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Athanasius Kircher: Systema Ideale Pyrophylaciorum Subterraneorum

Map: WLD4432
Cartographer: Athanasius Kircher
Title: Systema Ideale Pyrophylaciorum Subterraneorum
Date: 1664
Published: Rome
Width: 16 inches / 41 cm
Height: 14 inches / 36 cm
Map ref: WLD4432
Kircher's celebrated diagram of the interior of the Earth showing a hypothesized network of tunnels connecting the fiery core to volcanoes on the Earth's surface. As a Renaissaince polymath, Kircher was interested in all elements of mathematics and science. After hearing accounts of volcanic eruptions in Calabria and Sicily during the 1630s, Kircher determined to uncover the inner workings of the Earth. He speculated that the interactions of tunnels carrying water, fire, and air resulted not only in volcanic activity, but also in ocean currents, weather, earthquakes, and tides. Though his theories were vastly oversimplified and largely incorrect, his suspicion that the Earth had a heated core and that the surface of the earth was made of moving plates would both ultimately be proven correct.

Kircher's diagrams are some of the most visually arresting science illustrations ever published, and as such are extremely sought after by collectors.

Strong impression. [WLD4432]