KIRCHER (Athanasius)

, a famous philosopher and mathematician, was born at Fulde in 1601. He entered into the society of the Jesuits in 1618, and taught philosophy, mathematics, the Hebrew and Syriac Languages, in the university of Wirtsburg, with great applause, till the year 1631. He retired to France on account of the ravages committed by the Swedes in Franconia, and lived some time at Avignon. He was afterwards called to Rome, where he taught mathematics in the Roman college, collected a rich cabinet of machines and antiquities, and died in 1680, in the 80th year of his age.

The quantity of his works is immense, amounting to 22 volumes in folio, 11 in quarto, and three in octavo; enough to employ a man for a great part of his life even to transcribe them. Most of them are rather curious than useful; many of them visionary and fanciful; and it is not to be wondered at, if they are not always accompanied with the greatest exactness and precision. The principal of them are,

1. Prælusiones Magneticæ.

2. Primitiæ Gnomonicæ Catoptricæ.

3. Ars magna Lucis et Umbræ.

4. Musurgia Universalis.

5. Obeliscus Pamphilius.

6. Oedipus Ægyptiacus; 4 volumes folio.

7. Itinerarium Extaticum.

8. Obeliscus Ægyptiacus; 4 volumes folio.

9. Mundus Subterraneu<*>.

10. China Illustrata.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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KEILL (Dr. John)
KIRCH (Christian Frederic)
* KIRCHER (Athanasius)
KOENIG (Samuel)