par Moreau, Elisabeth
Référence Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemsitry - SHAC Postgraduate Workshop (30/10/2015: Oxford (UK))
Publication Non publié, 2015
Communication à un colloque
Résumé : The definition of the bodily vital principle was extensively debated in late Renaissance medicine and chymistry. Traditionally related to the Galenic innate heat, it was challenged by the Paracelsian notion of balsam and vital sulfur. However, both definitions were not totally exclusive. In this presentation, I will examine the features of the vital principle by comparing two philosophically divergent chymists: the Danish physician Peder Sørensen or Severinus (1540-1602) and the German physician Andreas Libau or Libavius (1555-1616). While Severinus promoted a prisca medicina rooted in Hippocrates and Paracelsus, Libavius adopted a compromise between Galenic medicine and medieval alchemy. What’s more, both chymists provided a description of the components of the healthy human body, in connection with the vital principle. I will thus consider the chymical account of elements, tria prima and seminal virtues expound in Severinus’ Idea medicinae philosophicae (1571) and Libavius’ De medicina veterum tam Hippocratica quam Hermetica tractatus (1599). This analysis will also draw attention to the mutual influence of physiology and chymistry and its impact on early modern matter theories.