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Gigantis Sceleton: Kircher 1665

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  • Title: Gigantis Sceleton
  • Author: Athanasius Kircher
  • Date: 1665
  • Medium: Copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Very Good - age toning, foxing
  • Inches: 9 x 14 [Image]
  • Centimeters: 22.9 x 35.6 [Image]
  • Product ID: 3012002

Athanasius Kircher was a celebrated Jesuit Scholar and one of the first compilers of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the Earth. His interpretations were based on personal observations and beliefs about how the world's geological systems worked. He suggested the tides and currents of the ocean flowed through subterranean tunnels, and the mountains were the exposed skeletal structure of the Earth.

This page from Kircher's masterwork Mundus Subterraneus (1665) discusses the discovery of a giant skeleton near Lucerne, Switzerland in 1577. It includes an imagining of how this giant might have appeared in life compared to other historical giants / humans of varying sizes. This image was first published in 1584 by physician Felix Platter (1536-1614) and a painter named Johannes Bok in Basel. The horizontal line on the page supposedly represents 1/40 of the giant's total height.