No. 16. Paracelsus - Three Books of Philosophy written to the Athenians
Edited by Adam McLean
This work by Paracelsus appears to have first been published in a German edition in 1564. An English translation was printed with Oswald Croll's 'Philosophy reformed' at London in 1657.
This is one of Paracelsus' philosophical and cosmological works, and reveals his thoughts on the spiritual processess that underlie outward creation. Although this not a technical alchemical work it throws light upon ideas of how the world was constructed, and the interplay of the spirits of the elements that was an important aspect of Paracelsus' world view. It is not entirely certain whether the 'three books to the Athenians' was written by Paracelsus himself, or put together by one of his students from possible drafts of his master.
Whatever the authorship, this book was a significant philosophical-cosmological work of the 16th century, promoting views on cosmology, founded on alchemical principles, that challenged the Biblical creation story. These views were attacked by the German-Swiss theologian, Erastus (1524-1583).
For this edition Adam McLean has extensively edited and modernised the English.