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The Swiss-Austrian physician, alchemist, philosopher and naturalist Philip Aureolus Teophrastus Bombastus of Hohenheim (1493-1541) was at Einsiedeln in the Switzerland born. From 1515 he called himself Paracelsus. In 1527 he became city doctor in Basel. He settled in Salzburg in 1524/25 (today Austria ) and made himself unpopular by his support of the insurgents in the German Peasants' War at Salzburg Archbishop Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg. Paracelsus criticized the prevalent doctrine of humoral pathology (the so-called "four-tackle theory") of the Greek physician Galen (129-216) and the mere "book wisdom" of the then medical scholar. He presented the scientific experiment on the pure book tradition and called for the support of the healing power of nature through a natural life. He was the founder of pharmaceutical chemistry and refined alchemy through the inclusion of medicine.

Paracelsus: copper engraving, memorial stone at Einsiedeln and commemorative medal on the occasion of his 500th anniversary
Picture center: By Martin Sauter - Self-photographed , CC BY-SA 2.0 de , Link
Picture right: By Werner F. Kunz / H87 - Own work , GFDL , Link

Its great importance has long been misunderstood. There is much speculation about Paracelsus' early death. He had been poisoned, he had been thrown down a rock, he was due to his alcohol consumption died of liver cancer or im intoxication down a staircase and some more. After examining his bones, he probably died from mercury poisoning. He wrote over 200 writings; one of his most important works was "Books Archidoxis". Paracelsus was the first to use the term "spiritus vini" (spirit of wine) for the result distillation, whereby later the term wine spirit and alcohol was equated.

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