Bombast von Hohenheim was a Swabian noble family, from the 12th century named for their seat, Hohenheim Castle, which they held as a fief from the Counts of Württemberg. Their coat of arms was blazoned Or on a bend azure three roundels argent[dubious ].
The first mention of the family is in 1120, when one Egilolf von Hohenheim made a donation to Hirsau Abbey. One Cunradus de Hohenheim miles cognomine Bambast ("Conrad von Hohenheim, knight, also called Bambast) is mentioned in 1270 (donation to Herrenalb Abbey). But the von Hohenheim did not regularly use the byname Bombast until the time of Hans Bombast von Hohenheim (attested between 1342 and 1404).
Bambast (or bambest, bamst) is recorded as a Central German field name (of a wooded area) but the name Bombast has in modern times also been associated with "cotton", etymologized as German Baumbast (properly "the fibrous layer of a tree's bark").
The castle was sold by Hans Bombast von Hohenheim in 1406, but the family continued to use the von Hohenheim name in the 15th and 16th centuries.
One Georg Bombast von Hohenheim (1453–1499) is mentioned in 1462 as commander of the Order of Saint John in Rohrdorf. He accompanied Count Eberhard V on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This Georg Bombast von Hohenheim has been suggested as the possible biological father of Wilhelm Bombast von Hohenheim (d. 1534), the father of Paracelsus (Theophrastus von Hohenheim) (1493–1541). The name Paracelsus itself is most likely a latinization of "Hohenheim" (and not, as has frequently been alleged, a reference to Aulus Cornelius Celsus).
Georg Bombast von Hohenheim (d. 1566), a nephew of Georg (d. 1499), also had a career in the Order of Saint John, and became grand prior of Germany. With his death in 1566, the male line of the family was extinct. Georg was survived by his sister, Anna Bombastin von Hohenheim (d. 1574), the third wife of Ernest, Margrave of Baden-Durlach.
The family name long antedates the modern use of the term "bombastic" with its negative connotations, which has a different etymological origin.
- C. F. Sattler, Geschichte des Herzogthums Würtenberg vol. 5 (1768), p. 165. Helga Naber, Probleme Einer Paracelsus-Biographie: Sein Leben Im Spiegel Seiner Werke (1998), p. 6. Württemberigsches Urkundenbuch vol. 7 nr. 2167 (wubonline.com)
- Fleischer in: Festschrift zum fünfzigjährigen jubiläum der K. Land- und forstwirthschaftlichen Akademie Hohenheim (1868), p. 4.
- Hans Ramge et al., Südhessisches Flurnamenbuch (2002), p. 195, Ernst Christmann, Flurnamen zwischen Rhein und Saar (1965), p. 21.
- by folk etymological association with latinate bombace "cotton". The suggestion that the English term bombast may itself be due to a Low German folk etymology of bombax = baum-bast is tentatively made by Fr. Woeste, Wörterbuch der Westfälischen Mundart (1882). The claim that the Swabian name Bombast = Baumbast is occasionally found in literature on Paracelsus of the 1920s to 1930s, e.g. Günther Bugge, Das Buch der grossen Chemiker: Zosimos bis Schönbein (1929), p. 87. The English adjective bombastic arises in the 18th century from bombast "cotton stuffing" and has no direct relation to the name, and reference to "the bombastic Paracelsus" (Anthony Florian Madinger Willich , Lectures on Diet and Regimen, 1800, p. 103) is punning at best.
- Beschreibung der land- und forstwirthschaftlichen Akademie Hohenheim (1863), 1f.
- K–W.: "Vom Abendland nach Palästina", Wochenblatt der Johanniter-Ordens-Balley Brandenburg 10,193–195 (p. 194)
- Müller-Jahncke, Wolf-Dieter, "Paracelsus" in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 20 (2001), 61-64.
- Willem F. Daems: "Zu Helmut Gebelein: Alchemie. München: Eugen Diederichs 1991". In: Würzburger medizinhistorische Mitteilungen 11, 1993, p. 405.
- Julius Kindler von Knobloch: Bombast von Hohenheim. In: Oberbadisches Geschlechterbuch. Heidelberg 1894, Band 1, 141–142.
- Julius Kindler von Knobloch: von Hohenheim gen. Bombast. In: Oberbadisches Geschlechterbuch. Heidelberg 1905, Band 2, 89–90.
- W. Gonser: Zur Geschichte der Bombaste von Hohenheim. In: Württembergische Vierteljahrshefte für Landesgeschichte. Neue Folge 30, 1921, 177–192.
- Ulrich Fellmeth: Die Bombaste von Hohenheim. In: Heinz Dopsch, Kurt Goldammer, Peter F. Kramml (eds.): Paracelsus 1493–1541, Salzburg 1993, 23–32.
- Ulrich Thomas: Aus der Geschichte Hohenheims. Der Name „Bombast“. In: Mitteilungsblatt des Universitätsbundes Hohenheim e. V. – 9.1979, 10–12.