The Historical Archives of the Pontifical Gregorian University (henceforth APUG) preserve 14 volumes of letters sent by and to Athanasius Kircher and other five manuscripts, mostly unpublished. Years ago, Stanford University digitized all the letters and made them available through the LunaImaging software, enriching them with detailed metadata. Today, metadata of the letters are also available at Early Modern Letters Online (EMLO).
Recalling the tradition of Monumenta, within Monumenta Kircheri we want to continue and complete this work. Each letter will be transcribed, commented and annotated with the help of GATE contributors; a selection of Kircher's published works will be also transcribed. In addition, we have set up the Bibliographia Kircheriana, a useful tool for Kircher scholars that today records 648 bibliographic entries.
The observation on modernity: Athanasius Kircher, a case studyUmberto Eco famously defined the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) as ‘the most contemporary among our ancestors, and the most outdated among our contemporaries’. We propose to focus on Kircher's Correspondence and on his works. Athanasius Kircher is as a case study to explore the complexities and paradoxes of a ‘long’ modernity, starting from the seventeenth century up to our own world.
Thanks to last years’ activities, which have been carried out with high schools students, APUG decided to involve about 70 boys and girls in working on this project. In addition to transcription tasks, they also have to annotate the texts, finding entities such as Names, Works, Places, Terms and Objects.
We would like to thank:
- Fiammetta Iovine for her valuable and unique contribution to this project
- prof. Hans-Joachim Vollrath (Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Mathematisches Institut) and dr. Thomas Conlon for their kindness in sharing transcriptions and translations of the Athanasius Kircher correspondence
- prof. Sven Knebel (Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Philosophie Department) for the transcription of several letters from the Athanasius Kircher correspondence
Monumenta Kircheri is generously supported by Fondazione Sorgente Group.
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