Kircher Prague Biographies

Athanasius Kircher’s Prague Correspondents

Biographical notes

Jodok Kedd (Jodocus Kedd)

Born Emmerich 1597, died Vienna 1657.
Jesuit priest and controversialist.
Probably a friend from Kircher’s student days, sometimes travelled through Prague.
Kedd’s letters to Kircher Summary

Théodore Moret (Theodorus Moretus)

Born Antwerp 1602, died Breslau 1667.
A Belgian Jesuit mathematician, spent most of his career in Prague.
Delivered Baresch’s transcript of the manuscript to Kircher.
Moret’s letters to Kircher Summary

Georg Baresch (Georgius Barschius)

c. 1585 – c. 1655
Only known to history from his assocation with Marci and the Voynich manuscript.
Owned the Voynich manuscript and left it to Marci.
Baresch’s letter to Kircher Summary
A transcription of Baresch’s letter to Kircher Latin

Johann Markus Marci (Joannes Marcus Marci, Jan Marek Marci)

Born Landskrona 1595, died Prague 1667.
Czech scientist, mathematician and physician, Rector of the University of Prague.
Inherited the manuscript from Baresch, gave it to Kircher.
Marci’s letters to Kircher Summary
Marci’s letters to Kircher Latin
Marci’s letters to Caramuel Lobkowitz Summary
Marci and Kinner to Caramuel Lobkowitz Summary

Martino Santini (Martinus Santinus)

Born Trent 1575, died Prague 1655.
Jesuit academic, Chancellor of the University of Graz, Rector of the Jesuit Colleges at Prague and Lemberg.
One of Marci’s medical teachers, shared his interest in alchemical medicine, may have known Baresch.
Santini’s letters to Kircher Summary

Bernhard Ignaz Martinitz (Bernardus Ignatius Martinitz)

Born Prague 1603, died Prague 1683.
Czech statesman, became Burgrave of Bohemia: also the Protector of the University of Prague.
Shared Kircher’s interest in steganography and universal scripts. A friend of Marci.
Bernhard Martinitz’s letters to Kircher Summary

Johann Gans (Joannes Gans)

Born Würzburg 1591, died Vienna 1662.
Jesuit priest, confessor of Emperor Ferdinand III.
An influential courtier who sometimes travelled through Prague.
Gans’s letters to Kircher Summary

Ferdinand Johann von Lichtenstein

Born 1622, died 1666.
Son of Prince Gundakar von Lichtenstein. His uncle Karl I von Lichtenstein was Statthalter of Bohemia 1622-1627.
An important nobleman who sometimes travelled through Prague.
Lichtenstein’s letters to Kircher Summary

Balthasar Conrad (Balthasar Conradus)

Born Neisse 1599, died Glatz 1660.
Jesuit mathematician
Knew Marci and Moret, shared their interest in astronomy and mathematics.
Conrad’s letters to Kircher Summary

Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz (Joannes Caramuel de Lobkowitz)

Born Madrid 1606, died Vigevano 1682.
Spanish Cistercian monk, an important intellectual figure. Lived in Belgium (1635-1643) and Bohemia (1646-1655) where he had family connections. Called to Rome and made bishop of Campania and then Vigevano.
A friend of Marci, shared his interest in astronomy and mathematics.
Caramuel’s letter to Martinitz Summary
Caramuel’s letters to Marci Summary
Caramuel’s letter to Marci and Kinner Summary
Caramuel’s letters to Kircher Summary

Johann Schega

Born Laybach 1595, died Vienna 1664.
Jesuit priest, confessor of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria (1614-1662, brother of Ferdinand III, governor of Belgium).
An influential courtier who sometimes travelled through Prague.
Schega’s letters to Kircher Summary

Simon Schurer

Nothing known of him.
Schurer’s letters to Kircher Summary

Gottfried Aloysius Kinner (Godefridus Aloysius Kinner)

Dates not known, around 1610 – 1670.
A mathematician, probably also a priest, tutor to Archduke Karl Josef of Austria (1649-1664, younger half-brother of Leopold I).
A longstanding friend of Marci, shared his interest in alchemical medicine. Saw the manuscript before it was sent to Kircher and twice raised the question with him.
Kinner’s letters to Kircher Summary
Kinner’s letters to Kircher Latin

Heinrich Julius von Blume

Born Brunswick 1622, died Prague after 1688.
Austrian statesman.
An influential courtier who sometimes travelled through Prague.
Blume’s letters to Kircher Summary

Philipp Miller or Müller

Born Graz 1613, died Vienna 1676.
Jesuit theologian, tutor and confessor of Leopold I.
An influential courtier who sometimes travelled through Prague.
Miller’s letters to Kircher Summary

Jakob Johann Dobrzensky

Dates not known: c. 1620-1690.
A Bohemian doctor and medical writer, lived in Parma for part of his life.
An old friend of Marci and Kinner, shared their interest in alchemical medicine, became Marci’s literary executor.
Dobrzensky’s letter to Kircher Summary

Marcus Martinitz

Nothing known of him.
Marcus Martinitz’s letter to Kircher Summary

Ernst Adalbert von Harrach

Born Vienna 1598, died Vienna 1681.
Austrian-Bohemian churchman, enforced the Counter-Reformation in Bohemia. Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague.
Harrach’s letter to Kircher Summary

Siegmund Hartmann

Born Vienna 1632, died Prague 1681.
Austrian-Bohemian Jesuit mathematician.
Knew Moret and Kinner, shared their interest in mathematics.
Hartmann’s letter to Kircher Summary

Johann Friedrich von Wallenstein or Waldstein

Born Vienna 1642, died Dux 1694.
Bohemian nobleman and churchman, Archbishop of Königgrätz and then Prague.
Wallenstein’s letters to Kircher Summary

Johann Franz von Kollowrath

Nothing known of him.
Kollowrath’s letters to Kircher Summary