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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.

A summary of Kedd's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Moret's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Baresch's letter to Kircher

A transcription of Baresch's letter to Kircher

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.

A summary of Marci's letters to Kircher

A transcription of Marci's letters to Kircher

A summary of Marci's letters to Caramuel Lobkowitz

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.

A summary of Santini's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Bernhard Martinitz's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Gans's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Lichtenstein's letters to Kircher

Balthasar Conrad (Balthasar Conradus)

Born Neisse 1599, died Glatz 1660.

Jesuit mathematician.

Knew Marci and Moret, shared their interest in astronomy and mathematics.

A summary of Conrad's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Caramuel's letter to Martinitz

A summary of Caramuel's letters to Marci

A summary of Caramuel's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Schega's letters to Kircher

Simon Schurer

Nothing known of him.

A summary of Schurer's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Kinner's letters to Kircher

A transcription of Kinner's letters to Kircher

Karl Julius von Blume

Born Brunswick 1622, died Prague after 1688.

Austrian statesman.

An influential courtier who sometimes travelled through Prague.

A summary of Blume's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Miller's letters to Kircher

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.

A summary of Dobrzensky's letter to Kircher

Marcus Martinitz

Nothing known of him.

A summary of Marcus Martinitz's letter to Kircher

Ernst Adalbert von Harrach

Born Vienna 1598, died Vienna 1681.

Austrian-Bohemian churchman, enforced the Counter-Reformation in Bohemia. Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague.

A summary of Harrach's letter to Kircher

Siegmund Hartmann

Born Vienna 1632, died Prague 1681.

Austrian-Bohemian Jesuit mathematician.

Knew Moret and Kinner, shared their interest in mathematics.

A summary of Hartmann's letter to Kircher

Johann Friedrich von Wallenstein or Waldstein

Born Vienna 1642, died Dux 1694.

Bohemian nobleman and churchman, Archbishop of Königgrätz and then Prague.

A summary of Wallenstein's letters to Kircher

Johann Franz von Kollowrath

Nothing known of him.

A summary of Kollowrath's letters to Kircher