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Paracelsus (born Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, 11 November or 17 December 1493 in Einsiedeln – 24 September 1541 in Salzburg) was a Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist.[1] "Paracelsus", meaning "equal to or greater than Celsus", refers to the Roman encyclopedist Aulus Cornelius Celsus from the 1st century known for his tract on medicine.[2][3] He is also credited for giving zinc its name, calling it zincum[4] and is regarded as the first systematic botanist.[5]



Paracelsus was born and raised in the village of Einsiedeln in Switzerland. His father, Wilhelm Bombast von Hohenheim, was a Swabian chemist and physician; his mother was Swiss. As a youth he worked in nearby mines as an analyst. At the age of 16 he started studying medicine at the University of Basel, later moving to Vienna. He gained his doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara.[6]

His wanderings as an itinerant physician and sometime journeyman miner[7] took him through Germany, France, Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Russia.

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