THESE are the famous Prophecies of Theophrastus Paracelsus, considered by Eliphas Lévi to be 'the most astounding monument and indisputable proof of the reality and existence of the gift of natural prophecy.'
The Prophecies or Prognostications do not merely relate to events that happened in the age of the Reformation, and do not refer strictly to 24 or 42 years after they were published, but suggest events that happened long after, some that are even now happening, and others that will happen in the future.
Nearly four centuries have elapsed since these predictions were made. I have neither altered nor suppressed any of them, but only translated from the old German to the best of my ability.
Whatever interpretation may be given to these predictions their ancient origin cannot be disputed.
They were first published about the year 1530, and are extant in print of that period. It is true the first editions give no date, and it is uncertain whether the Latin edition preceded the German, as the latter
shows more originality of expression. It is by no means improbable that the Latin version referred to by Eliphas Lévi may be only a translation.
The German edition Of 1530, which is also found reprinted in the works of Paracelsus collected by Johann Huser and published at Strassburg in the year 1616, was taken as the original for the present translation. The Prophecies occur in vol. ii, pp. 594-608.
The Plates have also been reproduced from the old woodcuts of that edition.
The original Manuscript of Paracelsus is said to be in the Court Library of the Grand Duke of Baden at Karlsruhe.