Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who the Heck is Herwart von Hohenburg?

Seattle pi (Stephen J. Gertz)

With some excellent illustrations. Thanks very much to David Petersen for the link.

No copies have come to auction within the last thirty-five years. OCLC/KVK note only seven copies in institutional collections worldwide, only one of which is complete, in the Bibliothéque National - France. But a complete copy recently appeared out of nowhere and into the marketlace, unheralded, without fanfare.

The book is Thesaurus Hieroglyphicorum, published in 1610 by Johann (aka Hans) Georg Herwart von Hohenburg (1554-1622). It is one of the earliest works on Egyptology.

It is a book that profoundly influenced Athanasius Kircher, one of the most fascinating individuals of the seventeenth - or any other - century.

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