Archidoxa...zwölff Bücher, darin alle gehaimnüss der natur eröffnet ... Auch noch vier andere Büchlein, so darzu gethan worden, und hiebey neben ordentlich Intitulirt.
Von D. Iohanne Alberto Vvimpinaeo... Woodcut port. of Paracelsus on title & woodcut port. of Paracelsus (repeated) & the editor Wimpfen in the text. 8 p.l., 120, 35 unnumbered leaves (the final leaf a blank). Two parts in one vol. Small 4to, cont. richly blindstamped panelled pigskin over boards (a little browned here & there). Munich: A. Berg, 1570. One of six German editions printed in the same year: in Munich (two printings), Basel (two printings), and Strasbourg and Cologne (one each). The first edition, in Latin, appeared in the end of 1569 at Cracow and is of the very greatest rarity. Our edition is the first to also contain the Etliche Tractetlein zu Archidoxa gehörig which also was separately published (Sudhoff 128). The present work established Paracelsus's reputation as a founder of chemistry, in which he attempted to establish a system of chemistry, introduced new laboratory methods, and devised new methods for rendering therapeutic chemical preparations less harmful. The Archidoxa, written in 1525-27, is one of Paracelsus's principal works and is of equal importance for the history of alchemy and chemistry as for the history of medicine and pharmacology. "In nontherapeutic chemistry Paracelsus described new products arising from the combination of metals and devised a method of concentrating alcohol by freezing out its watery component...In the Archidoxis he grouped chemicals according to their susceptibility to similar chemical processes...Certainly Paracelsus was the first to devise such advanced laboratory techniques as the use of detoxification and freezing to concentrated alcohol and invented new preparations (including those of the ether group and probably tartar emetic); he was, moreover, the first to attempt to construct a chemical system... "Much has been written about Paracelsus as an alchemist...'alchemy' meant to him the invention of new and nontoxic metals for medicinal uses."-D.S.B., X, p. 308. "It cannot be denied that Paracelsus's Archidoxa forms a landmark in the development of chemistry as a scientific subject, because it presents for the first time a kind of system of chemistry. His chemical doctrine embraces all chemical substances known to him and evolves a classification of operations and materials."-Pagel, Paracelsus, pp. 275-76. Wimpfen's editions are considered superior to Toxites's edition published in Strasbourg in the same year. Using what must have been a different manuscript, Wimpfen provides better readings and follows his sources more faithfully. Very nice copy. Signature and note, dated 6 January 1578 by Veit Hiltprandt von Edelshausen (d. 1591); he was granted the title by Archduke Ferdinand in 1576, and was active in civic government in Tyrolean town of Hall, becoming mayor in 1587. He owned a number of books and manuscripts. Another ownership inscription on title dated 1799. ❧ Mottelay, pp. 64-65. Norman 1637. Partington, II, pp. 115-51 & especially pp. 125 & 136. Sudhoff 129. Thorndike, V, pp. 417, 625, & 627. . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5132)
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