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Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of - download pdf or read online

By Daniel Stolzenberg

A modern of Descartes and Newton, Athanasius Kircher, S. J. (1601/2–80), used to be one in all Europe’s so much creative and flexible students within the baroque period. He released greater than thirty works in fields as various as astronomy, magnetism, cryptology, numerology, geology, and track. yet Kircher is such a lot famous—or infamous—for his quixotic try to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs and reconstruct the traditional traditions they encoded. In 1655, after greater than 20 years of toil, Kircher released his way to the hieroglyphs, Oedipus Aegyptiacus, a piece that has been referred to as “one of the main discovered monstrosities of all times.” the following Daniel Stolzenberg provides a brand new interpretation of Kircher’s hieroglyphic experiences, putting them within the context of seventeenth-century scholarship on paganism and Oriental languages.


Situating Kircher within the social international of baroque Rome, with its students, artists, buyers, and censors, Stolzenberg exhibits how Kircher’s learn of historical paganism trusted the movement of texts, artifacts, and folks among Christian and Islamic civilizations. in addition to different contributors within the upward thrust of Oriental stories, Kircher aimed to revolutionize the learn of the earlier by means of getting to know close to jap languages and improving historic manuscripts hidden away within the mythical libraries of Cairo and Damascus. The extraordinary flaws of his scholarship have fostered a picture of Kircher as an eccentric anachronism, a throwback to the Renaissance airtight culture. Stolzenberg argues by contrast view, exhibiting how Kircher embodied crucial tensions of a pivotal part in eu highbrow background, whilst pre-Enlightenment students pioneered glossy empirical tools of learning the previous whereas nonetheless operating inside of conventional frameworks, resembling biblical background and ideology approximately magic and esoteric wisdom.

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Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity by Daniel Stolzenberg

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