DSC_0014Kircher’s Physologia, is a tour de force published just after his death, it gathers many of the Experiments which occupied his rapacious life in a quest to ‘Know the world and its secrets” “includes the first recorded experiment in hypnotism in animals”DSC_0015.“on virtually every imaginable aspect of ancient and modern knowledge”,


632G Kircher, Athanasius( Kestler) . 1602-1680

Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis, Qua Summa Argumentorum Multitudine & Varietate Naturalium rerum scientia per experimenta Physica, Mathematica, Medica, Chymica, Musica, Magnetica, Mechanica comprobatur atque stabilitur. Quam Ex Vastis Operibus Adm. Revdi. P. Athanasii Kircheri extraxit, & in hunc ordinem per classes redegit

Romæ, Anno M. DC. LXXV. Joannes Stephanus Kestlerus Alsata, Authoris discipulus, & in re litterariâ assecla, & coadjutor. Amsterdam: Ex Officinâ Janssonio-Waesbergiana, 1680 $9,500

Folio, 9.4 x 14.25 in. First and only edition. *4, A-Z4, Aa-Ii4.

There are many illustrations in this book: an extra engraved title page, one hundred and sixty text woodcuts, and ten text engravings, some of which are very large. These illustrations all depict scientific instruments and experiments. This is a very good copy bound in marbled sheep (stained), richly gilt spine(small tears at the head and tail, joints slightly splitting)

“Thus in the most varied branches of science Kircher played the role of pioneer. Even medicine received his attention. His scientific activities brought him into correspondence with scholars laboring in the most different fields, as the numerous volumes of his extant letters show. It is to his inventive mind that we owe one of the earliest of our counting machines: the speaking-tube and æolian harp were perfected by him. He was also the inventor of the magic lantern [depicted in this volume] which has since been brought to such perfection and is today almost indispensable. [All of Kircher’s inventions are illustrated in the present work, including three different depictions of magic lanterns.]” (CE)


632G title
632G title

“This work, edited by one of Kircher’s pupils, Johann Stephan Kestler, is a codification of Kircher’s observations and experiments across the entire spectrum of his researches in physics. Naturally there are large sections on light and shadow, magnetism, acoustics, and music; but there are also experiments and observations in hydraulics, alchemy, and a myriad of other topics. This compendium was perhaps a response to entreaties from Kircher’s fellow scientists, who appreciated his keen observations and experiments but did not care to wade through some forty volumes to glean them. The book is an example of what Kircher’s writings could have been like at the hands of a good editor. Kircher died the year this book was published, and it is uncertain to what extent he was involved in its publication. The Physiologia is not only a measure of Kircher’s scientific curiosity and the vast range of his scientific researches, but also a barometer of his age, a catalogue of the scientific concerns of his time.” (Merrill). Kircher produced some forty treatises “on virtually every imaginable aspect of ancient and modern knowledge”, each one “demonstrat[ing] his dizzying array of linguistic, paleographic, historical, and scientific skills, and … advertis[ing] his myriad inventions, possession of strange and exotic artifacts, and mysterious manuscripts” (Findlen) Graesse Vol. 4, p. 22; Merrill #29; Sommervogel IV 1076, 24; Caillet II, 365.5796; Brunet III, 669; Clendening 13.26; Garrison/Morton 80.580.Findlen, ed., Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything [2004], p. 2.