Para el todos los cuerpos constan de una sustancia inerte, el agua, dotada de un archeus
que les confiere sus propiedades quimicas, por lo que aquella, es el unico elemento comun.
The stars provide the human mortal spirit, astra that animate all growing things (including minerals and metals), and a human's inner alchemist (archeus
), which directs such vital functions as digestion.
(29) Alleviating disease therefore meant not rebalancing the humors, but calming an agitated life force--a force van Helmont explicitly personified, calling it the Archeus. (30) A physician's goal was therefore to remove--or, better, to find a way to urge the Archeus itself to remove--the external something that was creating a disturbance in the economy of the body.
This tendency to distinguish true from false medicine along the axis of native Christian culture versus a foreign, "ethnick" and pagan one finds an analogue in these texts' troping of disease, particularly in their idea of the Archeus as the innate, native life-force responding to the onslaught of what gets framed as a foreign invasion.
As the personified life-force, the Archeus is conceived as a benevolent but "most exquisitely sensitive" ruler of the physiological oeconomy, working to protect the body from the hostile forces of the environment; it is a "sentinel which continually watches for the preservation of this citadel." (Aimatiasis, 51, 40).
The native, though, is a capacious category, encompassing not only the physiological workings of the body itself (and particularly the workings of the Archeus to expel the unwelcome guest), but also what qualifies as proper material for creating cures.
which stole in through the pores of the Skin and there settled in the innate Archeus" (Galeno-pale, 58).
The most important distinction depends upon viewing Paracelsus as the "Archeus" whose role is to correct the imperfections of nature through the artifice of alchemy.
It is through nature that cosmological structure and well being are maintained--an activity which is aided and perfected by the alchemical art of the Archeus. (37)
Returning to Paracelse's speech, the reader will see that the next mention of prime matter entails criticism of Paracelsus' concept of the Archeus: "Primary matter is that with which the builders of the world have chosen to work, knowing what's most fit for their business." (53) Here Beroalde is casting doubt upon the twin concepts of Vulcan and the Archeus whom Paracelsus portrays as "workmen" (54) ultimately responsible for perpetuating and conserving the world.
When Beroalde has Paracelse note that the workmen know how "elire ce qu'il en faut pour leurs affaires," the infinitive "elire" (to elect) pokes fun at the power and efficacy that Paracelsus attributes to the Archeus. This all-encompassing control is shared by the alchemist and the physician who themselves become Archei by attempting to rectify the imperfections of nature and by curing illnesses.