These ten books are on quite a few subjects.. approaching being on most possible subjects. I’m not going to list them but in the descriptions that follow you will see lots of them mentioned.

A list of 10 books by Jesuits from the Seventeenth century.

I           599J.    Balde 

II         508J      Bartoli

III         515J      Catholic Church (Jesuits)

IV.       576J      David    Occasio Arrepta

V         458J    David     Duodecim specula

VI         334H    Izquierda

VII       600J      Kircher  Physiologia

VIII      567J     Kircher   Romani Collegii

IX         622G.   Kircher   Ars Magna

X         490G.    Stengel

I.  599J

Balde, Jacobus . (1603-1668)

Reverendi Patris Jacobi Balde e Societate Jesu. Poema. De Vanitate Mundi.

Herbipoli BencardWürzburg.1659 $1,000

Duodecimo, 12.5 x 7.4. Second edition A⁴–B-N¹² O⁸ (O8 blank and present ,bulls head watermark) This edition has a frontice (bound as A4)  Wolfgang Kilian  Bound in beautifully preserved contemporary full sheep decorated in blind with flowers and ivy leaves, lacking ties  

Faber du Faur , comments that Bade’s verse while of a past time in both Latin and German with “incomparable virtuosity making the whole a remarkable dance of death instilled with terrifying macabre merriment. The poem has also some of the qualities of the Bavarian village feast whichends with a lusty fight and much broken earthenware. In this case ii is the whole earthball which literally goes to pieces

Jacob Balde,eventually know as The German Horace” was born 1604, at Ensisheim, Alsace and died in  1668, at Neuburg, in the Bavarian palatinate. He attend the Jesuit school at Ensisheim and while at this school his Grandmother was found guilty of witchcraft, and he had to leave yet he eventually was to finish his education at the University of Ingolstadt and there after entered the order of the Jesuits in 1624; became court-preacher and Bavarian historiographer in Münich, 1640, confessor and court-preacher to the count-palatine, Philipp Wilhelin; and acquired a great fame as a poet, not in his native tongue, or singularly enough his German poetry is but in Latin, as an imitator of Horace, Virgil, etc. He wrote odes, satires, and epics, of a romantic, humorous, and religious character.

His Odae Partheniae to the Virgin were separately published in 1648. His Urania Victrir (1657), describing the contest between the Christian soul and the temptation of the five senses, impressedPope Alexander VII. so much that he sent the author a golden medal. A collected edition of his works appeared at Cologne, 1660, and a more complete one at Munich, 1729. Minor selections have often been made; for instance, by Orelli, 1805. See Georg Westermayer: Jacobus Balde, sein Leben u. seine Werke, München, 1868.

DeBacker-Sommervogel, Vol. I Col.818 No.5 ; Faber du Faur ; no. 991 Reproduction: Mikrofilm-Ausg./ New Haven/ Research Publications,/ 1969./ 1 microfilm reel./ Yale University Library collection of German baroque literature ; reel 294, no. 991;vd17ppn001188666; VD1723:330685W


II.  508G

Bartoli, Daniello. (1608-1685 ( Zane, Domenico. 1620-72)

Del suono de’ tremori armonici e dell’udito.

A spese di Pietro Bottelli, all’insegna della Naue: 1680.                 $1,500

Quarto, 20 x 15 Cm.  Signatures: ‡⁶, A⁴-M⁴, N-Z ⁸-Aa-C⁸, Dd⁶ (2D⁶ blank) Second edition.  With a few woodcut diagrams of wave theory. This copyis bound in contemporary full vellum.

Haller praises his philosophical works, and Dr. Burney in his History of Music vol. III states that this work ‘ on Harmony,” published at Bologna, 1680, under the title “Del Suono de Tremori Armonici e dell’ Udito,” a truly scientific and ingenious work,in which are several discoveries in harmonics, that have been pursued by posterior writers on the subject.”

This is the second edition of Bartoli’s important work on the study of acoustics and physiology of hearing, including somehints on the theories of Galileo Galilei. From 1670 to 1673 Bartoli served as Rector of the Collegio Romano in recognition ofhis international prestige as a writer.  Indefatigible in his final years Bartoli produced 4 Jesuit biographies and three scientific treatises on pressure, sound, coagulation.

His several works of spiritual reflection were brought together a folio edition, Le Morali in 1684. His final work, Pensieri sacriwent to press after his death in Rome, January 13, 1685.

De Backer-Sommervogel vol I, col 980: Wellcome II,109.;NLM: WZ 250



515J. Catholic Church (Jesuits) 

The Roman martyrologe set forth by the command of Pope Gregory XIII. and revievved by the authority of Vrban VIII. Translated out of Latin into English, by G.K. of the Society of Iesus. The second edition, in which are added diuers saints, put in to the calender, since the former impression.

Printed at S. Omers : by Thomas Geubels, 1667.   $2,600

Octavo: 15 x 9 Signatures; ‡¹⁰ A-Z⁸ 2A⁴. Device of the Society of Jesus on title page. At foot of title: With licence, and at foot of Aa  The Roman Martyrs for Dec 21- “Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis.”

At foot of title: With licence, and at foot of  Aa4v: “Jmprimatur J.C. De Longeual.” translated out of Latin into English by G.K. of the Society of Iesvs. , George Keynes1 (1630-1659.)  Bound in contemporary calf with wear, expertly rebacked. 

This English version of the Roman Catholic martyrology, or calendar of Saints, The second edition, enlarged, of a recusant work first published in 1627, also in Saint-Omer. The translation of both the original and this second edition is generally attributed to George Keynes, a Jesuit, but almost certainly not the George Keynes (1628-1658), son of Edward Keynes of Compton Pauncefoot, referred to as a possible translator in ONDB. 

Backer-Sommervogel,; Vol.IV, Col. 1023, No. 1; Gillow,; IV:30; Clancy, Thomas. English Catholic Books 1641-1700. Chicago, p. 55.; Wing; K392 Wing (CD-Rom, 1996), R1892; ESTCR35414. 


IV.576J.   David, Jan. (1545-1613)

 Occasio Arrepta Neglecta. Huius Commoda: Illius Incommoda. Auctore R.P. Ioanne David Societatis Iesv Sacerdote.

Antwerp: Ex officina Platiniana, apud Ioannem Moretum. 1605. $4,500

Quarto, 8 x 6 in. First (and only)edition. +-++4, A-Z4, a-t4 This copy is bound in contemporary calf with the Jesuit insignia in gold on the boards.

First edition. A very beautiful collection of emblems, written by a Belgian Jesuit. The illustration contains one frontispiece and 12 engaging plates which were engraved by engraved by Théodore Galle. Each one depicts the goddess “Occasio”which is the Latin name for Caerus, personification of opportunity whose comments and depicts both opportunity and neglected opportunity. A second part with continuous pagination, but its own title page with the printer mark of Plantin. “Occasio drama” .Which is a drama by the author embodying this thought process.

David was born at Courtrai and entered the society of Jesuits in 1581 – The engraver Galle worked closely with the publisher Plantin-Moretus and was married to the daughter of Jan Moretus and Martina Plantin. He can be considered the “most important picture publisher of the first half of the 17th century in the Netherlands” (AKL XLVIII, 8).

Daly & Dimler Jesuit series ;part one: J.144 p.150. Sommervogel vol. II, 1847: 7.: Landwehr 186. De Backer/Sommervogel II, 1847.7. Bibl. Belgica II, D 139. Praz 313. Funck 302. Brunet II, 536: “Les ouvrages de J. David sont recherchés ů cause des gravures de Th. Galle dont ils sont orn


V. 458J     Joannes David 1546-1613.

Duodecim specula deum aliquando videre desideranti concinnata. 

Antverpiae: Ex officina Plantiniana, apud Ioannem Moretum, 1610    price $2,900 

Octavo:  8.3 x 11.5 cm.  signatures: * A-M N .  First edition. This  copy is bound in modern crushed levant morroco, extra spine and bords in gilt and blind by F. Bedford. Bound over the original limp vellum boards with a gilt lozenge of the arms of the Jesuits (IHS). This is a very clean copy with very vivid impressions of the engravings . With Signed engraved title page  (Theodor. Galle fecit) 12 unsigned engravings numbered I-XII wonderfully illustrated work about 12 mirrors mankind uses to try and see God. This book is structured from top left to right Emblem number with caption, pictura with motifs lettered, then subscriptio, prose identification of the lettered motifs, in most copies the facing page with number followed by a prose conversation between Anima and Desiderus.

“The Duodecim Specula consists of twelve chapters, each prefaced by an imago, focusing on various kinds and degrees of specular image: it starts with the Everyday Mirror (speculum commune), manufactured by “human artifice” (artis opus), the surface of which philosophers use to expose human characteristics, and ends with the Mirror of Beatific Vision (speculum visionis beatificae), in whose images the ‘cutting edge of the mind’ (acies mentis) glimpses the radiance of divinity.” (Melion, Walter, and Enenkel, Karl A. E.,The Authority of the Word: Reflecting on Image and Text in Northern Europe, 1400-1700. Netherlands, Brill, 2011.) 

DeBacker-Sommervogel vol. II col.1851 no.20,;
Daly & Dimler corpus Librorun eblematum(CLE) J141; Praz, M. Studies in 17th century imagery,; vol. I p.313; 
Landwehr, J. Dutch emblem books,134 ; Funck p. 303, BCNI 5556, Bibl. Belg. D 157.  § see also The Jesuits and the Emblem Tradition: Selected Papers of the Leuven International Emblem Conference, 18-23 August, 1996.; Hollstein 7: Galle 113- 124; ; McGeary & Nash. Emblem books at the Unviersity of Illinois .


VI. 334G. Sebastián Izquierdo  1601-1681 Ignatius,; of Loyola, Saint,; 1491-1556.

Praxis exercitiorum spiritualium P.N.S. Ignatti. Auctore P. Sebastiano Izquierdo Alcarazense Societatis Jesu

Rome; Buagni 1695                                  $3,000

Octavo 18 x 12 Cm.  Signatures A-G8,H4. First edition  12 full-page engravings ;each page of the text is printed within an ornamental typographic border.  This is a nice clean copy, unlike the copy which has been digitized which is a mess and terribly browned . 

The copy offered here is clean and crisp, it is bound in original vellum.

The Jesuit Sebastián Izquierdo in his Práctica de los ejercicios espirituales, written in 1665 translated in to Italian the same year then in 1678 translated as here into Latin and later published in several translations and versions offers   an illustrated guide to the Ignatian spiritual exercises. The illustrations, 12 of them, are the subject of image meditation  which was a favorite method of the Jesuits who, beginning with the monumental Evangelicae Historiae Imagines (1593) of  Jerónimo Nadal, actively took hold of religious iconography and adjusted and concentrated it for the teaching of  the Societies ( and Ignatius’ ) vision.  The images are not just simple depiction’s instead they are mnemonic devices. 

These images are points of departures and give the current 21st century reader a precious examples of images that inspire meditation, direct the reception of the teachings and  anchor them in the memory. Particularly memorable is the Image of Hell on page 72, or the Puteus Abyssi (the bottomless pit)  .  The lay-out shows the pedagogical  intentions and possibilities of this little book: there are  12 parts consisting of 12 separate quires, numbered from ‘A’ to ‘M’ and paginated each from 1-12,  each with its own full-page illustration , these could have been  meant to be distributed  separately – according to match the educational needs or level of the students.   The Images are in high contrast, with plenty of Bloody and memorable images.

The Puteus Abyssi depicts a  poor man who is naked and sitting in a chair in some sort of oubliette.  He has seven swords, each with animal head handles, in him  and each is strategically stuck in  various parts of the body.  The swords are labeled for the passions. Most interesting of these might be the sword marked ‘Vengeance’ it is hanging offer the mans head, the Idleness sword is stuck between his legs, Gluttony in his stomach, Lust … Envy in his back, Avarice between his Shoulders and Pride in his heart.

Izquierdo was also the author of  Pharus scientiarum, a treatise on  a methodology  to access knowledge, conceived  as a single science. In this work, he assimilated Aristotelian and Baconian logic,  and  he expressed some original ideas on mathematics and logic that have earned their author a reputation as an outstanding mathematician.  Not just like his Spanish contemporaries John Caramuel or Tomás Vicente Tosca , but also significant foreign mathematicians as Athanasius Kircher , Gaspar Knittel or Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , the latter, in particular, cited with, his Disputatio of Combinatione, in Combinatorial Art (1666).

Sommervogel, IV, 701 (#4); Landwehr:Romantic 412.; Praz,p.382


VII.   600J Athanasius Kircher 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. Anno 1680      $9,700

Folio. 32 x 23 cm Signatures: *2-4[lacking *1], A-Z4, Aa-Ii4.  This copy is Lacks *the extra-engraved Tile. The Typographic title present.  First edition.  This copy is clean but has some usual light browing yet it is crisp throughout, never having been washed or pressed. There is some occasional spotting, but none is too extensive. The binding is twentieth century full calf with title on the front board and “Kircher” on the spine. an impressive and large copy!   

“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) 

Among many other discoveries this work “Includes the first recorded experiment in hypnotism in animals” (G/M).

“Thus in the most varied branches of science Kircher played the role of pioneer. Even medicine received his attention, as is shown for example by his treatise, ‘Scrutinium phyisco-medicum contagiosæ luis, quæ pestis dicitur’ (Rome, 1663). His scientific activities brought him into scientific 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 which has since been brought to such perfection and is and is today almost indispensable. [All of these devices are illustrated in the present work, compiled in the year of the author’s death by Kircher and his student Johann Stephan Kestler, including three large and striking engravings of magic lanterns.]”

           May I ask the reader to take the following quote with a measure of indulgence for its closed minded author [circa 1913] with the hope that modern folk of the last decade of the second millennium have a bit more tolerance for the many sciences that we have yet to master. “That the most varied judgments should be formed and expressed on a man of such encyclopædic knowledge was only to be expected. He tried to find a grain of truth even in the false sciences of alchemy, astrology, and horoscopy, which were still in his time much in vogue, nor is it surprising that in the province of astronomy he did not at this early date defend the Copernican System.” (the above two quoted taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. viii, page 662)

Kircher was an accomplished and versatile scholar who applied his intellectual abilities to a myriad of scientific problems. This work is a fascinating compendium of scientific experiments and principles which documents the accomplishments of early modern thinkers of the west.

Sommervogel Vol. IV Col. No. 1076, 24;  Caillet II, 3655796; Brunet III, 669; Garrison & Morton 80580.;Graesse vol. 4, page 22. Merrill #29.


VIII.   567J Kircher,Athanasius. (1602-1680)

567J    Kircher, Athanasius. (1602-1680) 

Romani Collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum Celeberrimum, Cujus magnum Antiquariae rei, statuarum, imaginum, picturarumque partem Ex Legato Alphonsi Donini, S.P.Q.R. A Secretis, munifica Liberalitate relictum. P. Athanasius Kircherus Soc. Jesu, novis & raris inventis locupletatum, compluriumque Principum curiosis donariis magno rerum apparatu instruxit; Innumeris insuper rebus ditatum, ad plurimorum, maxime exterorum, curiositatisque doctrinae avidorum instantiam urgentesque preces novis compluribusque machinis, tum peregrinis ex Indiis allatis rebus publicae luci votisque exponit Georgius de Sepibus Valesius, Authoris in Machinis concinnandis Executor.

Amsterdam: Ex Officina Janssonio-Waesbergiana 1678    $18,700 

Folio, 37 x 23.5 cm. Signatures: *4, A-I4. Complete with all [19leaves of plates (9 folded) : illustrations, portrait ; First plate has engraved title page on recto and blank verso. Printer’s device on title page./ Dedication (unnumbered pages 5-6) by Athanasius Kircher, dated Jan. 25, 1678./ Includes index. a list of books by Kircher and a List of Illustrations.  First edition. 

The many fantastic illustrations in this copy include a frontispiece view of the museum’s interior display, nine large folding engravings of obelisks, seven full paged engravings, nineteen text woodcuts, and three text engravings. Bound in full early vellum, smooth spine with title in ink (contemporary binding). A very nice large copy. 

I have found three digital/internet virtual copies:,1

“Athanasius Kircher, who was (is still) celebrated for the versatility of his knowledge and particularly distinguished for his knowledge of the natural sciences.” Collected physical representation of his intellectual voyages and his Museum/Cabinet is its manifestation.

“This book is the only description of Kircher’s museum in the Collegio Romano as it appeared in his lifetime, with the only extant depiction of the museum in all its fantastic glory.” (P.Dowling.)

The breath of the polymatical [ or polyhistorc?] territory represented in this work, certainly was a life source of the energy which birthed the possibility of concept of Enlightenment. And places Kircher beyond Bacon as the true homo universalis of his century. A quick look at the index of this book shows the precursor of Diderot and D’Alembert 1751, who were among the last who did not suffer from “the cult of specialisation” which in a short time redirected the epistem of western culture, fueled by capitalistic energies and moralities.

As a Historical Snapshot of Early-modern sensibilities I can think of no better book.

Kircher was born 2 May, 1601, at Geisa a small town on the northern bank of the Upper Rhone (Buchonia); died at Rome, 28 November, 1680. From his birthplace he was accustomed to add the Latin epithet Bucho, or Buchonius, to his name, although later he preferred calling himself Fuldensis after Fulda, the capital of his native country. The name Athanasius was given him in honor of the saint on whose feast he was born. John Kircher, the father of Athanasius, had studied philosophy and theology at Mainz, without, however, embracing the priestly calling. As soon as he had obtained the doctor’s degree in the latter faculty, he went to lecture on theology in the Benedictine house at Seligenstadt. Athanasius studied humanities at the Jesuit College in Fulda, and on 2 October, 1618, entered the Society of Jesus at Paderborn. At the end of his novitiate he repaired to Cologne for his philosophical studies. The journey thither was, on account of the confusion caused by the Thirty Years’ War, attended with great danger. Together with his study of speculative philosophy the talented young student devoted himself especially to the natural sciences and the classical languages, for which reason he was shortly afterwards called to teach these branches at the Jesuit colleges in Coblenz and Heiligenstadt. In Mainz, where Kircher (1625) began his theological studies, he attracted the notice of the elector through his ability and his skill as an experimentalist. In 1628 he was ordained priest, and hardly had he finished his last year of probation at Speyer when the chair of ethics and mathematics was given to him by the University of Wurzburg, while at the same time he had to give instructions in the Syrian and Hebrew Languages. However, the disorders consequent on the wars obliged him to go first to Lyons in France (1631) and later to Avignon.

“The discovery of some hieroglyphic characters in the library of Speyer led Kircher to make his first attempt to solve the problem of hieroglyphical writing, which still baffled all scholars. At Aix he made the acquaintance of the well-known French senator, Nicolas Peiresc, whose magnificent collections aroused in Kircher the highest interest. Recognizing in Kircher the right man to solve the old Egyptian riddle, Periesc applied direct to Rome and to the General of the Jesuits to have Kircher’s call to Vienna by the emperor set aside and to procure a summons for the scholar to the Eternal City. This generous intention was favored by Providence, inasmuch as Kircher on his way to Vienna was shipwrecked near Civita Vecchia, and arrived in Rome before the knowledge of his call thither had reached him. Until his death, Rome was now to be the principal scene of Kircher’s many-sided activity, which soon developed in such an astonishing way that the pope, emperor, princes, and prelates vied with one another in furthering and supporting the investigations of the learned scholar. After six years of successful teaching in the Roman College, where he lectured on physics, mathematics, and Oriental languages, he was released from these duties that he might have freedom in his studies and might devote himself to formal scientific research, especially in Southern Italy and Sicily. He took advantage of a trip to Malta to explore thoroughly the various volcanoes which exist between Naples and that island. He studied especially in 1638 the Strait of Messina, where, besides the noise of the surge, a dull subterranean rumble attracted his attention.

 At Trapani and Palermo his interest was aroused by the remains of antediluvian elephants. But before all else he tried to discover the subterranean power of the volcanoes at Aetna and Stromboli, then in eruption; public attention had been called to such mysterious phenomena by the frightful eruption of Vesuvius in 1630.

“When Kircher left Messina in 1638 to return to Naples, a terrible earthquake occurred which destroyed the city of Euphemia. Like Pliny before him Kircher wished to study at close range this powerful convulsion of nature. On reaching Naples he at once climbed Vesuvius, and had himself lowered by means of a rope into the crater and its inner structure. As the firstfruits of his travels he published, for the Knights of Malta, “Specula Melitensis Encyclica sive syntagma novum instrumentorum physico-mathematicorum” (Messina, 1638). It was forty years later that the fully matured results of these investigations appeared in Kircher’s great work, the “Mundus Subterraneus,” in two volumes (Amsterdam, 1678), which enjoyed the greatest repute in his time; not only did it give an incentive to the more searching investigation of subterranean forces, but it contributed much to their final explanation. When again in Rome, Kircher began collecting all kinds of antiquities and ethnologically important remains, thus laying the foundation of the well-known museum, which as the ‘Museum Kircherianum,’ still attracts today so many visitors to the Roman College. Epoch-making also were Kircher’s labors in the domain of deciphering hieroglyphics, and on the excavation of the so-called Pamphylian obelisk, he succeeded in supplying correctly the portions which had been concealed from him. [An engraving of the Pamphylian obelisk is part of the Kircher museum book.] It must be remembered that in those days little or no attention was paid to this subject, and that it was therefore in itself a great service to have taken the initiative in this branch of investigation, however lacking his efforts may have been in the fundamental principles of the science as it is known today. Kircher also gave an impetus to the intimate study of the relations between the different languages: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldaic, Syrian, Samaritan, Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Persian, Ethiopian, Italian,…

DeBacker-Sommervogel Vol.IV Col. 1076 Nº ; 

 Grasse; IV,p21; .Caillet, A.L. Manuel bibliographique des sciences psychiques ou occultes,; 5784;

 Rooms of wonder, New York, The Grolier Club, 2012, n° 20 : Not in Merrill.



IX.   622G Athansius  Kircher 1602-1680

Ars magna sciendi, in XII libros digesta, qua nova et universali methodo per artificiosum combinationum contextum de omni re proposita plurimis et prope infinitis rationibus disputari, omniumque summaria quedam cognitio comparari potest. Ad qugustissimum Rom. imperatorem Leopoldum primum, justum, pium, felicem.

Amsterdam: Apud Joannem Janssonium à Waesberge, & Viduam Elizei Weyerstraet, 1669       $9,500

Folio, 36 ½ x 24 Cm Signatures:. *4, **4, A-Z4, Aa-Gg4-Zz4, Aaa-Ooo4, Ppp6. First edition  In this copy all of the called for  illustrations appear:  On the frontice of part one The Greek inscription, at the foot of the throne on which the Divine Sophia sits, translates as “Nothing is more beautiful than to know the all.” Next there is a full page engraved portrait of Leopold I; next full paged plate of the ‘Arbor Philosophica two engraved plates with six parts to make two volvelles (at pages 13 and 173 respectively) the vovelle plates are present, one on slightly different paper, and five double paged tables. There are also numerous engravings and woodcuts throughout the text.  This copy is complete. It is bound in full original calf with a gilt spine with an expertly executed early rebacking.

   “ Nothing is more beautiful  than know all things”   

 The ‘Ars Magna Sciendi’ is Kircher’s exploration and development of the ‘Combinatoric Art’ of Raymond Lull, the thirteenth century philosopher. Kircher attempts in this monumental work to classify knowledge under the nine ideal attributes of God, which were taken to constitute the pattern for all creation. In the third chapter of this book is presented a new and universal version of the Llullistic method of combination of notions. Kircher seems to be convinced that the Llullistic art of combination is a secret and mystical matter, some kind of esoteric doctrine. In contrast with Llull, who used Latin words, words with clearly defined significations for his combinations, Kircher began filling the tables with signs and symbols of a different kind. By doing this Kircher was attempting to penetrate symbolic representation itself. (forming a ‘symbolic-Logic)

Kircher tried to calculate the possible combinations of all limited alphabets (not only graphical, but also mathematical). He considered himself a grand master of decipherment and tried to (and thought he did) translate Egyptian hieroglyphic texts, he felt that knowledge was a process of encoding and decoding. His tabula generalis, the more mathematical way of thinking created the great difference between Llull and Kircher.


Kircher used the same circle-figures of Llull, but the alphabet which Kircher proposes as material for his combination-machine reveals the difference to Llullus’ at first sight. It is not the signification in correlation with the position in the table, because all nine places in each table are filled with the same significations we find in the Llullistic tables, that makes the difference. It is the notation, which creates the difference. While making certain modifications, mainly in the interest of clarity, Kircher retains the main thesis of Raymond Lull in the search for a scientific approach to the classification of all branches of knowledge. The central aim of Llull’s and Kircher’s activity was to invent a type of logic or scientific approach capable of finding and expressing universal truth. Kircher and his seventeenth century contemporaries had discarded common language as a satisfactory vehicle for this undertaking. Kircher favored the use of symbols as a possible solution to his problem, which he had explored in his earlier work on a non-figurative universal language was not a primary concern of lull’s ‘Combinatoric Art,’ his approach lent itself naturally to the seventeenth century savants and their abiding interest in this subject. (see Brian L. Merrill, Athansius Kircher An Exhibition at Brigham Young University).

De Backer-Sommervogel  vol IV col.1066. no. 28; Merrill 22; Ferguson I. 467; Brunet III, 666; Caillet II, 360.5771; Clendening 10.17; De Backer I, 429-30.23; Graesse IV, 21; Reilly #26.

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X.  490G Stengel or Stengelio , Georg. (1584-1651)

Labyrinthi ab Aegyptiis structi fraudes, cum mundi a diabolo seducti periculis collatae. Pars prior.

Ingolstadt, Gregor Henlin, 1630                            $2,400

Octavo, 17.5 x 11cm. signatures: )(8 , A-Z8, Aa-Ss8, Tt2 . Second Edition. Acording to Debacker-Sommervogel there was never a second part published. Bound in full contemporary vellum.

Georg Stengel was born in 1584 in Augsburg he entered the Society of Jesus in 1601 and spent his whole life close to Ingolstadt. , he was a novice at Landsberg and taught at Munich, in 1618 he was Rector at the college at Dillingen and in 1640 he retrned to Ingolstadt. Stengel believed that all the punishments of God point to the need for an implacable persecution of witches on the Franconian model. (between 1600 and 1605 in Lower Franconia hundreds of ‘witches’ were burnt 250 in Fulda, 139 in Freigericht and more than 100 in Hanau)  Stengel, while a professor at Ingolstadt, (in his great work, “De judiciis divinis”) urges, as reasons why a merciful God permits illness, his wish to glorify himself through the miracles wrought by his Church, and his desire to test the faith of men by letting them choose between the holy aid of the Church and the illicit resort to medicine, declares that there is a difference between simple possession and that brought by bewitchment, and that the latter is the more difficult to treat. In this book Stengel focuses on the methods used by devils to trap those who stray beyond the pious.

Sommervogelvol. VII col. 1552 no. 46 Not listing a 1630 edition but a 1628 and a 1651 Oclc Lists no US copies of any edition.