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    Thomas Erastus' Distputations Concerning
    Astrology and the New Medicine of Paracelsus

    Thomas Erastus. [Paracelsus]. De Astrologia Divinatrice Epistolae...Origines, Si quis vestrum Mathematocorum delirameta sectatur, in terra Chaldaeorum est. Si quis nativitatis diem supputat, & variis horarum momentorunq(ue)...[bound with] Disputationum De Medicina Nova Philippi Paracelsi Pars Prima: In Qua, Quae De Remediis Superstitiosis & Magicis curationibus ille prodidit, Praecipue examinantur... Basle: Peter Perna, 1580 and 1572. First Editions. Quarto. Two volumes bound as one. Alpha4, A-2H4. Alpha4.beta4,a-z,A-N4.[8],236,[12]; [16],267,[20]pages Including blanks. Two printer's devices on title pages, full-page portrait of Paracelsus on N3r of second work, decorated initials. Contemporary limp vellum, yapp fore-edge, covers lightly curled, one tie of four, minor stains, title in old hand on bottom edge; old owner's note on front free end paper on "Diogenes," minor marginal dampstain on two leaves; otherwise a fresh, clean, crisp copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Thomas Erastus, 1524-1583, Swiss Protestant theologian, a physician, whose original name was Lüber, 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 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...He censured Paracelsus for speaking approvingly of augury, prodigies, geomancy, pyromancy, and necromancy and for condoning thae receiving from demons remedies to be employed for good ends." [Thorndike, V5, 652ff.] There are three other later volumes of his attack on Paracelsus not with the present set.      

    Astrologiae: VD 16 E3669. Adams E905. Houzeau/Lancaster 4932. Rosenthal, Magica, 3397.  DSB IV,388. Cantamessa I,1401.Medicina: VD 16 E3679. Adams E910. Durling/NLM 1383. Wellcome I,2057. Waller 2778. Sudhoff 247.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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