par Moreau, Elisabeth
Référence Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World (23-25/04/2014: University of Vienna, Austria)
Publication Non publié, 2014
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : Within the framework of the history of alchemy and medicine in the late Renaissance, the present paper is centred on the physiological theory of German chymist and physician Andreas Libavius (1555-1616). In particular, it aims at appraising the connection between his alchemical view and his medical approach in the explanation of the ultimate components of the living body. The paper is based on current research in history of early modern matter theories and chemistry, especially major contributions on Libavius by Bruce Moran (2007) and William Newman (2006). These recent surveys have shown the importance of Libavius’s chymical theory in the shape of seventeenth-century atomism and corpuscularism. So far, however, there has been little discussion on Libavius’s medical work. Though he did not publish any systematical treatise of physiology, it is possible to retrace his medical theory through alchemical texts lying in the shadow of the famous Alchymia. In this respect, Libavius provided a prolific interpretation of Hippocratic humorism, Aristotelian hylomorphism, Galenic physiology, and medieval alchemy in his Novus de medicina veterum tam Hippocratica quam Hermetica tractatus (Frankfurt, 1599), mainly known for its polemical tone against Giuseppe Michelius's Apologia chymica (1597). In addition to the general context of Libavius’s attacks on Paracelsianism, the main questions addressed in this paper are: (1) the rehabilitation of the Hippocratic qualities, (2) the maintaining of Aristotelian elements and mixture in the functioning of the human body, (3) the status of the quintessence and the seminal virtues regarding divine creation and human generation.