212

Athanasius KIRCHER

Science. KIRCHER. Mundus subterraneus in 12. libros digestus.

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Descrizione

Athanasius KIRCHER
Science. KIRCHER. Mundus subterraneus in 12. libros digestus.
 
KIRCHER, Athanasius. Mundus subterraneus in 12. libros digestus.
Amsterdam, Joannes Jansson and Elizeus Weyerstraet, 1665

Due volumi in un tomo in-folio grande. 388x235 mm. Legatura moderna mezza pelle e cartonato marmorizzato. I: Antiporta incisa, Pagine 25 non numerate compreso Frontespizio, 346, 6 nn., con 14 tavole incise fuori testo di cui 2 Ritratti e 10 su doppia pagina, 2 tabelle a stampa fuori testo.
II: Frontespizio inciso figurato, Pagine 10 non numerate, 487, 14 non numerate, con 9 Tavole incise fuori testo, 5 tabelle a stampa fuori testo. La c. chi1 contiene "Privilegium Caesareae Majestatis"; il secondo Frontespizio reca la data 1664. Moltissime illustrazioni in xilografia e 64 incise in rame nel testo, una a piena pagina. In totale 25 tavole incise, di cui 10 su doppia pagina, 7 tabelle a stampa, di cui 6 su doppia pagina. Traccia di gora sulle prime pagine, per il resto buono stato di conservazione. 

Prima edizione, magnificamente figurata. Merrill: “Perhaps Kircher's most popular work in his day and best known in ours.” Caillet: “Le plus curieux des nombreux ouvrages de ce savant.” L'opera si basa sulla visita di Kircher in Sicilia nel 1637-38 in cui fu testimone delle eruzioni dell'Etna e di Stromboli. Le sue osservazioni su questi vulcani lo hanno portato a concludere che il centro della terra è un enorme incendio interno per il quale i vulcani sono semplici valvole di sicurezza. Il lavoro non è solo geologico e Kircher continua con fantastiche speculazioni sull'interno della terra, i suoi laghi nascosti, i fiumi di fuoco e gli strani abitanti. Include discussioni sulla luna, il sole, le eclissi, le correnti oceaniche, la meteorologia, l'idraulica, i minerali e i fossili, i veleni, la metallurgia e le miniere, l'alchimia, le erbe, la medicina astrologica, la distillazione e i fuochi d'artificio. Parcell: “Symbolism, allegory, and metaphor pervade Athanasius Kircher's (1602-1680) Mundus Subterraneus (The Subterranean World). Elements from the communicative theory of semiotics are useful for exploring Mundus Subterraneus and for illuminating the modern reactions to his works. Kircher used Hermetic and Neoplatonic philosophies as a bridge between medieval thought systems and the growing empirical movement of the Scientific Revolution. In Kircher's studies, no event was taken in isolation, and his examination of Earth rested with Plato's philosophy that the world was created by God as a manifestation of his own perfection. From a modern semiotic viewpoint, Kircher used indexical and iconic signs to combine rational and empirical techniques that sustained his holistic view of the cosmos.”

Condition Report

2 volumes in one, large folio (388 x 235mm). "Library style" split board binding, leather spine and corners with marbled paper sides. Vol. I: Engraved Frontispiece, 25 unnumbered pages including Title-page, 346, 6 nn., with 14 engraved plates out of text, of which 2 Portraits and 10 on double page, 2 tables printed out of text. Vol. II: Engraved illustrated Title-page, Pages 10 not numbered, 487, 14 not numbered, with 9 Plates engraved out of text, 5 printed tables out of text. The leaf chi1 contains "Privilegium Caesareae Majestatis"; the second Title-page bears the date 1664. Numerous woodcut illustrations and 64 copper engraved in the text, one full page. In total 25 engraved plates, 10 of which on double page, 7 tables, of which 6 on double page. Dampstain on the first pages, otherwise good state of conservation.

First edition, magnificently illustrated. Merril: “Perhaps Kircher's most popular work in his day and best known in ours.” Caillet: “Le plus curieux des nombreux ouvrages de ce savant.” The work is based on Kircher's visit to Sicily in 1637-38 in which he witnessed the eruptions of Etna and Stromboli. His observations of these volcanoes led him to conclude that the centre of the earth is a massive internal fire for which the volcanoes are mere safety valves. The work is not only geological and Kircher continues with fantastic speculations about the interior of the earth, its hidden lakes, rivers of fire and strange inhabitants. It includes discussions about the moon, the sun, eclipses, ocean currents, meteorology, hydraulics, minerals and fossils, poisons, metallurgy and mining, alchemy, herbs, astrological medicine, distillation and fireworks. Parcell: “Symbolism, allegory, and metaphor pervade Athanasius Kircher's (1602-1680) Mundus Subterraneus (The Subterranean World). Elements from the communicative theory of semiotics are useful for exploring Mundus Subterraneus and for illuminating the modern reactions to his works. Kircher used Hermetic and Neoplatonic philosophies as a bridge between medieval thought systems and the growing empirical movement of the Scientific Revolution. In Kircher's studies, no event was taken in isolation, and his examination of Earth rested with Plato's philosophy that the world was created by God as a manifestation of his own perfection. From a modern semiotic viewpoint, Kircher used indexical and iconic signs to combine rational and empirical techniques that sustained his holistic view of the cosmos.”

Bibliografia

Merrill 17; Dorbon-Aine 2387 (‘un des plus importants ouvrages du Kircher’; 1678 edition); Duveen p. 322 (1678 edition); Ferguson I, 467 (calling for 14 plates in vol. I ad 7 in vol. II); Caillet II, 5783. 
Parcell, William, Signs and symbols in Kircher's Mundus Subterraneus, in Revolution in Geology from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, in Memoir of the Geological Society of America, 10.1130/2009.1203(04).

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