Unformatted text preview: transforming ores into metals. Elaborate allegories of insemination and birth; secret brotherhood of arcane knowledge. Influenced in 1400s by the translation of ancient Hermetic texts, filled with occult learning and natural magic . Leading Renaissance alchemist was Paracelsus (German/Swiss, 1493–1541). Denounced reliance on ancient learning, particularly Galen and Aristotle; said the only ‘books’ worth studying were Scripture and Nature . Emphasized direct observation, experimentation, manipulation of nature; ideas had wide influence in medicine and natural philosophy after his death. Paracelsians saw Nature as a ‘text’ filled with symbols to be decoded; doctrine of ‘signatures’ held that God had placed clues about cures within chemicals and plants. Paracelsians sought to replace ‘pagan’ Aristotelian/Galenic philosophy and medicine with a Christianized chemical philosophy—God as the great Alchemist....
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- Spring '11
- History, Avicenna, Galen, Humorism, Paracelsus, modern medical theory, ancient metal-working traditions