Archives & Special Collections Gallery Exhibit




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Creation Date

Fall 2014


Artifact Label:

Athanasius Kircher, S.J. (1602-1680)
Obeliscvs Pamphilivs… Interpretatio… Obelisci Hieroglyphici
Romæ: Typis Ludouici Grignani, anno Iubelei, 1650

The reknowned Jesuit intellectual, Athanasius Kircher was one of the first scholars of what became known as Egyptology, in his time he was credited with having deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics. In actuality, he was mistaken in his translation and it would be another one hundred and fifty years before they would be deciphered.

Obeliscvs Pamphilius, a scholarly investigation into the Pamphilius Obelisk (still located in Rome atop Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers), is considered the precursor to Kircher’s most renowned work on Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian Oedipus.

Jesuit Collection