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Egyptian Oedipus


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About the Author

Daniel Stolzenberg is assistant professor of history at the University of California, Davis.


"Daniel Stolzenberg has a sure grasp of Athanasius Kircher's infinite output, intricate thought, and complicated times. An informed and sensitive treatment of a truly baroque character."
--Ingrid D. Rowland, University of Notre Dame "Early Science and Medicine"
"If you don't already know about Athanasius Kircher, you should take a long trip through his extraordinary and weird fields of research: a Jesuit priest who tinkered with everything from early cinematic projectors to talking statues, and wrote about impossibly tall skyscrapers inspired by the Tower of Babel and developed his own unique twist on a volcanic theory of a Hollow Earth. If Gizmodo had been founded in the seventeenth century, Kircher would have been its editor in chief. Stolzenberg's book is an excellent biography of the man and his ideas."--R . Fritze, Athens State University "Gizmodo's Notable Books of 2013"
"In Egyptian Oedipus, Daniel Stolzenberg not only provides the first serious study of Athanasius Kircher's investigations into the history and culture of ancient Egypt, but he also furnishes a perceptive critical evaluation of Kircher's scholarship and persona, warts and all. Stolzenberg goes beyond Kircher's programmatic statements to unveil his actual scholarly practices. In doing so, Stolzenberg has produced an exemplary case study of a polymath at work and has provided us with a more nuanced understanding of Kircher's influence."
--Mordechai Feingold, California Institute of Technology "Early Science and Medicine"
"In this lively and erudite book, Daniel Stolzenberg sets himself the daunting task of making Athanasius Kircher legible to a modern reader. How, he asks, can we understand a writer like Kircher without making him a figure either of comedy or of awe? The answer he gives is a tour-de-force reading of Kircher's central claim to fame in the seventeenth century, his work on hieroglyphics. Along the way, we learn much about the fate and function of occult philosophy in the period, the operations of the early modern republic of letters, and the place of Rome and early modern Catholicism more generally in the intellectual landscape of early modern Europe."
--Jonathan Sheehan, University of California, Berkeley "Early Science and Medicine"

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