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Chapter Eight

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Chapter Summary

As a humanist physician with deep reverence for classical medical texts, Thomas Erastus was appalled by the medical revolutionary Paracelsus who sought to discard all prior medical knowledge. This chapter focuses on the manner in which Erastus portrayed Paracelsus and why he found Paracelsus's natural philosophy so profoundly heretical. Protestants were active participants in this "medical Renaissance". Oporinus's influence on the Paracelsian revival of the second half of the sixteenth century was ambiguous. Erastus's key collaborator on the anti-Paracelsian project was Johann Jakob Grynaeus, who at that time was a pastor and superintendent in Rötteln in the Margravate of Baden outside of Basel. The work set forth Erastus's own rationale for the independence of medicine as a secular pursuit and issued an attack on Paracelsus's chemical pharmacology. Erastus also had an impact on the reception of Paracelsianism in France.

Keywords: Antiparacelsica; chemical pharmacology; Johann Jakob Grynaeus; Paracelsus; Thomas Erastus



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