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Letters From Contemporary Men Of Science

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Chapter Summary

As Kircher's works multiplied and were republished, more and more men of scientific leaning, from the famous to the obscure, began to write to Rome. Their questions were often abstruse, often quaintly naive, often little else but thinly veiled flattery. The men who wrote them ranged from European celebrities and courtiers to doctors, lawyers and astrologers - indeed, representatives of almost every social class and intellectual grouping. In the allied and somewhat younger science of chemistry, Kircher was similarly held in high repute, as we see from a lengthy letter written by Daniel Bockelmann containing various questions on the uses of mercury. Kircher's correspondents often combined scientific reports and queries with personal reminiscences and allusions to mutual friends, as in the case with a letter written by one Lucio Carrara soon after Kircher had concluded his investigations into the earthquake in southern Italy in 1638.

Keywords: daniel bocklemann; european celebrities; kircher; lucio carrara; Rome

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