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Excellent book with an excellent title. Athanasius Kircher is perhaps known to literature fans as the early modern source that passed along the 'manuscript' written down by Adso from Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. It was a good choice by Eco: is there was such a thing as a "Renaissance Man" - man interested in absolutely everything - it was Athanasius Kircher. He wrote over thirty books during his lifetime, all of which he promoted extensively as often as possible, and he promised a litany
What I would really like is an English translation of some of Kircher's books. Lacking that, though, I have found a few books with scholarly commentary on various works that place his writings in context. This one I got through interlibrary loan. I enjoyed seeing an engraving of the Roman College museum that Kircher ran. His books were spread around the world, but he also worked with Jesuits around the world to bring knowledge together. One of his projects involved collecting information about m...
A collection of articles on Athanasius Kircher's life and work. Paula Findlen's Introduction is characterized by wit and originality. Because Athanasius Kircher was "inviting his readers to explore the connections among virtually every imaginable form of knowledge" (p.19), as a genuine polymath and searcher of truth as he was, the contributors of the volume are dealing with many different subjects, from many different sciences, which at the time of Kircher hadn't been developed fully yet.At his
about this book: Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) -- German Jesuit, occultist, polymath - was one of most curious figures in the history of science. He dabbled in all the mysteries of his time: the heavenly bodies, sound amplification, museology, botany, Asian languages, the pyramids of Egypt -- almost anything incompletely understood. Kircher coined the term electromagnetism, printed Sanskrit for the first time in a Western book, and built a famous museum collection. His wild, beautifully illustr...
This is a collection of essays by different scholars. So I will probably read it slowly over the course of the three weeks I have it out from the library.
Kircher excites me almost as much as Garibaldi!