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Historia Eustachio-Mariana
Engraved frontis., woodcut device on title, 6 engraved plates (five folding), two large folding printed genealogical tables, & 5 engravings (one full-page) in the text. 6 p.l. (incl. frontis.), 184, [10] pp., one leaf of errata. 4to, cont. vellum over boards (some foxing as is always the case with this book). Rome: Varese, 1665. First edition of one of Kircher's scarcest books. In 1661, Kircher "retired to Tybur to restore his waning strength and to gather geographic and historical information for his Latium. Setting out through the neighboring hills one day, he came upon an ancient church. An inscription near the crumbling altar declared that the shrine was erected by Constantine where Saint Eustachius saw a vision of the crucified Christ between a stag's antlers and was converted. Saint Eustachius is alleged to have been a Roman general of the first century A.D., who, after being thus converted while hunting, refused to sacrifice to pagan gods during the persecutions under Hadrian in A.D. 118. He was subsequently burned inside a brazen bull... "Naturally this discovery piqued Kircher's curiosity, and upon inquiring of the local peasants, he learned that the chapel had been called the Shrine of Our Lady of Mentorella and was a well-known place of pilgrimage in antiquity. Kircher remembered the many perils he had escaped with the Virgin's aid and was determined to restore the shrine to her honor. When he returned to Rome, he wrote...Historia eustachio-mariana (1665), on the history and sanctity of the shrine and sent copies to his patrons. Soon donations began to pour in, and the chapel was restored to its ancient splendor and status as a place of pilgrimage. Every year thereafter at Michaelmas (29 September), Kircher and other Jesuits welcomed pilgrims to the shrine."-Merrill, Athanasius Kircher, p. xxvi-(& it is interesting to note that the catalogue does not describe a copy). Very good copy. First two leaves with a little marginal dampstaining. ❧ De Backer-Sommervogel IV, 1063-"Il est très rare." .
      [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2014-01-08           Check availability:      Biblio    

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