Musurgia universalis sive ars magna consoni et dissoni in. X. libros digesta. Romae: Ex typographia Haeredum Francisci. Corbelletti, Kircher, Athanasius. Athanasius Kircher, S.J. was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath who published around 40 .. The Musurgia Universalis () sets out Kircher’s views on music: he believed that the harmony of music reflected the proportions of the. We have selected the printing of Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgia Universalis, printed in two volumes and illustrated with over 30 leaves of.

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Athanasius KircherS. Athanasius Kircherus2 May — 28 November was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath who published around 40 major works, most notably in the fields of comparative religiongeologyand medicine. Kircher has been compared to fellow Jesuit Roger Boscovich and to Leonardo da Vinci for his enormous range msuurgia interests, and has been honored with the title “Master of a Hundred Arts”.

A resurgence of interest in Kircher has occurred within the scholarly community in recent decades. Kircher claimed to have deciphered the hieroglyphic writing of the ancient Egyptian languagebut most of his assumptions and translations in this field were later found to be incorrect.

He did, however, correctly establish the link between the ancient Egyptian and the Coptic languages, and some commentators regard him as the founder of Egyptology. Kircher was also fascinated with Sinology kirchef wrote an encyclopedia of Chinain which he noted the early presence there of Nestorian Christians while also attempting to establish links with Egypt and Christianity.

Kircher’s work in geology included studies of volcanoes and fossils.

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Musurgis of the first people to observe microbes through a microscopeKircher was ahead of his time in proposing that the plague was caused by an infectious microorganism and in suggesting effective measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Kircher also displayed a keen interest in technology and mechanical inventions; inventions attributed to him include a magnetic clock, various automatons and the first megaphone. The invention of the magic lantern is often misattributed to Kircher, [3] although he did conduct a study of the principles involved in his Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae.

In the late 20th century, however, the aesthetic qualities of his work again began to be appreciated. One modern scholar, Alan Cutler, described Kircher as “a giant among seventeenth-century scholars”, and “one musuggia the last thinkers who could rightfully claim all knowledge as his domain”.

Schmidt, referred to Kircher as “the last Renaissance man uhiversalis. In A Man of Misconceptionshis book about Kircher, John Glassie writes that while “many of Kircher’s actual ideas today seem wildly off-base, if not simply bizarre,” [5] he was “a champion of wonder, a man of awe-inspiring erudition and inventiveness,” whose work was read “by the smartest minds of musurgi time.

Kircher was born on 2 May in either or he himself did not know in GeisaBuchonianear Fuldacurrently HesseGermany. From his birthplace he took the epithets Bucho, Buchonius and Fuldensis which he sometimes added to his name.

He attended the Jesuit College in Fulda from towhen he entered the novitiate of the Society. The youngest of nine children, Kircher studied univefsalis owing to his passion for rocks and eruptions.

He was taught Hebrew by a rabbi [7] in addition to his studies at school. He studied philosophy and theology at Paderborn[3] but fled to Cologne in to escape advancing Protestant forces. Later, traveling to Heiligenstadthe was caught and nearly hanged by a party of Protestant soldiers. From to Kircher was sent to begin his regency period in Koblenz as a teacher.

This was followed by his assignment to Heiligenstadtwhere he taught mathematicsHebrew and Syriacand produced a show of fireworks and moving scenery for the visiting Elector Archbishop of Mainzshowing early evidence of his interest in mechanical devices. Beginning inhe also began to show an interest in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Wurzburg was shortly afterwards attacked and captured, leading to Kircher being accorded respect for predicting the disaster via astrology, though Kircher himself privately insisted that he had not relied on that art.

In he was called to Vienna by the emperor to succeed Kepler as Mathematician to the Habsburg court.

On the intervention of Nicolas-Claude Fabri kircer Peirescthe order was rescinded, and he nuiversalis sent instead to Rome to continue with his scholarly work, but he had already embarked for Vienna. On the way, his ship was blown off course and he arrived in Rome before he knew of the changed decision.

He based himself in the city for the rest of his life, and from [9] he taught mathematics, physics and Oriental languages at the Collegio Romano now the Pontifical Gregorian University for several years before being released to devote himself to research. He studied malaria and the plagueamassing a collection of antiquitieswhich he exhibited along with devices of his own creation in the Museum Kircherianum.


Athanasius Kircher SJ – ‘Musurgia Universalis’, – SOCKS

InKircher discovered the ruins of a church said to have been constructed by Constantine on the site of Saint Eustace ‘s vision of Jesus Christ in a stag’s horns. He raised money to pay for the church’s reconstruction as the Santuario della Mentorellaand his heart was buried in the church on his death. Kircher published a large number of substantial books on a very wide variety of subjects, such as Egyptologygeologyand music theory.

His syncretic approach disregarded the boundaries between disciplines which are now universqlis Perhaps Kircher’s best-known work today is his Oedipus Aegyptiacus —54a vast study musurgix Egyptology and comparative religion. His books, written in Latinwere widely circulated in the 17th century, and they contributed to the dissemination of scientific information to a broader circle of readers. Kircher is not now considered to have made any significant original contributions, although a number of discoveries and inventions e.

The last known example of Egyptian hieroglyphics dates from ADafter which all knowledge of hieroglyphics was lost. The first modern study of hieroglyphics came with Piero Valeriano Bolzani ‘s Hieroglyphica[12] and Kircher was the most famous of the “decipherers” between ancient and modern times and the most famous Egyptologist of his day. Kircher’s interest in Egyptology began in when he became intrigued by a collection of hieroglyphs in the library at Speyer.

He learned Coptic in and published the first grammar of that language inthe Prodromus coptus sive aegyptiacus. Kircher then broke with Horapollon’s interpretation of the language of the hieroglyphs with his Lingua aegyptiaca restituta. Kircher argued that Coptic preserved the last development of ancient Egyptian.

Between andKircher published four volumes of “translations” of hieroglyphs in the context of his Coptic studies. According to the Egyptologist Sir E. Many writers pretended to have found the key to the hieroglyphics, and many more professed, with a shameless impudence which is hard to understand in these days, to translate the universwlis of the texts into a modern tongue.

Foremost among such pretenders must be mentioned Athanasius Kircher, who, in the 17th century, declared that he had found the key to the hieroglyphic inscriptions; the translations which he prints in his Oedipus Aegyptiacus are utter nonsense, but as they were put forth in a learned tongue many people at the time believed they were correct.

Although Kircher’s approach to deciphering texts unievrsalis based on a fundamental misconception, some modern commentators have described Kircher as the pioneer of kirchfr serious study of hieroglyphs. The data which he collected were later consulted by Champollion in his successful efforts to decode the script. According to Joseph MacDonnell, it was “because of Kircher’s work that scientists knew what to look for when interpreting the Rosetta stone”.

It is therefore Kircher’s incontestable merit that he was the first to have discovered the phonetic value of an Egyptian hieroglyph. From a humanistic as well as an intellectual point of view Egyptology may very well be proud of having Kircher as its founder. Kircher was also actively involved in the erection of obelisks in Roman squaresoften adding fantastic “hieroglyphs” of his design in the blank areas that are now puzzling to modern scholars.

Kircher had an early interest in Chinatelling his superior in that he wished to become a missionary to that country. It was a work of encyclopedic breadth, combining material of unequal quality, from accurate cartography to mythical elements, such as a study of dragons.

The work drew heavily on the reports of Jesuits working in China, in particular Michael Boym [21] and Martino Martini. China Illustrata emphasized the Christian elements of Chinese history, both real and imagined: In Kircher’s system, ideograms were inferior to hieroglyphs because they referred to specific ideas rather than to mysterious complexes of ideas, while the signs of the Maya and Aztecs universals yet lower pictograms which referred only to objects.

Umberto Eco comments that this idea reflected and supported the ethnocentric European attitude toward Chinese and native American civilizations. Kircher analyzed the dimensions of the Ark; based on the number of species known to him excluding insects and other forms thought to arise spontaneouslyhe calculated that overcrowding would not have been a problem.

He also discussed the logistics of the Ark voyage, speculating on whether extra livestock was brought to feed carnivores and what the daily schedule of feeding and caring for muusrgia must have been. Kircher was sent the Voynich Manuscript in by Johannes Marcus Marci in the hope of Kircher being able to decipher it. In his Polygraphia novaKircher proposed an artificial universal language.


On a visit to southern Italy inthe ever-curious Kircher was lowered into the crater of Vesuviusthen on the brink of eruption, to examine its interior. He was also intrigued by the subterranean rumbling muaurgia he heard at the Strait of Messina. His geological and geographical investigations culminated in his Mundus Subterraneus ofin which he suggested that the tides were caused by water moving to and from a subterranean ocean.

Kircher was also puzzled by fossils. He understood that fossils were the remains of animals. He ascribed large bones to giant races of humans. He interpreted mountain ranges as the Earth’s skeletal structures exposed by weathering. Mundus Subterraneus includes several pages about the muusurgia island universali Atlantis including a map with the Latin caption “Situs Insulae Atlantidis, a Mari olim absorpte ex mente Egyptiorum et Platonis descriptio.

Athanasius Kircher – Wikipedia

Additionally, he held that many species were hybrids of other species, for example, armadillos from a combination of turtles and porcupines. He also advocated the theory of spontaneous generation. Kircher took a notably modern approach to the study of diseasesas early as using a microscope to investigate the blood of plague victims. In his Scrutinium Pestis ofhe noted the presence of “little worms” or ” animalcules ” in the blood and concluded that the disease was caused by microorganisms.

The conclusion was correct, although it is likely that what he saw were in fact red or white blood cells and not the plague agent, Yersinia pestis. He also proposed hygienic measures to prevent the spread of disease, such as isolation, quarantineburning clothes worn by the infected and wearing facemasks to prevent the inhalation of germs.

InKirchfr published Ars Magna Lucis et Umbraeon the subject of the display of images on a screen using an apparatus similar to musurgiq magic lantern as developed by Christiaan Huygens and umsurgia. Kircher described the construction of a “catotrophic lamp” that used reflection to project images on the wall of a darkened room. Although Kircher did not invent the device, he made improvements over previous models, and suggested methods by which exhibitors could use his device.

Much of the significance of his work arises from Kircher’s rational approach towards the demystification of projected images. Previously such images had been used in Europe to mimic supernatural appearances Kircher himself cites the use of displayed images by the rabbis in the court of King Solomon.

Kircher stressed that exhibitors should take great care to inform spectators that such images were purely naturalistic, and not magical in origin. Kircher also constructed a magnetic clock, the mechanism of which he explained in his Magnes The device had originally been invented by another Jesuit, Fr. Linus of Liegeand was described by an acquaintance of Line’s in Kircher’s patron Peiresc had claimed that the clock’s motion supported the Copernican cosmological kirchr, the argument being that the magnetic sphere in the clock was caused to rotate by the magnetic force of the sun.

Kircher’s model disproved the hypothesis, showing that the motion could be produced by a water clock in the base kniversalis the device.

The Musurgia Universalis sets out Kircher’s views on music: The book includes plans for constructing water-powered automatic organsnotations of birdsong and diagrams of musical instruments. One illustration shows the differences between the ears of humans and other animals. In Phonurgia Nova Kircher considered the possibilities of transmitting music to remote places. Other machines designed by Kircher include an aeolian harpautomatons such unniversalis a statue which spoke and listened via a speaking tubea perpetual motion machineand a Katzenklavier “cat piano”.

The last of these would have driven spikes into the tails of cats, which would yowl to specified pitchesalthough Kircher is not known to have actually constructed the instrument. In Phonurgia Novaliterally new methods of sound production, Kircher examined acoustic phenomena. He explores the use of horns and cones in amplifying sound with architectural applications.

He also examines the phenomena of echoes in rooms with domes of different shapes including the muffling effect of an elliptical dome from Heidelberg. In one section he also explores the therapeutic effects of music especially in tarantisma theme from southern Italy.