Paracelsus's "Septem libri de gradibus" - Norman copy

Paracelsus [i.e., Philipp Theophrast Bombast von Hohenheim]. Septem libri de gradibus, de compositionibus, de dosibus receptorum ac naturalium.

Basel, Peter Perna, 1568.

8vo. (28), 186, (10) pp. Woodcut initials. 19th century marbled boards. All edges red.


The Norman copy of the first edition thus, very rare, containing "most of [Paracelsus's] innovations in chemical therapeutics" (Garrison/M.). Paracelsus (ca. 1493-1541) was a key member of the German Renaissance and a pioneer of the medical revolution. He was interested in chemistry, hermeticism, and toxicology alongside and in conjunction with his medical theories, and overturned much of the accepted wisdom of medicine in the West. In doing so, he "rebelled against ancient humoral pathology, which held that all disease resulted from an imbalance of bodily humors, by stating that each disease was a specific entity caused by an agent outside the body" (Norman). The "Septem libri de gradibus", first published in slightly different form in 1562, is one of his most essential works.

Covers lightly rubbed, otherwise in good condition. Provenance: from the Wellcome Library (withdrawn stamp on title verso) and the Norman collection with Haskell F. Norman's printed bookplate.


VD 16, P 450. Sudhoff 98. Durling 3480. Wellcome I, 4765. Pagel, Paracelsus, pp. 134-146. Norman 1636 (this copy). Cf. Garrison/M. 1818.