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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus Quotes

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Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
(1 May 1493 - 24 Sep 1541)

German-Swiss physician and alchemist.


Science Quotes by Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (10 quotes)

Paracelsus quote “Alchemy is the art…”
Photo credit: FidlerJan (source)

Buch der Natur.
Book of Nature.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
Phrase also written by Paracelsus following the title of the book by Konrad of Megenberg, Buch der Natur (c. 1350).
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Nature (534)

Alchemy is the art that separates what is useful from what is not by transforming it into its ultimate matter and essence.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
In Labyrinthus Medicorum. Cap. V. Von dem Buch der alchimei, wie on dasselbig der arzt kein arzt sein mag. Ed. Sudhoff, vol. XI, 188-189. As cited in Walter Pagel, Paracelsus: An Introduction to Philosophical Medicine in the Era of the Renaissance (2nd rev. ed., 1982), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (17)  |  Art (80)  |  Essence (19)  |  Matter (135)  |  Separation (23)  |  Ultimate (27)  |  Usefulness (54)

All substances are poisonous, there is none that is not a poison; the right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
In Robert Allan Weinberg, The Biology of Cancer (2006), 725.
Science quotes on:  |  Differentiate (3)  |  Dose (3)  |  Poison (23)  |  Remedy (23)  |  Substance (39)

And I do not take my medicines from the apothecaries; their shops are but foul sculleries, from which comes nothing but foul broths. As for you, you defend your kingdom with belly-crawling and flattery. How long do you think this will last? ... let me tell you this: every little hair on my neck knows more than you and all your scribes, and my shoebuckles are more learned than your Galen and Avicenna, and my beard has more experience than all your high colleges.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
'Credo', in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (1951), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Apothecary (5)  |  Avicenna (19)  |  Beard (3)  |  College (15)  |  Defense (8)  |  Experience (132)  |  Flattery (2)  |  Foul (2)  |  Galen (7)  |  Hair (9)  |  Kingdom (18)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Learning (130)  |  Medicine (185)  |  Neck (3)  |  Nothing (89)  |  Shop (5)

Every creature has its own food, and an appropriate alchemist with the task of dividing it ... The alchemist takes the food and changes it into a tincture which he sends through the body to become blood and flesh. This alchemist dwells in the stomach where he cooks and works. The man eats a piece of meat, in which is both bad and good. When the meat reaches the stomach, there is the alchemist who divides it. What does not belong to health he casts away to a special place, and sends the good wherever it is needed. That is the Creator's decree... That is the virtue and power of the alchemist in man.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
Volumen Medicinae Paramirum (c. 1520), in Paracelsus: Essential Readings, edited by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (1990), 50-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (5)  |  Blood (63)  |  Body (88)  |  Cast (9)  |  Change (133)  |  Cook (9)  |  Creator (15)  |  Creature (51)  |  Decree (2)  |  Digestion (15)  |  Division (19)  |  Excretion (3)  |  Flesh (10)  |  Food (77)  |  Health (93)  |  Power (103)  |  Stomach (11)  |  Tincture (2)  |  Virtue (27)

For, as the element of water lies in the middle of the globe, so, the branches run out from the root in its circuit on all sides towards the plains and towards the light. From this root very many branches are born. One branch is the Rhine, another the Danube, another the Nile, etc.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
'The Philosophy of the Generation of the Elements', Book the Fourth, Text II. In The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Bombast, of Hohenheim, called Paracelsus the Great, trans. A. E. Waite (1894), Vol. 1, 232.
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (23)  |  Circuit (10)  |  Element (68)  |  Globe (20)  |  Light (117)  |  Middle (7)  |  Plain (11)  |  Root (19)  |  Water (122)

I prefer the spagyric chemical physicians, for they do not consort with loafers or go about gorgeous in satins, silks and velvets, gold rings on their fingers, silver daggers hanging at their sides and white gloves on their hands, but they tend their work at the fire patiently day and night. They do not go promenading, but seek their recreation in the laboratory, wear plain learthern dress and aprons of hide upon which to wipe their hands, thrust their fingers amongst the coals, into dirt and rubbish and not into golden rings. They are sooty and dirty like the smiths and charcoal burners, and hence make little show, make not many words and gossip with their patients, do not highly praise their own remedies, for they well know that the work must praise the master, not the master praise his work. They well know that words and chatter do not help the sick nor cure them... Therefore they let such things alone and busy themselves with working with their fires and learning the steps of alchemy. These are distillation, solution, putrefaction, extraction, calcination, reverberation, sublimination, fixation, separation, reduction, coagulation, tinction, etc.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
Quoted in R. Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 150. [Spagyric is a form of herbalism based on alchemic procedures of preparation.]
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (17)  |  Busy (6)  |  Calcination (3)  |  Charcoal (5)  |  Chatter (2)  |  Chemical (38)  |  Coagulation (3)  |  Coal (20)  |  Cure (49)  |  Dagger (2)  |  Dirt (5)  |  Distillation (7)  |  Extraction (5)  |  Finger (14)  |  Fire (59)  |  Glove (2)  |  Gold (19)  |  Gossip (3)  |  Hand (34)  |  Help (18)  |  Hide (13)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Leather (2)  |  Loafer (2)  |  Master (19)  |  Patience (16)  |  Patient (54)  |  Physician (172)  |  Praise (9)  |  Putrefaction (3)  |  Recreation (6)  |  Reduction (22)  |  Remedy (23)  |  Ring (6)  |  Rubbish (5)  |  Satin (2)  |  Separation (23)  |  Show (13)  |  Sick (6)  |  Silk (4)  |  Silver (11)  |  Solution (109)  |  Soot (4)  |  Step (26)  |  Velvet (2)  |  White (12)  |  Wipe (3)  |  Word (97)  |  Work (198)

In matters eternal it is Belief that makes all works visible, in matters corporeal it is the light of Nature that reveals things invisible.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
From “In den Ewigen dingen macht der Glaube alle werck sichtbar: in den leiblichen unsichtbarlichen dingen macht das liecht der Natur alle ding sichtbar.” Vorrede in die Bόcher Morbor. Invisib. Huser I, 87. As cited in Walter Pagel, Paracelsus: An Introduction to Philosophical Medicine in the Era of the Renaissance (2nd rev. ed., 1982), 54.

Man is a seed and the world is his apple; and just as the seed fares in the apple, so does man fare in the world, which surrounds him.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
'Man in the Cosmos', in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelus: Selected Writings (1951), 112.
Science quotes on:  |  Apple (13)  |  Fare (2)  |  Man (258)  |  Seed (19)  |  World (231)

Medicine rests upon four pillars—philosophy, astronomy, alchemy, and ethics. The first pillar is the philosophical knowledge of earth and water; the second, astronomy, supplies its full understanding of that which is of fiery and airy nature; the third is an adequate explanation of the properties of all the four elements—that is to say, of the whole cosmos—and an introduction into the art of their transformations; and finally, the fourth shows the physician those virtues which must stay with him up until his death, and it should support and complete the three other pillars.
— Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus
Vas Buch Paragranum (c.1529-30), in J. Jacobi (ed.), Paracelsus: Selected Writings (1951), 133-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequacy (4)  |  Air (84)  |  Alchemy (17)  |  Art (80)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Completion (13)  |  Cosmos (23)  |  Death (183)  |  Earth (250)  |  Element (68)  |  Ethic (7)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Fire (59)  |  Four (3)  |  Introduction (15)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Medicine (185)  |  Philosophy (132)  |  Physician (172)  |  Pillar (2)  |  Property (46)  |  Stay (3)  |  Supply (15)  |  Transformation (27)  |  Understanding (231)  |  Virtue (27)  |  Water (122)



Quotes by others about Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (3)

And when with excellent Microscopes I discern in otherwise invisible Objects the Inimitable Subtlety of Nature's Curious Workmanship; And when, in a word, by the help of Anatomicall Knives, and the light of Chymicall Furnaces, I study the Book of Nature, and consult the Glosses of Aristotle, Epicurus, Paracelsus, Harvey, Helmont, and other learn'd Expositors of that instructive Volumne; I find my self oftentimes reduc'd to exclaim with the Psalmist, How manifold are thy works, O Lord? In wisdom hast thou made them all.
Some Motives and Incentives to the Love of God (1659), 56-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (101)  |  God (234)  |  William Harvey (21)  |  Jan Baptista van Helmont (6)  |  Microscope (47)  |  Nature (534)  |  Research (360)

After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. Through them there has today been created a new theology and a new jurisprudence; the Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.
De Stella Nova, On the New Star (1606), Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 1, 330-2. Quoted in N. Jardine, The Birth of History and Philosophy of Science: Kepler's A Defence of Tycho Against Ursus With Essays on its Provenance and Significance (1984), 277-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Book (100)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (30)  |  Medicine (185)  |  Publication (75)

Pathology, probably more than any other branch of science, suffers from heroes and hero-worship. Rudolf Virchow has been its archangel and William Welch its John the Baptist, while Paracelsus and Cohnheim have been relegated to the roles of Lucifer and Beelzebub. ... Actually, there are no heroes in Pathology—all of the great thoughts permitting advance have been borrowed from other fields, and the renaissance of pathology stems not from pathology itself but from the philosophers Kant and Goethe.
Quoted from an address to a second year class, in Levin L. Waters, obituary for Harry S. N. Greene, M.D., in Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine (Feb-Apr 1971), 43:4-5, 207.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (52)  |  Beelzebub (2)  |  Borrowing (4)  |  Branch (23)  |  Field (69)  |  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (44)  |  Hero (10)  |  Immanuel Kant (27)  |  Pathology (9)  |  Philosopher (67)  |  Renaissance (5)  |  Stem (7)  |  Suffering (20)  |  Rudolf Virchow (27)  |  Worship (11)


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