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Egyptian Oedipus – Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity

Daniel Stolzenberg


A contemporary of Descartes and Newton, Athanasius Kircher, S. J. was one of Europe's most inventive and versatile scholars in the baroque era, publishing more than thirty works in fields as diverse as astronomy, magnetism, cryptology, numerology, geology, and music. However, Kircher is most famous—or infamous—for his quixotic attempt to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs and reconstruct the ancient traditions they encoded. In 1655, after more than two decades of toil, he published his solution to the hieroglyphs, Oedipus Aegyptiacus, a work that has been called “one of the most learned monstro ... More

Keywords: Descartes, Newton, baroque, magnetism, cryptology, Athanasius Kircher, Egyptian hieroglyphs, ancient traditions, Oedipus Aegyptiacus, paganism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226924144
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226924151.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel Stolzenberg, author