Submitted by Norm on Fri, 08/09/2019 - 21:35

Paracelsus was a Swiss physician, alchemist, and astrologer, born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim in about 1493. He died in 1541, and his Sieben Defensiones, written in 1538, were published posthumously in Cologne in 1564 in Swiss-German, and translated into Latin, as Septem Defensiones, in 1566. In the third defence (Die dritte Defension wegen des Schreibens der neuen Rezepte), Paracelsus wrote his now much quoted text: “Was ist das nit gifft ist? alle ding sind gift und nichts ohn gifft. Allein die dosis macht das ein ding kein gifft ist.” In English: “What is there that is not a poison? Every thing [sic] is a poison and nothing is not a poison. Only the dose determines that a thing is not a poison.” A Latin translation appeared in the margin of the 1564 edition (below).