Athanasius Kircher (1602--1670) is known in the history of science for his attempts to learn and write about all natural and cultural aspects of the world, and his Mundus Subterraneus was arguably his opus major. In this large book, he included every possible topic concerning the material Earth, but this paper focuses on his description of gems. Gems are included in books VIII and XII, but few historians have approached the sections in these chapters on gems. Part of this paper's purpose is to survey these two books and to show that Kircher's lapidary is unique in that he focused on the science of gems and that gems were part of his "geocosm." The second half of this paper focuses on the medical uses of gems as an example of further looking at the authorities Kircher depended on; I conclude that Kircher's main source was Anslem de Boodt's lapidary.
Unversity of Minnesota M.A. thesis. August 2013. Major: History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. Advisor: Joel Shackelford. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 70 pages.
Rogers, Bryony Ashley.
Gems in the Geocosm: Athanasius Kircher and the science of gems in the Early Modern Period.
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