Paracelsus and the Basel tribunal

Paracelsus and the Basel tribunal

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Paracelsus and the Basel tribunal. Historical artwork of the Swiss alchemist and physician Paracelsus (1493-1541, upper left) speaking to a tribunal in Basel, Switzerland. Born Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, Paracelsus was a name he gave himself, meaning 'better than Celsus' (the famous Roman physician). Paracelsus travelled widely, absorbing the medical knowledge of many cultures. Much of his advice, although often good, disagreed with conventional wisdom. Here, he was in dispute with a patient who had refused to pay him. Paracelsus remonstrated with the court over their notions of 'justice', angering the judges so much that he was forced to flee Basel.

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