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Modern Latin archaeus, from Greek ἀρχαῖος ‘ancient’.



archeus (plural archei)

  1. (historical) The vital principle or force believed by the Paracelsians to be responsible for the growth and continuation of all living beings.
    • 2003, Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason (Penguin 2004, p. 56)
      Willis rejected not just scholasticism's ‘substantial forms’ but Paracelsus's ‘archeus’ doctrine as well.
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Book II, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 68:
      " [] it must be the Modus of some other Substance latitant in the fluid Matter, and really distinguishable from it; which is either the Soul, or some seminal Form or Archeus, as the Chymist calls it [] "