Alexander von Suchten

Alexander von Suchten was more of a court physician and chemist than alchemist, but as one of the people who’s works Benedictus Figulus published, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this nobleman.

Benedictus Figulus was his publisher (we did a podcast on that guy)

This is a pretty interesting alchemist, and once again, part of my motives for doing a show on this guy is that there isn’t much on him on the interwebs in English.

Alexander von Suchten (* 1520 in Dirschau (Tczew) or Danzig (Gdańsk), † November 7, 1575 in Linz ) was a famous in its timealchemist , physician and poet .

In Polish his name is often Zuchta

originates from the Lower Rhine, moved in 1400 to Gdansk and won great influence there.

Some were councilors and mayors. His parents were George of addictions and Euphemia Schultz.

A paternal uncle, Christoph addictions, was secretary of the Polish King Sigismund I , a maternal uncle, Alexander Schultze (Scultetus), one of the few friends of Nicolaus Copernicus , was (Domherr – Cathedral Warden) to Frauenburg (now Frombork, Poland).

Alexander attended by 1535 high school to Elbing . In December 1538 he was given by his uncle Alexander Schultze a canonry in women Castle.

Since this position was latter barred for non-academics, he enrolled on 19 January 1541 Leuven and studied philosophy and medicine there.

Around 1545 he stayed at the court of Albrecht of Prussia in Königsberg , where his poetry Vandalus (Polish tribe legend of the Queen Wanda) was published.

Between 1549 and 1552, he was as an alchemist at Otto Heinrich of the Palatinate.

From about 1554 to 1557 he lived in the Polish royal court to Krakow.

Then he will (probably in at an Italian university Ferrara have) acquired a doctorate in medicine. 1563 he tried unsuccessfully for the position of personal physician to get in Königsberg. After 1567 he worked with the Strasbourg doctor Michael Toxites together in Alsace and the Upper Rhine. In the fall of 1574 Alexander took over from addictions ultimately the place of a doctor’s landscape to Linz in Upper Austria, where he also died on November 7, 1575.

His work was a very strong supporter of Paracelsus, and considered ‘gold making’ quackery and especially against the possibility of transmutation of metals – and instead turned to the area of chemistry and medicine.

Works

  • De Secretis Antimonij liber VNUS, Strasbourg 1570

  • Zween treaty, From Antimonio, Mömpelgard 1604

  • Antimonii Mysteria Gemina, Leipzig 1604

  • Chymical Schrifften All, Hamburg 1680 (also includes in its authenticity controversial texts)

Quotes:

[373] I am a friend of Socrates and Plato, but still more so of Truth.

~ A Dialogue, by Alexander von Suchten, 16th – 17th Cen. (?)

[374] Not everyone may understand the truth, yet it must be taught, should but one in a thousand receive it.

~ A Dialogue, by Alexander von Suchten, 16th – 17th Cen. (?)

[375] Time brings Roses.

~ A Dialogue, by Alexander von Suchten, 16th – 17th Cen. (?)

[458] Adam, our first father, who had knowledge of all arts, also received that of Medicine from God, and it was kept secret by the learned (as the great gift of God) until Noah’s time. When God destroyed the world by the Flood, the art of Medicine, with many other controlled arts, was lost. No one remained who knew them except Noah, called by some Hermogenes, or Hermes, to whom Antiquity ascribes the knowledge of all things celestial and terrestrial. The same Noah, before his death, described Medicine, skillfully concealing it among another matter. After his death this knowledge returned to God, and thus, through the Flood and Noah’s death, was taken away from the Human Race.

. . . Whence came the idols which, before Christ, were in Europe, Africa, and Asia? Our human reason has speculated them out, and thus also has it happened with Medicine. After Noah’s time, men, harassed by diseases, sought refuge, one in herbs, another in animals, a third in stones and metals, and thus one thing after another was tried, without full knowledge of the same, which had some appearance of virtue. But there was as yet no doctor. The sick were carried to some public place, those who had had similar complaints shewing them the remedies used by themselves, which the patients tried on chance. Such was Medicine until the time of Apollo, i.e., 1915 B.C. This Apollo was a clever and learned man, and carefully noting those things which proved efficacious in diseases, he began to visit the sick, and thus became a public physician, to whom, after his death, a temple was erected and divine honours were paid. In such honour was medicine then held which today begs its bread. Aesculapius succeeding his father, also treated the sick with skill and knowledge inherited from his father, and to him there was a temple erected, as to a god. After his death the kings commanded that all medical discoveries and observations should be written down and publicly exhibited on the walls of the Temple of Aesculapius. 457 years after came Hippocrates Cous, who was commanded to arrange the experiments in the Temple of Aesculapius, which he did; and, from these experiments, first invented methodical Medicine. Hence from him Medicine, as now taught in the schools, derives its origin. When Empirical Medicine thus came into great honour in Greece, many physicians arose, as Diocles, Chrysippus, Coristinus, Anaxagorus, Erostratus. 500 years after Hippocrates came Galenus, a plausible man who described the Hippocratic Medicine, painting it in beautiful colours, inventing causes and symptoms of diseases, ascribing virtues to herbs, and teaching the cure of feverish illnesses by cold, that of cold ones by heat. Thus did Human Speculation, from experiments, deduce the Science of medicine — yet, at bottom, it was no Science, but mere opinions, accepted as Truth itself. But God, who is not always wrath with man, has, in our own time, chosen Philip Theophrastus Bombast, of Hohenheim, to rekindle the light of Medical Science, and to expose the deceit practiced in his day. Therefore, this Theophrastus is the True Monarch of Medicine, and will remain so until the end of time.

~ A Dialogue, by Alexander von Suchten, 16th – 17th Cen. (?)

[694] The present time is not ripe for the knowledge of these mysteries, for it has never tasted rest. When the time comes — before the Day of Judgment — in which the secrets of all hearts are laid bare, at that time, says Paracelsus: I order my writings to be judged.

~ A Dialogue, by Alexander von Suchten, 16th – 17th Cen. (?)

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