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JOHANN KONRAD DIPPEL (1673-1734)

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Originally appearing in Volume V08, Page 307 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHANN KONRAD DIPPEL (1673-1734), German theologian and alchemist, son of a Lutheran pastor, was born at the castle of Frankenstein, near Darmstadt, on the loth of August 1673. He studied, theology at Giessen. After a short visit to Wittenb erf he went to Strassburg, where he lectured on alchemy and chiromancy, and occasionally preached. He gained considerable popularity, but was obliged after a time to quit the city, owing to his irregular manner of living. He had up to this time espoused the cause of the orthodox as against the pietists; but in his two first works, published under the name" Christianus Democritus," Orthodoxia Orthodoxorum (1697) and Papismus vapulans Protestanlium (1698), he assailed the fundamental positions of the Lutheran theology. He held that religion consisted not in dogma but exclusively in love and self-sacrifice. To avoid persecution he was compelled to wander from place to place in Germany, Holland, Denmark and Sweden. He took the degree of doctor of medicine at Leiden in 1711. He discovered Prussian blue, and by the destructive distillation of bones prepared the evil-smelling product known .as Dippel's animal oil. He died near Berleburg on the 25th of April 1734. An enlarged edition of Dippel's collected works was published at Berleburg in 1743. See the biographies by J. C. G. Ackermann (Leipzig, 1781), H. V. Hoffmann (Darmstadt, 1783), K. Henning (1881) and W. Bender (Bonn, 1882) ; also a memoir by K. Bucher in the Historisches Taschenbuch for 1858.
End of Article: JOHANN KONRAD DIPPEL (1673-1734)
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