Notes on the letter of Godefridus Aloysius Kinner to Athanasius Kircher (1666)
animum, ‘nervous system’: I am modernising here but I think a medical not a spiritual term is called for.
Mundus Subterraneus: Kircher’s book on geology published in 1664.
Ferdinand III: Holy Roman Emperor, born 1608, reigned 1637-1657.
Anglica Societate, ‘English Society’: the Royal Society, founded by Charles II of England in 1660. This paragraph is a discussion of an important issue at that time, the need to break with the wisdom of the ancient world and pursue new knowledge by means of experimental science. Kinner, clearly, is on the side of experiment, but in his day its value was not self-evident and needed to be argued for. Barschius, by contrast, seriously believed that major medical discoveries would more likely result from the decipherment of an old manuscript than from first hand observation.
Atlantis: Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis (1626).
Ages at this time of the individuals involved
Rudolph II: dead for 53 years
Jacobus Horcziczky: dead for 42 years
Raphael Mnihovsky: dead for 20 years
Georgius Barschius: dead for about 11 years
Johannes Marcus Marci: 70
Athanasius Kircher: 63