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d'Onder-aardse weereld. [Mundus Subterraneus]
J. Jansson and E. Weyerstraet, Amsterdam 1682 - d'Onder-aardse weereld in haar goddelijk maaksel en wonderbare uitwerkselen aller dingen; in XII boeken nauwkeurig beschreven. Waar van dit eerste handeld van het wiskundig werkstuk des aardkloots in 't heel-al. (.) het tweede deel; daar in de wonderbare kracht der werksame natuur in de voortbrenging der menigerlei schepselen, en der selver gedurige op en ondergang (.) de waare en valsche goudsoekerye (.) de nuttigheid der destilleerkunde en veel vermogende stofscheidinge, glasblasen en allerhande konst en handgrepen (.). 2 vols in one, Folio (394x243 mm). [20], 425, [11]; [8], 415, [13] pp. Engraved frontispiece, engraved title vignette, 13 engraved plates (7 double-page and 6 folding), 4 tables (1 folding and 3 double page), 80 engraved illustrations (many full-page), 2 mounted volvelles [vol. 1, pp.185, 187], leaf aaa2 misbound after aaa3. Small tear to 3 folding plates, one repaired, tiny repair to margin Q2, occasional very light browning. Contemporary calf, spine with raised bands, lettered and decorated in compartments (some rubbing, corners bumped, upper joint partly cracked). Provenance: Bibliotheca Kircheriana (book label). An outstanding copy, internally bright and unstained. Collated complete, with the assembled volvelles. ---- Alden & Landis 682/00; De Backer & Sommervogel IV, col. 1061; DSB VII, pp. 374-8; Ferguson, Bib. Chem. I, p. 466; Hoover 483; Merrill, Athanasius Kircher 17; Nissen, ZBI 2197; Poggendorf I, pp. 1258-9; Sabin 37968; Wellcome III, p. 395; cf. Caillet I, 5783 (Latin ed.) - FOURTH, MOST COMPLETE EDITION of 'PERHAPS KIRCHER'S MOST POPULAR WORK' (Merrill). First printed in 1664-65 in Latin, this is the first Dutch edition of the "Mundus Subterraneus, perhaps the most popular of Kircher's works in his day and the best known in ours, is cited in letters and works of such contemporaries as Martin Lister (1639-1712), the zoologist and geologist; Robert Moray (1608?-73), chemist, metallurgist, and first president of the Royal Society; the philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) and John Locke (1632-1704); Henry Oldenburg (1618-77), the secretary of the Royal Society and the first professional scientific administrator; Nicolaus Steno (1638-86), the anatomist and geologist; and the physicist Christian Huygens (1629-95). The basis and impetus for the Mundus Subterraneus was Kircher's visit to Sicily in 1637-38, where he witnessed an eruption of Aetna and Stromboli. He prefaced the work with his own narrative of the trip, including his spectacular descent into Vesuvius upon his return to Italy. His observations of these volcanoes led him to conclude that the center of the earth is a massive internal fire for which the volcanoes are mere safety valves. But the work is not solely geologic. Kircher continues with fantastic speculations about the interior of the earth, its hidden lakes, its rivers of fire, and its strange inhabitants. Major topics include gravity, the moon, the sun, eclipses, ocean currents, subterranean waters and fires, meteorology, rivers and lakes, hydraulics, minerals and fossils, subterranean giants, beasts and demons, poisons, metallurgy and mining, alchemy, the universal seed and the generation of insects, herbs, astrological medicine, distillation, and fireworks. In this work he discloses his experience with palingenesis: he had allegedly resuscitated a plant from its ashes. Much of the work deals with alchemy. Kircher ridicules Paracelsus' belief in transmutation and discredits the work of alchemists in general, complaining about the obscurity of their writings. This diatribe brought him vicious criticism and abuse later in life from alchemists who no longer feared the authority of the Jesuit order. Kircher does, however, praise the work of the "true chemist," the chymiotechnicus." (Merrill). [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Milestones of Science Books]
Last Found On: 2013-12-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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