Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680)- German Jesuit, occultist, polymath- is one of the most curious figures in the history of knowledge. He delved deeply into 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 in Rome.
His wild, beautifully illustrated books are sometimes visionary, frequently wrong, and yet compelling documents in the history of ideas. They are being rediscovered in our own time. This volume of new work, written by leading historians and historians science, brings Kircher’s fascinating life and output into sharp perspective.