Book ID: CBB001252754

Exploring the Kingdom of Saturn: Kircher's Latium and Its Legacy (2012)


Evans, Harry B. (Author)

University of Michigan Press

Publication Date: 2012
Physical Details: pp.; ill.; maps; bibl.; index
Language: English

Exploring the Kingdom of Saturn assesses a pioneering study of ancient Latium by one of the most interesting figures in the history of learning, the Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher. Although Kircher's Latium, published in 1671, is not without errors in its reading of the ancient monuments and topography of the area around Rome, this highly influential work launched future topographical study of the Roman campagna. Harry B. Evans investigates Kircher's Latium, its methods and accuracy, its possible use as a reference now, the scholarly quarrel between Kircher and rival scholar Raffaello Fabretti, and the Vatican's publications committee's involvement with Latium. While Kircher himself is well known for his many publications on a wide variety of subjects---Egyptian hieroglyphs, linguistics, natural science, musicology, and the history of China---his work as an archaeologist and topographer has often been dismissed. But his Latium is worth a detailed assessment: not only was it an early attempt to link ancient literary and historical sources to physical evidence, with splendid illustrations and maps, but the book spurred enormous interest in the region, prompting a more sophisticated study of it by Kircher's contemporaries and later generations. Anyone interested in the history of archaeology, the world of seventeenth-century Italian antiquarians and scholars, and the fascinating region of Latium itself will want to learn more about Kircher's achievements and the scholarly legacy of his book.


Description On Athanasius Kircher's work as an archaeologist and topographer.

Reviewed By

Review Olshin, Benjamin B. (2013) Review of "Exploring the Kingdom of Saturn: Kircher's Latium and Its Legacy". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 163-164). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Ziller Camenietzki, Carlos
Daxecker, Franz
Hellyer, Marcus A.
Stolzenberg, Daniel
Waddell, Mark A.
Carolino, Luís Miguel
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
Cartographica Helvetica
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
University of Notre Dame Press
Harrassowitz Verlag
Leipziger Universitäts-Verlag
Indiana University
Science and religion
Natural philosophy
Earth sciences
Kircher, Athanasius
Waldseemüller, Martin
Stöffler, Johann
August, Elector of Saxony
Newton, Isaac
Time Periods
17th century
Early modern
16th century
18th century
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)

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