Athanasius Kircher

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Athanasius Kircher AKA A. Kirchner AKA The “Baroque Leonardo” ; “the last man who knew everything”

Germany 1601 - 1680

Comments: Alchemy; translated Egyptian (but incorrectly), Coptic and Chinese hieroglyphs; While his hieroglyphs were all wring, his Coptic dictionary proved invaluable to their decipherment eventually; ; Geology; "Hermes Trismegistus was Moses"; received a copy of the Voynich Manuscript in 1666, now on display at the Yale Beinecke Rare Book Library in New Haven; The Hebrew Language of Angels; Created an early version of the Esperanto language of Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof for his own Universal Language, based on European tongues; Linguist; ASTRONOMER; sundials; fireworks; volcanology (witnessed the eruption of Aetna and Stromboli, and had himself lowered into the active crater at Vesuvius); paleontology; magnetism; decoded hieroglyphics on every obelisk in Rome, though mistook some Greek copies for Originals by the Egyptians; curator of the Roman College museum AKA the Kircherian Museum, 1680; Coptic language descended from Egyptian; speculated on Tower of Babel and Noah's Ark; firefly bioluminescence; fossils; snakestones (stones to cure poison); megaphones and hidden speaking tubes to make statues talk; launched dragon-shaped hot-air balloons with "Flee the wrath of God" painted on bottom; could be a prankster; fled the protestant Crusades to German Jesuit colleges; 1st use of the term "electromagnetism"; worked on the Latitude problem, getting magnetic readings from Jesuits all over the world trying to determine positions East-West on the Sea, for the cash prize offered by the King of Spain, 1598; Coined the term Geocosm for Gaia, Mother Earth as a living organism; likely the creator of the "cat piano" used to entertain the Prince-Elector of Mainz and parodied by Monty Python's Flying Circus; William Wynn Westcott quotes his theory on Zoroaster, = "TzURA = a figure, and TzIUR = to fashion, ASh = fire, and STR = hidden; from these he gets the words Zairaster = fashioning images of hidden fire; -- or Tzuraster = the image of secret things"; chooses the identity Theodidactus aka Taught by God as his character in Ecstatic Journey, companion to the Angel Cosmiel; Panspermia aka Universal Sperm like magnetism; 1st microbiologist ; believed Egypt populated China; They call Hermes Trismegistus Confucius; They worship Isis as Pussa; discussed Tea as an imported drink as it was becoming popular, 1668; believed in LIMITED evolution from the basic animals on Noah's Ark to the present, that deer were saved, and reindeer were not, coming into existence from deer afterwards;


Teachers: Aristotle; Plato; Archimedes; Vitruvius; Johannes Kepler; Leonardo da Vinci; Giordano Bruno; Nicolaus Copernicus; Galileo Galilei, though he was on the other side during the Trial; Tycho Brahe; Roman General Eustace of Mentorella; Sicolas Peiresc; Pliny the Elder; Johannes Trithemius ; Zoroaster; Euclid;Christopher Clavius, whose seat in Mathematics and rooms he inherited in Rome ; Rabbi Solomon Azubins de Tarascon; Johannes Hevelius; Nicholas Claude Fabri de Peiresc; Rabbi Barachias Nephi of Babylon; Pietro della Valle, owner of an Arabic-Coptic lexicon; Raymond Lull, creator of the "volvelles"; Lucretius; Virgil; Dante Alighieri; Lucan; Robert Fludd, whom he liked but kept quiet about, as it was unpopular at the time; Erone d’Alessandria; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; Marsilio Ficino; Hermes Trismegistus; Cicero; Dr. Fracastoro, author of Syphilis, or the French Disease; William Gilbert, author of De Magnete, 1600; William Harvey, discoverer of blood circulation in Du Motu Cordis aka On the Motion of the Heart; Evangelista Torricelli, who created 1st vacuum in 1644, and created a barometer; Otto von Guericke of Magdeburg, 1st air pump; Senior Zadith aka Ibn Umayl aka Muhammed ibn Umail at-Tamîmî, Arabic alchemist; Haled; Gerber AKA Jābir ibn Hayyān; Zohara; Abn Amil; Zosimos of Panopolis ; Ibn Al-Hassan Ibn Ali Al-Tughra'i'; Bernard Caneseus; Wilhelm Baoldonus; Cornelius Agrippa; Michael Maier; Dr. Pierre Jean Fabre; Balsan the Arab; Artephius AKA Aesculapius aka Artefius, author of Ars sintrillia, Clavis sapientiae or Clavis maioris sapientiae, and Liber secretus; Father Michal Boym; Sir Francis Bacon; Arnoldus de Villa Nova, alchemist who he thought was a team of two separate people; Rabbi Solomon Arubi of Constantinople ; Father David Bartholomaeus Bonamourus ; Moses Simon of Mount Lebanon; Frater Durand; Moses Muchi; Georg Kuler; Amatus Chezaud; Prince Tunetain ; Fr. Ignatius Archamon; Hieronymus Harderus ; Ovidius Montalbanus; Andreas Müller aka Andreas Mullerus, Provost of Berlin; Bernard Palissy; Hewart von Hohenbur, author of Thesaurus Hieroglyphicorum; Philippe d’Aquin; Joannes Stephanus Rittangelius, Qabalist 1642;


Students: Kapar Scott; Edward W. Schmidt; Sir E. A. Wallis Budge; Johannes Marcus Marci; Albert Mackey; Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz , nun; Edgar Allen Poe, see mention in DESCENT into the MAELSTROM; Jorge Luis Borges; Italo Calvino; Umberto Eco, whose hero in The Island of the Day Before is an idealized image of Kircher; Marcel Duchamp ; Giorgio De Chirico, who may also be the assistant Giorgio di Sepi; David Wilson, of the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, California; Anton Haakman; Princeton University professor Anthony Grafton; Rosamond Purcell; Daniel Stolzenberg; Frank Manuel; John Glassie; Father Conor Reilly; John Fletcher; Anton Mesmer; Giovanni Battista Riccioli, astronomer; Giorgio de Sepibus, assistant; Johannes Marcus Marci; Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz who idolized him, even when he thought the theories wrong, 1670; Jean-François Champollion, who translated the Rosetta Stone and relied on Kircher's Coptic studies but not his hieroglyph studies; John Amos Comenius; John Wilkins; Charles Babbage; Paula Findlen ; Erik Iverson; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; Cardinal Francesco Barberini ; Chuck Furnace; Colleen Manassa , Egyptologist; Peter Davidson; William Wynn Westcott; Franck Lavigne, volcano expert; geologist Ben Andrews of the Smithsonian; Silvestre de Sacy; Thomas Young; Francis Llewellyn Griffith; Hermann Crumbach; Amatus de Chezaud; Nicolo Mascardi; John Milton ; King Charles II of England, especially on Magnetism; Prince Charles II if Spain, for whom he made Children's books on the Bible; John Locke; Edmond Halley; Rev. Cotton Mathers; Jules Verne, whose hero in Journey to the Center of the Earth is an idealized image of Kircher; Robert Boyle; Heinrich Roth; Charles D. Van Tuyl; Father Alejandro Favian of New Spain; Gioseffo Petrucci; H. L. Mencken, author of The Charlatanry of The Learned, 1937; Katherine Waterburn; Sir Samuel Moreland, inventor of the megaphone, or speaking trumpet; Philipp Jakob Sachs von Lowenheim; Archbishop Gaspard de Varadier de Saint-Andiol; W.B. Yeats and wife George, attempted Kirchers' Vegtable-Phoenix experiment; Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who quoted his fictional Rabbi Barachias Nephi; Paul Philidor aka Paul de Philipsthal, of the Phantasmagoria, 1795, @ 17??–1829; Eugenio Lo Sardo; Horst Beinlich; Ignacio Gomez de Liano; Caterina Marrone; Joscelyn Godwin; Johannes Jakob Scheigkard von Freihausen; Br. Frederic Portal, author A Comparison of Egyptian Symbols with those of the Hebrews;


Friends: Sir Robert Moray, 1st recorded Freemason; Gian Lorenzo Bernini, sculptor; Pope Innocent X; Queen Christina of Sweden; Frederick of Hesse; The Knights of Malta; Pope Alexander VII; Paul Lascaris, the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John (the Johanniterordens); Pierre Gassendi; Marin Mersenne; Llandgrave Frederick of Hesse-Darmstadt, patron; Father Fabio Chigi aka Pope Alexander VII in 1655; Kaspar Schott; Prince Ferdinand III of Vienna; The Linceans aka Academia dei Lincei aka the Academy of the Lynx-Eyed, Rome; John Evelyn of England; Henry Oldenburg of the Royal Society; Daniello Barttoli, who wanted to edit his work but was rebuffed; Johann Franz von Kollowrath ; Johann Friedrich von Wallenstein ; Siegmund Ferdinand Hartmann ; Ernst Adalbert von Harrach ; Jakob Johann Dobrzensky ; Philipp Miller; Heinrich Julius von Blume ; Simon Schurer; Johann Schega ; Juan Caramuel Lobkowitz ; Ferdinand Johann von Lichtenstein ; Balthasar Conrad; Johannes Gans ; Bernhard Ignaz Martinitz ; Martino Santini;


Enemies: Andreas Müller, who tricked him with several false hieroglyphics; Duke Christian of Brunswick (God's Friend, the Priest's Foe); Gutav Adolph, King of Sweden; Francesco Redi, who disproved spontaneous generation; Giambattista Della Porta, author of Natural Magic; Isaac Casaubon, who dated the Corpus Hermetica to Hellanized Egypt rather than ancient; Christiaan Huygens, who correctly disagreed with most of Kircher's scientific theories ; Rene Descartes; Dr. Johann Glauber; Dr. Johann Zwefler; Professor Bonvicini of Padua; Salomone de Blauenstein; perhaps Michael Sendivogius, whose alchemy was used to refute his Natural Science; Antonio Baldigiani of Florence;

Organizations: Museum Kircherianum; Jesuits; Catholic Church; professor of mathematics and Oriental languages at the Roman College in 1633; inspired The German Catholic Internationale Athanasius Kircher Forschungsgesellschaft (AKA International Athanasius Kircher Research Society), 1968; Kircher Society, New York, 2007; may have been a member of the Republic of Letters;

Author: Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae explores making a Magic lantern slideshow AKA The Great Art of Light and Shadow (1646) AKA The Magnetic Art of Light and Shadow; Lingua Aegyptiaca Restituta (1643): Arca No; Scrutinium Pestis, 1658; Musurgia Universalis (1650) AKA Universal Music-Making ; Ars Magna Sciendi, sive Combinatoria; Table of alchemical equipment and operations (see http://www.levity.com/alchemy/kircher.html); Underground World (1665); Oedipus Aegyptiacus contains the Modern Tree of Life diagram from Moses ben Jacob Cordovero's, 1522 – 1570, Pardes Rimonim (Cracow, Poland 1591) with 10 spheres in 3 columns and connecting Paths (1652–54), became Egyptian Oedipus (1652–55), his 2,000-page magnum opus on hieroglyphics and Ancients philosophy; The Great Art of Knowing; Ecstatic Voyage (1656), astral Angelic travel through the planets; Primitae gnomonicae catopricae (1635); Scrutinium pestis physico-medicum ( 1658), in which he observed microorganisms under the microscope,invented the germ theory of disease and helped the victims of bubonic plague in 1656; Magnes sive de Arte Magnetica aka The Magnet, or the Art of Magnetics, in three parts, in which the Universal Nature of the Magnet as well as Its Use in All Arts and Sciences Is Explained by a New Method - in addition, here are revealed through All Kinds of Physical, Medical, Chemical and Mathematical Experiments, Many Hitherto Unknown Secrets of Nature from the Powers and Prodigious Effects of Magnetic as well as Other Concealed Motions of Nature in the Elements, Stones, Plants, Animals and Elucescent Things, 1641; Latium, on Rome and it's surroundings; "Specula Melitensis Encyclica sive syntagma novum instrumentorum physico-mathematicorum" (1638), the Maltese Observations which describes Raymond Lull' s "volvelles" wheel; "Scrutinium physico-medicum contagiosæ luis, quæ pestis dicitur" (1658); ("Polygraphia seu artificium lingarum, quo cum omnibus totius mundi populis poterit quis correspondere",(1663); Pantometrum Kircherianum (1669), his geometric calculator; Ars magna sciendi (1669) ;'Tariffa Kircheriana (1679); Arca Noe (1675); Mundus Subterraneus aka Ungerground World (1665); Phonurgia Nova aka New Work on Sound, (1673); The Goddess: her names and symbols; Zoroaster's Egg; Sigillum Dei Aemeth; Mithra; Cabala Hebraeorum; thirty-six books total; The Coptic, or Egyptian Forerunner, in which both the origin , age, vicissitude and inflection of the Coptic or Egyptian, Once Pharaonic, Language, and the Restoration of Hieroglyphic Literature are Exhibited by a New and Unaccustomed Method, 1636; started, but unfinished - Universal History of the Characters of Letters and Languages of the Whole World; Pamphilian Obelisk, 1650; Examination of the Plague, 1658, the 1st published use of a microscope, followed by Robert Hooke's Micrographia - Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon, 1665, but Kircher made the connection of the "little worms' of microorganisms to disease, as he was studying plague while Hooke focused on the structure and generation of the creatures rather than their effects on people; China Illustrated, 1667; Magnetic Kingdom of Nature, 1667; designs for il Porcino, the Little Pig carrying an Alexandrian obelisk in honor of Father Chigi aka Pope Alexander VII; Apologetic Forerunner to Kirchian Studies aka Prodomo Apologetico alli Studi Chircherian, dictated to Gioseffo Petrucci;



Quotes: (on his first public sundial in Koblenz) See how the Shadow flies, so flies both the year and the age like a silent army


Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_Kircher; http://www.esotericarchives.com/kircher/index.html his writings; read Oedipus Aegyptiacus: Sigillum Aemeth here http://www.esotericarchives.com/juratus/kircher.htm; The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley by J. Edward Jerry Cornelius; http://www.thenation.com/article/173649/kirchers-cosmos-athanasius-kircher; OMG! the Mother - Lode of his letters to 750 scholars of Europe, see http://archimede.imss.fi.it/kircher/ ; Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything by Paula Findlen ; http://www.mjt.org/exhibits/Knots.html ; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08661a.htm; http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/jmac/sj/scientists/kircher.htm ; http://www.strangescience.net/kircher.htm ; http://www.strangescience.net/kircher.htm http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/voynich-manuscript; A MAN OF MISCONCEPTIONS: The Life of an Eccentric In An Age Of Change by John Glassie, 2012; Egyptian Oedipus was on display at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History's Echoes of Egypt exhibit, 2013, http://peabody.yale.edu/exhibits/echoes-egypt-conjuring-land-pharaohs; http://www.digicult.it/digimag/issue-055/athanasius-kircher-arca-musarithmica-and-many-sound-devices/; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/books/egyptomania-by-bob-brier-tells-of-the-mummys-lure.html?hpw&rref=books on moving the obelisks and Prof. Brier; Athanasius Kircher - A Renaissance Man and the Quest for Lost Knowledge, 1979 & Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre Of The World - The Life and Work of the Last Man to Search for Universal Knowledge (OMG, the ILLUSTRATIONS!!!!) , 2009, both by Joscelyn Godwin; http://www.voynich.net/neal/kircher_scripts_translation.html ; http://www.alchemyguild.info/Archives/16%20Kabbalah/32%20Paths%20of%20Wisdom.pdf;