Turris Babel, sive Archontologia qua primo Priscorum post diluvium hominum vita, mores rerumque gestarum magnitude, Secondo Turris fabrica civitatumque exstructio, confusion linguarum, & inde gentium transmigrationes, cum principalium inde enatorum idiomatum historia, multiplici eruditone describuntur et explicantur.
by KIRCHER, Athanasius (1602-1680).
Amstelodami,: Ex officina Janssonio-Waesbergianna, 1679., 1679. Tall 4to. Collection: *4, **4, A-Z4, Aa-Ff4. Pagination: [xvi], 219,  pp. 25 plates and illustrations (8 folding), including the historiated half-title by Gerard Lairesse (1641-1711) engraved I.Y. Munnichuysen, tables, coinage woodcuts, Egyptian hieroglyphs or "Zoographus", comparative alphabet table (p. 190), index; first two leaves with wear to margins (not touching any ink), with 3 plates supplied in facsimile (Babylonia, p. 52; "Horti Pensiles. . ." [Penciles], p.58; Nimrod p. 112) and the folding Tower of Babel plate in partial facsimile (bottom section). The image shows Caesar addressing an architect [?] for the building plans of the Tower of Babel. Decorative woodcut tail-pieces and initials, index, errata. Ink annotation at errata "Excusantur" also, p. 9 margin with ink note relating to the calculation of people to populate the Tower " - 2332 – m.[-]m.m.m. – " Original full vellum, manuscript spine title [completely faded]; lacking front and rear free endleaves, some stains, rear cover gouged, top cover with some mild wrinkling, lower right corners showing. First three leaves with marginal tears (some loss at outer edges), variously stained (most notably the top edge shows a waterstain that effects the leaves variously. Bookplate of Leonhard Raaf. Very good copy. FIRST EDITION OF THE MOST EXPRESSIVE AND VISUALLY INTERESTING OF ALL WORKS ABOUT THE LORE RELATING TO THE TOWER OF BABEL, ADDING TO THIS ASSESSMENTS OF CERTAIN WONDERS OF THE WORLD, AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STUDY OF LANGUAGES, ESPECIALLY OF EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS, AND ALSO RELATING THE TEXT TO THE BIBLICAL STORY OF THE INABILITY OF PEOPLE TO COMMUNICATE TOGETHER. Here is Kircher's encyclopedic work on the history of the construction of the Tower of Babel, his speculations regarding its height, location, etc. Much of the topographical and historical information was garnered from the author's studies and research in earlier texts. Included is the genealogical tree of Noah and his descendants. He also enters into a study of the comparison of languages, including Phoenician, Hebrew, Chaldean, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopian, Elamite, Persian, Coptic, Armenian, Greek, and Latin. "In Kircher's Turris Babel, his reconstruction of the confusion of languages following Nimrod's act of architectural arrogance, he put forward a series of theories attempting to explain language change. These include migration, wars, colonization, and climate. Language change was generally viewed as a form of decline from the original and perfect language of Adams, which Kircher considered to be lost forever. Against this natural decline, humanist philological authority institutionalized its prescriptive claims to regulate language norms by establishing bodies such as the Accademia della Crusca and the Academie Francaise. Kircher's cure for the curse of Baroque Babel was at once more radical and knowingly impractical. By creating a new, written language, he offered to stop language change forever – to wrench language from history (and use) and give it to philosophy." – Wilding, p. 101. FULL DESCRIPTION ON REQUEST. PROVENANCE: Early ownership signature of: And. Glinde Sielns[?]. Bookplate of Leonhard Raaf, with his signature on page 159, bottom margin. Initials of "CK" at foot of both the half-title and title-page [minutely written]. Leonard Frederick Raaf [or Leonhard Fredrik Raaf] in Smaland (1786-1872), born 18 September 1786 on the farm Tomestorp in Kisa parish, Ostergotland, died 9 June 1872 on Forsnas farm in Sund parish, Ostergotland County, was a Swedish writer, folklore collector, antiquarian, member of parliament, landowner and state auditor. He was taught at home and at the age of 16 he matriculated to Uppsala University, graduating in 1805. During his student years in Uppsala, he came in contact with representatives of Romanticism, such as Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom. He was employed at a government office in Stockholm, but continued his studies a few years, alternating with service in the war expedition. Raaf earned his PhD in 1807. He was extra ordinary clerk in the war expedition from 1805 to 1810. Raaf was also a politician, Member of Parliament (chivalry and nobility), 1809-10, 1840-41, 1850-51. He gave medieval manuscripts, the so-called LF Raafs Diplomatarium. Further, he collected folklore along with Arvid August Afzelius and published the "Swedish ancient folklore" 1834-42. As anthropologist and cultural historian, he published a work that is still considered important a five volume, study of the Ydre district in Ostergothland, 1856-75. In addition, he wrote a thesis on Swedish diplomacy, a guide for anyone who wants to devote himself to the study of Swedish medieval documents and letters. From Tomestorp he had moved to Milling Torp, from there to Bulsjo and finally, in 1843, to Forsnas - all farms in southern Ostergotland - where he had his home, until his death in 1872. During the first half of the 1800s his home was also the summer residence of the a large part of the then Swedish cultural elite, such as Gudmund Joran Adlerbethsgatan, Per Daniel Amadeus Atterbom, Eric Drake, Joachim Nicolas Eggert, Daniel Georg Ekendahl, Lorenzo Hammarskold, Samuel Hedborn, Clas Livijn, Christian Molbech and Vilhelm Fredrik Palm Leaf, who lived with Raaf for shorter or longer periods. He became a member of the Royal Society for the issuance of manuscripts on Scandinavian history in 1828, the Royal Institute of Letters, History and Antiquities in 1829, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 1861st Member of Geatish Society 1811th. For posterity, he is perhaps best known for his pronounced conservatism, and its opposition to the country's modernization. His grave can be found on the Forsnas farm. His sister Charlotta Eleonora Raaf (1785-1821) was married to Carl Ake Hammarskjold (1768-1848). Their grandson was Hjalmar Hammarskjold, who in turn was the father of Dag Hammarskjold. REFERENCES: Bibliotheca Esoterica 2391; Brunet III, cols. 668-669; Caillet, Manuel bibliographique des Sciences psychiques ou occultes, 5795; Cicognara 2055; Graesse IV, p. 22; Honeyman 1832; De Backer-Sommervogel, vol. IV, col. 1069, no. 36; Stanford, The Great Art of Knowing, p.157: Nick Wilding, "'If you have a secret, either keep it, or reveal it': Cryptography and universal language." See: Joscelyn Godwin, Athanasius Kircher, (1979), pp. 34-43. NOTE: Not in Brigham Young collection as compiled by Brian L. Merrill, Kircher Jesuit Scholar, 1989 [though listed with his "major works"]; "This compilation of Kircher's researches into the biblical account of the tower of Babel is similar in scope and format to the Arca Noe . . . . Kircher speculates about the construction of the tower. He also traces the migration of the people after the confusion of tongues."
(Inventory #: LV2315)
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