1580 · Basle:
by ERASTUS, Thomas (1524-1583); Joannis Jacobi GRYNAEI [Johann Jacob GRYNAEUS] (1540-1617).
Basle:: Peter Perna, 1580, 1572., 1580. Two volumes bound as one. Quarto. Pagination: , 236, ; , 267,  pp. [including blanks]. Two printer’s devices on title pages, full-page portrait of Paracelsus on N3r of second work, decorated initials; minor stains. Contemporary limp vellum, yapp fore-edge, covers lightly curled, one tie of four. Title in old hand on bottom edge, old owner’s seven-line ink note on front free end paper on "Diogenes," minor marginal dampstain on two leaves, otherwise, a fresh, clean, crisp copy. WRITTEN ON THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE VOLUME: “De astrolog: divinatrice. Erasti.Disputation. / De medicina Paracelsi.Pars I.” VERY RARE. First edition. THOMAS ERASTUS’ DISTPUTATIONS CONCERNING ASTROLOGY AND THE NEW MEDICINE OF PARACELSUS. First Editions. [bound with: DISPUTATIONUM DE MEDICINA NOVA PHILIPPI PARACELSI PARS PRIMA: IN QUA, QUAE DE REMEDIIS SUPERSTITIOSIS & MAGICIS CURATIONIBUS ILLE PRODIDIT, PRAECIPUE EXAMINANTUR. . .]. This is one of two books written by Erastus concerning divining astrology, especially directed to certain persons named in the letter of Erastus, in this case the primary being Christopher Stathmion, whose last letter is dated from 1559. A second part was issued for the DE MEDICINA (not present here). Thomas Erastus, 1524-1583, Swiss Protestant theologian, a physician, whose original name was Luber, Lieber, or Liebler. As a follower of Huldreich Zwingli, he supported the Swiss leader’s view of the Lord’s Supper at the conferences of Heidelberg (1560) and Maulbronn (1564) and in a book (1565). In spite of his vigorous opposition to the Calvinist doctrine, Presbyterian Church discipline and government were introduced in Heidelberg in 1570. In 1574, Erastus was excommunicated by the Heidelberg consistory, but a year later the edict was removed. . .The term Erastianism has come to represent approval of the dominance of civil authority in all punitive measures and, by extension, complete dominance of the state over the church, though Erastus himself never held such an extreme view. Erastianism achieved its definitive expression in the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes. / ". . .On his return from Italy to Germany Erastus was shocked at the extent to which men were addicted to vain predictions of astrologers and at the astrological restrictions under which medical practice labored. . .as an antidote to the superstition poisoning Germany he had made a translation from the Italian into German of the book of Savonarola against astrologers. This aroused some opposition among German astrologers, and the aforesaid physician of Coburg, Chrsitopher Stathmion, had contended that Savonarola’s work did not apply to divination or astrology which was based on natural causes. . .He adopts the usual theological position that divination is the work of demons. He joins Pico and Savonarola in their wholesale onslaught upon astrology, to which he would appear to leave almost no field of activity. . .In the first volume of his Disputations Concerning the New Medicine of Paracelsus . . . Erastus has more to say against astrology. It holds first place in magic of which he utterly disapproves, and is the offscouring of all impious arts. . .Erastus denied the possibility of natural magic. Nor would he admit that the Magi of ancient Persia had been priests or sages. Their magic too, he regarded as diabolical. He showed himself even more incensed at Pomponnazzi for his favorable attitude toward magic in De incantationibus than at Paracelsus. . . Astrology he condemned as the foundation of all other magic arts. He censured Paracelsus for speaking approvingly of augury, prodigies, geomancy, pyromancy, and necromancy, and for condoning the receiving from demons’ remedies to be employed for good ends." [Thorndike, V5, pp. 652-660] FURTHER: Regarding the second tract, the Disputations "concerning and against the new Paracelsan medicine composed by Erastus illustrate on the one hand his opposition to the medical views of Paracelsus and his followers, and on the other hand his opposition to various occult arts and sciences, most of which he accuses Paracelsus of countenancing." "Erastus commends Paracelsus for one thing, namely, his careful preparation of medicines and revival of distillation. " (p. 657). REFERENCES: Astrologiae: VD 16 E3669; Adams E905 & E910; Cantamessa I,1401; DSB IV,388; Durling/NLM 1383; Antoine Faivre & Jacob Needleman, Modern esoteric spirituality, London, 1992, p. 181; Houzeau/Lancaster 4932; Herbert Jaumann, Bio-bibliographisches Repertorium, p.253; Rosenthal, Magica, 3397; Medicina: VD 16 E3679; Sudhoff 247; Wellcome I, 2057; Waller 2778. (Inventory #: LLV2606)