conclusion, and having checked this talk page and found a confirmation I'm removing the reference. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 21:13, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)


I deleted nonsense about his name. Google reveals he didn't have an umlaut "ö". Only four hits use it, all of them in English. Over 5000 hits in German show his name as "Hohenheim". Martg76 23:24, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

coinage of the term "gas"[edit]

The passage states that Paracelsus is credited with the creation of the terms "chemistry," "gas" and "alcohol." This appears to be a direct quote from the foreword to "The Hermetic Writings of Paracelsus, Vol. I" by A.E. Waite (pg. 6). However, this statement is at odds with two other sources who credit Jan Baptista van Helmont for the introduction of the term gas. The first is from "The History of Chemistry" by Sir Thomas Edward Thorpe (pg. 63) and the second is from an article titled "The Dawn of Science" by T Padmanabhan The Dawn of Science. In addition, I did a word search through both volumes of Waite's translation of Paracelsus's writings, and I didn't find a single mention of the word gas. Does anyone have any further research that might clarify this issue? Jdlawlis (talk) 21:07, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Significant additions[edit]

Had to add significant milestones of his work and life. All of it formulated originally based on Swiss/German sources. I have found that English language sources for Paracelsus are often not exact enough and do not separate historical fact from fiction (but I gave some nevertheless). His travels to Asia and Africa are absolutely unproven. It is unlikely that he reached that far but rather was in contact with knowledge maybe transferred through invading armies from the East. What was not mentioned but can be historically verified, is his contact with Erasmus von Rotterdam and Frobenius. That this was not mentioned in his biography was shocking to me. Also, he was very much a folk oriented academic, also with social consequences when he once allied himself with rebellious farmers. He consulted controversial healers at the time, witches, women. That will be added when I have found correct sources. However, the comparison with Luther is indeed a bit sketchy. He was free enough to see Luther's constraints and of course he must have been negatively impressed by the already bloody battles that were fought in the name of religious denominations. In contrast to Luther, P. was a pure humanist and actually a reformed catholic rather than a protestant. Of course, this should not add to the schism of today but it is worthy of reflection. To what extend his contributions had impact on a social level, is very well discussed in the German edition. But nothing I have written was translated word by word. I am an adherent of his philosophies in as far we need to find new combinations, and to merely translate the sources does not serve a purpose. Jung's work on P. is also highly interesting because C.G. Jung studied original texts; a link to his book was therefore imperative. In my opinion, the picture of P. should also be changed. The current image is a romantic depiction of his appearance. There are indeed prints of his time that would reflect his looks in a more realistic way. The bust or statue respectively illustrated herein, which stand in his birthplace in Einsiedeln and Salzburg, are based on this original print. He was certainly not part of the noblesse, even though his name does imply that. Osterluzei (talk) 14:42, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Dependence upon detractors[edit]

This article seems heavily dependent upon detractors and documents written by people who based their descriptions upon those of detractors. Some seem to be poor translations from German. For example, who called him a "habitual drinker"? What was the original reality that got turned into that English phrase in the article, when everyone still drank alcoholic beverages frequently because they were often safer than water? Was the original accusation more accurately along the lines that he was a drunkard or drank to excess? Should "soon garnered the anger of other physicians" and "gained a reputation for being arrogant" be inverted as to which came first? The very notion of relying on observation as opposed to book knowledge would have gained him that. There is less emphasis on the things he got right than the things his detractors said about him which is also given way too much credit as to its veracity. Hackwrench (talk) 01:56, 7 August 2016 (UTC)


Several etymologies give him as the origin of the word 'bombast', after the middle name of a title of his. Anything to it? (talk) 11:18, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

The Alphabet of the Magi[edit]

In the 'Philosophy' section, the text reads that Paracelsus "also invented an alphabet called the Alphabet of the Magi, for engraving angelic names upon talismans". This contains a link to the Wikipedia page on 'The Alphabet of the Magi', which contains the text "It is often claimed this alphabet was invented by Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (known as Paracelsus) for the purpose of engraving angelic names upon talismans. This text is probably not by Paracelsus at all, and the Alphabet of the Magi is not found in any of his writings." I think that, like other aspects of the Paracelsus page cited by other commentators, this needs attention from an expert on the subject. Alistair C. Diamond (talk) 03:15, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

The claim in this article is sourced, the claim in the other article is not. I'm giving exams for the next two weeks and have other stuff on my plate, but I'll try to make the other article more in line with this one and throw in any additional material from The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology and possibly The Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism (p.928 for my own reference or anyone else with a copy). In its current form, the other article is a mess and I'm not sure it can stand on its own. The Alphabet of the Magi may well come from one of the spurious works attributed to him, but I'd have to hunt down what work the Alphabet of the Magi was originally in (which would take a little longer). This can be tricky, as primary sources are often discouraged. Ian.thomson (talk) 04:45, 26 December 2016 (UTC)