A first edition work, with two volumes bound in one folio, by Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680), a German Jesuit scholar who published many extensive works on scientific, religious, and other subjects. Dubbed the “Master of a Hundred Arts,” Kircher’s interests were vast; his life’s work included studies of Egyptology, Sinology, geology, technology, and microscopy.
This book attempts to describe the structure of the earth from a physical and chemical standpoint, subsequently exhibiting contemporary views and understandings of many seventeenth-century sciences. For example, Kircher delves into subjects including oceanic currents; the physics of the sun, moon, and Earth; hydrography; volcanoes and their activity; thermal springs; and mineralogy, mining, and metallurgy. This work is particularly significant in Kircher’s oeuvre due to its inclusion of numerous large and intricate engravings. The digitization includes a small selection of these engravings.
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