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Egyptian OedipusAthanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity$
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Daniel Stolzenberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226924144

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226924151.001.0001

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Oedipus in Exile

Oedipus in Exile

(p.1) Introduction Oedipus in Exile
Egyptian Oedipus

Daniel Stolzenberg

University of Chicago Press

This book begins with the Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher's stay in Malta, a European outpost between Sicily and North Africa governed by the Catholic Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Kircher arrived at the end of May in the retinue of a young German prince, Landgrave Frederick of Hesse-Darmstadt, who, following negotiations with Rome, had converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism. In reward, Pope Urban VIII promised Frederick the Grand Cross of the Order of St. John and the lucrative office of coadjutor of the Grand Priory of Germany. This required Frederick to take up temporary residence on the island, and Kircher, a fellow German, was sent along to serve as the landgrave's confessor and teach mathematics at Malta's Jesuit college. It was a poor match; Kircher's talents and ambitions were scholarly rather than pastoral, while Frederick was a rowdy youth and Malta a cultural backwater.

Keywords:   Athanasius Kircher, Jesuit priest, Malta, Catholic Knights, Landgrave Frederick, Hesse-Darmstadt, Lutheranism, Catholicism, Pope Urban VIII

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