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216 × 138 × 20 mm
216 pages
20 illustrations, 10 in colour
16 Sep 2019
Renaissance Lives

Paracelsus An Alchemical Life Bruce T. Moran

Throughout his controversial life the alchemist, physician and social radical known as Paracelsus combined traditions that were magical and empirical, scholarly and folk, learned and artisanal. He endorsed both Catholic and Reformation beliefs, but believed devoutly in a female deity. He travelled constantly, learning and teaching a new form of medicine based on the experience of miners, bathers, alchemists, midwives, barber-surgeons and executioners. He argued for changes in the way the body was understood, how disease was defined and how treatments were created, but he was also moved by mystical speculations, an alchemical view of nature and an intriguing concept of creation.

Bruce T. Moran tells the story of how alchemy refashioned medical practice, and brings to light the ideas, workings and major texts of an important Renaissance figure, showing how his tenacity and endurance changed the medical world for the better, and brought new perspectives to the study of nature.

Bruce T. Moran is Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is Editor of Ambix: the Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry and the author of Distilling Knowledge: Alchemy, Chemistry and the Scientific Revolution (2005) and Andreas Libavius and the Transformation of Alchemy (2007).

Introduction: Bones

1 Medicine Lost in a Labyrinth and the Defence of Defiant Healing
2 Seeing through the Body: Nature, Disease and What the True Physician Must Know
3 The Alchemy of Things in the Making: Medicines as Poisons and Poisons as Medicines
4 Pursuing the Arts Where God Has Placed Them: On the Road for the Sake of Learning
5 ‘I Am Ashamed of Medicine’: Love, Labour and the Spirit of Christ in the Transformation of the Secular World
6 Invisible Beings and Invisible Diseases: Magic and Insanity in an Age of Faith
7 Inventing Paracelsus: The Use and Abuse of a Renaissance Life

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Photo Acknowledgements