Further Study Of Hieroglyphics By the Great KircherKIRCHER, Athanasius. Ad Alexandrum VII Obelisci Aegyptiaci nuper inter Isaei Romani rudera effossi interpretatio hieroglyphica. Romæ: ex typographia Varesij, 1666.First edition. Tall quarto (13 7/16 x 9 7/16 in; 341 x 238 mm). , 146, [6 as index], [1, sonneto], [1, blank] pp (xxviii, A4 - S4). Extra engraved title page, vignette title page, ten copper engravings including eight full page. Numerous woodcut illustrations. Woodcut initials.Contemporary full calf. Expertly rebacked and recornered to style. Engraved title page washed. Internally quite clean. Withal, a fine copy."The first attempt to decipher hieroglyphics, based on the assumption that they were indeed phonetic symbols, was made by the German scholar Athanasius Kircher (1602-80) in the mid-1600s [who] began his attempts at decipherment with the Coptic language and with the correct hypothesis that the hieroglyphs recorded an earlier stage of this language. He also believed, again correctly, that the signs recorded phonetic values" (Encyclopeadia Britannica Online). "A linguist of great ability, Kircher's translations of hieroglyphics were based entirely on these preconceived notions as to their symbolic functioning. Kircher does however hold an honored place in Egyptological circles, since he authored the first Coptic grammar and vocabulary" (Parsons, Hieroglyphics and Their Decipherment). "Kircher? published two more books contributing to his study of Egyptian artifacts in Europe: the Ad Alexandrum Obelisci Aegyptiaci interpretatio hieroglyphica (Hieroglyphic Interpretation of the Egyptian Obelisk for Alexander VII), of 1666, which described and interpreted the obelisk erected atop Bernini's elephant in front of Santa Maria sopre Minerva for Alexander VII in June 1667; and the Sphinx mystagoga of 1676?" (Findlen and Huismann, The Last Man Who Knew Everything, p. 33)."The toppled and broken obelisk had been discovered in a building excavation in 1666. Alexander VII commissioned Kircher to interpret the inscriptions on the three visible faces of the obelisk; the fourth could not be seen until the obelisk was erected?Kircher interpreted the three sides and then, on the basis of these, constructed a probable inscription for the fourth. According to Kircher's account, recorded in his Obeliscus aegyptiacus (1666), when the obelisk was raised, his hypothetical inscription was found to match exactly that found on the fourth side" (Merrill, pp. xxiv-xxv).Brunet III, 668. Caillet 5786. Sommervogel IV, 1063, 23. Graesse IV, 21 (misdated as 1662). Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Ad Alexandrum VII Obelisci aegypytiaci nuper...
Publisher: Romæ: ex typographia Varesij, 1666
Book Description Ex Typographia Varesij, Romae MDCLXVI. Ril pelle scrofa con decorazioni cm 23,7x34 pp (28 compresa antiporta) 146 (in realtà 136), (8) 10 illustrazioni incise su rame n.t. 7 a piena pagina. Il primo tentativo del Gesuita di decifrare i geroglifici egiziani con alcune ipotesi corrette ma che dovranno aspettare Champollion per una completa riuscita. I libri di Kircher sono sempre comunque splendide iniziative bibliografiche. In lingua latina. Bookseller Inventory # 26665