(Item #665) ARCA NOE, IN TRES LIBROS DIGESTA. Athanasius Kircher, 1601 or 02 - 1680, Athanasii Kircheri.

Amsterdam: Apud Joannem Janssonium a Waesberge, 1675. First edition. Contemporary Dutch vellum binding in excellent condition. Folio (pages 380 x 250 mm), collating: [14], 240, [14], [2]; complete. With engraved title, portrait of Charles II of Spain and 19 other engraved plates including: a large folded plate of the ark; three maps, two of which are double-page and trimmed a bit close, without loss; ten other double-page plates; three single page plates; and two plates on half-sheets, uncut in this copy. With ten additional engravings in the text, including one full page, 102 woodcuts, five tables, tailpieces and decorated initials. Complete with all plates and engravings in Fine condition, title pages with previous owner's name excised from top of leaves, a few closed marginal tears and minor toning throughout.

Kircher is generally cited as the last man who knew everything. He was a German Jesuit scholar whose appetite for learning crossed all geographical and intellectual boundaries. His work was widely popular in its day, but lost support as Cartesian rationalism gained traction and many of his theories were proven erroneous. Mostly ignored since the seventeenth century, modern scholarship has found much to appreciate in Kircher's work, if occasionally it also verges on the fantastic.

This book is the monumental result of Kircher's obsession with the biblical story of Noah's Ark. A pseudo-scientific analysis of how the ark was constructed, the year of the flood, which animals were taken, how they were boarded and where, feeding schedules and other logistics. It is the most complete literal interpretation of Noah's Ark ever constructed. Rife with stunning illustrations and engravings that make the work enjoyable even for those who cannot read the ancient languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Syrian). A beautiful copy of this impressive work.

Merrill 26; Sommervogel IV, 1068-69.33; Nissen ZBI 2195; Caillet 5768; Dunnhaupt/Kircher 29
Fine (Item #665)

Out of stock