Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Florence, ITALY

Kircher's Museum

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The Museum Kircherianum in Rome from G. de Sepibus, Romani Collegii Musaeum Celeberrimum, Amsterdam: Ex Officina Janssonio-Waesbergiana, 1678.


The first published catalogue of Kircher's museum, the frontispiece of which can be seen here, advertised it as a "theatre of nature and art". Here Kircher displayed perpetual-motion machines, optical tricks, a mermaid's tail, the bones of a giant and a host of other natural and artificial marvels to learned visitors to the Jesuit college in Rome. In the frontispiece are the five wooden obelisks, some of which still survive, constructed by Kircher and his assistants in imitation of the Egyptian obelisks scattered around Rome.


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