Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Zodiac



Included among the 1,500 titles in the Library of Sir Thomas Browne are a number of esoteric titles including Athanasius Kircher's vast work of comparative religion Oedipus Egypticus (Rome 1652-56) a favourite read of Browne's. This highly syncretic zodiac links Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman elements of the zodiac. What exactly is the seated creature at 11 o'clock in-between Leo and the Twins supposed to be? Strangest looking Crab I've ever seen!

Kircher's highly syncretic approach to comparative religion has been judged critically flawed, but one can't knock the man for his industrious efforts to make some kind of sense out of the similarities various mythologies and religions share. Many examples of art-work in Kircher's books can be found at Sampling Kircher page.
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